Ashton Kutcher gets hair makeover, says he wants more 'Men'
The savior of CBS' top-rated sitcom "Two and a Half Men," Kutcher brought his newly shorn self Wednesday morning to the stage of the TV press tour in Pasadena. Gone was the scruffy beard he wore for the fall episodes. Likewise, history were the unruly locks; his new haircut makes him look as mild as an assistant professor, albeit much better-looking than most specimens of same. (Some gossip sites noted he was also wearing a wedding band, despite his pending divorce from Demi Moore.)
Kutcher told reporters he's having "a lot of fun" doing the show, where he replaced former star Charlie Sheen, and said he'd like to come back next year -- "if we can work that out."
"The deal that we structured for the show was kind of a test," Kutcher said. "The show is outperforming the numbers from before I was here, and so I think that people are responding to it." He added that he's already lined up a couple of feature films to shoot during the summer -- a none-too-subtle way of reminding network bosses that he has other career options.
Because he signed only a one-year deal, CBS and Warner Bros. might have to throw open the bank-vault doors to get the star to return. And given "Men's" higher-than-expected ratings this season, it's likely they'll do so.
Kutcher is believed to be making considerably less than the $2 million, including back-end advances, Sheen received per episode.
As for the star's fresh look, turns out it was mandated by the "Men" writers, with the reason to be explained in Monday's episode. On the show, Kutcher plays Walden Schmidt, a lovesick Internet billionaire.
Kutcher told reporters he had merely let his hair grow long when he first met the producers about the job last year. "I was starting to get a little shaggy and we just kind of kept it," he said.
Sounds like CBS might be the one taking the haircut next time.
Photo: Ashton Kutcher, flanked by "Two and a Half Men" executive producer Chuck Lorre, left, and co-star Jon Cryer. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images