Kutcher Battles It Out In Vegas
by Paul Fischer
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Ashton Kutcher is a busy man these days. Now husband, stepfather, TV producer and occasional movie star, in his latest movie, What Happens in Vegas, Kutcher plays an irresponsible slob whose accidental marriage to a drunk Cameron Diaz leads to complications when he wins big in a Vegas slot machine. Another look at love and marriage Hollywood style, Kutcher spoke to Paul Fischer.
Paul Fischer: Why do opposites attract?
Ashton Kutcher: Hold on, I’m chewing ice, so I can’t hear. You ever do that? I think that’s why they have straws in the cups at movies. If you actually chewed the ice, you wouldn’t be able to hear the movie. No, I think in order to create affinity with something, you have to be like it. There’s actually a whole lot of neurolinguistic programming stuff that has actually proved that as well, so I would say that that’s the key.
PF: Talk about working with Cameron.
AK: Horrible. I mean, to show up to work and have to look at a good looking woman who’s funny and happy to be alive and joyous and nice to people, that’s a nightmare. We had to deal with it every single day. You know, I don’t think that there’s anybody like her. I think she’s maybe the only, I would say, true comedic leading lady in our business right now, that has really honed that craft. And she’s worked with Jim Carrey, she’s worked with Adam Sandler, she’s worked with Mike Myers. She’s worked with every great comedic actor I can think of, so she’s got a one up on all of us.
PF: What was your preparation for the drunken spiral?
AK: I got drunk and spiraled. I’ve had my entire 20s, my early 20s to really prepare for that scene. I have a lot of life experience to draw on for that kind of wild night.
PF: Was it all plotted out or did you come up with things?
AK: You know, the first act of the script and the first act of the movie as it turned out are really close to one another. Most of it was actually directly scripted events of this takes place then this takes place then this takes place. I’d say the moments in between are kind of organic or original, but really from roll the dice to talk at the dance floor, to the dialogue that it was, the fire and fall off the bar, make out, in bed, wake up. The only thing they cut out was there was a three way with a maid that got cut out of the film, but that was in the script.
PF: Were there any injuries in the chase across town?
AK: There were no permanent injuries. You know what I was shocked about is Cameron’s the fastest woman on planet earth. I trained for two months before this movie because I didn’t want my leading lady to be in better shape than I was, and she still was. Like she’s Superwoman. So all of the fighting stuff, she’s so strong and kind of gung ho to go for it, I really could have been injured but whenever I was about to fall and hurt myself, Cameron would save me. She was literally my little savior person.
PF: Your character fears marriage. Do you?
AK: Is that a loaded question? I never thought in my life, I never really thought I would get married. I watched my parents go through a divorce and I thought like this is just not something people are supposed to do. On top of that, I sort of thought, “Why am I going to put a legal document on top of a really great relationship? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” I don’t do legal documents with my friends. I don’t go out and do a contract, “Let’s go down to the courthouse, Rob, because now that we’re friends, we need to verify our friendship. Now we need to verify it and we need to get a license to watch the game together from here on out.” So I never really understood the whole idea of marriage until I met my wife and just knew that that was going to be the person I was going to be with for the rest of my life. I knew that I had that desire and kind of took the time to understand a little bit more of what it was about and what it meant. I love it. I might be the most happilyest married—I don’t know, is happilyest a word? I just made up a word. I am the happilyest married guy on the planet.
PF: What did you relate to about this character?
AK: Yeah, definitely. For one, I’m a very competitive person and I think that’s sort of part of the core of the movie and the core of the character. And I understand his sort of desired escapability, not wanting to be under the thumb of somebody else. I think his sort of recklessness relates to my life.
PF: How competitive do you get?
AK: I hate losing anything ever. No, no, no, I hate losing anything ever.
PF: How does it manifest when you lose?
AK: I get really upset. Not upset with somebody else, I get really upset with myself and then I become sort of obsessively geared towards never letting that happen again.
PF: What was your real weddings like?
AK: Mine was very private. We had to set up my whole wedding under the cloak of darkness and very secretively because I didn’t want a lot of photographers there hanging out.
Rob Corddry: Same with me. I was really sick of the photographers and the helicopters too. We had jets circling. No, we had a small marriage in New York City and my hangover the next day felt like cancer.
AK: It was like 45 people and we told everyone it was a housewarming party, so literally people didn’t even know. Some people, I think my mom included, didn’t know they were coming to a wedding. Actually, a funny story, I told my mom, “Mom, it’s a really special housewarming, like really, really special housewarming.” I was on jury duty the week of my wedding and my mom showed up while I was on jury duty and she walked in when Demi was trying on her dress. Demi puts on the veil and my mom walked in, she’s like, “We don’t wear dresses like that to housewarming parties where I come from.” Demi almost didn’t marry me. She was so upset with me. I thought that I’d really gotten the hint across but apparently I didn’t.
PF: What is the secret to a happy marriage?
AK: [laughs] My friend actually just wrote a book called The Spiritual Rules of Engagement, that is coming out really soon. It sorta lays out, as far as I am concerned, the secrets to a happy marriage. I think at the core of it, it’s about working on it. I think guys grow up and they sorta like from a very young age, are taught the sorta apex of a relationship is sex. So guys are like, from a very young age are like, “Some day, I’m gonna have sex!” And, like, that’s the goal, right? And I think that women from a very young age, are socially conditioned to say, “Some day, I’m gonna get married,” right? And it’s all about the wedding and the gown. And they are socially conditioned to find those two goals. And I think neither sex is socially conditioned to have the desire to be married. So it’s to get married, to have sex—but everybody’s missing what happens after that. Because the goal of being married is a lot of work. If people start the desire to work on their relationship, and set that as the goal, we’d be a lot better off.
Like, if you got a new job, right, and you got hired at the new job, and you showed up and you didn’t work, you’d probably get fired pretty quickly. I think people think that once they get married, all right the work’s done, when really you just got the job.
PF: Who is the author?
AK: Yehuda Berg.
PF: With your new show, every time a new item breaks with a celeb, everyone is questioning it now.
AK: That’s why I did the show.
PF: Can you talk about that, reaction, etc.
AK: Yea my whole desire to do the show was that I felt that I felt a lot of the tabloid magazines and shows were just making stuff up for their own commercial gain. They would put headlines that had question marks behind them because they didn’t know whether or not it was true, but then report it as if it was news. And I felt that sorta false journalism that is predicated on questions as opposed to answers, was really nothing more than a soap opera that was being played out by the magazines for commercial success and commercial gain. And so I figured that I couldn’t beat it, right, because they call themselves press, and stand behind the amendment of freedom of the press and say that what they are actually doing is proper journalism and so I figured if you can’t beat them, throw a wrench in their works.
And so the show is designed to create the question as to the validity of the stories because a lot of this stuff isn’t true. And it has succeeded in doing that.
PF: What’s been your favorite prank?
AK: I don’t like doing it so I don’t have a favorite. I’m really doing it to prove a point.
Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.
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