“I feel re­ally good”

With a new baby, new movies and the same old awe­somely out­spo­ken at­ti­tude, Mila Ku­nis is, as she says her­self, “knock on wood, very lucky.”

Glamour (South Africa) - - News -

Mila Ku­nis like you’ve never seen her be­fore

mila Ku­nis has spent her ca­reer up­end­ing con­ven­tions and clichés – in a sly, ef­fort­less way. That lame old adage about how women (espe­cially young, pretty ones) aren’t funny? She’s been ex­plod­ing it since she landed a break­through role, at 14, on That ’70s Show play­ing the won­der­fully self-ab­sorbed Jackie with the calls-it-like-she-sees-it air that has be­come her on-screen hall­mark. As for the no­tion that child stars are des­tined for melt­downs, ill-equipped to tran­si­tion into func­tion­ing adults? Mila, born in Ukraine, in­her­ited a hus­tle gene from her work­ing­class im­mi­grant par­ents and ap­plied it to her own ca­reer, killing it not just in hit come­dies ( Ted, Friends with Ben­e­fits) but pres­tige dra­mas ( Black Swan), too.

Now, at 33, hav­ing mar­ried her That ’70s Show co-star Ash­ton Kutcher, she’s build­ing a fam­ily of her own: In Oc­to­ber 2014 she gave birth to their daugh­ter, Wy­att Is­abelle, and in Novem­ber last year, their sec­ond child, Dim­itri Port­wood, was born.

Spend time with her, which we did, and it’s clear that her de­sire to raise “open-minded lit­tle hu­mans” has only strength­ened her po­lit­i­cal con­vic­tions and made her even more unapolo­get­i­cally out­spo­ken. This is a star who pulls no punches. It’s good to have you back, Mila.

glam­our In 2012 you said you’d rather be in love and have a baby than a movie. Did you ever think you’d have to choose?

MILA I got – knock on wood – very lucky. But I did choose. I took a chunk of time off. If it were up to Ash­ton, we would have had kids much sooner. But I had con­tracts for films I had to do. And let me tell you, when I did get of­fers, I wouldn’t even flinch. I was like, “No, I’m preg­nant.” “No, I have a baby.” I wasn’t ready to go back. I was so happy say­ing no that I knew it was the right de­ci­sion.

Did you ever think, ‘Oh, I’ve said no so many times, they’re not go­ing to call me any­more’?

I was OK with it. And I was like, “What­ever will hap­pen will hap­pen.” As an ac­tor, you travel so much and it isn’t great for a mar­riage. And un­less you and your part­ner are happy, your kids are never go­ing to be happy. I ul­ti­mately started my pro­duc­tion com­pany, Or­chard Farm Pro­duc­tions, so I have a nineto-five. I can’t not work. I don’t know what it’s like to not work; my fam­ily em­bed­ded that in me.

Your fam­ily left Ukraine when you were young. De­spite their de­grees and pro­fes­sions back home, they were work­ing-class when they came to Amer­ica. Did you feel their strug­gle?

No. I had no clue. I was so well pro­tected.

What did they pro­tect you from?

My par­ents went through hell and back. They came to Amer­ica with suit­cases, a fam­ily of seven and $250 (R3 200), and that’s it. For years, they worked full-time and went to univer­sity full-time. They would go to night school to learn English. My mom started work­ing at Thrifty Car Rental as a box lady. That’s what she did un­til she learnt English. Af­ter that, she be­came a cashier.

My dad worked seven jobs. He painted a house. He de­liv­ered toi­lets, drove a cab, de­liv­ered piz­zas. Ul­ti­mately, he owned cabs and my mom worked her way up to man­ager of a phar­macy; they bought a car and a condo. But grow­ing up poor, I never missed out on any­thing. My par­ents did a beau­ti­ful job of not mak­ing me feel like I was less than any other kids.

Given your fam­ily, does it strike a chord when you see Pres­i­dent Trump stoke anti-im­mi­grant and anti-mus­lim-im­mi­grant fears?

It’s even more than that. The whole Syr­ian-refugee thing – we came here on a re­li­gious-refugee visa, and I’m not go­ing to blow this coun­try up. I’m clearly pay­ing taxes. I’m not tak­ing any­thing away.

So the fact that peo­ple look at what’s hap­pen­ing and are like,

“They’re go­ing to blow things up.” It sad­dens me how much fear we’ve in­stilled in our­selves. And go­ing from there to the whole, “Hey, let’s build this wall be­tween LA and Mex­ico…” I don’t even have to an­swer that one. There’s no point. It’s a re­ally great sound bite. And it got him far. No­body should be mad at him; we did it to our­selves. You came to Amer­ica, learnt English and landed a big role at 14, then showed your unique range. Does it bug you that com­edy is seen as less ‘artis­tic’ than dra­mas like Black Swan? It’s weird. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re pre­tend-cry­ing or pre­tend-laugh­ing, you’re still pre­tend­ing. It’s equally as hard or easy. It’s not like, “Oh man, I’m do­ing a movie where I have to cry, that means I’m work­ing re­ally hard.” Be­fore you had Wy­att, you said, “I love women who say, ‘I hate my child right now.’ It lets you know you aren’t alone in your feel­ings.” To pay it for­ward, which tough things about par­ent­ing did no one tell you? Chil­dren are so crazy. Like, at the park, some jun­gle gyms have open­ings for older kids to jump out of. She’s two years old; she can’t jump. She just walks off it as if she’s on a pi­rate ship.

An­other im­por­tant thing to learn is that kids have a per­son­al­ity that has noth­ing to do with you. I have a re­ally sweet daugh­ter. She wants to hug all the other kids. I didn’t teach her to be sweet. It has noth­ing to do with me. I’ve re­alised you can control only so much.

You met Ash­ton on That ’70s Show 20 years ago. What does it give the re­la­tion­ship to have gone through that to­gether? We can’t lie to each other. 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 are act­ing, thus we know when they are ly­ing. Some­times he’ll look at me, be like, “Re­ally?” And I’m like, “Oh, no!” You know ev­ery ges­ture, ev­ery fa­cial tic.

Uh-huh. 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. We went through a pe­riod where I thought he was crazy. At the height of his ca­reer, I was like, “Ugh, I don’t like you. I don’t even know you any­more. You think you’re such hot stuff.” You had breakups when you weren’t even to­gether?

Yes, fully. Full friend­ship breakups. And then we’d get back to­gether and be like, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to over­re­act.” “That’s OK.” All the time. It truly is be­ing mar­ried to your best friend. That’s a cliché; it’s cheesy. But it’s true.

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