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Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher

Interview By: Ray Dademo

RayDademo@TheCinemaSource.com

Talking to Ashton Kutcher about his latest release Guess Who? one might imagine that he had made a motion picture as daring and polemic as 1967′s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – his movie’s classic source material. In truth, the film is heavier on pratfalls than political commentary, but that doesn’t seem to dissuade the 27-year star from extolling the deeper meaning in Guess Who?

According to Mr. Demi Moore, the film is about “being your own person and believing in who you are and what you are – not having to prove that you’re something more than that and not having to go down to anyone’s level.”

Significance aside, the movie’s plot gives a 21st century goose to the basic premise of the Tracy-Hepburn original. Sure, the fiancé is still meeting his soon-to-be in-laws, but now the roles are reversed. African-American actors Bernie Mac and Judith Scott take on the parent characters and white-boy Kutcher is hoping to gain their acceptance. Though Kutcher’s shtick may be less Sidney Poitier than Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents, he still found plenty to identify with. “I’ve met girlfriends’ parents. I’ve dated interracially and I’ve felt the feeling of having somebody look at you because you’re with somebody that they don’t think is right. So, I felt the character in all of those ways.”

In their handling (or re-handling) of the story, Kutcher, Mac, and director Kevin Rodney Sullivan found great importance in a certain sense of fearlessness. “We have to be able to go anywhere,” Kutcher said, “to say anything, just to really put it on the table. I have to say things that are really going to make me feel uncomfortable – we have to really be able to go there. So when it came time to do the work, we were just doing the work.” Oddly enough for such a courageous treatment, the only item cut from the final cut

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Ashton Kutcher

was a subplot about Kutcher’s character being Jewish.

The filming process, according to Kutcher, was especially uproarious – no surprise with a pro like Mac on board – and only hit road blocks when it came to his singing and dancing skills. A tango scene played for comedy relief, proved to be “the hardest thing” for the That 70′s Show hunk. “You have to say the exact line on the exact step, otherwise you can’t cut it together. That was tricky – one of the hardest scenes in the movie. Plus I can’t really move my hips. I’m missing a bone or something.”

For his on-screen duet with Mac, Kutcher came to a decidedly less optimistic conclusion. “You know that wasn’t even fair because I like to sing. You don’t really ever hear yourself sing. I watched the movie and I was like ‘I am bad!’ I’m not good and I sing a lot. It wasn’t fair at all because they kind of sprung that on me. Bernie had already pre-recorded his in the studio – sound mixing and everything. I didn’t know the words, let alone the song.”

With his recent forays into film – A Lot Like Love opens in theatres, April 22nd – Kutcher has moved from prosperous careers in modeling and television into life as a full-fledged movie star. His tenure as the dim-witted Michael Kelso on Fox’s That 70′s Show comes to an end this month. “One [episode] to go. It’s scary. It’s like letting go of my safety blanket. But if you don’t take risks, you can never reap those rewards that are on the other side. I’m taking some calculated risks, but I’m going to miss my friends.”

As his career moves forward, Kutcher finds himself adopting a contented outlook on the world. “I’m really happy with my life and have experienced some things that a lot of people probably haven’t.” His philosophies may have something to do with his recent

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Ashton Kutcher

immersion in the Kabbalah, but when it comes to career appraisal, Ashton Kutcher has no answers. Succinctly put, Kutcher says, “I try not to assess the ride while I’m still on it.”

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