Mila Kunis is showing her Ukrainian pride and speaking out about the crisis Russia's attack presents for the rest of the world.
There was a time when Mila Kunis told people she was from Russia -- but not anymore.
The 38-year-old actress, who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1991, opened up about her connection to her native country amid Russia's attack. In an interview with Maria Shriver for her Sunday Paper, the Luckiest Girl Alive star explained that she had felt like she was "L.A. through and through" after moving to California around the age of eight.
"I very much have always felt like an American," she said. In fact, she would tell people she was from Russia because it was more likely they would know it. "It's been irrelevant to me that I’ve come from Ukraine. It never mattered," she told Shriver. "So much so that I've always said I'm Russian, right? Like I've always been like, 'I'm from Russia' for a multitude of reasons."
However, in the midst of Russia's invasion, Kunis' connection to her homeland has come to the surface.
"This happens and I can’t express or explain what came over me but all of a sudden…I was like, 'Oh my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out,'" she described. "It was the weirdest feeling."
She's imparting that pride on her two children with husband Ashton Kutcher: daughter Wyatt, 7, and son Dimitri, 5. "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 [where Kutcher was born], half Ukraine.' And they're like, 'Ok, I get it.'"
As for Kunis, make no mistake: "I am from Ukraine," she declared. "I mean, everything’s changed."
Looking ahead, the star is encouraging people to follow the news, donate wherever and whatever they can and to avoid vilifying the Russian people.
"I don't think that we need to consider the people of Russia an enemy. I do really want to emphasize that. I don't think that that's being said enough in the press," she said. "I think that there's now, 'If you're not with us, you're against us' mentality. And I don't want people to conflate the two problems that are happening. I don't think it's the people of Russia and so, I don’t want there to be a thing of ‘All Russians are horrible human beings.’ I don’t want that to be a rhetoric, so I do encourage people to look at it from a perspective of, 'It's the people in power, not the people themselves.'"
She made her ultimate message crystal clear: "This issue can get incredibly catastrophic for the rest of the world, not just for that part of the world, and I don't want people to lose sight of that."
Earlier this month, Kunis and Kuthcher launched a GoFundMe campaign -- in conjunction with Airbnb and FlexPort.org -- with a goal of raising $30 million to help those affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The couple also matched $3 million of their own money. Earlier this week, Kunis announced that they had already met half their goal.