Kutcher takes a package of something that he doesn’t want mentioned and holds it up against the window with his hands framing it. “You’ve got a square inside of a circle. So my whole life is this circle. Maybe my life started out inside this circle and I couldn’t see outside. But I just kept putting stuff in the circle and the circle gets bigger and bigger so that it can hold all this stuff,” he says.

He takes his hands away and gestures at the whole window—but his arms seem to encompass the entire glittering city beyond it. “My circle is really big. . . . Whether it’s being a leading man, making TV shows, being with my family, I’ve learned a lot.”

It’s almost dark now. The sun’s descent catches Kutcher off guard. He jumps up from the couch, crosses the office to a cabinet, removes a 1999 Pauillac, uncorks it, bows his head, and mumbles a prayer. It is Friday, the start of the Jewish Sabbath. He brings the bottle and two glasses back to the table, then takes some water and pours it into the wine bottle, explaining that water is mercy and wine is judgment. “You have to have mercy before judgment,” he says.

What?

He can’t help explaining. It’s complicated, and Kutcher’s 20-minute discourse on practicing the Kabbalah is an extremely long 20 minutes. He’s not saying he’s right. He’s not even saying that he actually follows the Kabbalah. He insists that his beliefs are a combination of prairie wisdom gleaned during his Iowa childhood and New Age Hollywood metaphysics. “I’ll use whatever works,” he says. “I’m not a follower of this or that religious leader. More wars are started because of religious leaders, and people are following and they don’t know why….That is religiosity. That is what turns people into robots.”

Kutcher has never been a follower. His decision at 27 to settle down with then-42-year-old Demi Moore, aside from being a major moment in cougar history, was a serious departure from the Hollywood-player book. “I’ve literally just been voted the world’s most eligible bachelor and I’m like, I’m going off the market,” Kutcher says. “I’ve found the one. If I had thought about it I would have been like, Nah, nah. But what can you do? When you’re in that deep, you can’t think.”

Kutcher, who before that had dated starlets, including Brittany Murphy and January Jones, met Moore in New York in 2003. “She was the first person who would call me on my shit,” he says. “She didn’t need me. She straight up didn’t need me. She wanted me, but she didn’t need me, so she could put it on the line.”

But the transition—going from being all up in da club with Diddy one day to eating grilled cheese with a bunch of preteens the next—that must have been hard? “Not really,” he says: He was blessed with a great step-dad, Mark Portwood, whom his mother married when Kutcher was 13, and believes that he learned from Mark how to be a good step-dad to Moore’s three daughters with Bruce Willis. “I’m able to give them things their parents can’t give them, because it’s a different relationship,” Kutcher says. “I don’t have all the past.”