Ashton Kutcher stunned his young audience at the Teen Choice awards on Sunday night by offering a stream of "insider secrets" from the podium inspired in part by Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who Kutcher has recently portrayed on film.
There to receive the Ultimate Choice award, Kutcher decided to use his status as a tech pioneer and investment guru to impart some worldly advice. First he revealed felt like a "fraud", and that until he was 19 he was known by his first name, Chris. But then he launched into an extraordinary life primer compressed into a few minutes.
First he listed his pre-acting jobs, including sweeping a factory floor, saying "I believe that opportunity looks like hard work". "Every job I had was a stepping stone to the next one, and I never quit a job before I had the next one."
Then he turned to "sexiness". "The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap! … It's just crap people try to sell to you to make you feel less."
And finally, citing Jobs as a specific inspiration, he told his screaming audience that "everything around us that we call life was made up people who were no smarter than you… so build a life, don't live one. Build one. Find your opportunities and always be sexy."
No doubt Kutcher was spurred on by the fact that, at 35, he is likely to have less influence over young people in the immediate future . After all, he referred to his appearance as the "old guy award… after this I go to the geriatric home."
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image: © Ben Stanfield