Every journalist has a horror story about their first big celebrity interview. For 25-year-old Chris Stark that horror story has turned into a bit of an Age of Social Media fairy tale.
Stark, who works as a “sidekick” of sorts on presenter Scott Mills’s BBC Radio One program, interviewed Mila Kunis at a press junket for Oz the Great and Powerful, and began the conversation quite candidly: “Seriously, I’m petrified.” After a bumbling attempt to ask Kunis about her role as a witch in the upcoming film, the interview veered into epically unprofessional territory—much to the delight of Kunis and entertainment of the internet who instantly turned the seven-minute clip into a viral sensation.
Not discussed: Kunis’s film career, what she thinks about the film, her character. Discussed in great detail: Stark’s support of his local Watford Football Club; his friends Chango the Beast, The Convict, and Sir Dosser; a drink called the Lad Bomb, which involves dropping a shot of Jäger into a double vodka Red Bull; and whether Kunis would be interested in accompanying him to football match and/or a friend’s wedding.
The video’s been called “the best thing ever,” a “career-defining Mila Kunis interview,” and “possibly the cutest interview ever.” As for Kunis, she dubbed it “the best interview I’ve had today.” Amid all this attention, how did Stark think it went? We called him up just as he was on the way to celebrate his newfound celebrity with a few Lad Bombs.
How’s life as a viral star?
Yeah, it’s been ridiculous, to be honest. But good ridiculous, if that makes any sense.
Are you surprised by the attention?
Yeah. So I just turned up. I didn’t really have much notice when I went to interview her in the first place. And it’s just turned into something. I didn’t really understand—when someone said they saw something about it in America, I thought it was ridiculous in itself. But I’m really pleased that people like it. I’m just still in shock a little bit.
How did this all come about? Did they really send you on your first celebrity interview to talk with Mila Kunis?
The presenter of our show, Scott Mills, he always says I know nothing about films and nothing about actors and actresses. He would often test me on it. What he thought would be really funny to do is set me up with a massive Hollywood star and just see what happened. I found out really close to when I actually turned up, about a half an hour before. Literally got straight into a cab, went straight there, and then had to interview Mila Kunis, who is of course massive and one of the biggest stars in the world.
So they were expecting you to give an interview that might no be traditional?
To be honest, I tried to talk about the movie a little bit, but I did struggle with that. I was just really nervous. For me it was just a really odd situation to be in. There’s loads of lights and camera around and lots of people looking at me. I just felt really uncomfortable. I started talking about the movie, but then I really panicked. I think I started talking about the pub, and she seemed to want to talk about that more so I just started talking more about it. Then I saw a lady looking at me, sort of staring, so I thought maybe I should go back to a movie question because she didn’t seem so keen on that. So I just carried on asking what I wanted to ask. Because I thought she was lovely. She was really nice, and she seemed quite interested in my life!
What was the reaction from your boss and the people at Radio One?
I came back and they said, ‘How did it go?’ I said it was a bit of blur. And then I came back here and a few people started watching it and laughing at what they saw. So I thought, alright, maybe a few people will find this funny. It’s just gone from there, really. As soon as Scott saw it, he was in tears laughing at it. Something that was just a bit of a joke turned into something bigger.
Did you think you were going to get in trouble for not asking the more serious questions about the movie?
I did, yeah. I thought I wouldn’t be invited back, just because I was trying to talk about the movie, but I panicked. I just started talking to her about the pub, and about Watford.
So when the conversation started to turn to the pub and football, did you think that maybe you shouldn’t be asking these things?
I did. The moment I realized I was doing something a bit weird was when I mentioned chicken bolshi pies, which at that point I thought I’ve gone violently off message here. But for me, it’s been really nice, because not many people know Watford Football Club, for example, so to have Mila Kunis talking about Watford and the place I grew up is hilarious.
In the interview, you said you couldn’t wait to go to the pub and tell your friends about the experience. What was their reaction?
They love it, obviously. I’ve seen all these articles about the interview, and the only thing they’re ever so slightly annoyed about is my friend, Chango the Beast, they’ve been spelling his name with a “Dj.” And they’re calling Lad Bombs, Lap Bombs, which is a little bit wrong. But other than that, brilliant.
When the interview was over and you were getting ready to go, did Mila or anyone from her team say anything to you about how unusual the conversation was?
Not really. The only indication I had of what they thought of it, was as I was talking to her, I noticed the cameraman on the side was laughing a lot. He actually had to turn around. I couldn’t work out if that was a good thing or a bad thing. I took it as a good thing and sort of just carried on.
When you watched it back, how did you think it went? Were you embarrassed at all?
I think it’s OK. I’m pleased that she knows about Watford. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a Watford shirt with me. If I ever do it again, I’ll bring a Watford shirt with me, because that was a missed opportunity. But apart from that, I think it’s cool. To be honest, I really don’t know enough about films to have a proper conversation about things like that. And I’m not that interested in finding out loads about the films she’s been in. But I was really interested in how fast she could neck a pint. That was big in my book, and I think there’s quite a few people who think the same.
As someone who watches a lot of celebrity interviews, what you did here is something I would much rather watch. Is there talk of you doing more of these with other actors?
I would love to talk with my bosses about doing this more often. I don’t know. It’s all just really new, isn’t it? I thought it would just be a video that a few people find funny here in this country, because Radio One’s a huge station over here. But I didn’t realize that people in America would find it funny. Apart from anything, it’s just been really nice. If they invite me back to interview someone else, I’d do it.
So you’d like to do it again?
You know I say I’d like to do it again, but I was so nervous before. And I would be again. If it was Mila Kunis again, I would feel exactly the same. I’d be just as nervous. You have to remember, I’m not the most professional person that Radio One could’ve sent to do that interview.
Yes, but that’s why it was so entertaining! We’re so used to hearing interviewers asking the same questions over and over again. I think that’s why Mila had so much fun, too.
This is it. Because when I left her, I wasn’t entire sure—I thought she had a good time, but I wasn’t entirely sure what she thought about it. So I just hoped that she likes it and was cool it. You know what, I learned a lot about her and I just thought she was really cool. So I hope that other people think the same.
When you’re not charming Mila Kunis, what do you normally do at Radio One?
It’s not fun. Basically, it’s Scott Mills’s radio show on Radio One, and I suppose I’m what you’d call his sidekick. I don’t know what the technical term is for it, but I talk rubbish on his show.
Have you started to be recognized?
No, really. It’s only been a day. At the moment, I just think it’s mad. To be honest, I’m just looking forward to going to the pub now and celebrating. It’s been a right laugh.
To have some Lad Bombs?
Yes, Lad Bombs. I love that you’re talking about this.
How hungover do these things make you? They sound lethal.
Yeah, yeah. I can’t say that I recommend them, but it’s something me and my friends do… every now and then… responsibly, of course.