THE Hollywood star is happy to test the bounds of propriety – and who better to help than her mentor of 13 years, Seth MacFarlane
Don’t think a gentleman should tell a poo joke in front of a lady? Then don’t bother looking up Mila Kunis. The Hollywood star has come across folk who don’t think pretty girls can take a joke . . . “and I don’t necessarily surround myself with those people,” Kunis says.
Poo jokes are on the agenda today, thanks to Kunis’s new film, Ted, home to a poo joke so grand it left her in tears she was “laughing so hard”.
From the warped mind of The Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, Ted enjoyed a hefty $53 million opening in the US last weekend. The movie is about a boy who makes a wish that brings his teddy bear to life. That boy grows into a guy called John (played by Mark Wahlberg) and the teddy bear grows into a pot-smoking, beer-guzzling, hooker-loving, foul-mouthed layabout. It’s all entirely inappropriate, in the most hilarious way.
If Ted goes too far at any point, Kunis is not the one to judge.
She’s not even convinced there is such a thing as “too far”.
“I’m sure that there is. I haven’t found it yet. If it’s funny and if it’s rooted in honesty, and you can justify the joke, I’ll say it, I’ll do it, sure. Why not? I’m hiding behind a character. There’s a safety net – you’re not being yourself.”
Kunis plays John’s girlfriend, a smart professional
who’d like her man to grow up and ditch the bad influence of his stuffed best friend.
Girlfriend roles can be thankless, Kunis admits but “we tried to make her important, viable and special”.
And besides, MacFarlane, who also runs animated series American Dad, has an equal opportunity stance on women being funny.
“Seth comes from the school of thought that women are just as funny as men,” Kunis says. “There is not a question in my mind that he respects a female comedian equally as he does a male comedian.”
She says during the past 13 years he has been the first to reassure her whenever she doubted she was funny.
“He’s one of my biggest supporters and advocates and I will forever be grateful.”
Indeed, about the same time Kunis won a part in TV sitcom That ’70s Show - and long before she was leading movies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Friends with Benefits – MacFarlane took the teenager under his wing.
She was 15 when she got the gig voicing Meg Griffin in The Family Guy so she has more or less grown up with the writer/director/producer as he’s built his reputation for pop-cultural, button-pushing, lowbrow humour.
Ted is MacFarlane’s first feature film. But even with her long relationship with the director and having worked with Wahlberg on 2008 action flick Max Payne, Kunis walked on to the set nervous. “It’s like coming to school for the first time,” she says.
“It’s not necessarily nerves about something specific but the first day of work you get first-day jitters.
“It’s a new group of people. It’s a different environment. Every set has its own tone, its own rhythm and until you find that rhythm it’s a little nerve-racking.”
The tone on the Ted set wasn’t as filthy as you might imagine given the subject matter, she adds: “The tone was very easygoing.”
That suits Kunis, who has become a favourite of the lads’ mags for her earthy demeanour as well as impressing critics with her ability to just “be” on screen.
“I always take it as a compliment,” she says, referring to the “being” stuff.
“I try to make every character that I do come across as real. If that makes it come across as me being effortless, so be it. You can’t overthink it because then the audience doesn’t believe it. If you don’t believe it and the audience doesn’t believe it, everything falls.”
Photoshoots from 2012 > Unknown Session