When asked whether he would continue to do television with his movie career taking off, Ashton Kutcher seemed almost offended by the question.
“I’m still in TV,” says Kutcher, who made his name on “That ’70s Show” and continues to executive produce the MTV series he co-created, “Punk’d.” “I’m developing a lot of TV stuff. I’ll never get out of TV. I think it’s one of the greatest mediums in the world.”
Kutcher has toplined several movies since grabbing one of the leads in 2000’s “Dude, Where’s My Car?” but like someone looking back nostalgically at, say, growing up in the 1970s, Kutcher finds great memories in the ” ’70s.”
“After I did a couple of movies, I learned how easy I had it on this show,” Kutcher says, “to the degree that I wasn’t working 60-80 hours a week. (And) just working with the other actors, the director, the crew, the writers, you sort of just learn the dynamics are not always as nice.”
Of course, Kutcher isn’t doing film against his will. The day after he booked his part as Kelso on ” ’70s,” he was out auditioning for bigscreen parts. But Kutcher adds that he owes his film career to ” ’70s.”
It gave him exposure, and it’s where he got most of his acting education: “Grounding the character, knowing what the character wants, also nuancing the performance and not trying to be funny.”
When he found himself working simultaneously on ” ’70s” and the film “Just Married,” and operating for weeks at a time on a couple hours’ sleep a night, you could say Kutcher really learned to harness his abilities.
“I took a lot of naps,” Kutcher says. “I would take naps during lighting setups. I would always tell (director) David Trainer whenever we were shooting, if I start to get low energy, just let me know, and I’ll kick it in. I wasn’t able to really gauge myself that well.”
Those may have been drowsy days, but Kutcher’s career in film and television is wide awake now.