The actress, 34, performed silly tricks onstage with the Theatricals, Harvard’s all-male theatre troupe, like sucking down helium from a Minions balloon and attempting to rap like her Ted costar Mark Wahlberg

By Alexia Fernandez and Megan Johnson
January 26, 2018 12:09 AM
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Mila Kunis was honored by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals as their 2018 Woman of the Year with a parade as she addressed backlash she received for accepting the honor.

The actress, 34, performed silly tricks onstage with the Theatricals, Harvard’s all-male theatre troupe, like sucking down helium from a Minions balloon and attempting to rap like her Ted costar Mark Wahlberg.

“I cannot do a Boston accent!” Kunis said as she continued to rap.

She was honored with a parade through Harvard Square, flanked by Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag. She enjoyed a special lunch at the Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge with the troupe members, and she posed with the restaurant’s executive chef James Salomone.

“She was very passionate, confident, and smart,” a restaurant insider told PEOPLE.

Mila Kunis was honored as Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding’s 2018 Woman of the Year
Paul Marotta/Getty Images for Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770

While the mother of two may have had fun celebrating and accepting the iconic pudding pot given to previous women of the year such as Helen Mirren and Octavia Spencer, she did take time to clear the air regarding the controversy her decision to accept the honor caused.

Before the event, many wondered if Kunis would accept the honor as Hasty Pudding Theatricals had excluded women from performing in its shows for decades.

Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge Executive Chef James Salomone and Mila Kunis
Joe Hennessy

The 223-year-old organization announced Thursday it will allow women to join its cast, beginning next year. Women were previously allowed in the organization for behind-the-scenes positions but were not considered for roles.

Kunis, who has been spoken out against sexism in the entertainment industry, said she was “honored” to be named woman of the year “during the year of change” for the organization.

Mila Kunis was also honored with a lunch at Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge
Joe Hennessy

When asked about the changing tides, Kunis said, “I think its happening. I think that putting women in a higher position in the workplace will change the world. It’s been statistically proven. As long as we keep moving forward with that as our no. 1 position, then everything will happen.”

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When asked about Hasty Pudding’s new regulations, Kunis told reporters she “wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

“It wasn’t a stipulation. To clarify: This is something that this program has always wanted to do,” she said. “It has nothing to do with me or today. It was something that was going to happen inevitably.”

One topic Kunis, who is married to actor Ashton Kutcher, did stay mum on was who she was rooting for at the Super Bowl.

“How dare you,” Kunis joked when asked who she was rooting for. “Look, my team didn’t do so well this year — it’s the Chicago Bears, in case you were wondering. Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback in the world, so congratulations. But… one of my best friends is from Philadelphia.”