The West

When Mila met Ted
Mila Kunis as Lori with the foul-mouthed Ted and Mark Wahlberg as her boyfriend John. Picture:Universal Pictures

"I have yet to see a man fully grow up," sighs Mila Kunis, who plays Mark Wahlberg's long-suffering girlfriend, caught in a strange threesome with a teddy bear in the adult comedy Ted.

Just when you begin wondering which of her real-life boyfriends she's suggesting might suffer from Peter Pan syndrome, those huge round eyes widen even further: "I mean that in a good way. I actually think it's an attractive quality in a man. Maybe it's something that I look for."

After ending a nine-year relationship with former child star Macauley Culkin 18 months ago, Kunis has been linked to her Friends with Benefits co-star Justin Timberlake and, more recently, her former That '70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher, the couple playing cat-and-mouse with the paparazzi.

Kunis, 28, doesn't subscribe to the theory that love can change a person's character or force a guy to grow up.

"I think the big question is: do you like this guy? And if you love this guy and he has these crazy friends — like Ted — you just have to accept him for everything. You're not going to change him. You're not going to change who he is. Maybe he will change with you and maybe he will want to make compromises for you.

"But you cannot expect it to happen nor should you assume that he will do it. You can't give him ultimatums or pressure him to do it. My answer would be if you love him, you love all of him."

Despite her ultra-feminine looks, Kunis is something of a guy's girl — a self-described computer nerd with a penchant for on-line computer games and motorbikes.

If Ted's story begins with a boy's simple wish that the teddy bear he received for Christmas could come to life, then Ukraine-born Kunis was raised with few illusions in communist Russia.

"We actually didn't celebrate Christmas in Russia as much as in the US. New Year was the big thing. As a kid, my grandfather would get us bubblegum and tangerines. That was the best gift you could give a kid at that time. When I was five, he sat me down and told me about the Holocaust, and explained how lucky I was to get those tangerines and bubblegum.

"My grandfather had been through a lot when he was younger. It wasn't a dark or a sad moment. He was just telling me the story as I ate my tangerines. It's actually one of my favourite memories," says the actress, who moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was seven years old.

"I didn't play with toys. I played soccer and climbed trees. My knees and legs are completely scarred. I was outside all the time. My dad used to go on all these business trips and bring me back the most incredible dolls and I had no interest in them."

A quick learner, she arrived in the US without speaking a word of English, two years later mastering the language and enrolling in acting classes. Going out on auditions, she immediately won TV guest spots and small film roles and was just 14 when she landed the part of Jackie Burkhart in That '70s Show, a year later cast as the voice of Meg Griffin in Seth MacFarlane's long-running Family Guy.

Fast forward 13 years and Kunis was the first person MacFarlane thought of to play Wahlberg's girlfriend in Ted, also his feature film debut as director.

While Ted is laced with profanities, it's Kunis' character who shocks the most by uttering the infamous C word. It's one of those words that can divide people and cause heated arguments at dinner parties.

Kunis' take on it?

"I think you just have to embrace it and go with it. I will not say it on record because it will be printed and my parents will get mad at me. But, in my private life, I do say it. It is a very strong word. I love how Mark hates the word in the film. I know a lot of men who have that reaction."

Ted is now screening.

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