Ashton Kutcher Discusses "Guess Who," Bernie Mac, and Dating

Interview with Ashton Kutcher from the Hollywood Premiere of "Guess Who"

Ashton Kutcher Bernie Mac Guess Who
Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac in "Guess Who". © Sony Pictures

Based very loosely on the 1967 comedy, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” this updated, revamped version finds Bernie Mac playing overly protective dad, Percy Jones, a man convinced no suitor will ever be good enough for his baby girl, Theresa (Zoe Saldana). After running a credit check and determining her newest flame is at least financially successful, Percy’s ready to give the young man a shot. But when Theresa turns up with Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher) - definitely not the mixture of Denzel Washington, Colin Powell and Tiger Woods that Percy was envisioning – things get more than a little complicated.

With a horde of cheering fans announcing his arrival, Ashton Kutcher worked the red carpet at the Hollywood Premiere of “Guess Who,” along with his co-stars Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana, and Judith Scott. Looking handsome in a Ferragamo jacket and boots he claimed he smuggled into the country from Mexico, Kutcher spoke about his role in “Guess Who” and the message behind the movie:

INTERVIEW WITH ASHTON KUTCHER (‘Simon’):

How was working opposite Bernie Mac?
Bernie’s the best. There was nobody else to play the role. There was nobody on the planet that I wanted to play it other than Bernie Mac. And fortunately Bernie wanted to play it and was already in the process of creating something he was going to do. It couldn’t be better.

Working with Bernie Mac was great. I was able to work with a mentor, with a teacher, and with a friend on a daily basis. And a guy who really cares about other people.

Your co-stars said you and Bernie Mac were a formidable comedy team.
I think Bernie like took a notch off with me, working with me.

I think he took a notch off. He’s the King of Comedy. I’m like the Jack. He’s the King, I’m the Jack.

Did you learn a lot from working with him?
Yeah, I did. I learned a completely different style. Bernie can hold it longer. When I say that, what I mean is that when you plant a seed for a joke, right, tou wait to pay it off.

Bernie can plant that seed and then wait for three hours to pay it off. And you don’t even know that he’s paying it off when he pays it off. But he also – when Bernie talks, you just can’t help but laugh, just in a normal conversation with Bernie. I think it’s just all about Bernie’s personal security with Bernie. And nobody will give you the rawer truth than Bernie Mac. Bernie Mac’s just going to tell you how it is. I’ll tell you how it is, but I’ll take a notch off.

Would you ever have the nerve to punk Bernie Mac?
Yes.

And have you?
(Smiling) Not yet…

Speaking of “Punk’d”, what can we expect from the upcoming episode with your “Guess Who” co-star, Zoe Saldana?
Well, let’s put it this way. It lies within the theme of the movie – it’s interracial dating. (Laughing)…Zoe gets a little offended and uses swear words a lot.

What’s the best way to prepare to meet the in-laws?
You know what the key is? There’s four kinds of love in the world: there’s a love where you love somebody who gives you something and you love them for it. There’s love where you love somebody who gives you something and then stops giving it to you, but you still love them. There’s love that’s unconditional. You don’t have to give nobody nothing – you just love them.

And then there’s love where you love the way somebody loves somebody else. And that’s what meeting the in-laws is about. It’s about loving somebody else and allowing somebody else to appreciate the way you love them.

When “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” came out decades ago, it made an impact because of the subject matter.
And thank God for the movie because it changed things.

What’s this movie going to do?
This is going to change a little bit more. The problem is people think it’s all getting all even now. Everybody is starting to get all comfortable with it. Everybody is starting to think it’s getting all even. And when you come see the movie, there’s going to be a scene in it at the dinner table where everybody gets a little bit uncomfortable. And then you’re going to realize it’s not all even yet.

Because if somebody comes to me and starts telling white jokes, I don’t have a problem with it. I’m comfortable with it. But when we tell black jokes in the movie, people get uncomfortable because it ain’t all even.

What would you tell people who have a problem with interracial dating?
I would tell people that souls don’t have a color.

What makes “Guess Who” stand out from other comedies? Why should moviegoers check it out?
You need to check it out because you’re going to enjoy it. Our job as entertainers is to bring joy to the world. And that’s what we’re trying to do with this movie, and we do it with a little bit of heart.