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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Who is Christopher Ashton Kutcher?

Who is Christopher Ashton Kutcher? The entertainment and acting world knows as Ashton Kutcher, as an American actor, producer, former fashion model and comedian, best known for his portrayal of Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show. He also created, produced and hosted Punk'd, and played lead roles in the Hollywood films Dude, Where's My Car?, Just Married, The Butterfly Effect, The Guardian, and What Happens in Vegas. He is also the producer and co-creator of the supernatural TV show Room 401 and the reality TV show Beauty and the Geek. It was announced in May 2011 that Kutcher would replace Charlie Sheen in the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.

Early life

Kutcher was born February 7, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Larry Kutcher, a factory worker, and Diane (née Finnegan), a Procter & Gamble employee.[2][3][4] Kutcher was raised in a conservative Roman Catholic family,[5] with an older sister, Tausha, and a fraternal twin, Michael, who had a heart transplant when the brothers were young children. Kutcher attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids for his freshman year before his family moved to Homestead, Iowa, where he attended Clear Creek Amana High School. In a 2010 interview on Late Night with David Letterman, Kutcher claimed to be an all-state linebacker who averaged 15 tackles per game in high school. According to a former coach, however, Kutcher played sparingly as a wide receiver on a team that won only two games in his entire high school football career. Kutcher also appeared in school plays.[6]
Kutcher's brother's cardiomyopathy caused his home life to become increasingly stressful. He has stated that "I didn't want to come home and find more bad news about my brother" and "kept myself so busy that I didn't allow myself to feel".[7] Kutcher admitted that during adolescence, he contemplated committing suicide. At thirteen, he attempted to jump from a Cedar Rapids hospital balcony, with his father intervening in the incident.[8] Kutcher's home life worsened as his parents divorced when he was sixteen. During his senior year, he broke into his high school at midnight with his cousin in an attempt to steal money; he was arrested leaving the scene. Kutcher was convicted of third-degree burglary and sentenced to three years' probation and 180 hours of community service. Kutcher stated that although the experience "straightened him out", he lost his girlfriend and anticipated college scholarships, and he was ostracized at school and in his community.[6]
Kutcher enrolled at the University of Iowa in August 1996, where his planned major was biochemical engineering, motivated by the desire to find a cure for his brother's heart ailment.[4] At college, Kutcher was kicked out of his apartment for being too "noisy" and "wild".[9] Kutcher stated, "I thought I knew everything but I didn't have a clue. I was partying, and I woke up many mornings not knowing what I had done the night before. I played way too hard. I am amazed I am not dead."[10] To earn money for his tuition, Kutcher worked as a college summer hire in the cereal department for the General Mills plant in Cedar Rapids, and sometimes donated blood for money.[11] During his time at UI he was approached by a scout at a bar called "The Airliner" in Iowa City and was recruited to enter the "Fresh Faces of Iowa" modeling competition. After placing first, he dropped out of college and won a trip to New York City to the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention. Following his stay in New York City, Kutcher returned to Cedar Rapids before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[9]

Career

Modeling career

After participating as a modeling contestant in an IMTA competition (losing to Josh Duhamel) in 1998, Kutcher signed with the Next modeling agency in New York, appeared in ads for Calvin Klein, modeled in Paris and Milan, and appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial.

Television and film career


After some success in modeling, Kutcher moved to Los Angeles and, after his first audition, was cast as Michael Kelso in the television series That '70s Show, which debuted in 1998 and ended in 2006. Kutcher was cast in a series of film roles; although he auditioned but was not cast for the role of Danny Walker in Pearl Harbor (2001), (role went to Josh Hartnett),[12] he starred in several comedy films, including Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), Just Married (2003), and Guess Who (2005). He briefly appeared in the 2003 family film, Cheaper By The Dozen, playing a self-obsessed actor. His 2004 film The Butterfly Effect was an unusually dramatic role for Kutcher, playing a conflicted young man who fell in love with a girl named Kayleigh; the film received mixed to negative reviews, but was a box-office success.[6]
In 2003, Kutcher produced and starred in his own series on MTV's Punk'd as the host. The series involved various hidden camera tricks performed on celebrities. Kutcher is also an executive producer of the reality television shows Beauty and the Geek, Adventures in Hollyhood (based around the rap group Three 6 Mafia), and The Real Wedding Crashers and the game show Opportunity Knocks. Many of his production credits, including Punk'd, come through Katalyst Films, a production company he runs with partner Jason Goldberg.[13]
Because of scheduling conflicts with the filming of The Guardian, Ashton was forced not to renew his contract for the eighth and final season of That 70s Show, although he did appear in the first four episodes of it (credited as a special guest star) and returned for the show's series finale.[6]
Kutcher produced and starred in the 2010 action comedy, Killers, in which he played a hitman.[14]
In May 2011, Kutcher took Charlie Sheen's place on Two and a Half Men.[15] Kutcher's contract, which is for one year is believed to be worth nearly $20 million.[16]

Other work

Kutcher was part of the management team for Ooma, a tech start-up launched in September 2007. Ooma is in the Voice over Internet Protocol business and Ashton's role was as Creative Director. He was spearheading a marketing campaign and producing viral videos to promote this service. Kutcher has also created an interactive arm of Katalyst called Katalyst Media with his partner from Katalyst Films, Jason Goldberg. Their first site is the animated cartoon Blah Girls Ooma revamped its sales and marketing strategy with a new management team in the summer of 2008, replacing Ashton Kutcher as their creative director. Rich Buchanan, from Sling Media, became Ooma's Chief Marketing Officer.
He currently advertises for Nikon cameras.

Personal life


In 2003, Kutcher began dating actress Demi Moore. Moore and Kutcher married on September 24, 2005, in a private ceremony conducted by a Rabbi of the Kabbalah Center; the wedding was attended by about 150 close friends and family of the couple, including Bruce Willis, Moore's ex-husband.[17] In October 2010, Kutcher and Moore met with co-director of the Kabbalah Center Rabbi Yehuda Berg in Israel.[18]
Kutcher has invested in an Italian restaurant, Dolce[6] (other owners include Danny Masterson and Wilmer Valderrama) and a Japanese-themed restaurant named Geisha House located in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.
Kutcher is a self-described fiscal conservative and social liberal.[19] He is a student of Kabbalah; his co-star, Natalie Portman, stated in 2011 that Kutcher "has taught me more about Judaism than I think I have ever learned from anyone else".[20]
On September 17, 2008, Kutcher was named the assistant coach for the freshman football team at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles. However, he was unable to return in 2009 because he was filming Spread.[21][22]

Twitter presence

On April 16, 2009, Kutcher ("aplusk") became the first user of Twitter to have more than 1,000,000 followers,[23] beating CNN in the "Million followers contest".[24][25][26] Kutcher announced via Twitter that he would be donating $100,000 to a charity to fight malaria. However, there have been several reports that Twitter manipulated the contest's results by preventing users from "unfollowing" Kutcher or CNN.[27]

Controversy

In April, 2011 Kutcher and wife Demi Moore began a Public Service Announcement campaign claiming that "Real Men" do not engage the services of child prostitutes who are the victims of human trafficking. [28] Kutcher's claims that 100,000 - 300,000 American children were sold in to sexual slavery were criticised by newspaper The Village Voice, who gave evidence to the contrary. [29] Kutcher reacted to the criticism of his campaign by linking Village Voice to child prostitution themselves and using Twitter to request that Village Voice advertisers including American Airlines, Disney and Domino's Pizza withdraw their advertising from the publication. [30][31]

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1998–2006 That '70s Show Michael Kelso 180 episodes
1999 Coming Soon Louie
2000 Down to You Jim Morrison
Reindeer Games College Kid
Dude, Where's My Car? Jesse Montgomery III
2001 Just Shoot Me! Dean Cassidy 1 episode
Texas Rangers George Durham
2002 Grounded for Life Cousin Scott 1 episode
2003–2007 Punk'd Himself/Host
2003 Just Married Tom Leezak
My Boss's Daughter Tom Stansfield
Cheaper by the Dozen Hank Supporting role
2004 The Butterfly Effect Evan Treborn Main role
2005 Guess Who Simon Green
A Lot Like Love Oliver Martin
Robot Chicken Various Voice
2006 Bobby Fisher
The Guardian Jake Fischer
Open Season Elliot Voice
2008 Miss Guided Beaux 1 episode
What Happens in Vegas... Jack Fuller Lead role
2009 Spread Nikki Main role
Personal Effects Walter[32] Main role
2010 Valentine's Day Reed Bennet Main role
Killers Spencer Aimes Main role
2011 No Strings Attached Adam Franklin Main role
2011–present Two and a Half Men
Main role

As a producer

Year Title Episodes Notes
2003–2007 Punk'd 69 episodes Executive producer/host
2003 My Boss's Daughter
Co-producer
2004 The Butterfly Effect
Executive producer
You've Got a Friend 8 episodes Executive producer
2005–2008 Beauty and the Geek 48 episodes Executive producer
2007 Adventures in Hollyhood 8 episodes Executive producer
Miss Guided 7 episodes Executive producer
Game Show in My Head
Executive producer
The Real Wedding Crashers 7 episodes Executive producer
Room 401 8 episodes Executive producer
2008 Pop Fiction
Executive producer
2008–2009 Opportunity Knocks
TV series (Executive producer)
2009 True Beauty
Executive producer
The Beautiful Life 5 episodes
Spread

2005 A Lot Like Love

2010 Killers
Executive producer

Awards

  • Kid's Choice Awards
    • 2004 – Favorite Movie Actor for Just Married, My Boss's Daughter and Cheaper by the Dozen – Nominated
    • 2004 – Favorite Television Actor for That '70s Show and Punk'dWinner
    • 2005 – Favorite TV Actor for That '70s Show and Punk'd – Nominated
    • 2007 – Favorite Voice in a Cartoon for Open Season – Nominated
  • People's Choice Awards
    • 2010 – Favorite Web Celeb – Winner
  • Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award
    • 2000 – Sierra Award Best Male Newcomer for Dude, Where's My Car? – Nominated
  • MTV Movie Awards
    • 2001 – Breakthrough Male Performance for Dude, Where's My Car? – Nominated
    • 2011 – Best Comedic Performance for No Strings Attached – Pending
  • Teen Choice Awards
    • 2010 – Choice: Movie Actor Romantic Comedy for Valentine's DayWinner


 


 


 

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