What Happens In Vegas - Ashton Kutcher interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
ASHTON Kutcher talks about working with Cameron Diaz on romantic comedy What Happens In Vegas, what baffles him about the opposite sex and why the film changed his attitude towards comedy.
He also confesses the worst thing he’s done while being drunk, why he’s a dab hand with a hammer in real life and why turning 30 wasn’t such a big deal…
Q. What still baffles you about the opposite sex?
Ashton Kutcher: I don’t understand shopping, it doesn’t make any sense to me. As guys, we decide we want something and then we go out and buy it. Women go to the store having no idea what they’re going to buy, or what they’re even doing, it’s like a whole different sport. It’s like going to a football game to maybe watch a game. I don’t get it. A guy’s at home, he’s working on something and he says: “I need a wrench…” And he’ll go and buy a wrench. That’s how we do shopping, but girls have this whole other thing. It’s not like you’re at home going: “I need a shoe!” And you go and know the kind of shoe that you need. You’re just going to look at the shoes [laughs]!
Q. You’re playing another feckless newlywed in What Happens in Vegas, and yet you’re happily married in real life? What was the appeal of the role?
Ashton Kutcher: I think you have to be able to connect to the end of the movie in order to deliver the end of the movie. I think if you can’t connect to what that is, it’s hard to really feel that. It’s just an open awareness of love. There’s actually a book that a friend of mine just recently wrote. He’s actually my teacher, and he’s sort of taught me how to navigate a relationship successfully. The book is going to be coming out soon, and it’s called The Spiritual Rules of Engagement. It’s really a guide of how you navigate a relationship successfully, so I have to credit a lot of the success in my relationship to my teacher.
Q. What drew you to the story so quickly in the first place?
Ashton Kutcher: Here’s how this one went down, I got the script and I was really set on not doing a comedy. I read the script and for the first 30 or 40 pages of the script I was laughing out loud, really hard, multiple times. When that happens you have to stop and go something’s really working here. So I was talking to Emma Watts, who’s one of the executives at Fox, and she asked what it would take to get me to do this movie. I said: “Get me a great director and a great co-star and we’ll work out the rest of the script and get everything locked in.” So, she called me back a day later and said: “Cameron Diaz is doing the movie.” I said: “Alright! Then all we have to do is find a director…” She said she thought Cameron and I could get together, they’d give us a list and we could meet with all these directors. Apparently, Emma had called Cameron and said: “Ashton’s doing the movie…” So, she sort of lied to both of us and told us that we had both agreed to do the movie.
Q. Did you know Cameron beforehand and did you never previously think of making a movie with her?
Ashton Kutcher: I had, but she just wouldn’t work with me… [laughs] and I don’t know if she will again! I actually didn’t know her at all. I saw her backstage at one of those awards shows probably like seven years ago and I was like: “Whoaa, she’s hot, and funny too!” That was right after There’s Something About Mary came out, and I was like: “Wow, this is a hot, funny person!” So I was really enamoured, so much so that I don’t think I was able to make words when I talked to her. I think I just made noises and then walked away. So, I didn’t know her at all, beforehand. And I just don’t think I’d found anything she would have been interested in doing with me.
Q. What was the best thing about working with Cameron?
Ashton Kutcher: When you’re with and around Cameron it doesn’t matter who’s there, she’s the happiest person to be there. You step in a room with her and it doesn’t matter who’s in the room, she’s the happiest person to be there. It doesn’t matter what room it is, who else is there or what she’s doing, she’s the happiest person to be there. I’ve never met a person who is so like: “Yeah, we’re going to do this!” And just with the greatest depth of appreciation for the opportunity to fight in the grass, or the opportunity to run through the part. She sees that glass so half full it might be spilling out of the top, because it’s just full. She just makes your life better being around her, she’s one of those people.
Q. Given what you previously said about being resistant to doing a comedy, will you be looking to do more drama?
Ashton Kutcher: I just wasn’t in the mood to do a comedy [at that time]. You know, sometimes you feel like you have the energy, because it takes a lot of energy to be funny… or for me it does. I feel like I work twice as hard when I’m doing comedy. So, I didn’t know if I was ready for that. But doing this movie really changed my whole perspective on making movies because I had a really good time making it. Every single day, I went to work and I had fun. It was a blessing.
Q. The characters in the film seem to find happiness in reverse – first by getting married, divorced and then falling in love. Could that strategy really work?
Ashton Kutcher: Well, what we’re all normally doing doesn’t seem to be working very well, with the divorce rate, so why not try something different? I think the biggest problems in relationships in general is that guys are raised with the goal of having sex, like when you’re a teenage boy the whole goal is having sex, right? “Some day, I’m going to have sex, and then I’m going to be a man, and that’s going to be life!” Women have this whole goal of getting married, of finding the husband. Nobody seems to have the goal of being married or working towards being married as a goal. Our movie is really about being married in a sense, which is the idea that it ain’t always pretty, and that’s when you find out who’s got the guts.
Q. What’s the worst thing you’ve done while drunk?
Ashton Kutcher: While drunk? That’s not PG-rated? Oh man, wow, I don’t know. There’s a really big, long list of stupid things that I’ve engaged in. Probably the stupidest thing was on my college campus, between the house that I lived in and where all the bars were, there was a river. It was winter and the river had just frozen over. There were no tracks on the river yet, so my buddy dared me to walk across the river. I got about halfway and I was so drunk that I slipped and fell down and just passed out. My buddy didn’t come and save me because he didn’t know how thick the ice was. So, I ended up sleeping there for a couple of hours and waking up, and I was like: “Dude, why didn’t you come get me?” And he was like: “I thought the ice would break with two of us on there!” So, that was pretty bad… thinking about it, that was not bright.
Q. Are you someone who’s handy with DIY at home, like your character?
Ashton Kutcher: Well, my dad was a carpenter and my step-dad was a carpenter, and I started working in construction when I was 12-years-old. My step-dad and I built a house together. I actually have a company with my dad where we re-model houses, so I can swing a hammer. Before we did the movie I actually went to New York and worked for a closet company, installing closets for a couple of days in Brooklyn. I went round to people’s houses and installed closets, because the character was a closet maker by trade and I’d never installed one before. So I figured I ought to know how to do that.
Q. How was turning 30? Is it a milestone or just another number?
Ashton Kutcher: I just feel so darned grown up [smiles]. Actually, the number is inconsequential. I know a lot of 40-year-olds who act like 10-year-olds and I know a lot of 10-year-olds that act like 40-year-olds. I think they should change the measure from how long you’ve been here to how much responsibility you have, or you’ve taken on in your life. That should be the age barometer, for me. You should have a docket that you have to fill in, send off and they send you a thing back which says “you’re actually 54”. Or vice versa. To me, it’s just the level of responsibility you have in your life, and 30 was just a reason to throw a party and not get hepatitis.
Q. Does having a mature partner make you more mature?
Ashton Kutcher: I don’t know, I really don’t. I’ve only been married once. It’s weird, I was talking to somebody the other day, and when I was 13 my parents got divorced and my dad moved down the block and then when I was 14 my mom moved to a different city, so I’ve kind of always been moving around and my friends have always been a little bit older. My best friend was six years older than I was. I also spent a lot of time with my mom when I was young and her friends. I was always more interested in adult conversation. So, maybe I just like adults. I like grown ups, I guess.
Q. If you hit the jackpot and won three million dollars and had to spend it there and then what would you spend it on?
Ashton Kutcher: In the UK, you could get a loaf of bread! For people in the UK it would be like: “I can’t even pay my rent!”