The Real Reason Mila Kunis Disappeared

Mila Kunis has been a household name in Hollywood ever since she landed a role on That '70s Show as a teenager. Since then, she's starred in popular comedies like Bad Moms, Ted and Friends With Benefits (who isn't jealous that she got to smooch Justin Timberlake, the man of our middle school dreams). She even garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in Black Swan, the star's darkest film to date. For a while, it seemed like Kunis was absolutely everywhere — effortlessly switching from comedy to psychological thriller to voice acting role — but today, you probably won't see her walk a red carpet.

As it turns out, the Ukrainian born star and her husband Ashton Kutcher (who used to play her TV boyfriend) have been focusing on a number of projects behind or away from the cameras. This is the real reason it seems like Mila Kunis disappeared from Hollywood.

Mila Kunis isn't hopeful about aging in Hollywood

Even before Kunis started her family, she didn't have a very hopeful outlook on aging in Hollywood. If sun damage supposedly ages skin faster, the spotlight might as well be nuclear. Tinsel Town is notoriously unkind to women, and Kunis was gearing up for the backlash (even if she was, at the time, only 29 years old).

In a 2013 interview with Playboy (via Us Weekly), Kunis admitted that "for a woman" things get — in the words of James Franco — "weird when you're older." She admitted it's harder to land roles, when that's not really the case for a man. Even though there are the Meryl Streeps of the world, she wasn't banking on becoming one of them. 

"Listen, I'd love to [be like Meryl Streep], but I wouldn't presume or assume to be that," Kunis said (via Us Weekly). "If I'm lucky enough to have a career remotely close to hers, great. If I'm not, I'm not going with the expectation of having one. ...It all depends on whether people care to see me in five years or not, and you can't predict that. It's weird that at the age of 29 I'm talking about aging in this industry, but the truth is I don't think I can do this for the rest of my life."

Mila Kunis wanted to be a producer

Kunis might be spending less time on-screen than when she was a teenager starring in That 70s Show, but the Golden Globe-nominated actress is still frequently on set. In her 2013 interview with Playboy (via Us Weekly), the star admitted that her dream was actually a role behind the scenes. "I want to be a producer," she said (via Us Weekly). "That's really what I want, because I love this work in a weird, sick way. But I also want a life. I want a family — just, like, one day, not tomorrow."

Not long after her Playboy interview, Kunis made her dream a reality. According to Deadline, the star launched her own production studio, Orchard Farm Productions, and signed a deal with ABC to produce "TV projects for broadcast and cable." She's since served as executive producer for 2014's The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and 2017's A Bad Mom's Christmas.

Mila Kunis wanted to be a full time mom

Kunis is the proud mother of a young daughter and baby boy, and she planned to be a very hands-on parent since the beginning. In a 2014 interview with W Magazine, the Ukrainian beauty admitted that she was excited to become a full-time mom, though she wasn't sure if she'd be sick of it after a year of not working. 

The idea of staying at home to raise her children is a stark contrast from the way Kunis grew up. According to A Plus, she came to the United States from the Ukraine on a religious-refugee visa when she was a child. While both of her parents worked full-time jobs in the States, at least they did work in a single location. Kunis, however, told Playboy (via Us Weekly) that she's "never in the same place for more than two months. How am I ever going to have a family like that?" Instead, she wanted to be a more "present mom."

"If that means I do one movie a year, if people still want to see me and hire me and I don't suck by that point, great," she told Playboy (via Us Weekly). "But my only source of happiness can't be dependent on something so fickle. And I find this industry to be incredibly fickle."

Mila Kunis has had it with the paps

Kunis has been in the spotlight ever since she was 14 years old and lied about her age to land her breakout role on That '70s Show, where she appeared alongside her now-husband Ashton Kutcher. Needless to say, after more than two decades of stardom, which led to accolades including a Golden Globe nomination, a People's Choice Award, and a Razzie, the couple is absolutely sick of the paparazzi. 

In 2015, Kunis and Kutcher sued The Daily Mail for "wrongful publication of paparazzi photographs of family outings," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actors were less than thrilled about the photos, which featured their then-one-year-old daughter, and were reportedly used to hawk clothing, likely through the tabloid's "Fashion Finder" feature. 

"Like any other family they should be allowed to enjoy family outings without being pursued by photographers," their lawyer, Paul Tweedy, told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. "They have made it clear that they do not agree to the publication of photographs of such occasions."

According to The Times, the lawsuit was eventually settled for an "undisclosed sum" that was donated to a charity chosen by Kunis and Kutcher. This is far from the only time Kunis has rallied against the paps. She called the Italian paparazzi "crazy" and "evil" in an interview with Wired and appeared to get into a screaming match with a photographer outside of her home in 2014, shortly after announcing her pregnancy. Really, don't the paps have better things to do than stalk a pregnant woman?

Mila Kunis is over the tabloids, too

Beyond suing The Daily Mail — which at this point, who hasn't? it seems like Kunis and Kutcher are pretty sick of the tabloids in general. It's been a long time dealing with dubious headlines. Thankfully, the actress seems to have a great sense of humor about it, even if she might find it annoying.

In a 2019 Instagram post, the couple trolled In Touch Weekly, who had just published a story claiming the pair had split, that Kutcher had a dark secret, and that Kunis took the kids. Kutcher hilariously asked his wife, "It's over between us? Oh my god, what are we going to do? ...You felt suffocated by me? I was just so overbearing, wasn't I? ...Oh, you took the kids? I don't get the kids anymore?"

In the caption, Kutcher thanked the tabloid and wrote that he hoped they had fun selling magazines that week. "Maybe next week my wife will be having twins. For the third time. But who's counting," he wrote. Clearly, the longtime pair is not amused by the fake stories about them, but such is the life of an A-lister. It makes sense that Kunis would want to retreat from the public eye just a little bit, if only to avoid the dramatic headlines.

Mila Kunis always viewed acting as a hobby

Kunis garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her chaotically dark supporting role in Black Swan, but that doesn't mean she always viewed acting as her actual profession. In fact, the star originally took on the craft as a hobby and just happened to be really, really good at it. Unlike the leagues of actors who absolutely live for the spotlight, the Hollywood starlet doesn't really think that it's her main purpose. She has other things going on, and acting is, for lack of better words, a job (a job that she likes, but a job nonetheless).

In an interview with W Magazine, Kunis admitted that she never wanted to be a totally business-minded person. "To me, this job has always been a hobby that turned into a great profession, but I don't eat and breathe acting." She said. "I'm sure Meryl Streep has a very different point of view." Considering Kunis' view on her career, it's not really shocking that she'd slow down to find balance in other areas of her life.

Mila Kunis slowed down once she had baby number two

At the height of Kunis' career, she was managing a handful of projects every year, all while voice acting for Family Guy. She did three movies in 2013, four projects in 2014 and two projects in 2015. By 2016, the star's acting career appeared to slow down. Bad Moms was the only flick she took on, and she's gone at the pace of a movie a year ever since. So, what happened? Kunis had her second child.

In 2016, Kunis welcomed her second baby, Dimitri Portwood. According to Vanity Fair, the couple kept the news under the radar but eventually came out with details as a proactive way to keep the press at bay. "We'd like to allow our kids to make their own choices on whether to have a life in the public eye or not," Kutcher told A Plus. "We don't want to make the choice for them."

After having her second kid, it seems like Kunis simply wanted to spend more time at home. She can probably afford to focus on family as long as she wants with her reported $65 million net worth.

Mila Kunis reluctantly filmed 'Bad Moms'

Between 2016 and 2017, Kunis only released two movies: Bad Moms and A Bad Moms Christmas. She didn't even originally want to do Bad Moms but the universe kind of forced her hand. 

According to the Ukranian-born star, who spoke to Variety, the flick had a different cast, but the actresses kept dropping out. It seriously made her question whether or not women actually did support other women and if they genuinely believed in a project with an all-female cast. If women don't support women, who else is going to? 

"Women kept dropping out, like 'I don't know if anybody's going to want to see this movie. It's an all-female cast. ...I was pregnant and had a baby, so I wasn't even thinking about doing it," she told Variety. "I was trying to make other people do it, and then enough time went by where my daughter got old enough, and I was like, you know what? This movie just simply needs to be made."

Mila Kunis only did 'The Spy Who Dumped Me' to support a female director

It's clear Kunis chose her acting projects very carefully after having children. She only made Bad Moms and its sequel because she felt like the films were important for women. She signed on to The Spy Who Dumped Me for a similar reason — she had never worked with a female director in the more than two decades she'd been acting.

Directing is a notoriously male-driven role. As of this writing, Barbra Streisand remains the only woman to ever win a Golden Globe for Best Director, according to Time. Even Kunis' female-centric Bad Moms had male directors. Though Kunis had planned to take the rest of the year off after filming A Bad Moms Christmas, she knew director Susanna Fogel needed her support. 

"I was like, 'I don't know if I want to do this. I can't do two movies back-to-back. I have a newborn, like I can't travel.' I didn't want to — my whole family moved as a tribe and I was like, 'I can't do this,' and my husband turns to me and goes, 'You realize you've never worked with a female director,'" she told Variety. After her realization, Kunis was totally on board.

Mila Kunis is behind the scenes with 'Family Guy'

While it might seem like Kunis disappeared from Hollywood, that's hardly the case. The star has had the same sitcom role for around two decades — you just don't ever see her face. To this day, Kunis still voices Meg Griffin on FOX's animated hit Family Guy. She signed onto the project during the second season.

According to an interview in GameSpy, the role was originally voiced by Mean Girls star Lacey Chabert. She recorded the first season and part of the second season before parting ways with the production because she was busy with school and filming Party of Five. Thankfully, Kunis ended up really working out. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane actually thinks the Bad Moms star might have been a better fit for the role.

"I say that Lacey did a phenomenal job, but there was something about Mila — something very natural about Mila," he told IGN. "She was 15 when she started, so you were listening to a 15-year-old." Today, Kunis' voice is so recognizable that she told Graham Norton people often yell "Shut up, Meg" at her while she's walking down the street. She also gets a pretty penny for her efforts. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star makes somewhere between $175,000 to $225,000 per episode.

Her last film was a flop

Hollywood has not seen Kunis' face on-screen in 2019. The star's sole movie project was a voice acting gig on a poorly-received animated flick that had a bevvy of problems from the very beginning. Paramount's Wonder Park should have been a success, but as of this writing, it holds a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and barely made back its $100 million production budget.

If you haven't heard of Wonder Park, you're not alone. The film's name was changed after it found itself embroiled in not one — but two — controversies. Back in 2018 when the film was still titled Amusement Park, Paramount booted director Dylan Brown after multiple women filed complaints of "inappropriate and unwanted conduct," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dylan was never replaced and the film chugged on without an official director. 

Things were shaken up again later that year when, according to The Wrap, the production replaced Emmy Awarding-winning actor Jeffrey Tambor. According to Deadline, Amazon opened an investigation on the former Transparent star following sexual harassment allegations. In 2018, he was fired from Transparent, and a few months later, Wonder Park also gave him the boot.

We didn't really see Kunis heavily promoting the troubled film, and it's not hard to figure out why.

Mila Kunis' husband stepped back from acting, too

Kunis isn't the only one in her household taking a step back from acting. Her husband, Ashton Kutcher, has more or less retired from the industry. When he testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017, the star admitted his "day job" was his work with Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, the nonprofit organization he started with his ex-wife Demi Moore.

Thorne's main purpose is to build technology that helps protect minors against sexual abuse. According to People, they've got a "Technology Task Force," which includes more than 25 tech companies like Google and Microsoft who help create software to "fight child sexual exploitation." This software has helped speed up law enforcement investigations by 65%. 

Kutcher has made a real impact with his charity work, much more than he ever made on That '70s Show or in Dude Where's My Car? According to Thorn's own impact report, in 2017 alone, the nonprofit helped law enforcement identify nearly 6,000 victims of child sex trafficking and rescued more than 100 children from "situations where their sexual abuse was recorded and distributed." They also helped disrupt a whopping 6,608 perpetrators. This all kind of makes walking a red carpet seem a tad trivial, no?