March 11, 2009 / 5:42 PM / in 9 years

Ashton Kutcher wrestles with life in new movie

<p>Actor Ashton Kutcher attends an event to promote his film "What Happens In Vegas" in Tokyo in this August 6, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files</p>

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At 31, actor Ashton Kutcher has learned how not to count years or think about age differences in people.

Kutcher, who stars in an independent movie “Personal Effects” playing in New York on Monday, March 16, said he and wife Demi Moore, 46, pay no attention to the 15-year gap between them, and he rarely thinks about his own age.

“Don’t try to figure out where you are on the scale, just be where you are,” Kutcher, best known for his former role as a stoner in television’s “That ‘70s Show,” told Reuters.

“It’s like counting your money when you’re sitting at the table in life. I‘m still sitting at the table so I‘m not counting yet,” he said.

But Kutcher and Moore, a star of movies like “Bobby” and “G.I. Jane,” have been the subject of plenty of talk in Hollywood about their age difference since their 2005 marriage, and his latest movie role also delves into similar territory.

In “Personal Effects,” Kutcher’s college-age wrestler, Walter, is in a relationship with an older woman, a widow and mother named Linda played by Michelle Pfeiffer, 50.

Walter’s sister was murdered and he struggles to control his rage at her accused killer. He and Linda, who meet in a grief counseling group, kindle a romance in part because they share a bond. Her husband also was murdered.

“The relationship in the film is a relationship about two people sort of needing each other to fill a vacancy that’s existed in their life,” he said.

After its one-day New York screening on Monday, “Personal Effects” will be released widely on DVD on May 12.

WRESTLER REDUX

Kutcher said he drew on relationships with women he knew before Moore to play the romance with Pfeiffer.

Other aspects of Walter also parallel Kutcher’s own life. Walter is a guarded young man who wrestled at the University of Iowa. Kutcher also wrestled in high school and attended the University of Iowa in his home state.

The dramatic role is a departure for Kutcher, who has mostly laughed his way to box office success with comedic roles, including last year’s “What Happens in Vegas” which made $219.4 million worldwide.

“The nice thing about drama is it’s acting without the burden of having to be funny,” Kutcher said.

A model turned actor, Kutcher in recent years transformed himself again by producing a string of reality TV shows, including “Beauty and the Geek,” and he has further raised his profile in Hollywood with a number of Web initiatives.

One of them is his project Blahgirls.com, an online animated series satirizing the latest celebrity happenings.

David Hollander, a director with a background in television who made “Personal Effects,” said he was impressed with Kutcher’s acting in the film.

“Thinking about who Ashton is as a celebrity or a persona never really entered our equation,” Hollander said.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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