For Mila Kunis, Helping Women Succeed In Hollywood Meant Starting With Her Own Career

"I educated myself, asked questions."

For Mila Kunis, finding empowerment as a woman in Hollywood is directly linked to educating herself. During Variety's recent inaugural women's summit titled Path to Parity, the former That '70s Show star opened up about how she discovered the agency to control her own career. We'll give you a hint: Ashton Kutcher is involved.

Early on in her career, Kunis believed that she should just let her representatives — such as her lawyer, agent, manager, and publicist — do their thing and take care of the business side while she just focused on acting and doing a good job. When Kutcher suggested that she reconsider getting involved with these negotiations, Kunis decided to take the time to learn about the less creative side of things.

"That's not how shit works. And I didn't realize that's not how you get shit done … until I met my husband who empowered me more than anybody," Kunis explained. "I educated myself, asked questions. The more involved, the more time you take for yourself, the more empowerment you give yourself at the end of the day. I think that's so important to do, to never stop learning."

Doing this isn't the only way Kunis sees Hollywood getting better for women. In fact, there's a simple solution to a problem that stretches way beyond Tinseltown.

"It's such a bigger problem than this industry [and] I don't want to narrow it down to this," Kunis continued. "I think that women, in general, need to empower other women. I just do. There's so much power in that, and I think we lack that in society."

As of recent Kunis has learned to support projects full of or run by women (by doing films like joining the all-female cast of the R-rated comedy Bad Moms and the upcoming female-directed comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me) and that movies like this can succeed if you simply hire women and give them a chance.

Kunis admitted to being tired of hearing people in the industry refer to films like Bad Moms as an "anomaly" for doing well. It's not a random thing, as people do want diverse movies, but that there is a lot of pressure on them to perform well. As for what she thinks about the overwhelming success? There's no surprise for her in that regard because it's just a good movie.

With The Spy Who Dumped Me, Kunis will be working with a female director for the first time in her career — something she became aware of, again, thanks to Kutcher. Working with Susanna Fogel on the movie, which also stars Kate McKinnon, Kunis said that "of course" there was "a noticeable difference" on set. 

As for whether or not it has gotten better for women in the industry, Kunis said she doesn't think it has, and that it's her opinion that there's still a long way to go.

Cover image: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: Ashton Kutcher is the co-founder and chairman of the board of A Plus.

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