Milena Markovna “Mila” Kunis (/ˈmiːlə ˈkuːnɪs/; Ukrainian: Мілена Марківна Куніс; born August 14, 1983) is an American actress. In 1991, at the age of seven, she moved from Soviet Ukraine to the United States with her family. After being enrolled in acting classes as an after-school activity, she was soon discovered by an agent. She appeared in several television series and commercials, before acquiring her first significant role at age 14, playing Jackie Burkhart on the television series That ’70s Show (1998–2006). Since 1999, she has voiced Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy.
Kunis’ breakout film role came in 2008, playing Rachel in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. She gained further critical acclaim and accolades for her performance in the psychological thriller Black Swan (2010), for which she received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress, and nominations for the SAG Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other major films include the neo-noir action film Max Payne (2008), the post-apocalyptic action film The Book of Eli (2010), the romantic comedy film Friends with Benefits (2011), the comedy film Ted (2012), the fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) as the Wicked Witch of the West, and the comedy film Bad Moms (2016).
2013–present: continued work
In 2013, Kunis played Theodora, the youngest of three witches, opposite James Franco, in the Walt Disney Pictures’ prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful. She dedicated her performance in the film to Margaret Hamilton, the original Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 film. The film, and Kunis’s performance, received mixed reviews from critics. Kim Newman of Empire Magazine wrote that Kunis “walks away with the honours as the wavering witch Theodora, whose heartbreak brings another, less-expected depth to this 3D spectacle”. In contrast, Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter found Kunis’s performance to be uncertain as her character seemed to be in a state of limbo. Oz the Great and Powerful was a commercial success, grossing over $493 million worldwide.
Also in 2013 Kunis co-starred in the crime thriller Blood Ties with Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, and Marion Cotillard. The film premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and had a limited release in the United States in 2014. Blood Ties received mixed reviews. Kunis was also cast in the comedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, alongside Robin Williams and Peter Dinklage. The film had a limited theatrical and VOD release and received poor reviews. The Paul Haggis-directed film Third Person co-starring with Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde and James Franco premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival and had a limited release in 2014, but also received mostly negative reviews. Kunis’ performance was praised by some critics; Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that her role gives her “enormous room to express her talent” and she “gives her story a shot of raw intensity”.
Kunis is set to be an executive producer for a feminist-themed TV series for the CW network. Meridian Hills, is a drama about the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s. She will not appear on-screen. In October 2014 it was announced Kunis, along with her partners, had launched a new production company called Orchard Farm Productions. The company has a first-look deal with ABC Studios, where the company is based. Under the agreement, the team will develop and produce TV projects for broadcast and cable.
In 2015, Kunis co-starred with Channing Tatum in the science fiction film Jupiter Ascending, directed by the Wachowskis. While the film grossed over $183.9 million on a $176 million budget, it received mostly negative reviews, with a consensus that the production was “narratively befuddled” and a “visually thrilling misfire”.
Kunis co-starred with Kristen Bell and Christina Applegate in the comedy Bad Moms, which was released July 29, 2016. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the cast and humor, though did not feel it could “take full advantage of its assets”. Chris Nashawaty from Entertainment Weekly wrote that “Kunis manages to be both sympathetic and funny, and she has crack comedic timing”. The film went on to earn more than $183.9 million with a budget of $20 million. Following the financial success of Bad Moms, STX Entertainment reunited Kunis with her co-stars Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn for a sequel, A Bad Moms Christmas, which was released on November 1, 2017. It went on to receive mixed reviews and gross over $130 million worldwide with a budget of $28 million.
In 2018 Kunis co-starred with Kate McKinnon in the comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me. The film received mixed reviews and went on to gross over $75 million worldwide with a budget of $40 million.