From That ’70s Show to Family Guy to Ted to Bad Moms, most of Mila Kunis’s career has focused on comedy.
The 37-year-old actress pivots to heavy drama, though, with her new film Four Good Days. Kunis plays Molly, a 31-year-old California woman who has lived on and off the streets for 10 years and thieved from her family while battling heroin addiction. After numerous stints in rehab, she turns up the home of her mother (Glenn Close) determined to get clean, while her anguished mom is understandably distrustful.
It was “hands-down the most challenging” role she has taken on, Kunis tells Yahoo Entertainment in a joint interview with her costar Close (watch above). Kunis lost 20 pounds from an already light frame and wore prosthetic “meth teeth” in the film, and also had to capture the jittery convulsions or “tweaking” of an addict.
“The physicality of it becomes really challenging, and she’s just in a constant state of despair. My character never had any release. She just didn’t. So I was really happy that the film wasn’t a two month-long production. You know, sometimes you’re like, ‘Oh, I wish this went on longer.’ I was very happy when it ended. I was like, ‘I’m good. This is enough.’”
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia (who co-wrote the screenplay with Eli Saslow), Four Good Days is based on the real-life story of Amanda Wendler and her mother Libby Alexander. The title refers to the amount of time Molly must stay clean while living with her mom in order to receive naltrexone treatment, which blocks the effects of opiates on the body.
Close has tackled plenty of difficult subject matters over the course of her celebrated career, from suicide (The Big Chill) to discrimination (Serving in Silence) to domestic abuse (Hillbilly Elegy), but admits roles like her Four Good Days mother Deb can still be tough to endure.
For the iconic actress, though, who just earned her eighth Oscar nomination for Elegy (and provided one of the highlights of last week’s telecast with her impromptu dance to “Da Butt”), the value of her character is representing all the people who’ve struggled due to a family member’s addiction.
“I think with the opioid crisis in this country, every single addict has a family, everybody has their own individual story,” she says. “It’s not just about one individual. It’s about decimating an entire family, putting an entire family into a [position] of unknowing and despair. And that should change. We have to pay attention. Attention must be paid.”
Four Good Days is now in theaters.
Watch the trailer:
-Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by Jimmie Rhee
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