What Is Mila Kunis’s Nationality?

Mila Kunis is a pop-culture heroine as well as a beloved actress. She has worked in a wide variety of comedy roles and has even tried her hand at dramatic acting over the years, and is possibly best known for her role as Jackie on That ’70s Show as well as for her voiceover work in the animated comedy series Family Guy.

Kunis’s path to stardom was anything but traditional, and she experienced a childhood that many would consider incredibly difficult.

Where was Mila Kunis born?

Mila Kunis on the red carpet
Mila Kunis | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Mila Kunis was born under the name Milena Markovna Kunis in August 1983, in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, USSR. Neither of her parents were involved in the arts — her mother, Elvira Kunis, worked as a physics teacher and her father, Mark Kunis, made a living as a mechanical engineer.

For the earliest years of her life, Kunis and her family lived happily in her home country until moving to California in 1991, when Kunis was eleven. Her parents had decided to relocate in order to give Kunis and her elder brother a better life and gave up good jobs upon the move to Los Angeles.

Later, Kunis revealed that her parents actually experienced rampant antisemitism when they lived in the former Soviet Union and that the religious intolerance they suffered there was one reason why they decided to move to the United States. Kunis admitted, “my parents went through hell and back.

They came to America with suitcases and $250, and that’s it.” Kunis didn’t know a word of English when they arrived in California and began acting classes in order to learn the language. Fortunately, Kunis was a quick study and learned English quickly – these days, she even “dreams in English.”

How did Mila Kunis get started in acting?

Once she started taking acting lessons, Kunis found herself drawn to the craft of acting. In the early nineties, Kunis did a series of television commercials, including one for Lisa Frank products.

Kunis began auditioning for television shows and landed roles in popular shows such as Baywatch and Days of Our Lives. In 1998, Kunis won the role of Jackie on That ’70s Show, a part that she was several years too young for, legally. Kunis would continue to appear on the show for eight seasons, during which time she steadily grew in popularity, working on other TV and movie projects all the while.

Over the next decade, Kunis appeared in hit movies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Max Payne, The Book of Eli, Black Swan, and Friends with Benefits. While she dated superstars like Macaulay Culkin, she ultimately built a family with her That ’70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher. The two got married in 2015 and have two children together. 

Mila Kunis still speaks Russian

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Although Mila Kunis seems all-American, she has never quite left behind her Ukrainian roots. Even if she dreams in English, she still speaks Russian fluently.

While on the press tour for her film with Justin Timberlake, Friends with Benefits, she even defended Timberlake in Russian against an aggressive reporter who questioned why Timberlake was choosing to act instead of stay exclusively in the music industry. 

While Kunis and her husband keep their children well away from the spotlight, there’s little doubt that she wants to pass along her heritage to her two young children. In 2013, Kunis revealed that she planned on having her children speak Russian and that she even wants them to go to a Russian school. 

She’s come a long way during the course of her career, but Kunis still tries to keep things close to home. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all the latest Mila Kunis news!