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«Yours or Mine: Director Challenges Kutcher and Witherspoon Before Shooting»

11 February 2023, Saturday
Before filming began on Your Place or Mine, director Aline Brosh McKenna gave Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon some reading material to help prepare them for their roles. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, McKenna revealed that she supplied Kutcher and Witherspoon with books she thought were reflective of their characters' points of view. She said that she gave "Ashton books that I thought Peter would have and would have read and have a point of view on."

"In regards to Reese," she went on, "I provided her with a selection of books that Debbie had built up through the years; some of them being first editions, others being well-worn paperbacks. One particular book had been inscribed for someone named Peter, so I assumed it was a book of his that Debbie had kept when he had gone away."

Ashton Kutcher claimed to be a model student and stated he was not a huge fan of reading fiction books, but took this as an opportunity to give it a go. His director Aline had sent him 10 books prior to the film and instructed him to read all of them. For each book she left him notecards with information about how the book had enriched Peter, the character he was playing, as a writer. Kutcher said, "I ended up diving in. Aline sent me 10 books prior to the film. She's like, 'You need to read all of these.' And every one of the books had notecards in them about what Peter got from this book, specifically, what he got as a writer from this book."

The actor was enthusiastic about the director's task, eventually finding his favorite book. He enthused, "When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi was devastatingly wonderful. High Fidelity was very good. I read all of them, all 10 books. I even began to love reading fiction again thanks to this experience - that was fun and refreshing."

In contrast, Reese Witherspoon was less than thrilled with the challenge. She retorted, "Aline also sent me 25 books and I didn't read any of them. On the phone, I told her, 'I have three children, I'm running a business and I have a full-time job - I can't possibly read all these books. But they'd look nice on set.' And they did."

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