Actor Ashton Kutcher cleared the air Monday on the “awkward” photos from his recent press tour with Reese Witherspoon, saying that he had kept his distance from her in an effort to avoid rumors of an affair — but had sparked another rumor in the process.
Kutcher was touring with Witherspoon ahead of the release of their new Netflix project, “Your Place or Mine,” and he explained during an appearance on the “Chicks in the Office” podcast that things got so bad that even his wife — and former “That 70’s Show” co-star — Mila Kunis had texted him and Witherspoon to tell them to get it together.
Mila Kunis is putting a stop to Ashton Kutcher & Reese Witherspoon’s awkward pictures pic.twitter.com/IFXFJLapt9
— Chicks in the Office (@ChicksInTheOff) February 7, 2023
“You’ve been memed!” one of the hosts explained, saying that people had described the photos as “awkward” and “like a school photo” — and Kutcher finally interrupted to set the record straight.
“Ok, hold on. Hold on,” he said. “My wife called me — she texted Reese and I together and she’s like, ‘Guys. You gotta, like, you gotta, like, act like you like each other. And I was like, ‘What is going on?’”
The hosts laughed as Kutcher continued, “Okay, all right, here’s the thing: If I put my arm around her and was, like, all friendly with her, I’d be having an affair with her. The rumor would be that I’m having an affair with her.”
What Kutcher soon learned, however, was that the rumor mill was going to mill rumors no matter what he and Witherspoon did: “If I stand next to her and I put my hands in my pockets, so there’s no chance that, like, that could be the rumor, the rumor is we don’t like each other.”
The hosts laughed again, agreeing that if they stood too far apart, the rumor would be that the two of them “hated each other.”
“Reese and I are really good friends,” Kutcher said then, adding, “We’re really close, I don’t have to defend that.”
Kutcher then defended all actors and the occasional “awkward” red carpet photo, saying that in all the chaos — with photographers calling their names from multiple directions at once — it would be impossible for every photo to be perfect.
“If you’re going to tell me, in that entire 20-minute period, at one point you’re not going to have an awkward face on? Then you’re better than I am, and I’m cool with that,” he said.