When Seth MacFarlane's R-rated comedy, Ted, was released back in 2012, it's no exaggeration to say it took the world by storm. Reviews were great, it made a killing at the box office, and audiences truly believed that a friendship between a 30-something man and a teddy bear was not only believable, but goal-worthy. So it was not much of a shock that a sequel, Ted 2 , will be released on Jun. 26 — but it was a surprise that the first movie's leading lady isn't in it. Why doesn't Ted 2 star Mila Kunis?
At first, it might seem like there's some terrible reason behind her absence. Was the actress unhappy with her role in the first movie? Is she feuding with Seth MacFarlane? Does she have something against foul-mouthed teddy bears and their struggles to have babies? No to all the above; the decision for Kunis not to return, it seems, has nothing to do with any drama, but rather, simply a creative decision made by MacFarlane. According to Deadline, MacFarlane chose not to focus the plot of Ted 2 on John's (Mark Wahlberg) relationship with Lori (Kunis), but instead have the movie revolve around the antics of Ted (MacFarlane) and his new wife, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). There's still a main female lead in the movie, a lawyer played by Amanda Seyfried, but Kunis' character does not have a presence.
So what's the deal? (Minor spoilers ahead.) In the sequel, it's explained that John and Lori divorced, after six years of marriage. The majority of the film takes place a year after their break-up, with John finding love once more with Seyfried's character, Sam. The two develop a close bond early on in the movie, although it takes awhile to turn into a real romance, since John says that he's still having trouble moving on from his relationship with Lori.
Yet even if the divorce had never happened, and MacFarlane had actually wanted Ted 2 to focus on John and Lori, there would've been a big problem: some major changes in Kunis' real personal life. In a Reddit AMA in February, the actress said that "a little thing called 'a pregnancy' got in the way of me and production." (Kunis and fiance Ashton Kutcher had a daughter, Wyatt, in October.) Still, she said that she wished them "all the best," adding that she was "sure the movie will be hysterical."
Not convinced enough that there's seriously no drama-filled reason Kunis isn't in the sequel? The actress still voices Meg on Family Guy, a show created by MacFarlane, so clearly, there's no bad blood between them. And as for the choice to cast Seyfried as Sam L. Jackson, a lawyer representing Ted's fight to be recognized as human and John's new romantic interest, it makes perfect sense. Seyfried starred in MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West, and judging by the duo's posts on social media, it seems that the actress (and her photogenic dog, Finn) had nothing but a great time on set.
So while it's certainly disappointing that we won't get more Mila Kunis in Ted 2, it's a relief to know that it's not because of any big, bad reason. Seyfried, an actress who's shown off her comedic chops in films like Mean Girls and A Million Ways, is a great addition to the cast, and it'll be exciting to see what MacFarlane and his foul-mouthed bear have in store for fans the second time around. Knowing how the filmmaker typically functions, it's unlikely he'll go easy on his new star, but then again, that's what made the first movie so crazy, and so, so good.
Image: Universal Pictures