The movie’s main character Michael, played by Liam Neeson, a novelist who’d been famous for his previous work has holed himself up in a hotel suite in Paris finishing his latest book. Within the hotel works a maid named Julia, Mila Kunis’ character – an ex-soap opera actress who was once a frequent guest at the hotel.
Julia is caught in a custody battle for her 6-year old son with her ex-husband Rick played by James Franco, who is a famous New York artist. With her support cut off and her legal costs ruinous, Julia’s lawyer Theresa (Maria Bello) has secured Julia one final chance to change the court’s mind and be reunited with the child she loves. Julia’s sole motivation in life is to gain joint custody of her son but her fragile psychological state and the circumstances of her marriage break-up make that a big challenge.
A fan of the director’s works, Kunis had no qualms joining the cast, “I’ve been a fan of Paul’s work and he has a very specific way of writing so I didn’t necessarily know what to expect but I knew it was going to be intertwining storylines. I can honestly say that there are those movies that come along that they make you realize why you love doing what you do and working with Paul Haggis made me fall in love with my job again. I love it, I love every aspect of how he works, how he interacts, how, confident he is and how confident he makes you feel. I think we just kind of get each other’s work ethic and work rhythm. He trusts me and I trust him that’s just so incredibly important”.
“Given the complexity of the film, Julia is a hard character to explain,” says Kunis of her character. “She’s slightly misunderstood but she means well. Technically speaking, she’s in a custody battle with her ex-husband Rick for their child Jesse. At heart, Julia’s a sweet person but she’s always late and if a person has to make a right or a left turn, she always makes the wrong choice, but it’s not on purpose so you can’t blame her for it. Maybe she just has the world’s worst luck, or maybe not. She seems to be constantly put in situations where she’s just being attacked or accused of not being good enough.”
Kunis’ onscreen ex-hubby in the film, James Franco, Rick, pulls their son away from her mother. “Rick is one of a number of characters who come in and out of the film and he’s an artist, a painter in New York and has a child with Mila Kunis’ character Julia. He and Julia have had a very rocky past and she seems to be emotionally unstable and irresponsible and maybe even dangerous towards Jesse, our child. So, I gain custody of Jesse and I prevent her from seeing him because I think she might hurt him. Paul writes very intricate characters. I remember years ago he once told me that he likes to make himself the villain. He likes to put himself into his characters,” Franco enthuses.
“Mila Kunis and I have done something like seven projects together, after working together so many times, there’s certainly a shorthand with Mila Kunis and I. We just get along very well. We’ve kind of done everything together – fantasy, comedy, drama, a weird vampire thing, an experimental movie, so I guess the only thing we haven’t done is maybe action, so we’re looking for a, an action script next!” concludes Franco.
“Third Person” opens June 18 in theatres nationwide from Axinite Digicinema.