Mila Kunis was just 14 years old when she first joined the hit television series The ‘70s Show, playing the spunky character of Jackie Burkhart for eight seasons. Since then, Kunis, 39, has blossomed over her many years in Hollywood, becoming the versatile actor she is today. Her latest film Luckiest Girl Alive (now streaming on Netflix) is a shining example of just that, showcasing the artistic depth Kunis is willing to go in order to properly tell this rather “heavy” yet unfortunately necessary & timely story.
Kunis plays the central character Ani FaNelli, a sharp-tongued New York journalist whose seemingly perfect life begins to unravel when she is forced to finally confront the traumatic events of her past. Being not only the star of Luckiest Girl Alive but also a producer on the project, I first asked Kunis what joys and satisfaction came out of having such an active hand on both sides of the camera.
“I have to tell you, I loved every aspect of it,” Kunis tells me. “I loved understanding exactly what goes into the true form of love of art-making. I loved being able to watch the product unfold through the edit bay, through the marketing – to be able to have any sort of influence, let alone have your influence be heard. Often times as an actor, you have an opinion and people placate to that opinion – but when you’re a producer, they actually have to take it into consideration. It was really lovely to be able to have a say, based on the passion that I have for the project, to make sure that was put forth into the marketing campaign and all the other facets that go into filmmaking.”
Knoll starts by saying of Kunis, “She brought a lot of value as a creative partner and producer, not just because she’s smart and has great ideas and all the things, but so many of us were involved in this project – like early 2015 when it was first optioned. A bunch of our producers on this project had been on it since then. Then Mike Barker, our director, came on in 2018. So, by the time Mila came on right before, it was like December 2020, a lot of us had eyes on this for a long time. It was incredibly helpful, especially for the ending and the third act, for Mila to come in when she did with a fresh set of eyes and her ideas of the character’s arc.”
With Luckiest Girl Alive bringing multiple serious subject matters to the surface with its thought-provoking narrative, I wondered how Kunis finds way to comfort and protect her own mental health while working long hours on-set and having to maneuver through an emotional script.
“The most honest answer is I have an incredible support team at home,” says Kunis, speaking of her husband of seven years and the father of their two kids, Ashton Kutcher. “I have an amazing partner-in-crime, 24/7, and it makes my life so much easier. I think for me, if I was speaking totally honest, work for me is easy – I love it! Work is super focused. We only have to worry about one thing – just doing your job. All you have to do is you just have to show up, be prepared, be ready, be present and then it’s really fun. The hardest thing for me is to be away from my family and when I have peace of mind knowing that my family is happy and healthy and thriving and doing these amazing things, it makes my job so much easier, thus making my mental health, my mental well-being that much greater. So I think for me, just being able to simply focus on one task, knowing that everything else is being taken care of by my partner, relieves a lot of stress.”
With Netflix “Hallowen Ends” subscribers now able to stream Luckiest Girl Alive whenever and wherever they want, I was curious what is Kunis’s greatest hope, or perhaps even a lesson, that viewers take away from watching this dramatic thriller.