Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - COVER STAR -

Just ask … well, pretty much any­one who has worked with her, from her Black Swan co-lead Natalie Port­man (they bonded watch­ing Top Chef in sweat­pants) to her Af­ter Sex cast-mate Zoe Sal­dana (Mila was front and cen­tre when Zoe’s Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame star was un­veiled) and her Bad Moms bud Kris­ten Bell (the su­per­tight pair got match­ing ‘friend­ship hair­cuts’ last year). Even her mar­riage to long-time That ’70s Show co-star Ash­ton Kutcher (the stu‹ of fan­girl dreams) was born out of a years-long – you guessed it! – friend­ship.

Mila can’t kick her habit of turn­ing col­leagues into ride-or-dies. Read on as the 35-year-old dishes to her lat­est, Kate McKin­non, about se­cret fan­tasies and ca­reer su­per­pow­ers. You’re very close to your fam­ily. How did they in lu­ence who you are to­day? My par­ents al­lowed me to be very in­de­pen­dent and a free thinker, whether they agreed with my choices or not. I never had a cur­few, and I didn’t break many rules. I was in bed by 9pm. I think my par­ents were like, ‘Well, she’s not an id­iot.’ To me, you are one of the most nor­mal peo­ple in the world. You told me about how you’d hang out at a store af­ter shoot­ing That ’70s Show. Do you think that’s why? My mom used to work at a store. When I was 14 and 15, she would pick me up on her lunch break. She didn’t have time to drop me at home, so I’d go back to work with her un­til she fin­ished. I’d walk around the aisles, and some­times my mom would be like, ‘There’s some­body at the ice-cream counter, go serve them’; and then, ‘Will you go to the photo counter?’ I was free labour, to­tally il­le­gal. She’s re­tired, so I guess she can’t get fired now!

It never fails to amaze and amuse – that im­age of you leav­ing the TV lot and then go­ing to scoop ice cream… An im­age? This was years of my life! Nei­ther of us par­tic­i­pates in so­cial me­dia. What’s that about for you? I was so late to that train. I re­mem­ber at some point my room­mate was like, ‘You know, there’s a thing called Face­book’, and I was like, ‘What is this Face­book? Who’s gonna poke each other? That’s just weird.’ Then Ash­ton and I re­con­nected and started talk­ing. He used to be in­cred­i­bly for­ward-think­ing with so­cial me­dia, when the in­tent was to con­nect with peo­ple. But it took an ugly turn and be­came all about who can be the loud­est, who can be the an­gri­est and the most neg­a­tive. Then it’s just not a fun game to play. Do you feel like you’re miss­ing out? Not at all. I get my news on­line; I can tell you which Kar­dashian is dating whom. I wish I didn’t know … but I do. So when you have a cute pic­ture of your chil­dren, do you send it to any­one? There’s an app that my fam­ily and I are all on; it’s only for our clos­est friends and fam­ily. We all post pho­tos to it, but it’s on an in­cred­i­bly pri­vate server.

That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard. I think the idea of shar­ing per­sonal mo­ments with loved ones is beau­ti­ful. It’s all that other stuff that’s gross.

If you had a month when you were not al­lowed to work, what would you do? I’d kid­nap my fam­ily, go to Italy and rent a house in the mid­dle of a vil­lage that spe­cialises in cheese­mak­ing. I’d have naked ba­bies run­ning around Ital­ian sun­flower fields. I’d make de­li­cious food with my hus­band, and we’d frolic and just be in love. That’s all I would do.

Do you think I could stop by the house…? Yes. With my naked fam­ily run­ning around.

Will Ash­ton be as well? For sure.

Good. Just cu­ri­ous. What is the great­est mis­ad­ven­ture you ever had in the kitchen? I’m a hor­ri­ble baker. I’m an amaz­ing cook and a hor­ri­ble baker. I don’t like mea­sur­ing.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’d be a bad en­gi­neer. Prob­a­bly the worst. But I mar­ried an en­gi­neer, so talk about a good bal­ance, right? I didn’t re­alise that. Yeah, he was an engi­neer­ing ma­jor. He loves science and num­bers and spread­sheets and all things to be or­gan­ised, like all the wa­ter in the fridge fac­ing in the same di­rec­tion. We bal­ance each other out.

Were you guys sim­i­lar peo­ple when you were teenagers? God no. I wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be friends with the per­son I was when I was 16, 17, 18. Not to say that my 16-year-old self was an ass­hole… I wasn’t. But I’m so much more present in life to­day than I was then. And so is Ash­ton. I think the rea­son we fell in love is be­cause we had both gone through life a lit­tle bit and went, wait, wait, wait, let’s ground our­selves. Let’s just come back down to earth. I think those are the peo­ple who fall in love.

Do you ever feel like peo­ple put you guys on a pedestal? I don’t know. I was lis­ten­ing to Dax Shep­ard’s pod­cast, and the con­ver­sa­tion turned to him and his wife [Kris­ten Bell] and how peo­ple have them as #Re­la­tion­shipGoals and how they have this self-im­posed pres­sure. Ash­ton and I don’t have that be­cause we don’t do so­cial me­dia in that way. So we don’t feel pres­sured to be some­thing we’re not. I think all re­la­tion­ships re­quire work – we just don’t post pho­tos about it. And I don’t read any­thing about my­self. I gen­uinely don’t know what’s writ­ten about me – other than the fact that I’m preg­nant about once a year, and my hus­band and I are get­ting a di­vorce once a year. I know this be­cause I go down the gro­cery store aisle, and I see it on the cover of mag­a­zines and I’m like, oh, okay!

It doesn’t faze you at all? The only thing that’s up­set­ting is my par­ents and my grand­par­ents some­times get con­fused. My 96year-old grand­mother as­sumes that ev­ery­thing writ­ten in the news­pa­per has to be true.


At one point when I was preg­nant, [the tabloids] said I’d had an emer­gency and been rushed to the hos­pi­tal, and my face was on the cover. The amount of stress that caused my fam­ily, no­body will un­der­stand. Al­though my dad is al­ways very hope­ful the preg­nan­cies are true. He’s al­ways like, ‘Is there re­ally an­other?’ Did you al­ways want to be a pro­ducer? I re­alised that I had no other skills in life! I got knocked up and I was like, ‘While I’m preg­nant, I’m not gonna work.’ Then, three months into be­ing preg­nant, I learnt that I’m phys­i­cally in­ca­pable of not work­ing. I’ve been [act­ing] for 20 years, and I thought, ‘I know how to put a f*ck­ing project to­gether. I know how to find good ma­te­rial. That’s my su­per­power.’ More than three years later, [my com­pany has] de­vel­oped about 60 shows. What started off as ‘Can I do it?’ be­came ‘Oh, I’m do­ing it.’ What’s your ul­ti­mate dream as a pro­ducer and an ac­tor now? You know what’s funny? I just sat down three days ago to write down my dream in five years, and I re­alised very quickly that I didn’t dream big enough. So I’ve been think­ing about it – like, ‘What is my grand f*ck­ing dream for my­self?’ I just want to be happy. I know that sounds in­cred­i­bly lame, but I never want to stop learn­ing or be­ing chal­lenged, and I never want to stop chal­leng­ing my part­ner. I think those things will al­ways lead to some form of suc­cess. And your great­est pro­fes­sional achieve­ment? When I’m on SNL, Kate. The day I get over my fear and suc­cumb to host­ing SNL, that’s the day.

It’s gonna be the best episode we’ve ever done. One day! ■

‘I look at you and think, “This is one of the great­est peo­ple alive”.’ -Kate on Mila

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