Friday, 20 August 2010

Meg Griffin has ruined Mila Kunis

So the Black Swan trailer has just been released and it looks like a pretty interesting project for Darren Aronofsky to follow up the critically-acclaimed The Wrestler with. Aside from the fairly obvious differences between wrestling and ballet, its a totally different project and could be crucial to the career of one of its stars: Mila Kunis. Kunis' star is on the rise and she's popped up in big budget films such as The Book of Eli and Max Payne but this could very well be the film that propels her into the Hollywood leading lady market.

I wouldn't have a problem with that. She's beautiful and though she hasn't exactly had a stellar role yet, there's another talent there to suggest she has a bright future; certainly enough for Aronofsky to cast her as Natalie Portman's rival in Black Swan. The only problem I have is a ridiculous one that I'm not particularly proud of; I can never suspend my disbelief with Kunis because all I can ever hear is Meg Griffin.

Kunis has voiced the character in "Family Guy" since its second season (eleven years ago now) and she is by no means the first, or last, film or television star to voice a character in a popular animated programme. Hank Azaria, for instance, has successfully juggled a film and television career alongside his voice work for "The Simpsons." It takes a lot of talent to voice animated characters successfully and even more to separate your own acting persona from that of your cartoon character. For most actors it's not a problem but whenever Kunis speaks in films all I see is Meg.

This is in no way Kunis' fault and she's at a distinct disadvantage here. Unlike a lot of voice actors, Kunis barely alters her voice for her character so its no surprise I would hear Meg every time she speaks. Then there's the fact that her character became famous before Kunis did; it's hardly as if we'd think of Patrick Stewart as that bloke out of "American Dad!" (if you do, you are a horrible, horrible human being). Then there's Meg Griffin herself. The writer's realised long ago that she was by far the most unpopular primary character and she's become a source of scorn and the butt of jokes for the rest of the family, often to good comic effect but without making her much more popular. Whereas sometimes it can be fun to hear a familiar voice in an acting role (Dan Castellaneta in "Arrested Development" springs to mind) hearing Meg's voice doesn't exactly fill me with joy.

I know this seems an incredibly trivial qualm to have, especially when Kunis is a long way from being like the character she portrays. But perhaps this is a challenge; if Black Swan really is to be her big break, maybe Mila Kunis can begin to grow as an actress to the point where the voice is no longer an issue.

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  1. Mila is an amazing actress, but I have to agree with your point. Every time I hear her speak, I automatically think "Shut up Meg".


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  2. Same here but I really believe it just adds to Mila Kunis' star power. I actually had to google "Meg Griffin Mila Kunis" because I didn't believe it. How many A-list Hollywood actresses do you think would turn down this voice role precisely because of the reason stated on this article. But Kunis seems like she has a great sense of humor above all else, and while there's plenty of gorgeous actresses, there's very few who are easy going enough to play Meg. I saw on Leno or Kimmel where she said she'd be walking down the street and would randomly hear "Shut up, Meg!" and Kunis found that so hilarious. And you know it's given any other circumstance, those guys would be asking her for an autograph and picture taken with them.


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