Mila Kunis on Life With Ashton and Making Babies: “There’s Nothing We Don’t Know About Each Other”
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 ever since she landed her 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 onscreen hallmark. The notion that child stars are destined for meltdowns, ill-equipped to transition into functioning adults? Kunis, born in Ukraine, inherited a hustle gene from her working-class 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 32, having married her ’70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher, Kunis is building a family of her own: In October 2014 she gave birth to their daughter, Wyatt Isabelle, and as this issue went to press, she announced they were expecting a second child. Which brings us to the latest stereotype Kunis is toppling: the one about how parenthood makes you boring.
Consider her latest project, Bad Moms. It’s Kunis’ first starring role since she took a year and a half off to start her family, and it’s the raunchiest film she’s ever anchored. Written and directed by the Hangover duo, it’s funny, filthy, and, above all else, frank about female sexuality, ambition, and the shifting roles of moms in today’s culture. Underneath all the punch lines, Kunis notes, is an assault on the idea that women—mothers in particular—“have to be perfect all the time.” She plays “an anal-retentive, overworked, unappreciated” mother of two, who, as Kunis puts it, “says, ‘F–k it.’ ”
Spend some time with her, which I did, at a hole-in-the-wall Middle Eastern place in San Francisco, and it’s clear that her desire to raise “an open-minded little human”—soon to be humans—has only strengthened her political convictions and made her even more unapologetically outspoken. When I mentioned Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, for instance, or society’s unreal standards of beauty, she pulled no punches. It’s good to have you back, Mila.