A speech Iowa native Ashton Kutcher gave last month at an awards ceremony in California continues to draw raves and repeated viewing online. Kutcher began by telling the crowd his middle name is Ashton and his first name is Chris.
“There are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today,” Kutcher said.
Kutcher was speaking at the Teen Choice Awards after receiving the evening’s top honor, called the “Ultimate Choice” award.
“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work,” Kutcher said. “When I was 13 I had my first job with my dad, carrying shingles up to the roof and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant and then I got a job in a grocery store deli and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground and I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job.”
According to Kutcher, every job he’s ever had has been a “stepping stone” to his next job — and he told the crowd he’s never quit a job before he had another one lined up. Kutcher shared three key points with the crowd and after the first — about opportunity — he shared his thoughts on how to be sexy.
“The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart and being thoughtful and being generous,” Kutcher said.
Finally, Kutcher advised the cheering and sometimes screaming teenagers in the crowd to “build” a life rather than just live one.
Conservatives have been praising Kutcher’s speech for the past three weeks. According to Sarah Palin, Kutcher’s Iowa roots shone through in the speech. Palin wrote on Facebook: “You can take the boy out of Iowa, but you can’t take Iowa out of the boy.” Rush Limbaugh spent about a third of one of his programs talking about it and replaying much the speech for his audience, saying it was just what young people in America need to hear.
Kutcher, who is 35 years old, was born in Cedar Rapids. His family moved to nearby Homestead when Kutcher was in high school and he graduated from Clear Creek Amana High School. In addition to a Hollywood production company called Katalyst Films, Kutcher launched a venture capital fund this past May to invest in technology start-up companies.