JERUSALEM (JTA) — Actress Mila Kunis said she had to hide her Jewishness as a youngster in Ukraine and was miserable during her early years in the United States.
In an interview published in Britain’s The Sun on Saturday, Kunis said that most of her family was killed in the Holocaust and that she had to hide that she was Jewish in Ukraine out of fear of persecution.
“My parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside,” said Kunis, who starred in the film “Black Swan” and the TV sitcom “That ’70s Show.”
Kunis, 28, said she saw anti-Semitic graffiti in her school in Chernivtsi, a city in southwest Ukraine.
Arriving in the United States at age 7, she said she was miserable in part because she did not know English.
“I cried every day. I didn’t understand the culture. I didn’t understand the people,” Kunis said.
Kunis began acting classes at 9 and two years later had a role on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” She won the role on “That ’70s Show” at the age of 14, though applicants were told they had to be 18. She also has appeared in the movies “Friends With Benefits,” “Date Night” and “The Book of Eli,” among others.
Kunis told the Sun that she is happier in the US, where she is free to express herself.
“I’m pretty Jewish, I’ve got to say. I go ‘Oy’ and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re very Jewish,’” the actress said.
“When I’m in New York, I become super-Jew. When I’m in LA I’m like a California surfer girl.”