About a week later, Kutcher calls from his wife’s 40-acre ranch in Hailey, Idaho, on the tail end of the Fourth of July holiday. The night before, over a friendly game of Uno with Bruce Willis, who was in town to spend the long weekend with the Kutchers and the girls, Kutcher brought up something that had been gnawing at him since he’d seen Superman Returns. “How the fuck was Superman lifting up that kryptonite island?” he asked his wife’s ex-husband. Willis concurred that it made no sense.
Once, Kutcher had actually been pursued for the Superman role, but he bowed out of the running. The producers wanted to tie him up for three pictures, and they weren’t offering him enough money to risk his being forever associated with the role. He’d screen-tested in the suit, and it just didn’t feel right. His legs looked freakishly long in Spandex; the suit’s lack of pockets unnerved him. Plus, there was a larger issue to consider. “Could anybody fucking take me seriously as Superman?” he asks, a rueful shadow cropping up behind the Kelso exuberance. “Let’s be honest about that.”
Discussing his reviews, Kutcher lowers his voice, as if pondering the barbs. “If I want to get into this wallowing, self-doubt moment, I’ll read how shitty they think I am,” he says. “I don’t necessarily think all the critics are wrong. They’re watching the same movie I’m making. I don’t think I’m that good. And they don’t think I’m that good. So I’m not pulling that feeling out of my ass. They’re just backing up that feeling that I already have about myself.”
Just then, Moore, in the background, begins belting out a hammy chorus of “What’s New Pussycat?” “Woah . . . woah . . . woah,” she sings in mock sympathy. It’s apparently not the first time she’s heard this lament from her young husband. Sometimes it hurts to grow up, especially when you have to do it on the fly. And sometimes just having another person who loves you enough to pierce your armor can allow you to be comfortable with that chaos burbling inside. “Shut up, baby,” Kutcher says, giggling. And over his wife’s wailing voice, he presses on. “I try my hardest,” he says. “I think I’m getting better.”
It’s hard to imagine Bruce Willis coordinating outfits with Demi, but Ashton does just that: “If she wears black, so do you. matching isn’t her job. It’s yours. You’re the purse.”