Ashton Kutcher on ‘Two and a Half Men’

The former "That '70s Show" star talks about his return to TV on CBS' blockbuster comedy series.

Fred Topelby Fred Topel

When Ashton Kutcher met the Television Critics Associaition for "Two and a Half Men," the elephant in the room was: will someone ask him about the divorce? A reporter from People asked him how the last year has been for him, and he spun the opportunity to discuss how great an opportunity working on the show was. I jumped in with some questions about Twitter and Walden Schmidt.

 

What sense have you gotten on the reaction to your joining Two and a Half Men, the praise and the pushback?

Yes, absolutely. I think that initially, and even now, you can see that people are supportive of the show. I can see that my fans are supportive of the show. You can actually look at the rough numbers of the demos and see that the demos for the show have actually gotten a little bit younger and sort of skew a little bit younger. I can see a reflection of that on social media services. And then also looking at international markets as I break down the social interaction that’s happening online, you can actually see international markets that are going to pop with the show.

I think we just opened in Germany this week and it was double. You could actually see that skew start to happen across the social media services. In general, my feedback has been really positive and part of listening to the audience in that way, in a slightly more personal way, has helped us, or helped me at least in guiding the character into what it is that the audience is interested in watching.

Do you get any sense of the fans of the previous incarnation of Two and a Half Men and can you reach out to them?

Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been connected through the CBS Two and a Half Men social network they currently have built. We’re always hashtagging Two and a Half Men tweets so it’s all fully searchable. There’s great conversation that actually takes place during the show.

I did a thing on Tinychat where I did a live chat during the show with the audience of the show. So we actually watched it on the west coast feed live with the audience. I did an “inside the show” almost like director’s commentary during the show as it was going on, explaining what was happening. It was pretty cool.

Have you had any lessons this year in recovering from Twitter mistakes?

No, I think the biggest thing is it’s a real time service. So the impulse is to stay ahead of the curve and be ahead of the curve and know what’s going on. I just take that extra pause now before I put something out and make sure that I’m fully educated on what I’m talking about and not get that impulse feedback which I think is the biggest thing.

Which is a really great lesson for life too, just taking that pause before you do and act, and being sure what you’re doing is what you want to be doing.

When you talk about your romantic comedies, you always have a great perspective on relationships. Does Walden Schmidt reflect your own views?

Walden Schmidt reflects the views of the writers and I play the character.