In a new interview, Ashton Kutcher and his twin brother, Michael Kutcher, open up about the past problems that once drove a wedge between.
The 44-year-old siblings tackled the sensitive topic during an emotional appearance on the new Paramount+ series “The Checkup with Dr. David Agus,” which premiered Dec. 6.
When asked about why the two drifted apart as adults after being close as children, Michael spoke plainly about the problem from his perspective.
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"Jealousy, for sure, at least on my part," he said. "You know, there was a moment where I viewed him as receiving more attention than I was (getting), and that kind of drove me down to a place where I was jealous. Here we are, just one and two for so many years, and then he goes off to do immense things, becomes a household name. It really affected me in terms of my own self-worth."
Michael said that spending time with his brother and remembering who he was helped him work through those feelings.
“I had to go back and try to figure out who I am," Michael continued. "But once we kind of got together, we got through that, and I realized, ‘You know what? He’s still my brother.’ The world may view him differently, but I know him ... He hasn’t changed, and he never will change. Then once I took all of the fame and everything out of it, I was able to just come back to him."
But Ashton admitted to another issue that led to their old divide, and it didn't have anything to do with his twin.
"I also had my hang ups, like when I first started to experience success on a very large level, it goes to your head," the former "That '70s Show" star recalled. "I was an asshole. It’s so easy to believe the good things that people are saying about you and start to onboard that as who you are as a person."
Kutcher said it was Michael who helped bring him back down to earth again.
The journey began when, more than 18 years ago, Ashton publicly disclosed that Michael has cerebral palsy during an interview. It was meant to be a sympathetic reveal about his loved one, who faced so many more challenges in life than he had. But Ashton hadn't sought his brother's permission before discussing the diagnosis publicly.
In a 2021 interview with TODAY Parents, Michael explained, “I was very angry. Very angry. I remember speaking to him about it. I didn’t want to be the face of CP. I never talked about it.”
These days, Michael has become more public with his CP diagnosis — he's a spokesperson for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
In their recent chat with Agus, Ashton remembered the moment his twin set him straight about the topic of his condition. At the time, Ashton was living in New York, working as a model and well on his way to fame.
“(Michael) looked at me and he said, ‘Every time you feel sorry for me, you make me less,'" the actor recalled. "He said, ‘This is the only life I’ve ever known, so stop feeling sorry for the only thing I have.’”
It was that moment the star credited with resetting their relationship.
"That created an entire shift back to where I think we are today, which is just straight up equals again," he added. "That’s it."
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: