Борис Бурда
Author: Boris Burda
Journalist, writer, bard. Winner of the «Diamond Owl» intellectual game «What? Where? When?»
Liberal ArtsNomina
7 minutes for reading

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
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Mila Kunis (birth name — Milena Markovna Kunis) — born in 1983 in Chernivtsi — is an American film actress, best known as the heroine of the television series That 70s Show, the films The Book of Eli (Solara) and the Black Swan (Lily), as well as “Voices” of Meg Griffin from the animated series Family Guy.

 

WHO HAS A BETTER GIRLS?

 

Almost every nation is sure that their girls are the most beautiful. And in our country, this belief has long since become universal, and attempts not to share it are not even pursued by anything special, except for a contemptuous smirk — they say, poor fellow, what does he understand about this.

The simplest ways to explain this long since like the fact that there are no ugly women, but sometimes there is not enough vodka, and we always have enough vodka — they work well, but I want more persuasiveness. Still, for some reason, the Norwegians like the Norwegians, and the Zulu people — the Zulus …

Is there any objective criterion? For example, the fact that anyone from richer countries goes to our region for brides and rarely returns with nothing — can anyone be convinced? Well, perhaps someone who does not know how popular, ;et’s say, in the United States, marriages with Vietnamese and Filipines…

Is it even possible to check this mysterious harmony with algebra? Or will we have to reduce everything to the observation of the writer Vladimir Kiselyov, who noticed that the main characteristic of Ukrainian men is that they are afraid of their wives? You say that French women are more beautiful — and they hit you with a rolling pin?

I would like objective data on this subject, but where can I get them? I can tell you — look who in 2012 the popular Esquire magazine was named the sexiest woman in the world? By the way, her equally popular magazine Men’s Health included in the list of 100 hottest women in the world. Where was this beauty born? Do not hesitate: it is in our country, where else!

 

VERY BEGINNING

 

She was given the beautiful name Milena, which she later shortened to Mila. Her mother taught physics at school, her father was a mechanical engineer at the Legmash plant — she later recalled that she was “very lucky” and her family “was not poor”. In any case, she certainly was not in need.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
In childhood

But with peace of mind it was worse. Her parents were religious and, according to her, raised her “as Jewish as possible”, which was not at all encouraged in the USSR. The Jews were considered something like a totalitarian sect or a secret society…

And then there were troubled times when everyone got it, as in the famous Catch-22 novel: “You don’t have any chances, kid, they hate Jews. But I’m not a Jew. — It does not matter. They hate everyone.” There were more and more incentives for emigration.

As a result, the whole family of Mila Kunis — father, mother and brother Mark — together with her left their hometown of Chernivtsi, the charming and peculiar capital of Bukovyna, where Mila lived for the first 8 years of her life. Somewhere they write that they won a green card in the lottery. However, what’s the difference…

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
House of Mila Kunis in Chernivtsi

 

OVER SEAS

 

At the time of the move, they only had $250 in cash. “That was all we were allowed to take with us. My parents turned down good jobs and non-transferable degrees. We arrived in New York on Wednesday, and on Friday morning my brother and I were already studying in Los Angeles,” Mila later recalled. However, life goes on…

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Little Mila with her brother

Already on the second day of her stay in Los Angeles, Mila was enrolled in Rosewood Elementary School. But at that moment she did not know a word of English! How she first studied at all — was “a mystery shrouded in darkness.” But the girl quickly learned the language — after all, everyone around spoke English …

Her biographers wrote for a long time that the TV show Price of Luck, which she watched regularly, helped her to master the language. In 2009, in an interview, she denied this. In any case, as the only source of knowledge, there were obviously other TV shows, and books, and just communication.

She later attended Hubert Howe Bancroft High School and then Fairfax High School, from which she graduated at 18. Mila studied hard, studying with a tutor even during filming. She tried to graduate from the university, but it did not work out — the new profession did not let her.

 

EARLY INVOLVEMENT

 

The girl clearly mastered English very quickly — at the age of 9 she was taken to acting school in Beverly Hills. She was lucky to meet Susan Curtis there, who later became her manager — we all understand how important this is. Soon Mila began acting.

Her career started in 1993 with the appearance of world-famous Barbie dolls in commercials. And her first real film role was a little girl in the TV series Days of Our Lives. This long-lived series is still being released, having survived 55 seasons, during which more than 14,000 episodes were filmed.

She also got other roles, in films or television series, but at first small ones. However, everything changed when she went to the casting in the TV series That 70s Show. Candidates at least 18 years old were required, and when asked how old she was, the girl vaguely replied that she would soon have a birthday, but did not specify which one. And she just had to turn fifteen…

This trick was quickly revealed, but the director was so amazed by her successful performance that Mila was nevertheless approved for the role. She starred in the series for 8 years, in all 200 of its episodes. Already at the age of 16, the girl received the prestigious YoungStar Award for her work in it — for an the beggining…

 

FAMILY GUY

 

In 1999, Mila received an offer to voice the heroine of the animated series Family Guy — a 15-year-old girl Meg. The first test was unsuccessful, but the creator of the series, Seth MacFarlane, became interested. He asked Mila to speak more slowly on the second test — and was satisfied.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Mila’s character in Family Guy

The director liked the voice for its naturalness, an accurate reflection of the character’s special traits with the help of intonation. Maybe also the fact that Mila, as it is easy to calculate, was just about the same age as Meg. Everything matched…

The series about a typical American family from a fictional suburb of the real city of Providence, full of jokes on the shock topics of American society (slavery, feminism, disability, obesity, etc.) interested the public and in many ways became a cult.

It was discontinued after three years, but the success of the rerun was so great that it was revived and filmed for several more years. The series was nominated 16 times for the big Emmy TV award (won 11 times) and 11 times for the Annie Award for cartoons (won 3 times). In 2005, an audience vote ranked it #5 on their list of the 100 Greatest Cartoons.

 

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FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL AND MORE

 

A successful job usually gives out a new job — she started getting more roles. She played the main character’s girlfriend in the conventional romantic comedy Get Over It and soon landed her first starring role in the clearly titled American Psycho thriller sequel.

Critics did not like the thriller, and until about 2007, Mila took on the roles, that they offered — inconspicuous and not the main ones. On top of that, there was work on television, but these were only open episodes that clearly did not suit her.

But the role of Rachel in the 2008 Forgetting Sarah Marshall — by definition also a romantic comedy, and for our viewers it is noticeably shocking, which can explain her conflicting ratings on the sites of fans of the actress — was a clear success.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Frame from the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The movie turned out to be both a good press and a good box office — this does not always coincide, but when this happens, it is a success! A little later, Mila herself said in an interview that it was this work that turned out to be a step forward for her after the Show of the 70s, so she was invited to play roles even more often.

 

BLACK SWAN

 

It will not be possible to mention all her work in the cinema here — there are too many of them. But shooting in the film Darren Aronofsky Black Swan is not worth bypassing — this is a real breakthrough. The film received five Oscar nominations and four Golden Globe nominations, with Natalie Portman winning both of these awards. Mila was also awarded for the best supporting role.

In the film, Mila plays the rival of the main character, although in fact they have a long-standing friendship with Natalie Portman — this happens in the movies. Portman herself suggested director Mila Kunis for this role, and he, without casting, agreed to this via Skype.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
In the movie Black Swan

To be convincing in the role of a ballerina, Mila practiced ballet for 5 hours a day and lost 9 kilograms of weight before filming — with the help of a strict diet and special training. On set, she tore a ligament and dislocated her shoulder while working at her limit.

After the film, she said in an interview: “I will never dance again in my life. I’ve always been convinced that mind is superior to the matter, but until this film, I had no idea how it actually works.” However, the work paid off.

 

MOVIES, MOVIES, MOVIES…

 

Huge loads are indispensable companions of the profession, and Mila Kunis withstood them not only in the Black Swan. She also had to work hard in the fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful based on the book by Frank Baum, where she got the role of Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
As Theodora the Witch

The famous master of special makeup Greg Nicotero personally supervised the process of her preparation for this role. It took four hours to put on makeup, and it took an hour to remove it. After filming ended, it took two months for her damaged skin to recover.

It was also not easy for the actress to play the role of a drug addict in the film Four Good Days. She had to again lose 9 kilograms, wear dentures during filming and demonstrate the typical nervous cramps for drug addicts — she called this the most difficult role of all.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
In the movie Four Good Days

And during the filming of the role of the assassin Mona Sax in the film adaptation of the game Max Payne, she happened to take special courses in shooting, boxing and martial arts. Probably also shooting in the film Walker, Texas Ranger helped her — Chuck Norris taught her a few tricks.

 

PERSONAL

 

Why am I only talking about the work, like a Canadian lumberjack from a joke — she also has to have a certain personal life. Of course there is — in Hollywood she is in plane sight, the journalists are swarming, and the only ones like Charlton Heston, who has been married to the same woman for 64 years, are only a few…

It seems that the first person Mila met in such a way that others noticed it was her partner on the Show of the 70s Danny Masterson. This did not last long — she soon left him for the director of the project, Morgan Freeman. Obviously, this project meant a lot to her… But she soon abandoned it too.

In 2002, Mila began dating Macaulay Culkin (remember the movie Home Alone? So, this is its main character — the boy has grown up!). He gave her an expensive diamond necklace and they were going to get married. They even had a common dog who lived for a week with each of them.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin

But Mila got bored with him. She later said in an interview: “He is simple, kind and erudite. But he’s a terrible homebody. In our free time, we read books and watched TV.” So it didn’t come to the wedding — in 2011 they broke up forever.

 

PERSONAL AND SERIOUS

 

Shortly after breaking up with Culkin, Mila began a relationship with another partner in the Show of the 70s — Ashton Kutcher (see what an important project this was for her?). They first kissed on set, and Ashton says that when he kissed her on camera, he always got “butterflies in his stomach.” At the same time, they both deny mutual sympathy in those years.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Kunis with Kutcher back in That ’70s Show

But in 2012, many years after The Show of the 70s, everything turned out to be very serious for them. In October 2014, the actors had a daughter, who was named Wyatt Isabelle, and soon after that, in March 2015, Mila told the press that she had officially married Ashton.

Already in a legal marriage, in November 2016, they also had a son, who received the name Dmitry Portwood Kutcher. They continue to be a completely prosperous married couple even now, and for the morals of Hollywood, this is a considerable period. And the rumors about their breakup turned out to be a hoax. For now…

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
Kunis, Kutcher and their children

So for Jordan Lynn Dunn, who was in love with her, who more than once ambushed Mila at her house, there was no chance. As a result, the court forbade him to even approach the actress, but he continued his “courtship” until he was sentenced to a course of psychological rehabilitation and a 5-year probationary period. What can we wish him? Unless you have a speedy recovery…

 

AT THE HOMELAND

 

And what about her relations with the country in which she was born? Yes, in every way — in 2012, one, excuse me, people’s deputy, called her a Jew and demanded “not to mold her to Ukraine.” This caused an international scandal — both Israel and the European Union were outraged, but the party of this deputy supported him. What is it that he wanted to separate Chernivtsi from Ukraine?

I myself felt a little sad — in this column I already wrote about eight Nobel laureates, so seven of them are purebred, and the eighth is half, and all became famous outside the country. Maybe because such people are not ordered to “sculpt them to Ukraine”? But it would be useful…

And in 2015, Ukrainian singer Kristina Karo sued Mila, accusing her of stealing a chicken from her in 1990, and demanded $5,000 in compensation. Mila was then 7 years old, as a singer — a little over a year. The trial coincided with the release of her video “Give me a green card.” Here’s an ad…

Nevertheless, in 2017, Mila came with her husband to look at her native Chernivtsi. But she could not get into her father’s house — the gates were locked, and they did not let her in. She asked to bring her a chair and was able to at least look over the fence – this was the end of the meeting with her small homeland.

However, during her visit to Ukraine in 2019, she and her husband met with President Zelensky. He then wrote on his Telegram page that the communication was fruitful, in particular, about the development of the Ukrainian film industry and attracting investment into it.

ROOTS AND WINGS with Boris Burda: Mila Kunis from Chernivtsi is a famous American actress
President Zelensky with Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher

So her relations with Ukraine are getting better and, perhaps, will bear fruit. In the meantime, many are simply pleased that the girl, recognized by at least one poll as the sexiest in the world, was born on our land. However, who would doubt?

 

All illustrations are from open sources

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