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Oz The Great And Powerful - Mila Kunis interview

Oz: The Great & Powerful

Interview by Rob Carnevale

MILA Kunis talks about playing Theodora, aka The Wicked Witch of the West, in Oz The Great & Powerful and why she had so much fun with the character’s dramatic arc.

She also talks about working with Sam Raimi, dealing with the movie’s stunts and why she won’t be appearing in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. She was speaking at a UK press conference.

Q. Was there one thing in particular that made you want to sign up when you read the script?
Mila Kunis: In all honesty, to be able to work with Sam Raimi was a huge honour and I think my co-stars [the ladies] are the most amazing co-stars anyone could ever ask for. Rachel [Weisz] and Michelle [Williams] are a gift and working with James [Franco] has always been fun for me. So, it was a no-brainer.

Q. How did it feel to be the ugly duckling for a change?
Mila Kunis: Actually, it was really great. It was incredibly freeing and it was the first time in my life where putting a costume really did change the way that I viewed the character. So much of it had to do with the contact lenses because they were hand-painted and the pupils didn’t dilate. So, my vision was very narrow and I went with the theory that if I can’t see you, you can’t see me… thus I can do whatever I want. It kind of allowed me to explore [the character] much more than I thought and not really worry myself about what people thought.

Q. How influenced by the original 1939 version were you in your performance?
Mila Kunis: The truth is no, it didn’t. I didn’t want to emulate or imitate or do anything that would take away from the iconic character that was created so wonderfully and beautifully and will always remain so iconic. What I was given was the gift of a back-story and so given the origin of the character and humanising her in a way. I mean it’s very simple when you look at it – it’s just a girl who gets her heart broken, who doesn’t know how to deal with pain, who takes the easy way out, numbs the pain and has an emotional transformation that just so happens to be mirrored with a physical one. And the second she became human to me is when it made sense. Everything else is kind of secondary – she is a woman scored who just so happens to know how to fly. And that’s the truth. I never dared try to emulate something that’s so beyond iconic.

Q. How much did getting to play a character who goes on a journey appeal to you? And is there any truth to the rumour that you might be in Fifty Shades of Grey?
Mila Kunis: Wow, this Fifty Shades of Grey thing is just not going to leave, is it? No, you are not going to see me in Fifty Shades of Grey, sorry! But it was fantastic to be playing a character who has an arc like Theodora. I mean, you’re lucky to be given any character that has any sort of arc, so to be given someone who has the most dramatic, fantastical arc you could ever imagine. There were also no rules or no boundaries or formula to follow. It was just fun. And I knew that I had Sam there to protect me and to steer me in the right direction if I were to falter. So, I felt very safe. But I won’t be in Fifty Shades of Grey!

Q. As a frequent collaborator of Seth MacFarlane’s, what did you think of him hosting the Oscars?
Mila Kunis: You’re about to be really disappointed by my answer – I was flying, so I missed all of it, literally! I heard he did a fantastic job. I have no doubt that he did an amazing job. I do believe that Seth was born to host the Oscars. He’s so brilliant and so talented and there’s nothing that that man cannot do. The little bit of clips that I have seen, he was great.

Q. If you could cast any spell on any person, what would it be?
Mila Kunis: I would cast a spell on Sam Raimi to hire me for every movie he makes!

Sam Raimi: You already cast that spell, baby!

Zach Braff: I would cast a spell on Mila to have her do Fifty Shades… [laughter and applause]

Q. How much did your costumes inform your character?
Mila Kunis: Like I said before, it’s the first time in my life that my costume really did help to inform the character, 100%. We’re all corseted as well. So, being in a corset you end up walking differently and everyone wore heels and had to run in heels and do stunts in heels and so you change the way you hold yourself and that, in its own right, helps you figure the character out.

Q. How was doing the stunts and getting to fly? Were there any accidents?
Mila Kunis: No, I’m still whole. I’m still in one piece. It’s not that bad. It really wasn’t. The hardest part about doing anything with wires is the amount of time you spend on them. And so, being wired is not hard, being flung 35 feet in the air is not hard. But 17 hours into a work day it’s just a little painful. But any time that anything malfunctions, it is computerised so the whole system shuts down… and you bounce!

Read our review of Oz The Great & Powerful

Read our interview with Sam Raimi