Mila Kunis says playing a pot-smoking teen on That '70s Show helped her just say no to drugs.
The 39-year-old actress shared her recollections with Vanity Fair about her breakthrough role as Jackie Burkhart on the hit Fox show, which ran from 1998 to 2006. She was younger than her co-stars — including now-husband Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Wilmer Valderrama — and she followed their lead.
"I will say, the reason I don't do drugs, the reason I didn't get into drugs, all of that was because nobody on the set did," Kunis said. "I looked up to them, at 14, and so the trajectory of my career, or my life, could've gone any which way, but it didn't. The set was cool. They played poker on Friday nights and they drank beer and I was like, 'Oh cool.' But that was it. That was the extent of that."
Kunis confirmed that, at 14, she lied about her age when she auditioned. Her co-stars were between four and six years older than her.
"There's a rumor going around that I may or may not have lied about my age for That '70s Show. I'd like to make very clear now. I did lie. OK? I did," she said, noting she fessed up before actually signing her contract. By then, creators Bonnie and Terry Turner already loved her, so it didn't matter that she'd require a studio teacher.
"It was in the heyday of older kids playing younger kids and I was actually of the age of the character," said Kunis.
She said she "wasn't intimidated" by her older co-stars, saying. "I had a solid ego." Though upon more reflection, she added, "So it must have been intimidating, I should say. I don't know if it was intimidating in the sense that I didn't know who I was or lost sense of myself. But I must've been like, 'Wow, these kids are all so cool and they're so much older than I am.'"
Kunis says she had the "greatest experience" on the show and was "100%" embraced and never treated as "lesser than." If she ever was, another one of the cast members would stick up for her.
"We were all trying to figure ourselves out," she said of that era. "We were all young."
Kunis had immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine at age 7 and continued to work at Rite Aid after landing her big TV role. At the time she was on That '70s Show, she was also dating former child star Macaulay Culkin. He would often hang out in her dressing room while she shot the show.
In 2012, after Kutcher divorced Demi Moore, he and Kunis started dating. It was 14 years after they had shared their first kiss on TV. They are now parents of two.
Much of the '70s Show cast — including Kunis and Kutcher — will be back for for Netflix spinoff series, That ‘90s Show.