Twenty years ago, Mila Kunis arrived in America with little more than a family committed to hard work and a good education for their daughter while Macaulay Culkin, not yet a teen, was becoming one of Hollywood’s most powerful celebrities. Eight years after the couple began dating, Kunis says marriage isn’t a priority as she revealed that she and Culkin have split-up.
“One day I was essentially a normal kid who happened to be an actor, and the next thing I know, I’m just this thing where people are hiding in the bushes and trying to take your picture. Next thing you know, you have a million acquaintances and no more friends.”
Testifying at the trial of Michael Jackson
May 11, 2005
by Carson Abrir
Mila Kunis says she believes in marriage, sort of, but definitely not now, calling it quits on her eight-year romance with former Hollywood heavyweight Macaulay Culkin, who may be finding himself home alone again.
“Not to say that I don’t believe in it (marriage), but it’s just not something that’s important to me,” the star of That ’70s Show said in a recent interview. “But I will have children. I’m too selfish to have them now, but when I do, I don’t feel like I need to be married. I need to have a person in my life who will care for me and my children — nothing else.”
America has been a dream come true for the seven-year-old girl who immigrated to Los Angeles from Kiev in 1990, the year before Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, gained its independence. Mila’s parents waited and struggled for five years before finally receiving permission to emigrate a year before the collapse of the USSR.
Surely Mark Kunis, a mechanical engineer in Ukraine and cab company executive in America, and his wife, Elvira, who went from teaching physics to managing a drugstore, had big dreams for their beautiful, young daughter, Milena Markovna, better known today as Mila Kunis. Mostly, they wanted her to get a good education and have opportunities few children and families enjoyed in the former Soviet Union.
Fortunately, they don’t have to imagine what would have happened if they hadn’t had the courage, fortitude and relationships to begin life anew in America.
By 1994, after studying acting after school at the Beverly Hills Studios, Mila Kunis got her first big break when she was cast as Anne in an episode of Baywatch. She went on to appear in commercials for jeans, dolls, and roles in The John Larroquette Show, Hudson Street, Unhappily Ever After, 7th Heaven, Walker, Texas Ranger, and many other popular shows of the late 90s and beyond before achieving wide recognition for her performances as Jackie Burkhart on That ‘70s Show for which she received award nominations from 2002 – 2005.
During the year of her first nomination, Mila Kunis began dating Macaulay Culkin, already a Hollywood icon whose “Home Alone” movies were some of the biggest box office hits of the 90s and left young Culkin and his father briefly calling the shots with top movie executives.
While both Mila and Macaulay are well aware of the challenges faced by young actors who achieve worldwide fame, their early lives and families couldn’t be more different. By the time the Kunis family reached Los Angeles with little more than each other, a commitment to hard work, and a chance at the American dream, Culkin, not yet a teenager, was well on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most powerful celebrities.
“One day I was essentially a normal kid who happened to be an actor, and the next thing I know, I’m just this thing where people are hiding in the bushes and trying to take your picture. Next thing you know, you have a million acquaintances and no more friends,” Culkin said in 2005 at the child molestation trial of Michael Jackson. Culkin, who remained close to Michael Jackson until his death, said the two of them both understood what it meant to feel lonely in a world where everyone knew you.
This week, Kunis announced that her eight-year relationship with Culkin was history, reportedly a secret the couple kept from the public for several months as she promoted her latest movie, “Black Swan.”
Sadly, just 20 years after millions of moviegoers fell in love with Kevin McCallister, the character masterfully portrayed by young Culkin in “Home Alone,” the actor is likely again feeling alone in the world. For Kunis, one of Hollywood’s rising stars, and her close family, her most cherished dreams still lie ahead.