Mila Kunis keeps proving she’s multi-talented

She spent 10 years as a moderately recognized TV actress, but it only took Mila Kunis three years to shoot to full-fledged movie star. In 2008, Kunis found herself alongside Jason Segel and Kristen Bell in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” which launched her from recognizable to unstoppable. At 27, Kunis has proven to be one of the sexiest and rangiest young actresses in Hollywood, starring in comedies, action films, doing extensive voice work and now co-starring in an Oscar-bait drama, Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan.”

Kunis’ notorious big break was on the successful period sitcom “That ’70s Show” as Jackie, the image-obsessed semi-brat who was mostly in a relationship with Ashton Kutcher’s character Kelso, the role that rocketed Kutcher to fame. The show began in 1998, which means Kunis was only 14 when cast in the role compared to her co-stars who were 17-20. Kunis apparently “lied” to producers and got the role — and good thing she did.

Kunis had been studying acting only five years to that point. Born in the USSR in what’s currently Ukraine, Kunis moved to Los Angeles at age seven and only a couple years later began to take acting lessons after her father signed her up.

In 1999, Kunis first lent her distinct voice to the cartoon “Family Guy” as the reject daughter, Meg. Her voice is bold and assertive, but with a very slight smoky quality, especially in quieter and more emotional moments, which lends to her flexibility. With “That ’70s Show” running strong alongside “Family Guy” for many years, Kunis was working consistently. She also has voiced characters for episodes of “Robot Chicken.”

Also unique to Kunis are her eyes of two different colors: one blue and one green. I had no idea of this — my guess is that she’s worn a colored contact in most roles, but I’m curious to pop in my “Sarah Marshall” DVD and take a look for myself.

After “Marshall,” Kunis starred in the unpopular “Max Payne” adaptation with Mark Wahlberg and then a year later (last fall) as an alluring blue-collar con artist in Mike Judge’s comedy “Extract.” She took up her second big action credit in this past January’s “The Book of Eli” and also had a memorable cameo with friend James Franco in the comedy “Date Night.”

The range here is pretty extensive. In “Marshall” she played a down-to-earth love interest with a bit of a wild side. She also had some emotional scenes that screamed of cheesiness that she single-handedly slew with her believability. “Payne” and “Eli” were traditional eye-candy action-chick roles, but she was effective. And in “Date Night” she was just plain funny. In my eyes, versatility is the hallmark of a true talent. She can have it either way, in my opinion: a wildly successful career doing mainstream films or tackling Oscar-worthy dramatic roles.

So what will “Black Swan” do for the young brunette’s career? Although Natalie Portman is getting all the Oscar buzz, the two share some steamy scenes together as rivals in both ballet and love. With a pretty open schedule (she’s done filming rom-com “Friends with Benefits” alongside Justin Timberlake), the sky could well be the limit starting early next year when buzz from “Black Swan” reaches its zenith.

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