Jess Scully

Dude, Where’s My Cred? How Ashton Kutcher > Robert De Niro

As the Hollywood aphorism goes, you’re only as good as your last thing. And since Ashton Kutcher has done the world some good, I believe we should remember him over Robert De Niro.


Ah, Hollywood. The glitz, the glam … the overrated celebrities being showered in praises for being the best at pretending to be other people. As we wait with bated breath to find out which actors and actresses will go down in history with the same household names as De Niro or Brando, I ask, “Why not Ashton Kutcher?”

Let’s put aside the fact that Kutcher hasn’t been in a blockbuster film or even nominated for an Academy Award this year, because I’m proposing he could even be greater than the greats.

Ashton Kutcher will never be considered as good of an actor as the likes of Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, John Wayne, and their peers, all sitting on the same shelf of the greatest actors in cinematic history.

Kutcher, who played the dumbest character on That ’70s Show, has had roles for countless “male love interests,” married Demi Moore, donned the skivvy in his role as Steve Jobs, played the greatest airhead in Dude, Where’s My Car? (one of the more quotable movies he’s ever been in), and replaced Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men. I’m not overstating his acting ability, but his ability to be a human being.

He’s never going to be the muse for a Bananarama song like De Niro was (although, if Miley Cyrus is reading, I wouldn’t mind an “Ashton Kutcher’s Waiting”), but with that said, you also don’t see Ashton campaigning for the anti-vaccine crowd. Despite actual concrete scientific evidence to the contrary, De Niro has put his name behind a campaign claiming that mercury in vaccines causes autism—something which has been proven to be 100% incorrect.

I don’t see Ashton Kutcher putting his hand up to bring polio back.

Kutcher has been continuing the work of his organization, Thorn, to free children who have been forced into sex trafficking as well as bring their abusers to justice. It’s hard to believe the guy who is so excellent at playing a moron is spearheading a cause so important in our society, but he is.

A lot could be said about parallels between Kutcher and Marlon Brando; both uber-spunks in their heyday who saturated the cinemas time and time again because … well, they’re gorgeous. Some pretty damning revelations were made about Brando under three months ago in regards to his scene in Last Tango in Paris involving Maria Schneider. This was the most shocking news to anybody who didn’t bother listening to Maria Schneider time and time again when she consistently told the public that the scene was non-consensual right up until her death in 2011. This is a particularly gray area as Brando had said he was working off the directive of their director, Bernardo Bertolucci, and would never have done such a thing had it not been for the director; but the fact remains that for Maria Schneider’s lifetime, he never backed up her claims that she did not consent to the scene. I don’t know, Ashton Kutcher may have been in Two and a Half Men, but I don’t see him sexually assaulting someone with butter.

Ashton Kutcher is, and has been for some time now, putting his money where his mouth is. Since 2009, he has been continuing the work of his organization which he co-founded with his then-wife Demi Moore. The organization, Thorn, has been working across the globe to free children who have been forced into sex trafficking as well as bring their abusers to justice. I suppose it’s hard to believe the guy who is so excellent at playing a moron is spearheading a cause so important in our society, but he is. Just last week, Kutcher spoke to the U.S. Senate about how mind-blowing it is that he is the last line of defense for these children.

Kutcher and the team at Thorn have also created a software to find the monsters who are creating child pornography—although limited information has been revealed about how the software works, so as to not give away too many details to the people it is designed to catch.

Is Ashton Kutcher the greatest actor in history? Probably not. His work away from the camera should hold higher merit to his character, though. Actors are celebrated more than scientists who create life-saving vaccines, more than police who put their lives in the line of fire to protect and serve, more than doctors and nurses … they have more influence over the general population than they probably should, so why isn’t their work off screen as important as their work on?

As Robert De Niro said, “The talent is in the choices.”




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