“I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and I came to the [United] States in 1991 with my family and we were the last of my family to migrate,” the That 70s Show alum, 38, told Maria Shriver during a Friday, March 11, clip from Shriver Media’s The Sunday Paper newsletter. “When we came to the States, I was 7-and-a-half [or] 8 [and] I very much have always felt like an American.”
She told the 66-year-old philanthropist: “People were like, ‘Oh, you’re so Eastern European.’ I was like, ‘I’m so L.A.! What do you mean?’”
As Russian troops began invading cities in Ukraine late last month, Kunis noticed a shift in her mindset.
“And then, this happens — and we have friends in Ukraine, Ashton [Kutcher, her husband] and I went and met [President] Zelenskyy three and half years [ago] — this happens and I can’t express or explain what came over me,” the Bad Moms star told Shriver. “But all of a sudden I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out.’ It was the weirdest feeling.”
“I turned to my kids and I was like, ‘You are half Ukrainian, half American!’ Like, I literally was like, ‘Look, you!’ And my kids were like, ‘Yeah mom, I get it.’ And I was like, ‘No! You are Ukrainian and American.’ I was like, ‘You are half Iowa, half Ukraine.’ And they’re like, ‘OK, I get it,’” she told the And One More Thing Before You Go author in Friday’s clip.
The Family Guy voice actress continued: “It’s been irrelevant to me that I come from Ukraine. It never mattered. So much so that I’ve always said I’m Russian, right? Like I’ve always been, ‘I’m from Russia’ for a multitude of reasons; one of them being when I came to the States, I would tell people I’m from Ukraine [and] the first question I would get is ‘Where is Ukraine?’ Then, I’d have to explain Ukraine and where it is on the map, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s exhausting.’ … Oh, hell no, I’m from Ukraine; I mean, everything’s changed.”
Kunis and the Ranch alum, who wed in July 2015, have been vocal about sharing their support for Ukraine amid the conflict by launching a GoFundMe campaign to aid refugees and speaking out about the global situation.
“Mila and Ashton have set up a kindness club for their children,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this week. “Wyatt and Dimitri know something is wrong in Ukraine and that people and children are suffering. They’ve heard that from their parents and want to help.”
The insider even noted that Wyatt, who “has more of an understanding” of the conflict, offered to donate books and clothes to those in need. “Both children are caring and loving because of the way they‘re being raised,” the source added.
Shriver’s complete interview with Kunis will be released on Sunday, March 13, via her Sunday Paper newsletter.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!