Women want to be her, men want to date her, and designers are clamouring to dress her: Mila Kunis on what it's like to be the most popular girl in Hollywood. Also, watch the April cover girl on set with Terry Richardson in an exclusive behind-the-scenes video on BAZAAR's Facebook page
Mila Kunis has been having fun in her New York hotel room with several Frenchmen. She comes down for lunch with a smile on her face — perhaps because said Frenchmen were laden with dresses for her Dior accessories campaign shoot. Not a bad day, all in all.
"It literally just happened," Mila says of her new fashion gig. "I was trying on these dresses, and I was like, 'How did I get here?' "
She plops down in the hotel restaurant, wearing black skinny jeans, biker boots, and a silky cream shirt covered with tiny black guns. ("I thought they were doves." She chuckles. "And then I realized.")
To make a corny analogy, Mila and her shirt have something in common: Each is a pistol in the package of a beautiful bird. Mila, 28, has been acting since age nine; at 14, she began an eight-year stint on That '70s Show. But it's in the past two years that she has hit the major leagues, thanks to Darren Aronofsky's critical and commercial hit, Black Swan. Mila, as the rival and obsession of Natalie Portman's paranoid dancer, saw her life change as quickly as she could take off her pointe shoes.
She didn't see Black Swan as a career maker at first. "I honestly thought, 'This is going to be a Darren Aronofsky movie. Maybe people will see it, maybe they won't.' I didn't for one second think, 'I'm making a movie about ballerinas. People are gonna run to see this.'" Before Black Swan, "I had anonymity," she says. "Right now, not nearly as much."
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Oh, the curse of popularity. And Mila is really, really popular. Girls want to hang with her, and boys want to hang with her (although their definition of hanging is likely rather different). There is an ease about Mila that is all the more surprising when you remember that she arrived in Los Angeles from Ukraine at seven, speaking not a word of English. "We came with nothing, and my parents had to work for everything," she recalls. "The easygoing aspect of me comes from the fact that when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose."
While she's become an American dream girl, Mila retains a very Russian bluntness. "If it was up to my parents, I would have never done this," she says of acting, "but now I'm 28, so what can they do?" This palpable lack of bullshit gives conversation an efficient directness:
Q: Do you make friends easily?
A: No. It's hard to open up to people because often they're more curious than they actually care about you.
Q: Are you more paranoid now?
A: Yes. Incredibly.
Q: Your phone was hacked last year, right?
A: No, my e-mail that hasn't been valid in over three years was hacked. They got a photo of me. I'm not naked or anything. I was covered in bubbles, eating.
Q: How do you safeguard against this stuff?
A: Well, I don't send naked photos.
Then she laughs. "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
Mila emerged from Hackergate unscathed, unlike fellow actress Scarlett Johansson, who was allegedly a victim of the same culprit. "The sad thing is, she shouldn't even have to explain who it's for," Mila says.
That frankness came out swinging — in her mother tongue — at a Moscow press conference with Justin Timberlake last summer for their comedy, Friends with Benefits. A journalist asked Timberlake (who still gets grief over his cryogenically frozen music career), "Why do you feel like you deserve to be here? Don't you have enough in your life?"
Mila went off like Sputnik. "I asked her, 'Why are you here?' She said, 'This is my job.' I went, 'Well, this is all our jobs.' She goes, 'But why does he feel like he needs more?' And I was like, 'Do you hear yourself?'" It's rare for a star to veer from media autopilot, "but I will, always," Mila says. "Life is too short. I mean," she repeats, "what do I have to lose?"
Absolutely nothing. And lately, everything to gain. Mila recently wrapped up six months in Detroit shooting next spring's Oz the Great and Powerful with James Franco, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams. "It's the most beautiful set I've ever been on in my life. The costumes are stunning. And I fly in it too!" But filming took over her life. "I can do it now because I'm in my 20s," Mila says of her punishing schedule. "I don't think I can do it much longer, physically. I am very much a creature of habit, and I have no life consistency. None."
Ask Mila what men come a-calling and she says, "I don't get asked out. This past year, I haven't been home, so who's going to ask me?"
Her last serious boyfriend was Macaulay Culkin, whom she dated for eight years, until 2010. "It was fantastic," she says. "I mean, I honestly think being single's great. Being in a relationship's great. It's all about the timing. I loved it."
But even when she's single, Mila's not one for a party. "I don't go out very often. I prefer to stay home and have a nice little beverage and watch television." She cooks too. "I can make anything out of leftovers. I want to be a judge on Top Chef." She works out with a trainer three times a week, mostly because that enables her to keep eating and drinking. "My glass of wine and I are besties."
After her drastic weight loss for Black Swan (20 pounds off her already lean frame), Mila notes that her body "has never been the same. My shape is different. When I got down to 95 pounds, I was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones. When I gained it back, it went to completely different areas."
Like the rear? "No, I'd be happy if my ass got bigger. All the weight that left my chest went to my side hip, my stomach." She's wary of another role that would require a body transformation. "I'm not going to say I'd look forward to it, but if an offer came along, I'd do it."
The only transformation Mila is enjoying is a fashionable one. On the red carpet she favours flirty dresses by Dior, Lanvin, and Alexander McQueen. Her icons when she was a kid were a traditional bunch: Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor - "classic women." Today it's dames of a later vintage: "I've always been a fan of Kate Winslet. She's very classy and a sexy little thing too. Victoria Beckham - she's very confident in whatever she wears. Oh, and Cate Blanchett," she says. "Obviously."
On getting older, Mila is sanguine. "I will not put a needle in my body unless I have a medical reason," she says, "but ask me in 10 years. Right now, I'm like, 'I'm going to embrace it,' but ... I'm probably going to want to have something done. I have no doubt."
For now, she's doing rather well in the looks department. "People have interpretations of what you're supposed to be like," she says. "If you're unattractive and overweight, you must have a great personality. If you're attractive, then you must not be the nicest person. People are always taken aback that I'm easygoing but not necessarily stupid."
No, not stupid at all. Finally, a question from a male acquaintance who may just want to hang: "Are you comfortable being a sex symbol?" Mila smiles indulgently, and in a nanosecond replies, "Nope."
Pictured Above: Chiffon dress, $13,000, Dior. 800-929-DIOR. Ring and bracelet, Harry Winston. Shoes, $645, Marc Jacobs. 212-343-1490.
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