One of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood, Ashton Kutcher has indeed stood out a bit from other actors of his ilk. Although many people considered him just as a good-looking young star, he actually has made quite a significant mark on both small and big screen in the entertainment industry. What can be noticed more from this interesting thespian is certainly his good personality as a down-to-earth person. “…very level-headed,” actress Mila Kunis remarked. “He doesn't walk around with a big head.”
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Christopher Ashton Kutcher was born as twins with Michael Kutcher on February 7, 1978 to Larry Kutcher and Diane Portwood. The unity of this family was broken when the couple decided to have divorce in 1991, leaving the twins and their older sister, Tausha, to live under the mother's care. By the time Ashton was 15 and still in the middle of his study at Cedar Rapids Washington High School, Diane took along all her children to settle in Homestead, Iowa, where she later remarried to a construction worker named Mark Portwood in 1996. It was also in this year that Ashton, who continued his education at Clear Creek Amana High School, encountered his graduation.
Enrolling in the University of Iowa, Ashton selected the major of biochemical engineering with a motivation to find a cure for cardiomyopathy, a disorder of the heart muscle his twin brother had experienced in his early teens. However, fate apparently directed him to undergo a different path as he was spotted by a local modeling agent when having his break at a bar in Iowa City. "She asked me if I thought about being a model,” he recalled. “I didn't even know that guys modeled. I thought that Fabio was the only male model.” Suggested to join the 1997 Fresh Faces of Iowa modeling contest, this striking young man surprisingly grabbed the first prize which took him to New York City to enter the International Model & Talent Agency competition held in the same year.
Failed to be the winner did not mean that Ashton was left empty-handed as he satisfyingly landed a propitious deal with Next Agency. It was during this period that he began to identify himself with his middle name for the company already had a model called Christopher. Giving up his study, he managed to build a solid modeling career through some advertisements, photo shoots, plus the runway shows for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Versace. With this good resume, he felt that it was the right time for him to materialize the desire he had kept within since the 7th grade, which was acting. Landed his feet in Los Angeles, he successfully passed two TV series auditions for NBC's “Wind on Water” and Fox's “That '70s Show.”
Ashton finally decided to join Fox for he would rather portray an unintelligent narcissistic ladies man named Michael Kelso than a cowboy surfer in its competitor's adventure series. His choice turned out to be a perfect pick indeed as “That '70s Show” instantly became a comedy series hit after its first airing on August 23, 1998. What is more, the show had been honored numerous prestigious awards nominations, including those of the creative arts category groups at Emmy Awards throughout 1999-2005. This unquestionably propelled Ashton to gain wide public attention while also gave him more opportunities to develop his acting career. He then crossed to the big screen production, but his initial attempt only led to several minor roles, such as those in “Down to You” and “Reindeer Games,” which both came up in 2000.
Fortunately, Ashton did not have to wait long enough to encounter his movie breakthrough as he was given a leading role in “Dude, Where's My Car?” (2000) alongside Seann William Scott and Jennifer Garner. This comedy flick scored well, collecting almost 47 million U.S. dollars in the domestic total gross, thus making his name became more popular. Furthermore, he also received his first award nomination at MTV Movie Awards for Breakthrough Male Performance and shared a Teen Choice Award nomination in the category Film – Choice Chemistry with Scott. He afterwards moved to a different genre, starring in a western drama feature entitled “Texas Rangers” (2001) opposite Rachael Leigh Cook. Sadly, this movie did not turn out as expected for it was only able to get below $ 630,000 in the end of its wide release.
Unaffected by the failure of “Texas Rangers,” Ashton returned to the comedy genre and made his way to be the lead role in three film projects, including “Cheaper By the Dozen” (2003). To his delight, the movie enhanced his status as a bright movie star when it obtained more than 138 million U.S. dollars to be one of the box-office movies of that year. The success continued with the honor to take home 4 Teen Choice Awards in the same year, particularly the category of Male Hottie of the Year, and another one for TV Personality in the 2004 event. Displaying a more mature portrayal in the drama thriller feature, “The Butterfly Effect” (2004), he steadily maintained his career through two film projects of “Guess Who” and “A Lot Like Love” by 2005.
On the other hand, year 2005 also marked Ashton's shocking statement about his decision to leave “That '70s Show” despite his awareness that it was this series which had raised his name to the surface. “I think I have room to improve on my comedic skills,” he explained. “I would love to have a career like Tom Hanks -- start out on a TV show and do movie comedies and then go on to do dramatic work.” Fully concentrated to big screen production, Ashton thankfully chose to explore more film characters than was merely contented of being a comedic actor. This surely could be seen in his next projects, “Open Season” and “The Guardian” which were planned to have the wide release in 2006 as well as in “Lakeview Terrace” (2008), a thriller drama about a tightly wound, racist LAPD officer who taunts an interracial couple living next to his house.
Acting aside, Ashton has developed another career in the production field through his company, Katalyst Films. Starting from 2003, he had taken the producer seat in several of films in which he also starred, such as “My Boss's Daughter” (2003) and “The Butterfly Effect”. However, his most notable effort in this role probably was the MTV's prank show, “Punk'd” (2003). Co-created and hosted by he himself, the program had directed him to be named Best Reality/Variety TV Star at Teen Choice Awards held in 2004. As for his private life, Ashton has established many love relationship with Hollywood actresses, like January Jones and Brittany Murphy. However, he eventually gave his heart to Demi Moore who is 16 years his senior. Has been dating since April 2003, the couple blissfully held their marriage ceremony in Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2005.