When taking on the role of Lily in Black Swan, Mila Kunis had to do much more than learn her lines. In addition to training for three months so she could dance like a ballerina on-screen, the actress also had to lose weight so she could look the part.
“I didn’t starve myself,” Mila told Howard Stern. “I did do it in the healthiest way possible. I don’t recommend anybody ever doing it.”
When working on Black Swan, Kunis (who’s 5’4″) ended up weighing about 95 pounds. She got to this point by eating only 1,200 calories per day and by smoking cigarettes — a diet the actress most-definitely does not recommend for anyone else.
“I never watched what I ate [before]. It was one of those things, for the first time in my life, I got a food delivery service,” Mila revealed, according to Entertainment Tonight. “And I’ll tell you this — I’m not promoting this at all — but I used to be a smoker, and so I smoked a lot of cigarettes and I ate a limited amount of calories.” Kunis added that making these changes was “awful” — especially since she sees quitting smoking as one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
It’s also important to note that altering one’s body image isn’t exactly rare in Hollywood. Both men and women have had to change their eating and exercising habits in order to look a certain way for a role. For instance, there’s Matthew McConaughey, who had to lose 38 pounds to play a man coping with HIV/AIDS in The Dallas Buyer’s Club. There’s also Renée Zellweger, who had to gain weight to reprise her role as Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’s Baby. Though these are only three examples (including Mila’s), there are plenty more Hollywood weight gain/loss stories out there and, overall, this trend is troubling to see — since it can negatively affect a person’s body image, self-esteem, AND health.
Interestingly enough, even though Mila herself went to extreme lengths for Black Swan, she didn’t end up winning the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. However, she couldn’t care less.
During awards season, Mila wasn’t focused on the pressure to win and instead aimed to have as much fun as possible during this time. “I think I, at the Oscars, had the best time of anybody, because I snuck liquor in, I did shots,” Mila stated, laughing. “I knew I was not going to win. It just didn’t even cross my mind, it doesn’t even matter. Like, I literally had the best time. I was like, ‘This is crazy, you guys, is anyone else aware of how crazy this is?!’”
Ultimately, when it comes to the work she does, Mila doesn’t feel the need to be competitive. She concluded, “I love what I do but I don’t need to win. Like, I just need to work.“