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A Lot Like Love - Ashton Kutcher interview



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. What kind of person is your character, Oliver?
A.
The appeal of Oliver is that it is easy to relate to him. There are so many men like him who often feel like they have to achieve a certain status in the world before they can have a successful relationship. Oliver feels that he needs to be financially secure before he can get involved with anyone.
He tells himself, ‘I am not cool yet but I will be when I have this and that …. a lucrative business and a house. Then I will be OK.’
He is the kind of guy who thinks ‘right now I am not at a high level in my life, so I can get a certain type of girl, but when I get further up the ladder and have progressed with my career, I will be able to ‘trade up’ to a different type of girl. He has his own set of rules.
So he tells himself not to have a relationship until he gets to where he wants to be in life. The truth is that you are never actually there. But at the same time, you are always there, wherever ‘there’ is. It is a journey. I think people will really identify with him.

Q: Do you set yourself very high standards too?
A:
Yes, that is why I can relate to him so well. I constantly set standards for myself and goals and create an illusion that I cannot have both (a relationship and career). But you find out that you have to have a balance in life.
I used to do the same thing as Oliver in terms of my career, for sure. I was ambitious and I was unkind to people as a result. I do not think I was fair to people a lot of the time and I made really poor judgments because I was so driven and needed to succeed as an actor.

Q: When you were a little boy growing up in Iowa, did you ever dream that you would be as successful and famous as you have become?
A:
No I didn’t. It is weird. Every time I have a successful movie or TV show it is amazing, like a dream come true for me. And when dreams come true more than once, we start to call the dreams realities.
Now it has become much easier because I don’t need to drive myself crazy anymore. But it was a dream, what I am doing now with my career never seemed as though it would be possible when I was younger.

Q: What does love mean to you?
A:
Agh …well .. that is a really difficult question for me because I am really a love cynic. I don’t know if it is truly attainable every day.
To me, love is when your desire for someone else is greater than your desire for yourself, or equal to that. That is a tricky thing to attain.
The concept of love that we see in A Lot Like Love is what most of us called love, where there are always obstacles, but it is hard to define.

Q: The director of A Lot Like Love, Nigel Cole, compares you to Cary Grant. Is that thrilling for you?
A
: It is a great compliment. I appreciate it and it is so great because it is like the captain of your ship saying that you have sailed well. I cannot thank him enough for saying something so kind.
It is hard for me to comment, of course, because I cannot take an outside, objective perspective on my career and my life. I don’t know what direction I will go take in the future, whether I will move do drama as well as comedy.
Certain people will always try to compartmentalize you by saying things like ‘Oh he’s only good at comedy’ or ‘he is still doing the same funny character as before’. People always try to categorize you.

Q: What was it like having a nude scene in the desert, was it difficult for you?
A:
I like being nude as often as possible. [laughs]
I was actually really frightened of it. For other people it is OK. I like them being nude, but I don’t like to be naked very much on screen myself. It means being completely exposed, which is hard.
I had a ‘banana hammock’ on, which is a really exciting garment to wear, it is like a thong with a (baseball) catcher’s mitt attached to it. [laughs].
It is a little awkward to wear. I think we were both so insecure about taking off our clothes though, that we were not looking at anybody else to see their reactions. We were on a stage. We were not actually outside, so I think that helped.

Q: What was it like having sex in the toilet in the airplane with Amanda? We don’t actually see you because you are behind closed doors.
A:
I have done it in other movies. For some reason, directors seem to like the idea of me having sex in toilets! I was really comfortable with that scene.

Q: Have you ever done that yourself?
A:
I tried it once but I did not even actually get into the rest room. I was flying with somebody and we were sitting down. I got up and went over to the rest room, but it was too difficult trying to get both of us in there. There were too many people around us and people would not go to sleep. It was really awkward and we never actually made it.

Q: Your character is seduced in the movie; do you usually make the first move in your relationships?
A:
I am not really a ‘move’ guy. I do not make first moves. I do not know how to make the first move; I am pretty shy about the initial conversation to start a date or relationship. I am not good at that.

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