Matthew presents his frst issue.
The stage of America’s annual ‘Teen Choice Awards’ is an unlikely pulpit from which to mount a demolition job on popular ideas of what it takes to be a celebrity. But that’s exactly what Ashton Kutcher did, in his succinct, cerebral style, when three years ago he was annointed as the ‘Ultimate Teen Choice’ – presented by way of a commemorative surfboard. “I feel like a fraud,” said Kutcher, causing the hysterical screaming from the audience to abruptly stop. “My name is not even Ashton. Ashton’s my middle name. My first name’s Chris: it got changed when I was 19 and I became an actor. But there were some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys.” Kutcher then delivered his three-step guide to achieving success. What people think of as opportunity, is actually a lot of hard work. For him that meant washing dishes, working on a deli counter and sweeping Cheerio dust off the floor of a factory that made breakfast cereal. (He cut it there, leaving out the story that we all more or less know: at a bar he gets noticed by a model scout, he walks runways, becomes an actor, achieves fame in cult comedy Dude, Where’s my Car?, marries cougar Demi Moore...). Throughout the inglorious start to his career no job ever felt beneath him, he said. He just felt lucky to have one. On the matter of what makes someone attractive, he took aim right at the heart of the Hollywood machine. “The sexist thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap.” And finally, a message about finding happiness in a world that sometimes pushes you in the opposite direction. The world is the way it is because other people built it that way, Kutcher said. You can live your life inside a world that was built by others, or you can build your own life and allow other people to move in. “So don’t live a life,” he said. “Build one.” Kutcher is a constant feature on lists routinely drawn up of the smartest celebrities in Hollywood. When he’s not deploying his intelligence to inspire his fans, he’s using it to build a kick-arse investment portfolio. The baby-faced sitcom star has managed to buy stakes in the world’s most coveted tech firms including Uber, Spotify and Airbnb. Asked by GQ’S Mike Christensen why there’s so much more to him than acting, he replies with a modesty that both charms and disarms: “Maybe I’ve always been afraid I’m not that good as an actor.” Clever and humble, 38-year-old Kutcher is exemplary of everything GQ stands for, and is hence a perfect cover for this, my first edition as the new editor of GQ Australia. When you land a gig like this one, you get used to a certain reaction from people, a kind of taken-aback, “Cool! How’d you get THAT job?” Whenever I get that question, it triggers flashbacks of reading GQ as a young man (and as a not so young man), and of making the realisation at some point in my formative years, that this was my magazine. And then I think of spending the rest of my career figuring out how to get a job here (or, as Kutcher would put it, building a life, not just living one). As editor of GQ, you also get frequently asked who’s the GQ reader. Is it guys into fashion? How many of them are gay? (And the point of that question is…?) So I’ll tell you, dear reader, what I say when people ask who you are. You’re a guy who cares about how you appear to others – it’s as simple as that. You know that first impressions count; you want to look the part (and by ‘the part’ that means the role you want to play in life). And you also know that if what you’re wearing creates that allimportant first impression, the impression that lingers comes from what you’ve said. So you keep in the loop and when you talk to someone you’re both interesting and interested in what they have to say. You’re cool, and you’re cool about that as well. Which is what makes you a gentleman – a word that’s a little old-fashioned yet can be flexed into a myriad of modern moments. Today’s gentleman doesn’t immediately forget someone’s name thinking he can just look them up on FB later. He remembers that Uber drivers also get to rate their customers. He always arrives on time, unless it’s for a dinner party, when he’s exactly 15 minutes late. He knows the correct way to open a champagne bottle, and he never leaves his chopsticks sticking into rice. The modern gentleman knows that if he open doors for others, bigger doors will open for him. That’s the GQ reader. And this is his magazine. Enjoy the issue.