Mila Kunis plays an addict in Rodrigo Garcia’s “Four Good Days,” and to play the part, she had to lose an extraordinary amount of weight and watch a lot of YouTube videos.
“I don’t know [how much weight I lost] because I don’t have a weight scale but I can tell you, based on my clothing, I was as thin as I was for ‘Black Swan,” Kunis told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven at the Sundance Film Festival. “I was healthy in regards to the way I did it but as far as a lifestyle choice, I was like, ‘Oh this is rough.’ But it only had to be for a minute. You have to unfortunately look a certain way to look like a heroin addict so I think I did it over four months. I exercised and dieted. I felt very strong… but I was thin.”
According to Today, Kunis dropped 20 pounds to weigh 95 pounds, explaining that she “was muscles, like a little brick house, but skin and bones.” Additionally, the actress told TheWrap that she changed her physical appearance by watching a ton of YouTube videos.
“We bleached my hair so that added one hell of an element to it,” Kunis explained. “As far as research went… I don’t do drugs, but I have had plenty of friends and currently have a girlfriend and whatnot that didn’t survive and some that are still battling it. So as far as the emotional aspect of addiction, I got it. As far as the physical, anything that had the technicalities of what an addict looks like, I was very grateful for YouTube. And I went to NA meetings and I went to halfway houses but that wasn’t really what I needed.”
Writer and director Rodrigo Garcia explained that his film is based on a true story published in the Washington Post that focused on the four good days in the lives of two women, portrayed by Kunis and Glenn Close in the film. Kunis plays Close’s daughter, and the film explores the relationship between a mother and daughter while the latter tries to wean herself off drugs.
“I thought it was just riveting, not just because it spoke of the problem at large — it’s brutal for each family but it’s very common,” Garcia explained. “This had great specificity and mostly the relationship between the mother and the daughter and how the addiction colored and framed a relationship that often in the best of cases is full of fine print.”
Close said that the first scene of the script, where her character locks her daughter out of the house, drew her to the project and the film itself made her explore a new territory.
“I was just astounded that someone would be brought to the position of feeling that that’s what she had to do,” Close explained. “That really drew me in. And I learned so much from being that character and dealing with a daughter that had an addiction. I was just thinking about how hypervigilant I got. All of a sudden, you don’t know what’s the truth and you are always suspecting that she’s not telling you the truth, and if she’s not telling you the truth, what are you going to do about it?”
She added: “It felt very, very real. It’s basically a simple story, it’s a beautifully written script and everybody was so incredibly connected and concentrated on it. For me, it really was an exploration into new territory.”
Kunis also only had great things about her costar, who was a big reason Kunis took on the role.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) January 30, 2020
“Four Good Days” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week.
Watch the video above.