There’s no doubt that Ashton Kutcher is a family man.
On Saturday, “The Ranch” star accepted the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award from Iowa’s Drake University, which recognizes “individuals who demonstrate good character as a role model.” In his speech, Kutcher made a heartfelt tribute to his wife, Mila Kunis, and their kids, who he credits with making him a better man.
According to the 39-year-old actor, Kunis “kicks [his] ass on character every day.”
“I'm telling you, this morning, I woke up and she kicked my ass on character,” he recalled. “I thought I was awesome because I got up early and helped with the kids before she woke up and I let her sleep a little bit and then she's like, ‘Well, now you're gonna act tired? I do it every day.’ But it was a character moment, right? Because she's right!”
He then went on to call fatherhood the “greatest lesson in character in my life.”
“When my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honour, my first response was, I wanted to call my parents and say, ‘I'm sorry, because I never knew how much you loved me,’” he said.
Kutcher and Kunis welcomed their first child, Wyatt Isabelle, in 2014. They then welcomed their son, Dmitri Portwood, in November last year.
“I think the one thing that you realize the minute you become a parent is that character is the one thing you can give them as a parent,” he continued. “You can actually, materially impact that... and then everything else becomes their choice.”
The former “That '70s Show” star also referenced other important moments in his life that helped build his character, such as his divorce from Demi Moore in 2013.
“I had the great fortune of getting a divorce because I felt the impact of it and I felt how much loss is in there and how much love is in there and that it's not neat or clean or messy,” he said. “And I understood, finally, my parents’ divorce in a whole different way.”
Kutcher is from Iowa and has made a number of contributions to his home state, which is why it makes sense that he was honoured with Drake University's Character Award. Not only has the actor helped fund local schools through DonorsChoose.org, but he also co-founded The Native Fund, which provides disaster relief to affected Iowans.
Watch Kutcher’s full speech above.