How Eating Nothing But Fruit Landed Ashton Kutcher In The Hospital

Speculation swirled after Steve Jobs' death over whether his extreme diets contributed to the pancreatic cancer that killed him in 2011 (via Psychology Today). We'll never know for sure, but Ashton Kutcher, the actor who played the Apple founder in the 2015 biopic "Steve Jobs," found out the hard way that a strict fruitarian diet can wreak havoc on a person's body. Kutcher dished a little about how preparing for the Steve Jobs role led to health problems, in a 2019 episode of the YouTube show "Hot Ones." But the show's fans didn't get the full story until his wife Mila Kunis came on the show on October 28.

When Kutcher told the story, he said he had learned that Jobs drank so much carrot juice his skin looked orange. In true method-acting fashion, Kutcher decided to tank up on carrot juice himself, to get the same orangey look. "I started just drinking carrot juice, like nonstop, like all day long," Kutcher told "Hot Ones" host Sean Evans.

Two weeks before filming was to begin, Kutcher had back pain so severe he needed to go to the hospital. "My pancreas was crazy out of whack," Kutcher said. He even feared he was being possessed by the ghost of Steve Jobs, ailing pancreas and all. It turned out to be something less serious and less supernatural: carrot juice-induced pancreatitis. Dietitian Jeannine Mills told CNBC such a restrictive diet can lead to toxic levels of certain micronutrients and deficiencies in other nutrients.

Kutcher tried extreme fruit diets preparing for the role of Steve Jobs

When "Hot Ones" had Mila Kunis on the show recently (via YouTube), host Sean Evans took the opportunity to fact-check Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs story with his wife. Kunis said Kutcher's experience with Jobs' fruitarian diet was worse than he had let on. "He's downplaying it," Kunis said. "He was so dumb." Kutcher, incidentally, was in the studio off-camera, listening to his spouse's unvarnished opinion of the choices he made while preparing for the lead role in "Steve Jobs."

Carrot juice wasn't Kutcher's only overindulgence. "He also, I think, only ate like grapes at one point?" Kunis said. "We ended up in the hospital twice, with pancreatitis." Hopefully the hospital trips were worth it, and Kutcher was able to inhabit his role more fully after feeling shades of Jobs' pain.

The real Steve Jobs truly lived the extreme-diet lifestyle, according to Psychology Today. He would go for weeks eating only carrots and apples. He even got the inspiration for his company name while practicing a fruitarian diet. "'Apple' took the edge off the word 'computer,'" Jobs said, as quoted in the 2011 biography "Steve Jobs" (via Psychology Today).

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).