Ashton Kutcher Talks About Going From Amateur Coder To Pizza Hut Commercial Actor To That ‘70s Show Star

Ashton Kutcher on That '70s Show
(Image credit: Peacock/Fox)

Ashton Kutcher has been in the public consciousness for a while. The actor became a household name by starring in That ‘70s Show in the late ‘90s, then went on to hosting the MTV show Punk’d, to now starring alongside Reese Witherspoon in Your Place or Mine. Now, the Jobs actor is recounting how he went from an amateur coder at the University of Iowa to being cast in one of the most beloved sitcoms of the ‘90s within two years time. 

Kutcher has gone through all sorts of phases of his career, but nothing was as drastic as going from his midwestern life as a wannabe geneticist to becoming a TV star in only a couple short years. The actor sat down with the Barstool podcast, Viva La Stool, and discussed how he was able to make it all happen for himself. Kutcher chronicled his humble beginnings by detailing: 

I went to school and I was studying biochemical engineering. I wanted to be a geneticist. I learned how to code-computer code- in like 1996… and then I did every junior high school play, [and] high school play. I was in the thespian society, and competed in like acting competitions and things like that because I always wanted to be an actor but I was in Iowa.

It’s incredibly difficult to develop an acting career in a place like Iowa without the kinds of resources coastal cities have for aspiring movie stars. Thankfully he was able to find his own way in. Unusually, The Ranch alum’s breakthrough came in the form of an unexpected visit from a modeling recruiter while he was at a bar. Kutcher recounted:

I was at a bar, [and this lady]- it was actually funny- she comes up to me and was like ‘how old are you’ and I said ‘One second-I can I have a beer? Amazing- I’m 19’ And then she asked ‘Have you ever thought about being a model’ and I was like ’no but I’ve thought about being an actor.’ And she said ‘well this would be a good way in’

For Kutcher, this certainly was a good way for him to break into the business. After his modeling career took off, doors opened for the young aspiring actor. Small steps along the way quickly led to him becoming a successful employed actor. The actor continued:

And then I started getting work as a model and then I did like an NYC student film, and then I booked a Pizza Hut commercial. And then I flew to LA to test for a show, and then I booked That ‘70s Show the first couple of days I was there.

That ‘70s Show ended up becoming a massive success and is still finding new audiences who are discovering the show for the first time and loving it. The period teen sitcom played on Fox and ran for 8 seasons. Kutcher got more than just a career from starring on the series. The actor ended up meeting and then later marrying his That ‘70s Show co-star Mila Kunis

The couple share two children together. Netflix recently launched a spinoff series titled That ‘90’s Show where the duo reprised their roles from the original show, giving back to the franchise that did so much for them. Kutcher has done a lot since the sitcom, and you can listen to him further recounting his career below:

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Netflix subscribers can catch Ashton Kutcher’s latest film, Your Place or Mine, when it starts streaming on the platform on February 10th. Fans of the actor can also revisit his career-making performance on That ‘70s Show, which is streaming now with a Peacock subscription. For more information on other projects coming to streaming in the near future, make sure to check out our 2023 winter TV premiere schedule.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.