Hence the recent Love and Other Drugs, in which Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway showed more flesh than their agents ever imagined we’d get to see on the big screen
He ous for being Demi Moore’s toyboy husband, but Ashton Kutcher is now making a name for himself in rom-coms.
- Updated ,
Pillow Talk, indeed, was all Doris Day and Rock Hudson ever got up to between the sheets – and heaven forbid if those sheets dropped an inch from below their necks.
These days, however, the rom-com isn’t cool unless the hero and heroine disrobe by the second reel and get it together in the bedroom just as quickly.
Now it’s the turn of Ashton Kutcher and this week’s Bafta Best Actress winner Natalie Portman to get down and dirty in No Strings Attached.
So, with plenty of revealing scenes, did Kutcher – still probably better-known as Demi Moore’s “toyboy” other half than for his many movies – feel the need to hit the gym to get suitably toned and camera-friendly?
“I had a conversation about my character with the director, Ivan Reitman, before we started, and he said, ‘This guy’s a production assistant/aspiring writer – I know a lot of these guys and none of them are particularly fit!’
“So I just didn’t feel it necessary for this character. I said to Ivan, ‘I think I’m going to let myself go a little bit more,’ but apparently I didn’t let myself go enough, because it seems to be the only thing anyone wants to talk about – that and my derriere.”
If this is Kutcher’s idea of “letting himself go”, there’s not much hope for the rest of the male population.
And the likeable star of comedy hits from Dude, Where’s My Car? to Just Married and What Happens in Vegas admits he actually enjoys taking his clothes off on the movie set.
“We all come into the world this way, there’s very little you can do about it, you are who you are.”
“I think it’s less awkward for guys than girls, because the crew tends to be slightly more masculine. But when I’m doing scenes like that, I get out of myself by trying to make sure that the other person is ok.
“When you’re caring about someone else, you really stop worrying about yourself, and that’s kind of my mental cycle that I put myself through. So I just really try to focus on making sure the other person’s all right – and then I apologise a lot.”
Whether it’s in or out of the celluloid bedroom, Kutcher and his glamorous co-star Natalie Portman – now surely the favourite to win the Best Actress Oscar following her Bafta triumph last Sunday for Black Swan – thankfully have a winning screen chemistry that makes No Strings Attached more than just another fitful farce.
“I generally find that you can have really good chemistry with someone you can argue well with, and I think Natalie and I both really appreciate being right! That makes for good chemistry, but I think Natalie could have chemistry with this cup (I’m holding) if she wanted to; she’s probably one of the best actresses of my generation.”
No Strings Attached – Tinseltown’s first R-rated rom-com (the equivalent of an 18 certificate here) in a long while – stars Kutcher and Portman as long-term acquaintances Adam and Emma, who keep bumping into each other over the years, with an obvious mutual physical attraction the main thing keeping their interest going.
After a couple of casual one-night stands, they decide to keep things very casual indeed. Since Emma has a self-professed “peanut allergy to relationships”, just as Adam has sworn off them – mostly because his once-famous TV star father (Kevin Kline) is now dating Adam’s most recent girlfriend – the two decide to forego the accompanying emotional muddle of a being a couple, and just be “friends with benefits”.
But what starts out as a perfect solution to physical needs becomes a little trickier, while both struggle to answer one key question: can two friends have sex without love getting in the way?
“If you miss me – you can’t text, you can’t e-mail, you can’t post it on my (Facebook) wall. If you miss me, you come and see me.”
Now, as any social networker worth their salt with know, Kutcher and his wife of five years, Demi Moore, are no strangers to using Facebook and Twitter to display their cute domestic photographs and frequent ephemeral thoughts. Yet it seems the Iowa-born actor himself is in two minds about the pros and cons of 21st century technology when it comes to wooing the love of your life.
Does he have any tips about how a relationship with an older woman works?
“It used to be that you meet someone, you go on four or five dates and you gradually get to know a little bit about them, and start to trust them,” he muses. “
Now, even before that first date, you go on Facebook, and you know who all their friends are, you know who all your friends are in common, you know about their family, what they do for a living, what they ate yesterday and what they did for Christmas.
“All that information makes us feel very familiar with people that we may not know at all, so that trust element, and that level of personal one-to-one hornet username vulnerability, is slowly disappearing.
“The notion that you can ‘un-friend’ someone with the push of a button is kind of frightening. Therefore, I think people are having less of an investment in relationships.”
More than anything else, it’s the age gap between Kutcher and 48-year-old Moore that gets more gossip column attention than anything else about his relationship.
“I’m just trying to make mine work,” he says, rather masterfully. “I think great relationships are great partnerships, and those come in all shapes, sizes, forms and ages.
“The only tip I have for anyone in a relationship or partnership is work on it when it’s good. It’s very easy to try to take that break when things are going good, but that’s the time you have to keep working on it, because you can keep it good – and that’s worth a lot.”