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Interview with Ashton Kutcher

From the Movie "Guess Who"

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Page 3

Can you describe your off-screen relationship with Bernie Mac?
Well, it was incredible. It was like…Bernie's like a teacher, a friend, a father, and somebody you just laugh with all at once. I got to go to work every day and learn from one of the master comedians that is alive today. So that was just a pleasure in and of itself. And then he's always looking out for you. And you're like, “Wait a second, I'm having like absolute reverence towards him and he’s always got my back.” He's always looking out for me and he's asking me my opinion and he really cares. He just makes going to work a pleasure.

Speaking of going to work, how many different positions did you try out in the scene where the two of you sleep in the same bed?
Man! You make it sound like something that it's not, when it isn't what it is but it's not. Oh, man. I don't know. We just shot that like — that was like a pickup, the overhead shot with us just kind of moving around. It was just a quick pickup. I think we maybe did like 20 different moves and positions.

Did you punk anybody on the set?
On the set? Well I'm actually working on something… I don't punk anyone because you have to have a trust with your fellow actors. We were pretty busy working on the movie, so I didn't really have a whole lot of time to. Since then we punked Zoe Saldana, which was pretty funny.

What did you do to her?
You know what? I took a cue from the movie. Kellee [Stewart], who's in the movie and plays Zoe's sister, Zoe and Kellee were like living together. So Kellee had one of our actors, this kid Chris Elwood, and she said that he was her new boyfriend and that she was really in love with him. A white guy, which is actually interesting because it works kind of into the movie too. So they went out a couple of times together and then Kellee invited Zoe over to [his house]. They were going to go to his house and surprise him, make a surprise dinner. And Zoe walks into the house first and Chris is making out with some other girl when she walks in. And Zoe flips her lid. She lost it, lost it. It's pretty funny.

How was working with director Kevin Rodney Sullivan?
Well, working for Kevin Sullivan was a very different experience for me. Kevin didn't just let us go. At no point in time did Kevin just let us go. So there might be like one or two moments where Bernie or I slip something in there because both of us kind of like to just go. And Kevin didn't let us go. And I think that that brought a different performance for each of us from what we'd done before. I learned about kind of living within somebody else's vision instead of like dictating my own, which was a good lesson for me.

I had a conversation with Kevin before we started the movie. And the reason that I liked Kevin — we picked Kevin to do the movie, Bernie and I did, because what he knew the movie needed was heart. And he was more concerned about the heart than the comedy. I knew Bernie and I could be funny, but I wanted to make sure we had somebody there that was going to dictate and make sure that this thing had heart.

Where did your gift for comedy come from? Were you funny growing up?
No. I learned it from Bonnie Turner who was one of the creators of “That ‘70s Show.” I think she taught me the dance.

How do you learn comedy?
Well, the first trick is you learn to not try to be funny. Like, as soon as you're trying to be funny, that's not honest anymore, and that's not going to work. For me, I learned I guess a specific timing comedy, which is like the beats of it. It's like a waltz, like a one two three, one two three, setup setup punch, setup setup punch. I learned that from working on “‘70s.”

Is it bittersweet to be ending your time on “That ‘70s Show?”
Yeah, it is. It's exciting for me. It's a little scary because it's kind of been like my safety net for seven years. And just thinking about leaving, I already miss all my friends. I mean, they're really my family out here. When I moved out here I didn't know anyone, and the only people that I'd met and known was the cast of that show. And they all became my best friends and it's going to be a bummer not seeing them.

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