A whole new era of the top-rated CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men kicks off with the Season 9 premiere tonight, September 19 at 9 PM ET, when Ashton Kutcher steps in to replace Charlie Sheen in Episode 9.1: Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt. Ashton Kutcher recently wrote an editorial about why he took the job, and one of the "two and a half reasons" was due to his presence in social media. Here's what he had to say below.
"When I really broke down the decision to take the job, there were so many rewards and few risks - except maybe one: I was stepping into a media frenzy. But I figured I could temper that a bit by keeping the lines of communication open with my social media presence. I can always set the record straight."
The actor also said he took the job to spend more time with his family, since shooting a TV sitcom offers a more regular schedule than shooting movies.
"Family comes first. My stepdaughter, Tallulah, is a senior in high school, and I wanted to be there for her rather than on a set in Michigan or Mexico or Australia.
It wasn't so much that I was worried I'd miss one thing in particular - like college applications or prom or meeting with teachers. It's about being available for everything. I've missed enough and I don't want to be absent for anything else. I just want to be home at night with my wife [Demi Moore] and family."
He also talked about wanting to work with series creator/showrunner Chuck Lorre, and how that factored into taking the job.
"I did some research. I watched about 30 episodes. The writing was smart and funny, and I figured it was worth a conversation. I made a call and met with Chuck Lorre, the show's creator. We had a meeting at his home over bagels and explored 20 versions of what the character could be, what was interesting to me and what would best service the show.
I kept thinking about my time on That '70s Show. It was the best job I have ever had. I also remembered something Robin Williams said when he visited the set. He had just won an Academy Award for Good Will Hunting, and he said he'd 'give anything to do another sitcom.' I couldn't understand it, because at the time all I wanted was a feature-film career. Now I understand.
When I got up to leave our meeting, Chuck said, 'This could be fun.' And that was it."