Mila Kunis takes an action-heavy turn in January’s The Book of Eli, in which she stars opposite Denzel Washington. Speaking on Saturday of her “Eli” role, Kunis was quick to note that her next part, a ballet dancer in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is even more demanding.
“That I’ve been doing for five months,” says Mila of her dance prep, “[It’s] the most physically strenuous thing I’ve ever done in my whole life… I was aware of ballet. I’ve seen ballet. But I didn’t realize what it was. I didn’t realize what you had to put your body through in order to look like a ballerina, walk like a ballerina. You can’t fake ballet. You can fake running. You can fake looking you’re active. Throwing things and shooting a gun. You cannot fake ballet. That’s what I learned. It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Kunis says that she was up for the challenge simply for her love of Darren Aronofsky and his work as well as a screenplay that’s both brilliant and impossible to explain.
“I’m a ballerina from San Francisco…Natalie Portman and I play rival ballerinas. Her character gets the lead in ‘Swan Lake’ and my character appears. My character is everything that she wants to be in life. Her character is very professional, very strict, very neurotic. My character is very loose. The talent that my character has at ballet comes naturally to her. She’s not as technically good as Natalie’s character, but she has more passion, naturally. That’s what Natalie’s character lacks. So it’s a battle and the ying and yang. Ultimately, it’s the story of Natalie’s character going through a downward spiral mentally through ‘Swan Lake’… Her character is in a world that is just falling apart all around her. Because everything is falling apart around her, crazy things start happening.”
The film involves Natalie Portman’s character’s perception of events, enabling Kunis to play a rival of Portman’s without becoming a villain.
“I’m not a bad girl,” says Mila, “There’s no protagonist/antagonist… There’s no bad people in this movie. Although Natalie’s mother isn’t necessarily the greatest person in the world. Let me say that. She would probably be the antagonist. But as far as she and I go… it’s the story of ‘Swan Lake.’ It’s the third act, ‘The Black Swan.’ It’s the movie within the show.”
Though she has to step before the cameras, Kunis is ready to wrap Black Swan and take a break.
“Eating,” was Mila’s response for her plans after “Swan,” “I’m so hungry all the time. I just want to eat and not work out and not do anything. I plan on doing nothing. I end ‘Black Swan’ in February and I plan to be a couch potato for about a month.”