Ashton Kutcher was feeling in a good mood despite entering the lion’s den to promote his new film, The Butterfly Effect, in a Los Angeleshotel room. Though he was there to talk up the movie, he laughingly admits that he felt it was weird that most journalists are more obsessed by his relationship with one Demi Moore than his role as movie star.
“I’m constantly surprised that we’re doing a press junket for The Butterfly Effect and talking about that stuff”, the now bearded 25-year old actor says. “You, as a journalist, are creating the focus about that and so I do ask myself: Why? I don’t know. I think if people would focus more on THEIR lives, then maybe we would be living in a better place.”
Yet, Kutcher surprises one by still answering questions on his personal life, even at times with a sense of humour. There are, to begin with, those constant rumours, that Kutcher and Moore plan to marry within the next 12 months. The actor laughs when told that some internet sites are betting 20-1 that the couple will tie the knot sooner than later. “20-1 huh? I’ll fix the game, boy,” he says, howling with laughter, somewhat denying the marriage rumours. Perhaps marriage is not necessarily on Kutcher’s cards this soon, but his relationship with Demi has afforded the actor the chance to bond with her three daughters.
In trying to define his relationship with Moore’s children, Kutcher says “we get along great and I try to help them in their lives and with the problems that they have. They bring me a lot of joy.” As does the much older Demi, whom he admits he didn’t know much about when they first met. “The first time I ever saw her I didn’t know what her name was or who she was. I sat and talked to her for a half an hour not having the slightest idea that I was sitting with a famous human being.” Of course much as changed since that first meeting, and while eyes may have rolled at the relationship, Kutcher doesn’t care about their age difference. “She’s a very caring, giving, loving human being and I think that’s fantastic.”
Professionally, Kutcher is going through a different phase in his career. Despite recent criticisms of Kutcher from not being a good enough dramatic actor to hold his own in the likes of Cameron Crowe’s upcomingElizabethtown, Kutcher remains determined to prove his critics wrong. In deciding to star as an emotionally tortured character desperately trying to change his past in The Butterfly Effect, Kutcher says that doing such a dramatic piece is in part based on a need to escape the ghosts of Dude, Where’s my Car and Just Married, or even his TV hit, That 70s Show. “It was certainly a deliberate choice to do something new and I want to keep on doing new, different things and stuff I haven’t done before. This was a dramatic movie in which I appreciated the character, the metaphors of this story, and the message of the movie.”
Butterfly Effect casts Kutcher as Evan Treborn, a young man struggling to get over injurious memories from his childhood, but while doing so discovers a technique that allows him to travel back in time and occupy his childhood body changing his history forever. However he also discovers that every change he makes some how alters his future. In some respects, Kutcher says that he could identify with his latest character. “I can certainly relate to the fact that he is a person who has a lot to overcome with a great amount of love to give. I think love is the common denominator and the character represents a guy who is blacking out the traumatic moments of his life, as we as a society tend to do all the time”, Kutcher adds with greater intensity. “Whether it be child molestation, or a brothel half way across the world where they’re prostituting out 5-year old girls. Do we want to face that as a society? Of course not. That’s what this character does: He takes the traumatic things in his life and just says that they didn’t happen.” Another theme of Butterfly Effect is changing the past to effect the present. Kutcher believes that “we do have the ability to change our past by our current actions and by the things that we do.”
The actor balks on whether or not he would change an aspect of his own past. “I think I do it on a daily basis, in that these are the obstacles that are in our way that we are to overcome as people, which is why I think we are here. I have had relationships that have fallen apart in my life, and it’s my job to mend those, and THAT is changing the past.” But it’s his relationship with the 41-year oldMoorethat is intact and in no need of change. Yet, in trying to understand the public’s insatiable need to know more about Kutcher’s private life, he also wants you to know that he started to deal with fame and celebrity even prior to Demi landing in his life. “You know it’s funny because I did Saturday Night Live before I ever met Demi, I did the cover of Rolling Stone before I ever met Demi, and all of that kind of hit right at the same time. I met Demi, and we started spending time together, which got more attention even yet, and I started getting followed all over the place! Do I rejoice in the fact that I can’t leave my house without being followed? No. I don’t think that anyone would like that. It’s a little creepy, but I wouldn’t have it go away, because if it went away, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am right now,” he admits, referring to his new found fame. One gets the impression that Kutcher enjoys his fame, but not what can come with it. “I think that being chased, followed and stalked by photographers is an obstacle.”
Kutcher is still unsure how to deal with celebrity. “Man, they should write a handbook for it, because I don’t have the slightest idea,” he says, smilingly. “I don’t read anything, I don’t watch the shows that are about that, nor read the magazines that make things up about people. I know what the truth is and, I guess I don’t care what they write about me.” Kutcher says that he’d rather focus on his professional life. “I go to work and do my job. I’m constantly working on something new whether it’s producing another television show or producing another film. I have a wonderful relationship, a great family, and amazing friends. I live my life like anybody else and people chose to write about mine, and what they write I can’t control because the laws don’t protect you very much unless you can prove malice intent. So I just choose not to read it.”
So the future seems pretty good for Mr Kutcher, with his numerous film projects on the boil, and at least one more year confirmed on That Seventies Show. Asked where he sees HIMSELF in five years, Kutcher offers a wry smile. “I hope to be still alive, a little bit wiser, a little bit closer to the Creator and I hope to be a more giving, sharing person.”