Hey, this is Kurtwood Smith.

I've been acting in film & television for about 35 years. Looking forward to talking with you today about any and all of that, but hopefully a lot about the new show I'm on, ABC's RESURRECTION.

Victoria's helping me out tonight. AMA!


Update Well thank you SO much for so many insightful and/or fun questions! Really appreciate it, and enjoyed my time today. Thank you very much, and please watch us on SUNDAY for the next 3 weeks on ABC - they are very exciting episodes!

Comments: 579 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

matssundin1392453 karma

First of all, thank you for one of my favourite scenes in any show, the “hit him with a banjo" scene with Bob.


My question, over the course of That 70’s Show, how many times do you estimate that you said “dumbass”

Kurtwood-Smith778 karma

I couldn't begin. But you know what you might do - go on youtube, there are a couple of versions where people have put together all the things I've said I was going to do to people's asses with my foot - it's a couple minutes long - whoever did it, you're a genius. I had no idea I said it so many times, and some of those things I had no recollection of saying.

It's about 3 minutes long.

Icedrive387 karma

Mr. Smith, how often do people ask you to call them a dumbass?
Also, can you call me a dumbass?

Kurtwood-Smith882 karma

Well, dumbass, in answer to your question, I would say probably several times a week - depending how much I'm out in public.

beernerd382 karma

My last name is Foreman. What should I say to my wife to convince her we should name our first born son Red?

Kurtwood-Smith518 karma


Well... don't name him Red. Let that be his nickname. Then he doesn't have to be stuck with that when he's older and decides he doesn't be "Red." I suppose you could call him "Redmond?"

DXGypsy332 karma

You were President of the entire Federation. Why didn't you put a foot in the Klingon's asses when you had the chance?

In all seriousness, you had several Star Trek roles in multiple versions of the franchise. Do you have any great memories or stories from your Star Trek days?

Kurtwood-Smith409 karma


Well, haha, unfortunately the President of the Federation didn't have those Red Foreman powers. Otherwise, I guess the movie would've had a different outcome.

I really enjoyed doing STAR TREK. In particularly, the Voyager. I had a 2-part arc. That was really an interesting one. The other one, including the movie, mainly what i remember was makeup. Because you had to get there SO early to put it on, you had to stay late to take it off, and then you had to arrive early again, so I didn't get much sleep, and then during the day, both when I played a Klingon and the President, I had enough stuff on I couldn't even lay down or take a nap, so I mainly felt kind of exhausted.

But when we were actually shooting, it was FUN.

Doing those things is probably the closest thing to doing Shakespeare.

They're larger than life characters that are doing larger than life things.

mks2000260 karma

Did you improvise the line "bitches leave" or was that in the script? Everything in that scene is villainous perfection. Thanks for being one of the great movie villains.

Kurtwood-Smith284 karma

Well, that's a terrific compliment and I appreciate it very much because I have a great appreciation for people who play villains.

It was a scripted line - there were several lines that were improvised, but that one in particular was scripted.

MattBaster211 karma

In a Q&A once, the writer of Robocop, Edward Neumeier, said that you were the nicest guy imaginable. However, during Murphy's execution scene, he said everyone on the set was pretty skittish and noticeably kept their distances from you. For that scene, were you aware if people were dodging you when the cameras weren't rolling?

Kurtwood-Smith389 karma

No. I wasn't. And I've never heard that quote before. That's very interesting.

Yea, that's very interesting.

Because that was shot later, most people knew me... but that's probably more of a testament to Ed's writing, Paul's directing, and THEN my acting... because Clarence was such a creepy - I mean, he was an enjoyable character, but at times, creepy, in particularly in that scene.

The gore that happens is - and Clarence's enjoyment of it is unnerving. If people were avoiding me, it was probably because i forgot to wear deodorant that day or something.

MattBaster162 karma

Thank you!! And man, you are one of the greatest screen villains of all time -- standing proud right up there with Darth Vader, Brick Top (Snatch) and the Edgar Suit alien (Men In Black)!! :-)

Kurtwood-Smith215 karma

Wow, that's great comparisons and thank you very much.

blackgreentea196 karma

Who came up with the "My foot in your ass" bit?

Which TV show/Movie was your favorite to work on?

What did you think of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis getting married?

Kurtwood-Smith386 karma

Oh, the writers! We had a stable of writers, led by Mark Brazil, who was the creator of the show. They came up with that. But all of Red's stuff was for the most part based on stuff the writers heard their fathers say, which is what made him genuine - he was based on peoples' fathers.

Again, I have a short list of my favorites, which would be (of course) RoboCop, Dead Poet's Society, To Die For, Citizen Ruth, of course '70's show which I did for 8 years and would still be doing if they let me...and I'm having a great time working currently on RESURRECTION.

Well, I was surprised to say the least, you know. They were certainly friends & working colleagues while we were doing the show, but there wasn't anything romantic between the two except for what happened on camera. And also, at the beginning, Mila was so much younger than Ashton, so it was a surprise to me because I just never thought of them as an actual couple. But they're both really wonderful people, and I'm sure that they'll be a very happy couple and produce amazingly beautiful children.

AND I bet they'll have a lot of fun together.

jimothy99160 karma

Do you have kids? If so how often does Red come out to them?

Kurtwood-Smith412 karma

I have all kinds of kids. And I have actual kids, a son and daughter from my first marriage, and they (my daughter) has 2 kids, so I have grandchildren who are 7 and 10, and I have an adopted daughter, who was a foster daughter, who is currently in college, and then I have other people that feel like kids to me. My past assistant, my current assistant, feel like daughters. And when does Red come out? He doesn't. That would be a better question for them. I think if they ever saw Red, it would only be for the briefest moment and never addressed to them. I think my kids would say I'm not a shouter or a threatener.

I don't even know if that's a word. Threatener.

YaketyMax121 karma

Hey Kurtwood, the trivia section of your IMDB profile says you're a huge fan of video games. Is that true and if so, what do you play?

Kurtwood-Smith284 karma

Well, here's the thing: I was a fan of videogames, especially back during That 70's Show, that was when I discovered them.

There's playstation and what's the other one? Xbox. Xbox gave me a box. And some games. And I got kind of hooked on them while I was doing the show, I had one in my dressing room and I would use it while I was sitting around waiting for my rehearsal time.

However in the last couple years, I kind of knocked that off. I think the last game I played was LA CONFIDENTIAL.

Drassielle111 karma

Tell me about Resurrection and why I should watch it. I've never heard of it before, what's it all about? Why did you decide to include yourself in the cast?

Kurtwood-Smith222 karma


RESURRECTION is about what happens if people were to begin returning from the dead. Which is a pretty fresh idea, considering that the people are not zombies, but people who are just as they were before they left. What's interesting to me is that it covers what happens beyond that first moment of recognition - as time passes, how your life changes because of this.

I thought that the character that I play, Henry, is in such an emotional dilemma for the whole season, having his son return, and not being able to accept that, that I thought it would be a challenge to play. The kind of role i had to play.

Tog_the_destroyer109 karma

Hello Mr. Smith! I have a friend in your neighborhood and I was hanging out with them and we were all doing stupid dares. Me, being a jackass, volunteered to play reverse dingdong ditch (it's where you go up to somebody's door instead of running you insist that they're knocking at your door. Pretty silly, but funny as hell). She said that you lived in her neighborhood. I immediately volunteered to go up to your door. I did, thinking it would be a cake walk. As soon as you poke your head out of the side of your door, I freaked out and couldn't do it. I know that you're really nice guy! My dad bumped into you once at the post office and said you were such a cool individual. However, I was totally petrified of you shoving your foot up my ass once I planned on arguing. So instead of playing the game, I asked your address, you told it to me, and all I could stammer out was, "wrong address." Then I walked away. So my questions are do you remember me? And did you think that your persona from That 70's Show would carry over into real life?

Kurtwood-Smith244 karma


Uh...so that last part about when he came to the door - when was this?

Yeah, I have some vague recollection of some dumbass ringing my doorbell and not knowing where he was.

dinero218094 karma

Hi Kurtwood, Huge fan here from RoboCop to That 70's Show! Thanks for doing this AMA!

My question is of all the dumbasses on That 70's Show which dumbass is your favorite dumbass?

Kurtwood-Smith216 karma

I love all them dumbasses.

Frajer94 karma

How did Red and Kitty make it work when they were so different?

Kurtwood-Smith201 karma

Well, I think that they - you know, often opposites attract. And I think that in Red & Kitty's situation, that was the case. Basically, they made it work because they loved each other, and that was always first and foremost with them, I think. You didn't see them smooching around a lot, or saying they love each other, but you could see it and you could feel it. And I think Deborah Joe and I had such a good relationship and chemistry that it helped that.

Kwaythut89 karma

Do you have a Robin Williams anecdote from the set of Dead Poets Society that you'd like to share with everybody?

Kurtwood-Smith230 karma

You know, I had worked with Robin before that, on a play - on 3 plays - years before, so I knew him for a long time. I didn't see all that much of him when we were doing the show. I remember one time we were in the lobby, there must've been 150 extras around us, and he chose that moment to make fun of my eyebrows... that was pretty funny... but otherwise, the time I spent with Robin - it was personal time and not necessarily entertainment.

seismicor64 karma

Hi. I wanted to tell you that you absolutely rocked as Clarence Bodicker in Robocop. And for the question: When was the last time you watched Robocop and with whom did you watch it?

Kurtwood-Smith114 karma

The last time I watched it was when we had a 25th Reunion, so that was a couple years ago... it came out in '87, so it could've been 2012, I guess? So 2 and a half years ago. There was a 25th Anniversary and most of the cast - Paul, several of the crew - and it was at UCLA and we watched the entire film. It was awesome.

kdk12k2k1252 karma

Hi Kurtwood! Thanks for doing this AMA.

What was working with Gus Van Sant on To Die For like? Did you enjoy making that movie?

Is there a role or a subject you’d like to try that you haven’t done yet?

Kurtwood-Smith65 karma

Well, to answer the first part, I enjoyed working with Gus very much. And thanks for the question, I rarely get asked about that one. I thought that was an excellent film. I thought that film did an awful lot for Nicole Kidman in terms of being viewed as an actress, as opposed to a movie star. I thought she was terrific in that film, and has been so terrific since then. I enjoyed working with her and everyone. Gus really gives you a lot of room to work in. He suggests things to you - doesn't insist on them - and really brings about an atmosphere that helps you to produce your best work, I think. Not that that's my best work, but I felt it was the best I could do at that time.

I often get asked that, and I don't have a good answer. I've been fortunate in my career, and my current role, Henry Langston in RESURRECTION is a good example, that I've been able to do a variety of different parts. So basically, roles that are presented to me or that are suggested by my agents or manager I get enthusiastic about. I don't sit around and try to think of some role I've always wanted to play. But I've always wanted to play a private detective and I've never done that.

Ableyoungthug45 karma

What's your favorite thing about being an actor?

Kurtwood-Smith101 karma

You know... getting to experience the feelings of being other people. Getting to express emotions and attitudes that I wouldn't ordinarily experience, or that i have experienced in the past. That's a deep question.

symphonic4542 karma

Do you have any memories from your appearance on The X-Files episode "Grotesque"? You played the role wonderfully!

Kurtwood-Smith133 karma

I remember being on a rooftop - we shot the end - in Vancouver, laying in a puddle, surrounded by snow, with my face in the water, thinking What the HELL am I doing?!

It was 3 in the morning.

YaketyMax42 karma

Is it true Chuck Norris was the first choice for Red Foreman?

Kurtwood-Smith181 karma

I don't believe so.

That's a myth, I think.

I think Chuck was busy doing other things at the time.

And by the way, I wasn't the first choice to play Walker: Texas Ranger.

OhHelloPlease39 karma

Who would win in a fight; Red Forman or Clarence Boddicker?

Kurtwood-Smith75 karma



I think it probably... Hahaha... let's just call it a draw.

I would hate to make that decision.

SmoothWay37 karma

Do you cut your sandwiches diagonally or horizontally?

Kurtwood-Smith81 karma

Diagonally. Usually.

Kurtwood-Smith96 karma

For example, you can't cut a french roll sandwich diagonally. Those you just cut normally.

mewithoutCthulhu36 karma

You've been in an insane amount of awesome movies and TV shows throughout your career. Robocop was my earliest experience with you and That 70's Show was certainly the longest. I loved the first episode of Resurrection and seeing you on my TV again.

Not just work related, but what would you say has been the greatest part of the life you've lived?

Kurtwood-Smith102 karma

Wow, you mean, other than doing this AMA today?

DonInKansas34 karma

What's your favorite role you've played that we've probably never seen?

Kurtwood-Smith70 karma

The character I played in a film called "Hard Scramble." It's a film that nobody's probably ever seen.

groovyn832 karma

What was life like for you in the 70s?

Kurtwood-Smith75 karma

You know, busy. I was very busy in the 1970's. I was doing professional theater. I was teaching college. And I had a family. So I was very busy.

RustyDarkstar7629 karma

What's up man?

Kurtwood-Smith56 karma

Haha. What's up with you?

Zomg_A_Chicken22 karma

How often do you put your foot up people's asses?

Kurtwood-Smith53 karma

Not really my thing. Red was the professional at that.

ziyadmerhebi21 karma

You've played some seriously intimidating roles like in RoboCop and That 70's Show. Are people ever afraid of you in real life?

Kurtwood-Smith47 karma

I don't think so. You know, most of the time now, people recognize me. Back in the day, after I'd done ROBOCOP, people didn't know who I was. People didn't necessarily know me as an actor, but they would have an automatic flinch sometimes. Now people know who I am, so it hasn't happened in a long time. Most people realize you're an actor, and they are more interested in seeing you in that vein. But there were times in the past where I could tell people had a negative reaction to me, because they didn't know quite who I was, but there was something about me that made them nervous.

goColumbusCrew20 karma

Hi Kurtwood! Thank you for doing this AMA with us!

Would fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Kurtwood-Smith42 karma

Okay. Hmmm.

I would rather fight 1 massive duck the size of a horse.

One massive duck. Hahahaha! I don't know what i wanted to be, I'll be honest with you. I just wanted to get through each day. I wasn't interested in theater, I didn't really have interests, I was in student politics and speech tournaments and that kind of stuff, but i wasn't involved in acting until college. So I didn't have a career plan.

MickCollins20 karma

Before we really get too far into this AMA Mister Smith, would you be kind enough to tell the bitches to leave?

Kurtwood-Smith38 karma

Haha! Okay.

I think...we'll leave that one.

jbrau01319 karma

What is your favorite city in Wisconsin? New Lisbon doesn't count. Stevens Pointer here :)

Kurtwood-Smith53 karma

Well, that's hard. There are a LOT Of different cities in Wisconsin that are nice. But Madison is a great city for the size that it is. For that kind of mid-size / smallish city, technically, and also a capitol, it has a great feel to it. Although some of the smaller cities, Appleton, up north, are really nice. Milwaukee's a nice larger city - I went there when I was doing this play, maybe 10 years ago.

Kwaythut18 karma

I read once that Mr. Verhoeven considers Robocop to be a Jesus Christ allegory. He died. He was resurrected. He walks on water. Is this notion something Mr. Verhoeven mentioned to the cast at any point in production?

Link: http://gizmodo.com/the-original-robocop-was-a-christ-allegory-1523956164

Kurtwood-Smith40 karma

Not that I recall, but it certainly makes sense. It's quite possible. If Paul felt that way, it wasn't like the main thing that was driving him.

Langord17 karma

If you could give your 18 year old self any advice what would it be? Also what was the most memorable part of working on that 70s show?

Kurtwood-Smith41 karma

Well, 18, that would be the year before I started acting, so I'd say: start now! Get in that extra year!

Probably the rehearsals? We would rehearse a couple days every week, and they were special, especially rehearsing scenes in the kitchen. It was very comfortable and we felt like we were doing fun stuff, although shooting the show on Friday nights was a totally different kind of experience because it was so much like an event - it isn't like anything else. Not like doing a play, not like doing a movie, or a normal TV show, because of the audience, and because the audience is very excited, it's kind of like being in a rock show or something, everybody is excited, energy flying all over the place. SO part of the trick of doing that is being able to do what you rehearsed all week while all this craziness is going on all around you!

TheLeagueOfShadows16 karma


Kurtwood-Smith81 karma


What would I like to hear him say?

Oh gosh.

I guess I'd like to hear him say "You see? I AM here."

eat_the_beans15 karma

is voice acting an enjoyable experience? or is it easier then acting in a movie or on tv?

Kurtwood-Smith33 karma

Well, I'd say neither was easier. Voice acting is a LOT of fun, especially if you're working with the other characters in the scene - occasionally when you do animation, you do them by yourself and that's good, but it's more fun to do them with other actors.

lucyness14 karma

do you prefer 70s fashion or modern fashion?

Kurtwood-Smith43 karma

Modern fashion. I didn't particularly enjoy '70's clothes. I almost dressed like Red Foreman dressed back then. I don't think I wore plaid as much as he did, but just Levi's and shirts. Although most pants I wore were boot flares. That was my stop to the 70's.

IamChantus14 karma

Hi Mr. Smith!

Who do you think would win in a fight, Clarence J. Boddicker or Adolf Hitler(holy crap, you voiced Hitler)?

Kurtwood-Smith45 karma

I did voice Hitler for a totally ridiculous but inappropriate cartoon called "Life in the Bunker," and I'd put my money on Clarence.

Benlightenment14 karma

How many times a day do you get asked to say "Can you fly, Bobby?"

And do you get recognized more for Robocop or That 70's Show?

Kurtwood-Smith29 karma

Oh! Not very often. I get asked that occasionally.

All in all, probably That '70's Show, but ROBOCOP Is a close second, especially with men.

BradleyPooper14 karma

Have you seen the new RoboCop movie?

Kurtwood-Smith45 karma

I have.

shivan2113 karma

How did you enjoy your presence in 24?

Kurtwood-Smith26 karma

I enjoyed it very much. That was a really good group of people. I'd worked with Kiefer before, in a film many years ago - TIME TO KILL - and so it was fun working with him again, and I like that franchise so much. I'd watched all the episodes prior to that, so I was very enthusiastic to work on the show.

JohnnyOnslaught12 karma

Did you run into any type-casting or fallout from playing Clarence Boddicker in Robocop? That wasn't exactly a family-friendly role and I can imagine some people getting up-in-arms about image. PS, you're awesome. Very much enjoy a lot of your work.

Kurtwood-Smith24 karma

Well, thank you very much, appreciate that. And no, I never had any negative fallout from playing Clarence.

mackDWW12 karma

What's it like working with the cast of Resurrection? :)

Kurtwood-Smith23 karma

It's one of the best creative situations I've been involved in, working with these people.

Francis (who plays my wife) and I have great chemistry on set and I enjoy working with her very much and I feel that we make scenes better than they first appear (not to take anything away from the writers, because they probably have it in mind to begin with). Matt (who plays my brother) I always look forward to working with him - we give each other a hard time, and yet we really encourage each other work-wise, and this past year, working with Michelle (recently of GAME OF THRONES) has been a real treat. She's a wonderful woman and a great actress.

Blue_Turtle1310 karma

What new twists can we expect on Resurrection? Also, which actor/actress did you get closest to on That 70's show?

Kurtwood-Smith36 karma

Well, it appears that my character dies in the next episode. Let's see what happens.

Oh, closest to would be Deborah Joe! And then Topher. But over 8 years, you get pretty close to everybody. But those 2 in particular because I worked with them more.

mackDWW8 karma

how many hours do you spend on set filming one episode of resurrection?

Kurtwood-Smith29 karma

Each episode takes 8 days. So depending on how many scenes you have, that affects how much YOU are on set. Each episode takes 8 days.

Pyro20208 karma

I am a big fan and my favorite show is that 70s show. Do you have any stories of some of your favorite moments playing Red? Also does the cast ever get together now that the show is done with?

Kurtwood-Smith24 karma

No, we don't get together. It's too bad. I often see Deborah when I go to NYC, or when she comes out here. And i get together with the director, David, we had the same director for 199 episodes. He did every episode after the pilot. A terrific guy. And I often get together and have lunch with him, he's a very good friend of mine. The others i keep in touch with mostly online through text and emails..

dbcspace8 karma

Hi Kurtwood- what's been your favorite role so far?

If you had to pick another occupation besides acting, what would it be?

Kurtwood-Smith29 karma

Well, if I could write, I'd be a writer, but I can't, so I'm not.

I did a lot of directing when I was teaching college, some stage directing. I enjoyed it, but I never had the desire to do films.

Kurtwood-Smith26 karma

So I guess writing. But since I can't write, I'm lucky that I can act.

mackDWW7 karma

who's the funniest person to work with while on set of Resurrection ?

Kurtwood-Smith16 karma


kayjay257 karma

What's your favorite album from the 70's?

Kurtwood-Smith35 karma

I don't know - HOTEL CALIFORNIA maybe?

KarlEmmett977 karma

Red Forman is my favourite That 70s show character which I think is mainly down to you portrayal.Was there much competition for the role?

Kurtwood-Smith15 karma

I don't know how much there was. I know that when it got down to reading for the network - there are a series of hoops you go through before you get cast, and this was the last of them - there were 3 of us reading for the role. But before that, there were several people who were eliminated, I don't know how many.

shivan217 karma

What would be your first command as a president of Star Trek Federation?

Kurtwood-Smith22 karma

My first command would be: Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!

shivan216 karma

What current series would you like to join?

Kurtwood-Smith21 karma

Well, I'm pretty happy with the TV series I'm in. So I don't know what other series going I'd like to jump into.

lucyness6 karma

since you've done acting and voice acting, would you ever consider doing motion capture?

Kurtwood-Smith14 karma

Well, I would consider it. I don't quite know all the things that are involved. I have a friend who enjoys doing it, but he's in his 30's. So it would depend on what was involved.

Pyro20205 karma

During that 70s show after the theme. You hear Ashton Kutcher say "I love Wisconsin". What part of Wisconsin did the show take place in?

Kurtwood-Smith18 karma

Well, it was never identified. It was a place called "Point Place" intended to be in the Green Bay area. Up there by Sheboygan.

mackDWW2 karma

What was your favourite episode to film for Resurrection? :)

Kurtwood-Smith5 karma

It doesn't quite work like that. It's not so much particular episodes as it is particular scenes. I had a few scenes in the episode that aired, gosh, a month or less ago - there were a few scenes I really enjoyed. In fact, most of this season, I've had some good scenes. There were only a few episodes where I didn't have any outstanding scenes. And as I said in response to an earlier question - I always enjoy working with Francis, Matt and Michelle.

ziyadmerhebi2 karma

Have you ever actually put your foot in someone's ass?

Kurtwood-Smith11 karma


mackDWW1 karma

Does it look like there will be a season 3 for Resurrection? I hope it gets renewed!

Kurtwood-Smith3 karma

So do I!