There’s something about Mila Kunis that makes you fall in love with her on sight. And it’s not just her ethereal looks (her Ukrainian gene pool has blessed her with feline-green eyes, high-cheek bones and a perfect button nose). It’s more to do with her gravelly voice; her dirty laugh; her every-girl attitude; her razor-sharp wit – and the fact that she can announce her second pregnancy and star in lewd domestic comedy Bad Moms in the same year.
Yep, Kunis is that rare breed of Hollywood actress who is adored by women and men in equal measure – an enviable combination of beauty and brains, coupled with a down-to-earth attitude. Proof of her un-starry outlook? She recently revealed her wedding band for her 2015 wedding to Ashton Kutcher cost just $90 (Dh330) from Etsy. “My husband and I got married… and he got me a beautiful engagement ring. Like, stunning, stunning, stunning,” she said. “But for our wedding bands, for when we got married, I decided to just get them off of Etsy. And so our wedding bands are from Etsy.”
After her career-defining role in Black Swan in 2010, the 34-year-old has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. Case in point: her recent comedy Bad Moms (from the makers of The Hangover) grossed $23.4 million in it’s opening weekend in the US. Next up, she’s taking a break from acting to give birth to her second child in late November (she and Kutcher welcomed daughter Wyatt in October 2014). “I’m proud to be a stay-at-home mum,” she admits. “I have no desire to be in front of the camera. I find her [Wyatt] to be the most challenging job I’ve had. The amount of love that you have, the type of love that you have, changes; the way you look at the world changes… everything has changed, because of her.”
And she might not be finished expanding her brood yet. “I’ve always said this: I think you know when your family is complete. After we had Wyatt, the second that I gave birth, I was like, ‘I know that we need to have another baby.’ We both knew it, we just felt it,” she said recently. “And so I always say after the second one, we’ll know if we need to have another one. I really do believe you know.”
While this pregnancy has left her feeling “really, really good,”, as one half of a Hollywood power couple she does have one concern for her growing family. “My kids will have everything,” she says. “And my biggest concern when I had Wyatt was… I want to teach my kids a good work ethic, to earn things. But it’s hard when you live the way we live.” Her concern over raising kids who are down-to-earth seems to be front of mind for Mila as in another interview she remarked, “The one topic of conversation we had prior to having kids was, ‘How do you raise a child not to be a brat?’... It’s a matter of teaching them from avery early age that, you know, mummy and daddy may have a dollar, but you’re poor”.
Kunis herself was no overnight success story. She started acting at nine – after her family moved to California from the Ukraine when she was seven – landing her first big role on That ‘70s Show when she was just 15. These days, she’s well-versed in the tough-talking Hollywood game, and she’s determined to carve out her career on her own terms.
“After That ’70s Show ended, I solely wanted to do films that inspire me, and to work with people who make me better,” she says. “I wanted to just surround myself with people who I think are better than I am, whether they’re actors or directors or producers, so that I could learn from them. And I think that’s pretty much what I’ve done. I think that if I hadn’t done it that way, then I would’ve just stunted myself.”
It was on the set of That ‘70s Show that Mila met her future husband – though it would take a 15-year-long friendship before love blossomed. “One day, it just changed. All of a sudden, it wasn’t the same and I was really proud of myself for acknowledging that. The best day of my life so far was the proposal. I cried. I was a mess. Not to discredit any relationships in my past, but this relationship is different,” she says, adding, “I found the love of my life.”
There is one downside of being married to a former co-star, however. “ I literally can’t lie to him. He can call me out on everything, and I can do the same, because there’s nothing about the other person’s face that we don’t know. We know when they’re acting, thus we know when they’re lying.”
Now, Kunis steadfastly separates her public and private personas. Cannily observant of the fickleness of show business, she’s determined not to let her family become fodder for the tabloids. And, despite her superstar status, she lives a normal family life in many ways. She has eschewed nannies and is often seen walking her dogs with Kutcher and Wyatt near their $10-million Beverly Hills home. “What I do and who I am are two different things and they always will be,” she explains. “So much of who you are in this industry is based on what that critic says, what that director says, what that actor says. People start believing all that, and they become what everybody else wants them to be. And I think that I’ve consciously separated my two lives.”
Not that juggling a busy career with raising her family is easy – in fact the fallacy of ‘having it all’ was perfectly skewered in her recent comedy, Bad Moms. “I think we as women put too much pressure on ourselves to have everything and look a certain way and act a certain way and it’s impossible. It actually is impossible. There’s no such thing as a perfect balance,” Mila says, adding that she hopes this movie will demonstrate that.
The stunning star continually tops the best dressed lists, but don’t let her super-sleek red carpet look fool you. A self-confessed “jeans and T-shirt” girl, she’s much more comfortable hanging at home on the sofa than schmoozing on the red carpet. “I’m honestly just learning about fashion,” says Kunis. “In my daily life, I don’t wear the most feminine pieces. But I love to feel feminine when I’m on the red carpet.”
True to form, Kunis is often photographed dressed down in jeans and a football shirt with Kutcher, going for ice cream, watching a sports game or walking with their daughter. It’s a picture of cosy domesticity that comes from love born out of friendship. “There’s nothing we don’t know about each other because we’ve known each other for so long: the ugly, the bad, the good,” she says.
While she’s content to play happy families, that’s not to say she’s ready to retire from the movie business; she’s still got career ambitions to fulfil – but she’s definitely got her priorities straight: “I mean, I’d love to produce… I would love to explore other facets of this industry, for sure… I’ve always been a big proponent of not working for the sake of working, because I don’t want to work for the rest of my life – I want to live. So I’d rather work to live than live to work.”
From her first break as Jackie in That 70s Show aged 15 (where she also met her future husband Ashton Kutcher), to her breakthrough role in Black Swan and most recent part in Bad Moms, Mila has always picked parts that are full of personality.
Owning the red carpet
Although she’s generally a jeans-and-tee girl, Mila always rocks it on the red carpet, whether it’s a full-length gown by Gucci or Alexander McQueen; a Dolce and Gabbana prom-style frock or a cocktail dress by Antonio Berardi.
Mila is very careful to separate her private life from her public persona, eager to avoid “becoming what everyone else wants [her] to be.” She and husband Ashton Kutcher are quite down to earth when it comes to family life and generally lead a low-key existence with their little girl Wyatt Isabelle. They’re expecting their second child this November.