Julia is caught in a custody battle for her 6-year old son with her ex-husband Rick played by James Franco, who is a famous New York artist. With her support cut off and her legal costs ruinous, Julia’s lawyer Theresa (Maria Bello) has secured Julia one final chance to change the court’s mind and be reunited with the child she loves. Julia’s sole motivation in life is to gain joint custody of her son but her fragile psychological state and the circumstances of her marriage break-up make that a big challenge.
A fan of the director’s works, Kunis had no qualms joining the cast, “I’ve been a fan of Paul’s work and he has a very specific way of writing so I didn’t necessarily know what to expect but I knew it was going to be intertwining storylines. I can honestly say that there are those movies that come along that they make you realize why you love doing what you do and working with Paul Haggis made me fall in love with my job again. I love it, I love every aspect of how he works, how he interacts, how, confident he is and how confident he makes you feel. I think we just kind of get each other’s work ethic and work rhythm. He trusts me and I trust him that’s just so incredibly important”.
“Given the complexity of the film, Julia is a hard character to explain,” says Kunis of her character. “She’s slightly misunderstood but she means well. Technically speaking, she’s in a custody battle with her ex-husband Rick for their child Jesse. At heart, Julia’s a sweet person but she’s always late and if a person has to make a right or a left turn, she always makes the wrong choice, but it’s not on purpose so you can’t blame her for it. Maybe she just has the world’s worst luck, or maybe not. She seems to be constantly put in situations where she’s just being attacked or accused of not being good enough.”
Mila spoke to Collider about not worrying about how sympathetic her character is, how she drew on the emotional depth of her own mistakes in life for this role, how selfishly gratifying it is to play a character like this, how fun it was to play a mom, that she prefers to turn the emotion on and off while she’s at work and not take it home with her, collaborating with James Franco, and what Paul Haggis is like, as a director.
Collider: Was it important to you that your character be sympathetic or likeable?
MILA KUNIS: I think that sometimes being unlikeable makes you likeable. It makes you human. I don’t think that anybody ever goes into a character thinking, “I can’t play this character because they’re not likeable.” I think that people are different because of the mistakes that they make. How they function after they make those mistakes is what makes everybody special. I think my character is incredibly sympathetic and likeable, for her faults. Actually, I think all of the characters are. But I don’t recall ever going into any project thinking, “I’m a little tentative playing this character because she’s not as likeable as I’d like for her to be.”
You’ve played a lot of characters who are the girl next door or the romantic lead. Was it fun to play someone like this?
KUNIS: Yeah, I loved it. First of all, I wanted to work with Paul [Haggis]. And then, reading the script and having it not be a girl next door character was a relief, so to speak.
What did you draw on for this role?
KUNIS: Everybody has mistakes that they make in life. It’s just relative to who you are and how they impact you. And so, it wasn’t hard for me to figure out a way to get to a place where I understood the character and understood her emotional roller coaster ride. I may not have had a child that I’ve lost, but that doesn’t take away from the experiences that I have had, in my life, that are equivalent to that emotional depth. It was great. Paul allowed me to explore that.
Mila Kunis scored the July/August cover of M2Woman magazine. For those who have never heard about this one — you’re not alone. Anyway, it features completely new marvelous photoshoot (courtesy to Warner Bros) probably taken as a promo for Jupiter Ascending. Enjoy 10 ipad scans below!
Mila sat down with MovieFanatic to talk about her new movie Third Person, always working with James Franco, playing a character she’s never done before and having her name used in A Million Ways to Die in the West.
Mila covers the July issue of Marie Claire and all we can say is WOW. The issue is on stands June 24. Grab your copy!
On giving birth: “Two people are allowed in my delivery room. My doctor and my significant other. And he is staying above the action. He’ll be head to head. Not head to vag. Unless he wants to risk his life and see. But I wouldn’t if I were him. I highly doubt he wants to see that being ripped apart and shredded. Because it will be shredded. It’s just a matter of how badly.”
On her friendship-turned-fiancée Ashton Kutcher: “One day, it just changed. All of a sudden, it wasn’t the same. And I was really proud of myself for acknowledging that. The best day of my life so far was the proposal. I cried. I was a mess. Not to discredit any relationships in my past, but this relationship is different.”
On her Year of Yes: “I was really good at saying no. I decided I was just going to say yes to any opportunity that came, no matter how crazy. And it changed my life.”
On what she never wants to do: “I’ll never have a clothing line. I promise you, that will never happen.”
On her future children: “I just don’t want my kids to be assholes. I feel like so many kids nowadays are. Both of us just want to have well-behaved, honest, nice children who people meet and say, ‘That’s a good kid.’”