Mila Kunis has numerous hits in her filmography, with her partnership with Ted writer Seth MacFarlane proving to be especially successful. But despite working together on Family Guy, MacFarlane didn’t consider Kunis when lining up his first live-action film. In fact, the writer asked for her help to find a suitable actor for the female lead role. Eventually, though, she scored the gig.
Mila Kunis and Seth MacFarlane’s work together has resulted in massive success
Kunis was far from a household name when she became the voice of Meg Griffin. That ’70s Show was new. Most of her roles before it were either one-off parts in TV shows or in forgettable movies. The Family Guy job only became available after the original voice actor, Lacey Chabert, left the show. Kunis had to learn how to enunciate properly to match what MacFarlane was looking for. But she eventually won the “greatest job ever” and has kept the role ever since.
Kunis worked with MacFarlane again in Ted. She played Lori Collins, the girlfriend of the main character John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg). She compels him to grow up and stop prioritizing hijinks with the titular talking bear friend (voiced by MacFarlane) over their relationship. The movie was the highest-grossing comedy of 2012, making $549.4 million on a $65 million budget.
Mila Kunis still wasn’t the first choice for ‘Ted’
Mila Kunis landed the role in Ted in an odd way. Apparently, MacFarlane saw her as too young when he began casting for the role. (She was 27 when she was eventually cast.) She even helped McFarlane try to find other actors to audition for the movie before he realized the perfect person to play Lori was right there the entire time.
“I would go into recording sessions and he was like, ‘Okay, gimme another actress. I need somebody for this movie. Can you give me another actress who you think is great [and] funny?’” Kunis told Vanity Fair in 2022. “And I was like ‘What about blah, blah, blah?’ So for a year, I pitched him all of these actresses, if not two years. And then at one point, it got to a place where I got old enough to do the movie, and he literally just out of nowhere turned, he goes, ‘Well, do you wanna do it?’ And I went, ‘I mean, I can. OK.’” But it all happened. It was almost like I was this last resort.”
There were further complications in getting Ted made. The studio then known as 20th Century Fox (which produces Family Guy) passed on the movie due to budget concerns and MacFarlane’s lack of experience as a real-life director. Universal Pictures stepped up to take on the project, and the movie became the catalyst for a franchise.
‘Ted’ will live on as a show for Peacock
Following Ted’s emergence as a surprise hit, a sequel was quickly greenlit. Ted 2 was released in 2015, and while it was not warmly received by critics. Kunis also didn’t return for the sequel, while Wahlberg did. And years later, the canon grows.
A prequel series was announced on Peacock. It will follow Ted and a young John growing up in working-class Massachusetts in 1993. Filming took place in 2022, and the first season will consist of eight episodes.
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