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Ashton Kutcher on Steve Jobs biopic: 'This was done with the utmost love, admiration, and respect'

post #1 of 30
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The 29th annual Macworld conference kicked off today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco with Macworld GM Paul Kent interviewing Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, stars of the Steve Jobs biopic JOBS. The two actors talked about the roles they took on, with Kutcher surprising the crowd with some serious Apple nerd cred.

Kutcher-Gad-1
Josh Gad (left) and Ashton Kutcher (right) speaking at Macworld 2013. | Source: Macworld/iWorld 2013


Kent opened up the interview asking the two stars how much they knew about Apple before taking on the roles and how familiar they were with Apple products. Gad admitted to a certain level of tech illiteracy, especially with regard to Apple.

"I didn't know much about the journey that it took to get to Apple," Gad said. "I was a late converter, I think, I didn't catch on until around the time the iPod launched. My wife brought home this computer and it changed my idea of what a computer could be, as far as ease of use."

Kutcher, however, drew applause from the audience when he revealed, "Yeah, I had an Apple IIGS when i was just a young kid. My dad brought it home. Really, all I did was play this game Number Munchers, and my favorite thing to do was going into the control panel to mess around with stuff."

Kutcher said, though, that that was when he was much younger. He fell out of technology shortly thereafter, only getting back into it after he went to college to study engineering.

Over the course of an hour, the two actors joked and talked with their host, explaining the thinking that went into their approach to portraying the two tech icons.

"[Steve Jobs] is kind of a hero," said Kutcher, "so when I was looking at the script, I saw some things where I said, 'Hey, hold on a second!' ... I met with [JOBS director] Josh Stern, and he felt the same way."

Gad said he knew little about Steve Wozniak before taking on the part. "I had talked to Josh Stern about taking on this thing. My knowledge of Steve Wozniak was, y'know, 'Dancing with the Stars.'"

Kutcher-Gad-2
Josh Gad takes on the role of Steve Wozniak.


The two also addressed the minor controversy stemming from Steve Wozniak's recent comments on advance footage of the film. Gad said he hopes Woz gives the film a fair chance.

"I adore Steve Wozniak," Gad gushed," I greatly appreciate that man and I hope that when he sees the movie in its entirety he will understand that we went to great lengths ... It was an intensive journey, and I know it was the same for Ashton. This was done with the utmost love, admiration, and respect."

Kutcher elaborated, hoping to put to rest complaints over the film's inaccuracies. "We weren't there. In filmmaking, you have to make a narrative that plays. You have to ride the arc of the entertainment of the film and stay true to who the people were and how the people were."

In all, the two said they believed they'd both been changed by the roles they played, influenced by the legacy of the two tech visionaries. Wozniak's book and life story, Gad said, inspired him to allow for intense focus and work, but also revealed to him the necessity of taking time away from that intensity in order to seek inspiration elsewhere.

"So now, I watch whales," the actor joked.

For Kutcher, Jobs' example showed him the importance of focus, as well as not to try switching to a fruit-only diet.

"For a month, I ate only grapes and drank carrot juice, and before we started shooting I just doubled over in pain," he said, describing the unfortunate consequences of an attempt to follow in Jobs' dietary footsteps. Upon going to the hospital, the doctors told him he had developed pancreatitis. "I don't know if it can be tied directly to a fruitarian diet, but I developed pancreatitis before the shoot, and it was kind of scary."

Gad summed up the forthcoming film, saying aspects of it are kind of like a buddy movie.

"It really is the story of this, sort of John Lennon Paul McCartney, this once-in-a-lifetime duo of people who really complemented each other," he said. "The idea that these two would meet and it would be this sort of perfect storm kind of fascinated me."

JOBS is slated to open nationwide on April 19.
post #2 of 30
"yeah, I had an Apple IIGS when i was just a young kid. My dad brought it home. Really, all I did was play this game Number Munchers, and my favorite thing to do was going into the control panel to mess around with stuff."

Like, he's like such a cool guy ¡
I am so not going to watch this movie, like, not going to.
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post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

with Kutcher surprising the crowd with some serious Apple nerd cred.

Kutcher, however, drew applause from the audience, revealing that "yeah, I had an Apple IIGS when i was just a young kid. My dad brought it home. Really, all I did was play this game Number Munchers, and my favorite thing to do was going into the control panel to mess around with stuff."

Kutcher said, though, that that was when he was much younger. He fell out of technology shortly thereafter, not getting back into it until he went to college to study engineering.

When do we get to the "serious Apple nerd creed" part? Sorry, but playing Number Crunchers is not serious nerd cred by any stretch of the imagination.


As for the title, what do you expect them to say? "It was a hatchet job and we really couldn't stand the guy so we did our best to make him look bad"?
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post #4 of 30
I think people's objections to this film are based on considerations other than love, admiration and respect.

People that make their own Star Trek episodes are surely doing it for love, admiration and respect but that doesn't mean the end result isn't crap.
Edited by SolipsismX - 1/31/13 at 2:43pm

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post #5 of 30
That's Kutcher, surprising the crowd with some serious Apple nerd cred.
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post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

When do we get to the "serious Apple nerd creed" part? Sorry, but playing Number Crunchers is not serious nerd cred by any stretch of the imagination.


As for the title, what do you expect them to say? "It was a hatchet job and we really couldn't stand the guy so we did our best to make him look bad"?

Yeah, I was waiting to get to the nerd cred part, too. I guess they decided not to share that part?
post #7 of 30
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
Sorry, but playing Number Crunchers is not serious nerd cred by any stretch of the imagination.

 

I'll say. Real nerds play Word Munchers.

 

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post #8 of 30
This film is like the (quickly produced) made-for-TV movie compared to whatever Sony Pictures/Aaron Sorkin has in production. And I base that entirely on nothing.

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post #9 of 30
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'll say. Real nerds play Word Munchers.

 

 

Real nerds played "Blue Max" on a Commodore 64.  Or so I'm told.

post #10 of 30
Come on Phil, you sound like a nerd. Let's see if the movie beats 11% on Rottentomatoes before we decide heh?

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post #11 of 30
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Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

Real nerds played "Blue Max" on a Commodore 64.  Or so I'm told.


Real nerds coded their own games in assembler, if I may say so.

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post #12 of 30

Actually, correction: real nerds built Macs.
 

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post #13 of 30

I'm looking forward to watching this. I don't put much stock in Woz's comments, it's consistent with everything else he'd said about Apple the past couple decades, which is bashing them every opportunity he gets and bragging about what he did. Here, he even feels the need to rob a dead Steve Jobs from getting credit, proclaiming that it was 'his idea'. 

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'll say. Real nerds play Word Munchers.

 

 

 

Real nerds played "Blue Max" on a Commodore 64.  Or so I'm told.

Real nerds wrote their own games on a Tandy 16

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post #15 of 30
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Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


Real nerds coded their own games in assembler, if I may say so.

Real nerds coded their own games by wiring and soldering their own computer boards so the game logic was baked in to the hardware.

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post #16 of 30
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

This was done with the utmost love, admiration, and respect."

So? If the set was a veritable SJ love-fest, or a hateful sweat shop driven by a tyrannical director it will have no bearing on the outcome... as we have seen a hundred time in the past.


Edited by paxman - 1/31/13 at 3:02pm
post #17 of 30

Josh Gad looks more like a heavy metal guitarist in that picture than Woz.

post #18 of 30
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Real nerds coded their own games by wiring and soldering their own computer boards so the game logic was baked in to the hardware.


This.

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post #19 of 30
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think people's objections to this film are based on considerations other than love, admiration or respect.

People that make their Star Trek episodes are surely doing it for love, admiration and respect but that doesn't mean the end result isn't crap.

I couldn't have put it better. I was actually going to reply to say 'pity intelligence and talent weren't in there also'

I'm not sure I buy the comment given the lack of real research, etc put into this. It feels like it was three guys looking for 'hit fodder' to make a name for themselves.

Oh and there's really not a lot of nerd cred to be had with having a computer when you are five. I have a Mac when I was five and yes I basically played games on it. And had one ever since then (thanks to my computer engineer dad). Even picked my college out of two choices because one supported Macs in the main campus and not just in the film school. THAT is childhood nerd cred.

And it's no wonder he got sick. Fruitarians know you have to eat a variety of fruits, nuts etc to avoid vitamin deficiency. And die hards would say carrots aren't allowed cause they don't grow on a vine but under the soil. So double blew it there.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

This film is like the (quickly produced) made-for-TV movie compared to whatever Sony Pictures/Aaron Sorkin has in production. And I base that entirely on nothing.

Everything I've seen and read does suggest that the production quality is about the same as a bad made for TV movie. Not the NBC, Syfy 4-6 hour event stuff (which proves that MFT isn't always shit) but like those cheesy low budget Lifetime movies.

If these guys weren't trying to make their careers off this then they might have sat down, done some serious research etc and perhaps decided to do a TV movie or what we in the biz like to call a 'limited series' of like 10-12 episodes. Really cover his life, perhaps all in narrative,perhaps a mix of narrative and interview by some of the folks that new and worked with him. Perhaps Apple might have even let them into the company archive and let them use old keynotes, earning call tapes, TV ads etc. probably take a couple of years to do the ground work then one or two more for production to really do it well. But the result could even trump this 'three keynotes' of the official movie.

And it would have been a work believable as one of love, admiration and respect.
post #21 of 30

I wasn't going to watch the movie, but I will now. I wanted it to be accurate, but that's impossible since the script writers received no help from either Steve.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think people's objections to this film are based on considerations other than love, admiration and respect.

People that make their own Star Trek episodes are surely doing it for love, admiration and respect but that doesn't mean the end result isn't crap.

 

Raise your glasses... a toast to crap! (clink)

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post #23 of 30
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Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

 

Real nerds played "Blue Max" on a Commodore 64.  Or so I'm told.

 

Real nerds played games they programmed themselves. ;)

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post #24 of 30
Am I the only one that noticed the "utmost care" quote is attributed to Gads in the article, but to Kutcher in the headline? Me thinks AppleInsider doesn't proofread anything.

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post #25 of 30

Interesting that the actor they hired to play Woz only knows Woz as some guy on "Dancing with the Stars."

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post #26 of 30

The upmost respect love and understanding doesn't save the movie from being worse than a rotten tomato.  Its the writer, director and producers fault.

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post #27 of 30
What's Kutchers next role, the Aurora, CO, Movie Massacre Gunman?

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post #28 of 30
Why didn't they talk to Woz during the script writing? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
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post #29 of 30

Wow, the IIGS brings back memories. We had a prerelease GS at NetComm (Australia) in an ordinary Apple II case and sworn to secrecy. If anyone passed by they thought I was just working on the Apple II (of course NetComm's secret weapon was our Burroughs ALGOL-based development language for Apple II, SDL).

 

One day a journalist rang me up and told me Apple had told him to contact me for information on the GS because I was the Australian expert on the machine (wow I didn't know that!). But I told him I would not give out any information until I'd cleared it personally with Apple. So I spoke to my contact at Apple and it was all cleared because the IIGS was being released the next day. After that we got a new one in the nice IIGS box.

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


When do we get to the "serious Apple nerd creed" part? Sorry, but playing Number Crunchers is not serious nerd cred by any stretch of the imagination.


As for the title, what do you expect them to say? "It was a hatchet job and we really couldn't stand the guy so we did our best to make him look bad"?

So you've seen the film, then.   

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