08/12/2011 at 10:00 AM EDT
Long before she hooked up
with Justin Timberlake
in Friends with Benefits
– and Natalie Portman
as a bombshell ballerina
in Black Swan
– Mila Kunis
was an unhappy child star
In 1996, she sported pigtails and her signature sassy grin as a boy-crazy kiddo in an appearance on The WB's Unhappily Ever After
, one of her very first acting gigs.
Her accessory of choice? A teddy bear.
One thing that hasn't changed: The Ukrainian stunner, who turns 28 on Sunday, was earning approval for her good looks even as a pre-teen.
"Hi baby, you're cooler than the Olsen twins
put together," her equally junior costar says in the episode
And as a possible portent of her future offbeat roles to come, she coos back "Sure" when he asks her if she wants to play with his pet snake.