Tragic Details About Mila Kunis

It wouldn't be bold to call Mila Kunis one of Hollywood's most beloved stars. The "That '70s Show" alum has won over one heart after another due to her charm, beauty, and acting chops. But one of the main reasons fans love the Ukrainian actor so much is because of how down to earth she is, regardless of her fame and fortune. 

She may have a whopping net worth of $75 Million, but believe it or not, Kunis was not raised with a silver spoon in hand. As she said on "The Kyle and Jackie O Show" in 2016 (via CBS News), she grew up in "solid poverty." And after she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart, her parents were determined to keep her grounded while she, you know, was on a hit TV series. "My mom would pick me up from ”70s Show' ... and she'd drag me to work with her," she revealed in 2014 on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." "I would work, like, the ice cream counter or photo counter until closing all the time."

With two kids, an amazing career, and a wonderful husband, Kunis sure seems to have it made in the shade. However, it took a great deal of hardship and struggle for the actor to get to where she is today. Take a look at some of the most tragic details about Kunis that shaped her into the celebrity we all know and love.

Mila Kunis' family struggled after moving to the States

As Architectural Digest shared in 2021, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher built a sprawling, stunning, and "sustainable L.A. farmhouse" that features a number of mind-blowing details, including "an extravagant 10-foot-long crystal chandelier." Yet things weren't always so sparkly and glamorous for the "Black Swan" actor. As Kunis revealed on "The Kyle and Jackie O Show" (via Today), her family struggled financially when she was a child and they would get by on "ketchup soup."

Kunis, who was born in Ukraine in the former Soviet Union, told the Los Angeles Times that when her family fled to the United States back in 1991, they only had $250 in their pockets. By the time she was nine, Kunis developed a deep interest in acting. As she shared on "The Howard Stern Show," her parents spent almost all they had so she could take classes. "[The course] was $890," she said, "and we had $900 in our bank account. ...There's absolutely no rhyme or reason for what my mom did and why she did it."

Fortunately, though, Kunis is eternally grateful to her folks for offering a fruitful life for her, despite having little to no money to live off of. "But growing up poor, I never missed out on anything," she spilled to Glamour in 2016. "My parents did a beautiful job of not making me feel like I was lesser than any other kids."

She left the former Soviet Union to escape antisemitism

The "Jupiter Ascending" actor and her family, who are of Jewish heritage, left the Soviet Union after experiencing oppression. And although Kunis was taught to hide who she was while living in Soviet Ukraine, she is incredibly proud of her roots. "My whole family was in the Holocaust. My grandparents passed and not many survived," she revealed to The Daily Telegraph in 2011 (via Yahoo!). "After the Holocaust, in Russia you were not allowed to be religious," she continued. "So my parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside."

Unfortunately, she wasn't able to feel safe in her own school because of all the racism she and her Jewish friends experienced. "When I was in school you would still see antisemitic signs," she said. "One of my friends who grew up in Russia, she was in second grade. She came home one day crying. Her mother asked why and she said on the back of her seat there was a swastika. This is a country that obviously does not want you."

However, amidst Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Kunis stated in a video on her and Ashton Kutcher's GoFundMe page that she has "never been more proud to be a Ukrainian." On March 13, 2022, The Hollywood Reporter noted that their fundraiser for Ukrainians affected by the invasion already garnered $21 million, just $9 million shy of their goal. 

Mila would 'cry every day' after moving to the U.S.

In the aforementioned video uploaded to their GoFundMe page, Mila Kunis states that she considers herself a "proud American." Yet the "Max Payne" actor shared on "Armchair Expert" that when she was a kid, she "cried every day" for a whole year, because she found herself unable to adjust to American culture. In fact, it was so bad that she says that she completely "blocked out" all of second grade and has no recollection of it. "I have a chunk of my life that I literally can't recall a day of," she said while sitting down with Dax Shepard on his podcast in 2018. Not only did she not know how to speak English at that age, but she was also completely unfamiliar with the customs.

She also described to Shepherd how hard it was to adjust to a different continent, recalling how "jarring" it was to experience sights, sounds, and foods that were nothing like the things she had known for her entire life. She said the drastic adjustment was so disorienting that it almost felt like "somebody takes all your senses away from you."

Mila Kunis was 'embarrassed' that her family didn't 'fit in'

While appearing on "The Howard Stern Show" in 2021, Mila Kunis admitted to the radio host that she felt "embarrassed" as a child that her immigrant family didn't "fit in" with their American peers. As she shared with ET in March 2022, she is working hard to remind her children of their Ukrainian background. But as a youth, having a mom and dad who didn't speak any English or understand the customs posed a challenge. This was especially so because Kunis herself had a really hard time conforming amongst her peers. Her inability to adjust was not only due to the language barrier, but also because she didn't understand "simple elements" of American life. 

"When I came to America in '91 I was ethnic," she explained to Stern. "Everything about me stood out. I didn't speak the language, I wasn't blonde and blue eyes, I didn't eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ... I didn't know what jeans were."

Eventually, she was able to adjust, and nowadays she considers herself a true American. But back then, Kunis had to work extremely hard to familiarize herself with the new country and language. 

Mila Kunis was 'bullied' for her looks

Although it seems nearly impossible to believe that someone as gorgeous as Mila Kunis could be made fun of for her looks, the "Friends with Benefits" star has said she was constantly ridiculed for her physical appearance when she was growing up. "I was always the smallest in my class," Kunis told OK Magazine (via The Independent). "I've learned it wasn't a bad thing to be picked on because when you're little it seems awful like it's the end of the world." She shared that she used to be made fun of so much at school for her looks that she would come home in a flood of tears.

"I grew into my face," Kunis continued. "I had a very funny looking face when I was little. I had like big eyes, big lips, big ears. But when I was little I was constantly being made fun of for having big eyes and that was awful. I used to come home crying: 'Why do I have big eyes?' And my parents were like: 'You're crazy!'" Clearly, Kunis really did grow into her looks, because she was listed as the "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire in 2012 and was granted GQ's "Knockout of the Year" award in 2011. Okay, queen. We see you.

Her 'horrible' breakup with actor Macauley Culkin

Before her marriage to Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis was in a years-long courtship with "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin. At the time of their relationship, he was arguably the bigger name, and his level of celebrity was something she often grappled with. In a 2016 chat with Howard Stern, she said it could be challenging at times to be involved with someone who was getting so much "abnormal" attention. Kunis told the shock jock that it got to the point where she "couldn't walk down the street with him" without being hounded by fans. While there are some famous people who reportedly stage paparazzi photos and whatnot, Kunis and Culkin preferred to fly under the radar as much as possible. As she told Parade in 2007, "We're incredibly private, and I think we relish the privacy we do actually have and are able to sustain it."

Kunis and Culkin dated from 2002 to 2011. And according to Kunis, she's the one to blame for their split. "I had a horrible, horrible, horrible breakup," she confessed to Dax Shepard on the "Armchair Expert" podcast. "I f****d up. I was an a**hole in my 20s and I'll be the first to admit it. ... It's f****d up what I did and it's f****d up how I did it."

Black Swan put her through a lot

Mila Kunis was thrilled when she discovered that she had landed a role in the 2010 Oscar-nominated drama "Black Swan." Yet shooting the film was no easy feet, er, feat. The movie, which is about professional ballerinas, required Kunis to engage in grueling physical tasks all day long for months. And as the actor revealed in a 2011 interview with W Magazine, she had no experience with dancing, particularly with ballet. She endured a handful of injuries while training, including dislocating her shoulder. Suffice to say, she was eager to hang up her leotard once and for all once the flick was over.  "I will never dance again," she said. "I promise you, I will never put on that pointe shoe ever again. It was the hardest thing I've ever done."

And because she had to lose 20 pounds for the role in such a short amount of time, Kunis said in a 2012 interview that her body has never been the same since the demanding film. "[It] has never been the same," she told Harper's Bazaar. "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. I'd be happy if my a** got bigger," she joked. "All the weight that left my chest went to my side hip, my stomach."

The tabloids have created 'stress for Mila Kunis' family

Although Mila Kunis is grateful for her acting career and all the perks that come from stardom, she does admit that she has a hard time dealing with the press. She is particularly put off by the tabloids that disseminate (usually untrue) stories about her personal life. In one video uploaded to Ashton Kutcher's Instagram account in 2019, he and Kunis share a laugh over a tabloid which claimed the two of them are in the midst of a divorce, which, of course, couldn't be further than the truth. (Jackie and Kelso forever.)

But according to Kunis, while she can sometimes laugh at the rumors and brush them aside, they cause a lot of "stress" for her family members, who don't know whether or not these tabloid headlines are true. And at one point, while Kunis was pregnant, a nasty rumor on the front of a magazine led her family in a panic. "The only thing that's upsetting is my parents and my grandparents sometimes get confused," she told Cosmopolitan of the rumors. "At one point when I was pregnant, [the tabloids] said that I had an emergency and was rushed to the hospital, and my face was on the cover. The amount of stress that caused my family, nobody will understand."

Making friends hasn't always been easy for her

Although it's fair to assume that the majority of the population would love to be best friends with Mila Kunis, the "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" actor said she was never much of a social butterfly. In a 2012 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Kunis was candid about the fact that she has a hard time socializing with people. Not only did she say that she "doesn't get asked out" by men, but she also admitted she has a hard time forming solid friendships in general. "It's hard to open up to people because often they're more curious than they actually care about you," she said. And since becoming famous, she noted that she is even more "paranoid" now than ever when it comes to meeting new people, because she wonders about their intentions.

Though she has struggled with striking up friendships in the past, that has not stopped her from forming strong bonds with fellow denizens of Tinseltown. Kunis' roster of A-list pals includes, but is not limited to Zoe Saldana, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Mila Kunis is 'incredibly self-conscious' about her body

It may be hard to fathom that someone as objectively beautiful as Mila Kunis would be insecure about her physical appearance. And yet, Esquire Magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" winner has a lot of hangups about her looks. Well, if this proves anything, it is that no one is immune to self-esteem issues. 

"I am incredibly self-conscious in real life about every part of my body," she revealed to Yahoo! while talking about her nude scenes in "Friends With Benefits." Of course, being in the public eye where the actor is constantly scrutinized for every aspect of her appearance makes it more understandable that she would feel so insecure about her figure. But fortunately, she is a firm believer that there's a whole lot more to her than her outward appearance. As she once said in the Los Angeles Times, "Your looks are going to die out, and then what's going to be left?" Hear, hear.