MILA KUNIS has dedicated her performance in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL to the original Wicked Witch of the West, MARGARET HAMILTON, insisting the new movie is "a love letter" to the late actress.
The Black Swan beauty plays Theodora, who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West, in The Wizard of Oz prequel, but she refused to watch the 1939 Judy Garland classic as she prepared for the shoot because she didn't want to feel more intimidated by the job than she already did.
She tells America's Star magazine, "I would be lying if I said it wasn't incredibly frightening (tackling The Wizard of Oz prequel), because it is. (Margaret Hamilton) created such an iconic character, going on 80 years now. What she did will forever be, in my mind, the greatest witch of all time. This is a love letter to her.
"I didn't rewatch The Wizard of Oz because there's no way of doing it justice. So this is the 21st-century version."
Kunis imagined her Theodora as an everyday girl struggling with heartache - and she hopes her performance will do the film justice.
She says, "I didn't want to ruin such an iconic character and I didn't want to recreate it, so in order for me to wrap my head around it I needed to make sense of her origin.
"I honestly viewed her as a normal girl who gets her heart broken - and just happens to be a witch. She doesn't have the tools to deal with heartache and goes through an emotional transformation that's mirrored by a physical one. And she changes color!"