x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Direct approach pays off for US marine with Mila Kunis date

The case of the US serviceman who asked the actress Mila Kunis for a date on YouTube - and was accepted - is a new development in social networking.

The actress Mila Kunis accepted a request via YouTube by a US marine stationed in Afghanistan to attend an armed forces ball in the States.
The actress Mila Kunis accepted a request via YouTube by a US marine stationed in Afghanistan to attend an armed forces ball in the States.

Sergeant Scott Moore has started something big. The US serviceman, serving his country in dusty Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion 2nd US Marines, earlier this month asked a glamorous, unreachable Hollywood actress to the Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, North Carolina this November - and she said yes.

And just days after persuading his Friends with Benefits co-star Mila Kunis to accept the offer on the US chat show Fox411, Justin Timberlake has accepted a servicewoman's invitation to another ball, in Washington.

Kelsey De Santis sang one of Timberlake's hits, Cry Me a River, in her video invitation - in front of a row of what the singer/actor called "beefcake military guys". But that was not why he accepted, he said at a press conference for the new film.

"I don't get asked out," said Timberlake. "Ever. So I was very flattered by that."

Moore was egged on by his comrades when he asked Kunis - the star of Max Payne and Black Swan - if she would come to the ball. "If you don't ask, you don't get," as, er, Mohandas Gandhi once said.

Moore chose a very public means to ensnare the object of his affections: he asked Kunis out via a brilliantly cheeky YouTube clip. Somewhat cockily, it opens with Moore saying: "Hey Mila, it's Sergeant Moore. But you can call me Scott." He asks her to the ball with "yours truly" and, in a moment of rare chivalry, allows her "to take a second, think about it, and get back to me".

A whopping 800,000 hits later, Kunis was indeed getting back to Moore - as she was promoting her new film with Timberlake. When the clip was played to her for the first time live on television, Timberlake decided to do some star-spangled matchmaking. "Do it for your country," he urged Kunis. "I'm going to work on this for you, man," he promised Moore. "This needs to go down." To Kunis's eternal credit, she barely even flinched. "What?" she shrieked. "OK, I'll do it."

Granted, the date will be a short one; Kunis, who will be shooting a new film by then, says she has permission to leave for only one day.

It'll certainly be interesting to see if Moore is quite so cocky when he has her on his arm. As he said later in an official Marine Corps interview: "My initial reaction was disbelief. It's going to be a great experience to meet her, and it's going to make the ball more special for everyone."

Time will tell if theirs is a match made in heaven. Still, Kunis did play a Russian assassin in Max Payne, so they may have more to talk about than at first appears. Weaponry, perhaps. And anyone sniffy about the chances of Moore wooing a Hollywood star should perhaps pause for thought. Not only is he likely to be a lot more manly than Kunis's previous boyfriend, the somewhat weedy Macaulay Culkin, but actors aren't necessarily attracted to other actors. Matt Damon, for example, may have dated Minnie Driver and Winona Ryder, but he married a Miami bartender in 2005. He and Luciana Bozán Barroso now have three children and seem to be able to maintain a relationship out of the media spotlight.

Damon wasn't the first actor to date a co-star and quickly realised that the months apart on location, clashes of egos and the constant attentions of rampant gossip magazines - not to mention the hours spent with ravishingly beautiful people on set - are hardly the greatest ingredients for a long and happy relationship.

Thus, Ethan Hawke split with Uma Thurman in 2003 but is now married to Ryan Shawhughes, briefly employed as a nanny by Hawke and Thurman. Patrick Dempsey's first marriage was to the actress Rocky Parker, and when that ended (admittedly, the 27-year age gap might have had something to do with it) he hooked up with the hair and make-up artist Jillian Fink.

The list of Julia Roberts's dalliances with film stars may be legion (Liam Neeson, Kiefer Sutherland and Benjamin Bratt, to name just three) but naming the man to which she has been married since 2002 is a lot more difficult. It's the cameraman Daniel Moder - in the film business, but hardly a household name likely to set flashbulbs alight on the red carpet.

So there's hope yet for Sergeant Moore - De Santis too.