DVD Interview Ashton Kutcher

Every year the population of sleepy Lake Victoria explodes from 5,000 to 50,000 for Spring Break; a riot of sun and drunken fun. But this year, there’s something more to worry about than hangovers and complaints from local old timers. A new type of terror is about to be cut loose on Lake Victoria. After a sudden underwater tremor sets free scores of the prehistoric man-eating fish, an unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents.

I’ve always been a little bit jealous of my older brother’s generation. He got The Beatles. We got Oasis. He got Jimi Hendrix. We got Lenny Kravitz. He got Star Wars IV, V and VI. We got Star Wars I, II & III. He got Harold and Maude. We got Ashton and Demi.

To be fair, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore do seem like a happy loving couple, and if their friendship with the latter’s ex-, Bruce Willis, is all a bit too much like an episode of ‘Big Love’, they’ve certainly proven that their relationship is more than just a tabloid’s wet dream.

Professionally, Kutcher has proven surprisingly smart too, his sterling good looks ensuring such mediocre offerings as ‘The Butterfly Effect’, ‘A Lot Like Love’ and ‘Just Married’ all turned a tidy profit. His work as a producer has given us such TV hits as ‘Punk’d’ and ‘Beauty And The Geek’, the former proving that Kutcher knows all about the currency of celebrity. Something he’s putting to good use once again with the upcoming ‘Pop Fiction’.

For his latest outing, ‘What Happens In Vegas’, Kutcher teams up with Cameron Diaz to play two crazy sexy young kids who, after a night of debauchery in Sin City, wake up to discover that they’re now married. Movies Plus caught up with Kutcher recently for an interview.

Q: We’re from Ireland, so, before we get on to the trivial stuff, like your life and your career, we have to ask you about your Irish roots.
A: I don’t know a whole lot. I know my grandfather is a Finnegan, and I’m told that there’s a Friendly Finnegan back there, way, way, back there, but I really don’t know that much about him.

Q: Friendly Finnegan? That’s a hell of a name.
A: Friendly Finnegan – that’s the guy’s name. I don’t know anything about him.

Q: With ‘What Happens In Vegas’, you get to play a party dude who, after a particularly wild night, wakes up to find imself hitched to Cameron Diaz’s aptly-named Joy. Tough role?
A: Man, trying to work up the enthusiasm to get wild and crazy with Cameron Diaz, to lie there and pretend to enjoy being in bed with her, all that, it was so much work. I think it shows my commitment as an actor though that I was able to pull it off…

Q: There’s always a danger with these romantic comedies that there’s a mix-and-match element to both the casting of the two beautiful young leads and the hour and twenty minutes of obstacles and dilemmas you can throw in their path before they kiss and hug. What made you think this time it would be different?
A: It wasn’t so much that I thought it would be different, I just thought it would be fun. Dana Fox’s script is smart, and clever, and there a lot of laugh-out-loud gags in there. You look for a certain chemistry for the romantic side to work – you want people to walk out of the cinema feeling that these two people belong together – and if you can have a bunch of solid comic moments along the way, you know, what’s not to like?

Q: Indeed. Your character, Jack, is, like so many of your roles, one of life’s charmers. You don’t strike me as the shy, retiring type, and I’m sure you have the ability to take over a room. Or is that just a public image?
A: Probably more of a public image. Unless I’ve had a couple of drinks, and then I’ll take over the room.

Q: Your attitude to your acting career is hardly the Robert De Niro approach, where you hide away. You’ve got a high profile, thanks to Punk’d and your marriage to one of the most famous women on the planet. Are you comfortable with that celebrity status, or do you fight it? Most actors don’t want celebrity baggage when they take on a role…
A: Yeah, it would be nice to have that, but I don’t really get to choose. It’s not really a choice. You get sent down the path that you’re going on. I don’t ask the photographers to come down to my house and do pictures of me. In fact, I don’t want them there at all, but you don’t really get to choose that. They choose you.

Q: You pretty much go into battle with that world with your latest TV venture, ‘Pop Fiction’, sending fictional pieces of gossip out there with a little help from some celebrity friends, such as having Paris Hilton head out around LA with a guru, Avril Lavigne donning a fake baby bump…
A: We just felt there’s such a crazy world of gossip out there that we could probably have a little fun with it. You’ve got a world where Jennifer Anistion buying a bag of nuts in a supermarket will make it into the tabloids. Where Jessica Alba sucking on a lollipop whilst she goes clothes-shopping makes it onto Extra. So, yeah, this way, we get to show just how dumb that whole world is, and how this big wheel is just turning, and no longer really cares about what’s true and what’s rumour. Or what’s actually interesting…

Q: In your early university days, studying to become a biochemical engineer, is it true that, at one point, to raise some much-needed cash, you sold some of your blood?
A: It wasn’t at one point, it was at many points. They’re like blood plasma donation centres, where you go in and they take your whole blood out, then they cycle it and take the plasma out, and then put the red blood cells back in again.

Q: Ever make it over to Ireland?
A: Been through Shannon a couple of times. Wherever I go though, I usually end up in an Irish pub, so, I feel as though I’ve been there a hundred times.

Words : Paul Byrne

‘What Happens In Vegas’ is out on DVD in Ireland from September 5th