What Mila Kunis Loves About Working With Female Directors

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in The Spy Who Dumped Me
(Image credit: (Lionsgate))

Mila Kunis has been a working as an actress for over 20 years. She got her start on That '70s Show when she was 14 and has continued to play leading ladies in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Friends With Benefits and Bad Moms. Yet her new comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me was one of her first times working with a female director on a movie set. With a rise in advocacy for female talent in Hollywood, one might be surprised that the 34-year-old Kunis just recently had a run-in with a woman at the helm of one of her projects. Mila Kunis did enjoy working with a female director, however. When working with Susanna Fogel on The Spy Who Dumped Me, the actress did notice a distinctive atmosphere on set. In her words:

There's a noticeable difference. No one is yelling at each other. ... Nobody got mad... no screaming matches. At 7 o'clock, bye, go home. I got to see my kids for dinner. It was lovely.

Having more women as directors like Susanna Fogel certainly makes working on a movie set sound like even sweeter deal than usual, at least in terms of hours off the clock. Since Mila Kunis has become a mother of two children, daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri, she also told New York Daily News that she has made advocating for female empowerment in Hollywood a priority. Her Bad Moms movies had one of the few female-driven comedic casts in recent years, but even then she said the movies had trouble finding women for the project. When the summer spy-thriller came along, Kunis was given an opportunity she couldn't pass up, now revealing how much she loves working with female directors. The new film has Kunis starring alongside Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon; the two actresses play best friends who become embroiled in an international conspiracy when one character finds out her ex-boyfriend was a secret agent.

There have been many notable achievements towards inclusion for women in Hollywood recently, including Patty Jenkins' 2017 Wonder Woman triumph, as the first big comic-book title to be directed by a woman. Ava DuVernay also shook up Hollywood directing A Wrinkle in Time this year. In this year's summer movie line-up, though, only two out of 50 wide releases will be directed by a woman, fewer than last year, when four females directed big summer movies. Besides Fogel's spy-comedy, Jennifer Yuh Nelson's teen science-fiction thriller The Darkest Minds, a film about superpowered adolescents, has also hit theaters this August.

Mila Kunis isn't currently attached to any other projected helmed by women, but she did recently see the #MeToo movement at work on the animated film, Wonder Park. The film that will use her voice talents changed directors from Dylan Brown to David Feiss after Brown was accused of inappropriate misconduct. Perhaps after her positive experience with a female director, Kunis will someday take the matter in her own hands and direct her own film? For now, you can catch her in The Spy Who Dumped Me, in theaters now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.