Turning in stunning performances in psychological thriller “Black Swan” and in the post-apocalyptic drama, “The Book of Eli,” Mila Kunis now stars in Columbia Pictures’ light, romantic comedy “Friends with Benefits.”
In the film, Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Kunis) think it will be easy to add sex to their friendship, but they discover that getting physical always leads to complications.
Kunis saw her character Jamie as someone who “believes in true love and believes that Prince Charming is out there and is desperately seeking that.” Jamie doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, though. “She’s a typical New Yorker,” laughs Kunis. Indeed, Jamie is sharp, fast-talking, determined, and by all accounts more of a realist than a dreamer.
Jamie is also funny and easy to be with. So when Dylan moves to New York after she recruits him for an exciting position at GQ Magazine, the two become fast friends, comrades in cynicism, ready to laugh at the world’s craziness and each other’s foibles.
With Timberlake’s Dylan working hard to establish himself at a new job in a new city and no time to pursue life’s more frivolous aspects, and Kunis’ Jamie meeting too many “nice” guys who turn out to be not-so-nice, the two come to an agreement asserting mutual benefits without the emotional complications of dating. ‘Cause after all, everyone has physical needs, they convince themselves. What could possibly go wrong?
Jamie’s mother, Lorna, brilliantly brought to life by Patricia Clarkson, provides a good deal of humor and color as well as some pointed insight into Jamie’s character. Director Will Gluck explains, “Lorna is a single mother. The kind who was probably a groupie for some rock band in the seventies and eighties. She’s very absent and Jamie was probably the mother in that relationship.” Coupled with a string of disappointing relationships, it was easy for Jamie to assume the stance that it’s better not to depend on others for emotional sustenance.
While Gluck, having recently worked with Clarkson on “Easy A,” was well aware of her genius, it was the first time Kunis and Clarkson had worked together. Kunis was smitten. “One of the greatest actresses I’ve ever worked with,” says Kunis. “I so wish we had more scenes together because I loved working with her.”
Kunis chimes in with her own praises as well about being directed by Gluck. “Will is so great to work with. I don’t think we’ve ever cut. I’m pretty sure we roll out the forty-five minutes that we have and you’ll see Will running into a shot, running out, running in and out…he thinks so quickly and so fast.”
Kunis can boast of her own little injuries and indignities while filming “Friends with Benefits.” One scene had her climbing a ladder, “in five-inch heels and ending up hitting my shins exactly in the same spots each time.”
“I’ve counted all my injuries,” the actress goes on, “and this film has given me more injuries than all my other movies combined, in blisters alone,” she laughs. She is referring the scene in which she navigates around baggage on a luggage carousel at LAX. Assigned platform heels for much of the movie, Kunis had to do this particular scene barefoot. As the carousel rotated, she jogged along grabbing other people’s bags and tossing them to their owners. All day long. “You can’t imagine how black my feet were,” she laughs. The crew, so impressed with her endurance and fortitude, broke into applause when the scene wrapped.
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Friends with Benefits” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.sonypictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.