But these days, such passionate tirades come less frequently. “I’m really self-conscious,” he admits. “I know what I want to talk about now and what I don’t. I’ve learned less is more.”
When Bruce is being goofy, though, which he concedes is often, his voice slips into a more audible register. This is okay with him; this is another version of himself that he is proud of—the lighthearted comedian, the guy who can laugh at himself. He may be the only celebrity on earth who regularly goes on David Letterman without a project to promote, just so he can clown around and do silly stunts. “It’s about making fun of myself and making fun of fame,” he says of his Late Show appearances. “Taking that shot at myself really puts a pin in the entertainers who take themselves too seriously.” Emma cites Bruce’s sense of humor as perhaps her favorite quality of his. “I’m laughing from morning till night with him,” she says.
She gets along easily with Bruce’s children as well as with Moore, 46, and her 31-year-old husband, Ashton Kutcher. “I met them very early on, and I was definitely nervous,” she recalls, “because I’d never dated a man who had children and I wanted to be really sensitive to that. But I’ve been really blessed because from day one it’s been comfortable and fun.” The entire clan vacations together in Turks and Caicos, where their beach volleyball competitions can become quite fierce. “I still have a scar on my knee from two Christmases ago,” says Emma. Moore, Kutcher and the Willis girls were also all present for the wedding on the island (and Bruce was a guest at Moore and Kutcher’s 2005 wedding). “We’ve become like a tribe,” says Bruce, who has publicly admitted to working through anger and jealousy when Moore began dating Kutcher in 2003. “It’s generated a lot of interest because everyone can understand resentment and envy in the breakup of a marriage, but they don’t understand how I can get along with my ex like that. Demi and I made a choice to put the kids first, and we’re really lucky that it turns out we all have fun together. I still love her, and I have a lot of respect for how she lives her life.”
For her part, Emma—an only child raised by her mother after her parents divorced when she was seven—delights in her new role as “a stepmommy” and in her “individual relationships with each of the girls,” she says of Rumer, 20, an actress; Scout, 17, a soon-to-be freshman at Brown University (Emma and Bruce recently toured the school with her); and Tallulah, 15. And it’s a good thing, since Bruce talks about them with as much reverence as he does his wife. “People don’t realize his incredible ability as a father, how devoted he is to his daughters and they to him,” says Kraft. “My wife and I were at the wedding, and the speeches those girls gave about their dad were brilliantly emotional.”