Successful Hollywood types are not quite like the rest of us, which has a lot to do with why they're successful Hollywood types. But simply being better looking -- or, failing that, weirdly poreless and symmetrical and more willing to spend time around Alec Baldwin -- than other humans does not mean that successful Hollywood types are not also humans. They are, and they have hobbies, like humans do.
These hobbies have changed with the times, as of course they would. Steve McQueen drove racecars and Lee Marvin stalked around his condo shirtless, pounding scotch and grumbling darkly -- a pursuit that, in fairness, was something Marvin took significantly more seriously than most people take their hobbies. Today's stars, being today's stars, have different hobbies. Mark Ruffalo is an anti-fracking activist. Robert Downey Jr. collects art. Leonardo DiCaprio collects 22-year-old swimsuit models. Ashton Kutcher's hobby is acting like a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
It's not totally an act, to be fair, since Kutcher actually is an investor in various technology concerns (and is an advisor to SB Nation, where I also work). This is just the sort of thing that a certain type of rich person does, now -- there is a whole TED Talking superuniverse of rich young California males, wearing expensive jeans, taking meetings and lending each other millions for their various software companies and apps and self-parodic women's-interest websites. Kutcher, when he is not acting, lives there, practicing #disruption and Creating Alpha and so gildedly on.
Kutcher wants to be taken seriously as an investor, and knows that the first step in doing that is taking himself seriously as an investor. That was what he spoke about on The Jimmy Kimmel Show last Thursday night -- his obsession with efficiency, his pursuit of excellence. All of which is very nice, and none of which matters as much as Kutcher's admission that he has a member of his staff -- yes, Ashton Kutcher has a staff, don't worry about that -- "dedicated to research and analysis in fantasy football."
"I mean, I have to analyze the research," Kutcher allowed, before admitting that he finished last in his league. He did not mention whether last year's Fantasy Football Research Associate is still on staff, and honestly there's no answer to that question that isn't depressing in its own way. But this is just Ashton Kutcher's fantasy football team, a subsidiary hobby to his broader master-hobby of Casual Moguldom, and ultimately not that big a concern.
At least not relative to the question of how Kutcher hired his Fantasy Football Research Associate. Is there a salary involved, or is Kutcher paying in exposure and Treat Williams-autographed memorabilia from What Happens In Vegas? Did an ad quietly float across Craigslist last August, putting a call out for a Quant/Research Wiz with five-to-seven years experience, a Master's Degree or better, and a willingness to be on call around the clock? I'd ask whether the notional ad ended "passion a must," but since it obviously did it seems a shame to waste a perfectly good rhetorical question.
Again, Kutcher is a human being. He has his mysteries and idiosyncrasies and hobbies and vanities like the rest of us. We might as well wish him good luck in his draft, and in whatever investments he has -- ORKO, an app that helps you find He-Man paraphernalia online or HAT.ZE, a website dedicated to selling comically expensive baseball hats to wealthy young people.
But this isn't about Kutcher, finally. It's about finding out how many other Fantasy Football Research Associates are on the (sorry) staffs of Hollywood luminaries. It's about finding out whether these (yup) staffers are offered health insurance. Ultimately it would be hilarious to unionize them, of course. But for the time being: how many are you? Are you being treated well? Contact me, and I will tell your stories, discreetly. Step into the light, brothers.