Up until earlier today, the image I had of #AshtonKutcher was little more than the dumb funny guy from That '70s Show, the time traveler from The Butterfly Effect, and Charlie Sheen's replacement on Two and a Half Men. Being married to #DemiMoore at one time and now to Mila Kunis is pretty impressive, too.
But then, I read about a recent interview he gave on The Today Show to talk about his #Netflix show #TheRanch. During the interview, staunch Christian Kathie Lee Gifford asked Ashton how they could pray for him. Instead he surprised me by turning it around and giving them something else they could get behind rather than him. He explained:
“I started a foundation called ‘Thorn’. We’re building digital tools to fight human trafficking.”
He went on to tell them about the organization he co-founded, and how it's found, identified, and recovered over 6,000 trafficking victims, as well as having helped to capture 2,000 human traffickers. His prayer request to them was that he will be able to fulfill his pledge to completely put a stop to online human trafficking. It's a lofty goal. Just take a look at the numbers provided by the ZOE Project, an organization dedicated to fighting the problem of modern slavery:
- Over 20 million people around the world enslaved (more than double the population of NYC
- An estimated 26% of them are children
- 22% of those enslaved are forced into the sex industry
- It's not just an international problem: All 50 states in the U.S. have reported cases of human trafficking
That may sound like too daunting a feat for your normal person to accomplish, but if you take a look at Ashton's life, you'll see that it's been anything but normal.
His Twin Brother Has Been An Activist, Too
Here's another fact that you might find interesting about Ashton: he didn't come into this world alone...he has a twin, Michael!
Ashton was born a healthy, big boy, weighing in at a 10.5 pounds during his first few minutes of life. Michael wasn't so lucky or so big, weighing only 4 pounds, and suffering from numerous medical conditions throughout his life. He has cerebral palsy, and is a huge advocate for children with cerebral palsy and organ donation, according to his Twitter page:
He had a heart transplant at 13, and not only is his survival story amazing, but it's also where one of brother Ashton's incredible stories comes in: The day came when Michael’s heart finally gave out, and he had to be placed on life support. He was given 48 hours to live; knowing this, Ashton, who was by his side, actually contemplated suicide so his brother could get his heart. He obviously didn't go through with it, and very soon after, doctors were able to get his brother a new heart.
Fun little shout-out to his sister, Tausha Kutcher Kordisch, thanks to yours truly being a HUGE fan of #TheWalkingDead. Why? This is why:
He's Survived A Brush With A Serial Killer
This sounds like something out of one of his movies, but back in 2001, just one year after Dude, Where's My Car? came out, and while he was filming That '70s Show, a tragedy that changed the course of his life happened.
His then-girlfriend, Ashley Ellerin, had asked him if he wanted to go out, but Ashton declined. Ashton later dropped by her place after having a change of heart, but left after she didn't answer. Little did he know Ashley was lying dead on the floor (Warning: If you click that link, it gets pretty gruesome). She had been stabbed 47 times by (alleged) serial killer Michael Thomas Gargiulo, dubbed 'The Hollywood Ripper' by the news.
For A Career Playing Dumb Guys, He's Actually Hyper-Intelligent
Playing the role of guys who lose their car and/or always get stoned make you think the guy is a fun-loving slacker, but with a reported IQ of 160, he's definitely good at hiding his brain!
Editor's note: As my dad once said while watching Christina Applegate play Kelly Bundy in Married with Children, "You have to be smart to play someone that dumb that well."
Case in point:
Kutcher had planned to major in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Iowa with the hope of someday finding a cure for his brother's condition as his motivation, but a modeling scout saw him at a bar one night, and that was that.
The Dude Is A Crazy Successful Entrepreneur
As impressive as his career in the entertainment industry has been, the guy knows how to generate a buck elsewhere. Didn't realize he has such a good head for business? Consider this:
- He has previously invested in numerous restaurants in L.A. and New York
- He owns a portion of Foursquare
- He also put some money into Skype, which Microsoft bought in 2011 for $8.6 billion
- Other investments include Yplan, Uber, Getaround, and Airbnb
Airbnb has actually been in the news lately, thanks to a protestor during a panel at the Airbnb Open 2016.
She came up on stage to call for Airbnb to get out of Palestine, for whatever reasons. But Kutcher was quick on his feet and graciously diffused the situation before it got out of hand.
Beyond that, he's also a huge tech enthusiast, often on the cutting edge of research and innovation.
Simply put, the guy really can do it all, apparently. What's next for Ashton, besides hopefully stopping online human trafficking? He and wife #MilaKunis are expecting baby number two, who will be baby brother to big sister, Wyatt. And his name will not be Hawkeye, unfortunately for Ashton (and his son...that name would kick ass!).
Need more Ashton? Maybe more Ashton and Mila? Don't be ashamed, he's pretty fascinating!