Parenthood’s Dax Shepard Talks Fiancée Kristen Bell, his Man Crush, Ashton Kutcher and How he Turned his Life Around

Dax Shepard, in my humble opinion is one of the greatest sitcom actors of our time. When I first saw a preview of the show Parenthood some two and a half years ago, and witnessed ‘the guy’ from MTV’s Punk’d playing a dramatic role, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to take him seriously. A lot has changed in the last 2.5 years; I went from not believing Dax credible to posting petitions on my Facebook and Twitter pages when the network threatened to cancel the greatest show on television, due mainly to Dax and the incredible role he plays on the show. His character Crosby (Braverman) went from an immature guy who nobody thought would ever grow up, to a successful business owner, husband and father in a matter of two and a half years. I shed a few tears when “Crosby” spiraled for a few episodes, lost his fiancée to a doctor, and had to rebuild his life. Dax has proved he is not just a comedian, but a fantastic dramatic actor who deserves all the praise and accolades he has received of late. Playboy featured Dax Shepard as the subject of their 20Q in this month’s issue. Here’s a little sneak peek of his interview with the magazine where he talks about everything from his fiancée Kristen Bell, his man crush on Burt Reynolds, what it’s like working with Craig T. Nelson, his views on Ashton Kutcher’s success, how becoming a vegan changed his life, and much more!




Dax Shepard. Image courtesy of Open Road


“Guys should be excited that I got Kristen Bell,” says comic and actor Dax Shepard in Playboy’s October 20Q.  “If Brad Pitt gets Kristen Bell, it’s like, ‘Well, of course he did.’  With me, it should be, ‘Oh good, a normal-looking guy got her.  Maybe I’ll get me a Kristen Bell.’  But guys hate my guts for always dating women I have no right to be with.”

The star of NBC’s Parenthood, as well as writer, director and star of this summer’s movie Hit & Run, manages to be both brutally honest and funny about his past and current addictions, his secret to dating beautiful women, and his fondness for Craig T. Nelson and Burt Reynolds.  Following are selected quotes from the 20Q (issue on newsstands and Friday, September 21, with the complete interview available at


Dax Shepard is the subject of Playboy’s 20Q . Image courtesy of Playboy/Matthias Clamer.”

On his secret to dating beautiful women:  “I attribute it to being funny and a good dancer.  And I’m tall, which will get you places as well.  I’m also wired for it.  The times my brain works fastest are when I’m doing improv on a stage or meeting coeds in a bar.”

On his relationship with fiancée Kristen Bell:  “Kristen’s a good girl.  She grew up very Christian, went straight to college, did great in school and started work immediately.  She’s charitable and philanthropic and rescues dogs.  So when we met, our backgrounds were opposites.  All the things I’d done were terrifying to her, and she had a hard time believing I would ever be able to stay married and monogamous and a father and all those things.  For the first year and a half we were together that was what we battled over almost weekly.”

On relationships of other Hollywood couples:  “Once you get to actually know somebody, it demystifies them and everything they go through.  When Ashton and Demi broke up, I felt bad.  These are people I eat dinner with.  Brad and Angelina, that’s another story.  I don’t actually know them, so I’m as curious as the next person: Will they get married?  What’s their life like?  And of course I would love to see them engaged in coitus.”

On his wild past:  “From 18 to 29 I was a heavy smoker, heavy drinker, drug addict, terrible eater and philanderer.  The past eight years, since I got sober, have honestly been about trying to peel back each of those habits, to get back to the 12-year-old kid inside who was tremendously excited about life.”

On his current vices:  “I think I have a pretty good handle on my ‘isms,’ but it takes a long time.  Each third or fourth bad thing you give up, you still have to hold on to one.  I’m still on nicotine.  I pound about a dozen of those Commit throat lozenges a day.  I still drink gallons of coffee.  I’m still super into driving too fast on motorcycles.  When you’re going that fast, you’re thinking only about what you’re doing in the moment.  It’s the closest I could ever get to Deepak or God or something like that.”

On finding success in Hollywood: “Success is just a war of attrition.  Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess, but if you stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen, you know?”

On success being different from what he thought it would be:  “It’s impossible to know until you’ve had success that it doesn’t alter your daily struggles.  When I was a struggling Groundling, I thought if I had the life I have now I wouldn’t have to brush my teeth anymore and could eat cupcakes all day.  In fact, I have to do the same sh*t I’ve always had to do to not feel miserable, which is work out, journal, eat well, do something for somebody other than myself at some point every day—even if it’s just the dogs, those little f**kers.”

On Ashton Kutcher’s success: “People want to dislike him because he’s gorgeous and successful.  It’s fair to hate somebody like that.  I relate.  If he wasn’t a crazy, driven, hard worker, I would find it all offensive.”

On his relationship with TV dad Craig T. Nelson: “Craig T. Nelson is the closest person I’ve met to my identical twin, only we’re separated by 30 years or whatever.  He raced cars forever.  We both have big noses, we’re both tall, we’re both goofy, we’ve both been around a lot of craziness.  He’s a guy I super-fan at work.”

On his Burt Reynolds “man crush”:  “My house is a living shrine to Burt, much to K.B’s chagrin.  I have a urinal, and above it is a poster of Gator with a personal message that says, ‘To Dax, you’re a hell of an actor but more important, a hell of a man.  Love and respect.’  I would go to his trailer every day [when working together on Without a Paddle] just to hound him for stories because I had so many unanswered questions.  I love that man.”

On the effects of being a vegan:  “It’s nothing like the pill in The Matrix but damn good, like 15 percent across the board in every respect.  I sleep 15 percent better.  My allergies are at least 15 percent better.  I have fewer body aches.  My skin looks better.  I’m never starving, and I never need to ride the couch feeling completely full and disgusting.”



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