Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Mila Kunis Jumps from “70s Show” to Oscar Circus with “Black Swan”


At last, we had the premiere of Darren Aronofsky‘s excellent, cutting edge psychological thriller, “Black Swan,” last night.

Aronofsky and Natalie Portman are old pro’s at this sort of thing. Not so Mila Kunis, who’s made the jump from TV fame on “That 70s Show” to the Oscar race with a standout performance in “Black Swan.” She’s a ballet dancer who may or may not exist, and may or may not be a friend of Portman’s character.

On the red carpet at Monday night’s Gotham Awards, Kunis looked, well, frightened. She came into 55 Wall Street with her eyes crossed. She was also exhausted. Last night, at the movie’s premiere, she cut her red carpet appearance short.

Later, at the swanky party at the St. Regis Hotel following the Ziegfeld Theater screening, Mila arrived after a costume change. She was a little calmer. “I’ve done like 50 Q&A’s since Toronto,” she told me. Luckily, last night she had the help of good friend Emmanuelle Chriqui, of “Entourage” fame, to guide her along.

I think Mila’s going to do fine, but what happens if she gets some award action? Yesterday “Black Swan” picked up some Indie Spirit nominations including Best Feature, Director, and Actress. It’s all starting.

Meanwhile some other guests at the Black Swan premiere included the movie’s costars Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel, as well as Debra Winger (who brought her 23 year old son — wow–time flies), Eli Roth (planning his Friars Roast speech for today honoring Quentin Tarantino--“this speech should be a career-ender,” he joked), Robert Wuhl, Dana Ivey, Giancarlo Esposito, producer Marty Richards, super agent Bryan Lourd, and Ellen Barkin.

Remember the great Spanish actor (with a French name) Jean Reno from “Mission Impossible”? He starred with Natalie Portman when she was 11 in “The Professional.” That was sixteen years ago! “I always knew she would be a star,” Reno said suavely at dinner. And, he was right!

So this is what I think of Mila Kunis, who is 27, was born in the Ukraine, is Jewish and was raised in Los Angeles. She’s on her way. Once audiences see “Black Swan,” all thoughts of the “70s Show” will be erased.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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