An inspiration… especially to her husband. Entrepreneur and actor Ashton Kutcher got rather emotional while delivering a speech this weekend—and it was largely due to his wife, Mila Kunis, their two children, and his brother.
Kutcher, 39, returned to his native state of Iowa on April 8, to accept the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award—which honors those role models who “demonstrate good character”—and he reminded the public that it’s been a personal roller coaster for him as well.
The That ‘70s Show alum joked about how he’s dealt with his fair share of issues, listing the one time he attempted to break into his high school at age 18, and another troubled moment in his youth when he was pulled over by a state trooper for “tripping on mushrooms.” Somehow, the future star got away with it. Kutcher even went so far to mention the reason for the demise of his first marriage to Demi Moore.
“It’s not whether you win or lose,” the actor noted as he discussed character development. “It’s how you learn from the mistakes that you make and how you perceive the world that’s coming at you.”
He continued, “Because life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. Every single time. And as long as you have love and kindness and optimism and a pursuit of something greater in your heart, you’re the lucky one. So this award is for you. It is for my family. It’s for all four of my parents. It’s for my wife, who kicks my ass on character every day.”
He expounded upon Kunis’ impact on his personal life. “This morning, I woke up and she kicked my ass on character,” Kutcher cracked. “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.”
That wasn’t the only touching moment from his speech. The most emotional moment was—by far—a memory that involved the honoree’s sibling, Michael Kutcher. “I was born a twin and from the moment I came into this world I had to share it with someone. I shared every birthday, every Christmas, I shared my bedroom, I shared my clothes, I shared everything I had in this world and I didn’t know that there was another way because I always had my brother with me,” he reflected. “My brother was born with cerebral palsy and it taught me that loving people isn’t a choice and that people aren’t actually all created equal… But we all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that.”
Kutcher, who fought back tears in that moment, concluded his speech by nothing this profound realization. “I spent years and years feeling bad about it, our inequalities,” he confessed. “[But Michael] also taught me that he had gifts that I didn’t have. Extraordinary gifts that I didn’t have, and that every time I felt sorry for him in life, I made him less. He taught me that and he gave that to me.”
Watch the beautiful speech above.