The bets are off, folks. There is no feud between Ashton Kutcher and Reese Witherspoon.
In case you’re confused, Ashton and Reese recently found themselves at the center of a frenzy online, all over some hilariously awkward red carpet pics.
For context, the duo are currently promoting Netflix’s brand-new rom-com, Your Place or Mine, and despite starring as ex-lovers turned longtime besties in the movie, fans couldn’t help but feel that Reese and Ashton’s offscreen chemistry was somewhat lacking.
On two separate red carpet appearances last week, the costars posed in a way that kind of looked more like they were about to attend a long business meeting, or that they were two exes who’d wound up standing next to each other in line at the grocery store.
In fact, in some pictures, they were posing with so much space between them that I probably would’ve believed you if you’d said they’d been photoshopped in.
Of course, the awkward snaps soon went viral and fans got to work mocking the duo for managing to harness the palpable reluctance and discomfort of a seventh-grade school photo with your sibling — all while promoting a rom-com.
But now, Ashton is here to say that, contrary to popular perceptions, he and Reese don’t actually hate one another.
Appearing on the Chicks in the Officepodcast this week, Ashton was forced to address the elephant in the room, admitting that it was his wife, Mila Kunis, who brought the backlash to his attention.
“I did not see it,” he said, rolling his eyes at the suggestion that he and Reese had been “memed.”
“My wife called me. She texted Reese and I together and said, ‘Guys, you gotta, like, act like you like each other,’” he recalled, before going on to defend himself.
“Here’s the thing. If I put my arm around her and was all friendly with her, I’d be having an affair with her. Like, the rumor would be that I’m having an affair with her,” he said.
Firm in his defense, Ashton claimed that the only way to avoid sparking whispers of an affair with Reese — who is also happily married — is to pose with his hands in his pockets at all times.
But despite his best efforts to keep the rumors at bay, his strategy only made people think they hate each other.
“Reese and I are really good friends, we’re really close. I don’t have to defend that!” he said, putting the speculation to rest.
What’s more, Ashton — who has notably taken a step back from the acting world in the past few years — made it clear that red carpets aren’t exactly his favorite place to be anyway.
“I can’t hear very well because I’m hard of hearing in one ear and I can only hear out of the other, and I don’t know who’s yelling my name, but I know that there’s a lot of people yelling, ‘Reese! Ashton! Over here!’” he said, mimicking the chaos of a red carpet.
“And at a certain point, you’re like, ‘God, this is really something,’” he added, before concluding with one final defense of himself.
“If you’re gonna tell me in that entire 20-minute period, at one point you’re not gonna have an awkward face on, then you’re better than I am and I’m cool with that,” he said.