Mila Kunis’ exotic features led some people to believe that she might be Greek, but does the Golden Globe-nominated star have any connection to this country?
Mila Kunis isn’t Greek. She was born in the Soviet Union, on the territory of today’s Ukraine, and doesn’t have Greek roots. Kunis moved to the US on a religious-refugee visa with her family when she was seven and later became an American citizen.
Keep reading to learn more about Mila Kunis’ family history and meet some other Hollywood stars who hail from Greece.
Mila Kunis’s Roots
Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi in the Soviet Union, which is located on the territory of today’s Ukraine. Her father Mark was a mechanical engineer, while her mother Elvira worked as a physics teacher, but they decided to leave it all behind and start a new life in the US.
Kunis’ parents didn’t struggle financially, but their Jewish faith was suppressed in the Soviet Union even decades after World War II. They felt that the US would be a much better place to raise their children, and moved to Los Angeles with only $250.
“My parents had given up good jobs and degrees, which were not transferable. We arrived in New York on a Wednesday and by Friday morning my brother and I were at school in LA,” recalled Kunis while discussing her childhood with The Telegraph.
Going back to their old jobs was out of the question since their degrees didn’t carry the same weight in the US. Taking care of Mila and her brother Michael was their number one priority, and Elvira started working at a convenience store while Mark drove a taxi.
The That ’70s Show star started going to school only a few days after coming to America but admitted it was quite a struggle. Kunis told the LA Times that she cried every day during second grade because she didn’t understand the culture, the people, or the language.
She stopped feeling like a fish out of the water once she started attending acting classes at age nine. Acting opened up a whole new world of possibilities for Kunis, and she starred in numerous commercials before landing her breakout role on That ‘70s Show.
Hollywood Stars of Greek Descent
Mila Kunis doesn’t have Greek roots, but many of Hollywood’s biggest stars hail from this European country. Some of them have such distinctive last names that you don’t even have to wonder if they’re Greek or not.
That’s the case with Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, best known for her roles in Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias. Both of her parents were Greek emigrants, who moved to the US years before she was born.
The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis also has one of the most Greek-sounding names in Hollywood, because his father happens to be of Greek descent. He’s yet to work with Mila Kunis, but he had a small role alongside her husband Ashton Kutcher in What Happens in Vegas.
Kunis had a chance to star alongside another famous comedy star of Greek descent – the 30 Rock actresses Tina Fey. Her last name doesn’t give her away, but Fey’s mother was actually born in Piraeus, Greece. Both actresses appeared in the romantic comedy Date Night, and Kunis spoke highly of Fey’s book Bossypants.
Fey isn’t the only star in Hollywood whose Greek heritage isn’t obvious from the get-go. That’s also the case with Jennifer Aniston – her father John Aniston was an actor, as well, but went by Yiannis Antonios Anastasakis before leaving Greece and anglicizing his name.
The list of famous actors and actresses with Greek roots goes on, and it also includes John Stamos, Rita Wilson, and Billy Zane. Long story short, Hollywood is filled with stars of Greek descent – Mila Kunis just doesn’t happen to be one of them.