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Ashton Kutcher reveals why he got axed from Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown while eating hot wings

Photo: Ashton Kutcher (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images); Cameron Crowe, Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom (Niki Nikolova/Getty Images

We weren’t all that impressed with Cameron Crowe’s 2005 film Elizabethtown when it premiered, but it nevertheless became part of A.V. Club lore when it became the first entry in Nathan Rabin’s long-running My Year Of Flops series. Even then, though, its relentless whimsy qualified more as a “fiasco” than an out-and-out “flop,” though one wonders if that would’ve been the case had it been made with original star Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher, who at the time was a megastar gearing up for the end of That 70s Show, discussed his brief time on the film while wiping hot sauce from his little mustache during a recent appearance on First We Feast’s “Hot Ones.”

When asked if he was fired, he takes a moment. “Fired...yeah, I’ll say fired.” Kutcher, struggling against the heat of the wings he’s been consuming, says that Bloom was Crowe’s original choice, but the actor was too busy working on Ridley Scott’s Kingdom Of Heaven to take the role.

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I went in, I auditioned, he cast me,” Kutcher explains. “And then we started working on it and I think he wanted to, like, see the character in rehearsals like all the way and I just, um, I probably wasn’t disciplined enough as an actor to get to a point where I was like able to do that. To show it to him in a way that he felt comfortable.”

That’s an interesting statement, vague enough to frame it as Kutcher either not being up for the performance or Crowe being too demanding as a director. He adds that he and Crowe “just sort of agreed that it wasn’t working out,” but is quick to add that it was “him more than me.” Coinciding with that conversation was the news that Bloom suddenly was available, and Kutcher is more than aware that that also factored into Crowe’s decision.

The full interview is worth a watch, as Kutcher talks dissing the NBA’s Gary Payton, jogging with Puff Daddy, and, gasp, throwing out all the trucker hats from his Punk’d days. Some garbageman struck the motherlode of mid-aughts nostalgia.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.