Many recognize actress Mila Kunis as a star actress. Few know, however, that she is also a refugee.
In what is present-day Ukraine and then part of the Soviet Union, Kunis was born to a Jewish family, with grandparents who were survivors of the Holocaust. Facing widespread antisemitism in the USSR, her parents fled with her and her brother to the United States, hoping they would find a better life there. They arrived with just $250, and she was only seven years old.
As a child refugee, Kunis faced struggles in her early education, not knowing a word of English and knowing little about American culture. She has since said that it felt like “being blind and deaf”. However, she persevered, and her father enrolled her in her first acting classes at age 9, kickstarting her career.
In 1988, Kunis was cast in her breakout role of Jackie Burkhart in That 70’s Show, which ran 8 seasons and saw her winning multiple awards. In 1999, she began voicing Meg Griffin in Family Guy and has continued to do so ever since.
Eventually, she began to transition from TV to film. She has since starred in many movies including 2010’s Black Swan, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best-Supporting Actress. Other well-known films she has appeared in include Gia (1998) and Oz the Great and Powerful (2013).
Kunis has made sure to give back to the community and has been active in philanthropy. In the wake of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Kunis and her husband began fundraising to help Ukrainian refugees. So far, they have already raised millions of dollars, and they have promised to match all funds raised.
Kunis remains active in her field and an inspiration to many. Her hard work and enormous impact make her the living ideal of the American Dream.