Several of Mila Kunis’ female co-stars, including Natalie Portman and Olivia Wilde, tried their hand at directing, but did she follow in their footsteps?
Mila Kunis hasn’t directed a movie yet. She executive produced several projects and started the production company Orchard Farm Productions in 2014, but still doesn’t have any directing credits to her name.
Mila’s Production Company
Back in 2014, Mila Kunis joined forces with Susan Curtis, Cami Curtis, and Lisa Sterbakov and launched a new production company Orchard Farm Productions. They scored a first-look deal with ABC Studios and intended to develop and produce TV projects for broadcast and cable.
Kunis said she wants to make a positive change in Hollywood for women, by giving young female writers the opportunity to work in the movie industry and have their voices heard.
“We have been hustling to develop quality television shows with unique voices and perspectives. Since our inception, we have been lucky enough to partner with incredible producers, male and female, who have treated us as true equals and partners,” explained Kunis.
In addition to having her own company, she also executive produced films The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and A Bad Moms Christmas. Kunis was very open about her struggles to get the first Bad Moms movie off the ground – it was an R-rated comedy with an all-female cast, and many actresses she approached with the idea were certain it won’t succeed.
It turned out they were wrong – Bad Moms earned $183.9 million at the box office and spawned an almost equally successful sequel. Kunis wasn’t surprised by its success, because it was a good and funny movie that deserved to be seen.
Working with Female Directors
Kunis has been in the spotlight for over two decades, but The Spy Who Dumped Me was actually the first movie she made with a female director. She didn’t even notice that’s the case until her husband Ashton Kutcher brought it up.
This action-comedy was directed by Susanna Fogel, and it followed two BFFs who become entangled in an international conspiracy after one of them realized that an ex who dumped her was a spy.
Fogel’s main goal was to make a movie about adult female friendship that doesn’t involve “some manufactured conflict”. Each quarrel between Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) was caused by a misunderstanding or a petty argument, and their relationship stayed strong throughout the movie.
Kunis later told Variety there’s a noticeable difference between working with male and female directors because there was no screaming on set and “nobody got mad”. She didn’t have to work long hours and got to have dinner with her kids because the filming wrapped up at 7 o’clock.
Confronting Sexism in Hollywood
Mila Kunis repeatedly made it to the lists of “hottest” and “sexiest” women in the world back in the late 2000s, but she knew this wasn’t going to last forever. She reflected on her status as a sex symbol by telling the LA Times, “Your looks are going to die out, and then what’s going to be left?”
The Grammy-winning star discussed sexism in Hollywood in an open letter published by A Plus and revealed she’s been “insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished” based on her gender throughout her career.
She recalled several instances when film producers made her question her worth. One of them referred to her as “soon to be Ashton’s wife and baby momma”, while another told her, “You’ll never work in this town again,” after she refused to “pose semi-naked” on a magazine cover.
Kunis shared her experience in the hope she’ll make other women feel less alone, and encourage them to fight for themselves and stand their ground.
“If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere. I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground, without fearing how I will put food on my table,” wrote the Black Swan star.