Ashton Kutcher is making a comeback of sorts, reprising his star-making role as Michael Kelso on “That ’90s Show.”
But the 44-year-old didn’t take the Netflix show because he needed a paycheck. In fact, Kutcher said in a recent profile in Esquire that he never needs to take a role for the money again.
That’s because over the past 13 years, Kutcher has quietly embarked on a successful tech investing career through his fund A-Grade Investments, which he founded in 2010 along with entertainment manager Guy Oseary and billionaire Ron Burkle.
Investments in companies like Uber, Airbnb, Spotify and Warby Parker have paid off handsomely and entirely removed the pressure off of needing to appear in movies and shows just for the paycheck.
“Now I can just worry about playing roles that I want to play,” the “Jobs” star said.
Indeed, his success in the world of venture capital has allowed him to make decisions in his Hollywood career that directly improve his quality of life.
He told the magazine that his upcoming rom-com “Your Place or Mine” was initially set to shoot in Georgia because of the state’s production tax credits. However, this would’ve taken him away from his children during the school year.
“I have young kids, and I like my kids a lot,” he said. “I like spending time with them.”
As a solution, Kutcher negotiated with Netflix to move the production to Los Angeles, near his Beverly Hills home, with the extra budget costs taken directly out of his paycheck.
This financial sacrifice allowed him to be with his family every night and make it to his kids’ events at school, and he told Esquire that it was worth the trade.
Now, Kutcher’s financial security lets him be selective about the jobs he takes and the ones he turns down.
“I want to tell stories that say something,” he said. “I want to tell stories that deliver people joy. And I want to deliver stories that make people think. And I want to play characters that are fun to play. And I’m willing to work my ass off to do that.”