Four years after the death of Steve Jobs, Michael Fassbender talks about portraying an icon

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2015
Actor Michael Fassbender spent nearly half a year learning about and portraying Steve Jobs, in a performance audiences will finally have the opportunity to see more than four years after the Apple cofounder's passing.




Fassbender talked about what it was like to take the role of Jobs in a Q&A session at the 53rd annual New York Film Festival this weekend, where AppleInsider was in attendance. Fassbender admitted he actually didn't know much about the man's personal life before reading Aaron Sorkin's script for "Steve Jobs."

"Obviously I knew who he was, but I'm not very interested in technology --?I use it pretty poorly," Fassbender said. "So everything was new to me, to be honest."

The actor was involved in the project from last December until this April, when filming wrapped. During that time period, Jobs was obviously on his mind a great deal.

"You know, I kind of lived with him for those months that we were filming," he said.




Jobs died four years ago today, on Oct. 5, 2011. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook recognized the anniversary with an email to Apple's employees, remembering him as a "dear friend."

Even though the movie only deals with a small portion of Jobs's life, Fassbender said some of his research went well past the three product launches the film encompasses, between the 1984 debut of the first Macintosh to the 1998 unveiling of the iMac.

"I was either reading the script or I was listening to YouTube clips of him, whether it be the speech he gave at Stanford, or interviews from when he was in the NeXT Computer phase of his life," he said.

In preparing to play Jobs, Fassbender also met with people who knew him over the years, including Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, former Apple Chief Executive John Sculley, and original Macintosh development team members Joanna Hoffman and Andy Hertzfeld.




He said the one thing that truly stuck with him from those conversations was the genuine love that people had for Jobs --?even those who didn't get along with him. He also came away impressed by Jobs's ability to motivate those around him, and to achieve the impossible.

"He believed he could change the universe, and he did," Fassbender said of Jobs.

But there was one last secret to Fassbender's portrayal of Jobs that he revealed to the audience at the festival, earning laughter: "I studied Ashton Kutcher," he said sarcastically.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    What is this now...four separate stories on this movie? I'm not sure such heavy coverage is warranted. How many threads were dedicated to that middling movie starring Ashton Kutcher?
  • Reply 2 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    What is this now...four separate stories on this movie? I'm not sure such heavy coverage is warranted. How many threads were dedicated to that middling movie starring Ashton Kutcher?



    It comes out this Friday, it's a major studio release (unlike Kutcher's film), it's considered to be an early Oscar contender and has been praised in early reviews (including mine), we had the opportunity to see it before it's in theaters so the information is new to readers, and we attended a Q&A with the cast which was full of interesting information. So, yes, we will be covering it this week. It's newsworthy.

  • Reply 3 of 19
    Two stories from the weekend screening alone. [I]Which AppleInsider attended. A copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider. Overclocked A8. Well-connected analyst.[/I]
  • Reply 4 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Two stories from the weekend screening alone. Which AppleInsider attended. A copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider. Overclocked A8. Well-connected analyst.



    There will be more stories throughout the week. You're not obligated to comment on all of them, or even read them.

  • Reply 5 of 19

    So did you guys actually make part of the movie or you just love it so much you can't seem to stop writing about it?

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     



    It comes out this Friday, it's a major studio release (unlike Kutcher's film), it's considered to be an early Oscar contender and has been praised in early reviews (including mine), we had the opportunity to see it before it's in theaters so the information is new to readers, and we attended a Q&A with the cast which was full of interesting information. So, yes, we will be covering it this week. It's newsworthy.


  • Reply 6 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor

    I suppose this is as good of a time as any to post a link to our commenting guidelines and remind everyone that we are specifically not interested in comments that ask, "Why is this considered news?" Our staff agrees that these comments do not contribute to an intelligent discussion.

     

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/184333/appleinsiders-updated-commenting-guidelines

  • Reply 7 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bdkennedy View Post

     

     

     

    We find the movie and the stories surrounding the production of it to be interesting and newsworthy, and based on traffic and comments, so do our readers.

  • Reply 8 of 19
    nhughes wrote: »

    There will be more stories throughout the week. You're not obligated to comment on all of them, or even read them.

    Wow, I think that is perhaps the most polite way anyone has ever told me to shut up. :)
  • Reply 9 of 19
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 750editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post





    Wow, I think that is perhaps the most polite way anyone has ever told me to shut up. image



    I took a few minutes and worded it as carefully as I could. No disrespect intended, I would just rather people talk about the movie itself (both good and bad) rather than our coverage of it.

  • Reply 10 of 19
    vfx2k4vfx2k4 Posts: 43member
    Shutting up is not the same as keeping comments to yourself. Especially when they add little to a conversation. Like mine for example...
  • Reply 11 of 19
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    nhughes wrote: »
    Wow, I think that is perhaps the most polite way anyone has ever told me to shut up. :)


    I took a few minutes and worded it as carefully as I could. No disrespect intended, I would just rather people talk about the movie itself (both good and bad) rather than our coverage of it.

    If it doesn't succeed, it won't be from lack of promotion.
  • Reply 12 of 19

    So far no comments on the movie.

     

    I'm not helping.

  • Reply 13 of 19
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nhughes View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    What is this now...four separate stories on this movie? I'm not sure such heavy coverage is warranted. How many threads were dedicated to that middling movie starring Ashton Kutcher?



    It comes out this Friday, it's a major studio release (unlike Kutcher's film), it's considered to be an early Oscar contender and has been praised in early reviews (including mine), we had the opportunity to see it before it's in theaters so the information is new to readers, and we attended a Q&A with the cast which was full of interesting information. So, yes, we will be covering it this week. It's newsworthy.


    Count me in as one of the readers who is interested in this movie.

     

    Please keep the interesting information coming.

     

    Regarding Fassbender, I read somewhere (could have been here, I can't remember) that he throws himself deeply into the roles he plays and works incredibly hard at his craft.

  • Reply 14 of 19
    I'll maybe see it, but I did read a negative review of it today. Said it was weak compared to [I]The Social Network.[/I]
  • Reply 15 of 19
    thebmtthebmt Posts: 10member

    Never mind. Can't delete this post, so please ignore.

  • Reply 16 of 19
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,985member
    thebmt wrote: »
    Never mind. Can't delete this post, so please ignore.

    A moderator will usually delete a post if you ask them to.
  • Reply 17 of 19
    I will probably go see this movie because I am a fan of Fassbender. But I have not watched anything at all written by Sorkin (at least, not that know of), and I am not the world's biggest Danny Boyle fan (Slumdog was crap).

    So, let's see. I am keeping an open mind.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    "Sorkinisms":

    Fill your Sorkinisms bingo card if you see the movie.
  • Reply 19 of 19
    Quote:
    But there was one last secret to Fassbender's portrayal of Jobs that he revealed to the audience at the festival, earning laughter: "I studied Ashton Kutcher," he said sarcastically.

     

    OK, I'll bite.

     

    Ashton Kutcher deserves more credit. He definitely looked more like Jobs than Fassbender, and his performance was decent, even quite good by some measures. His voice, gait and mannerisms were all impressive. The movie was actually good by typical Hollywood standards, and I will definitely watch it again.

     

    The problem with writing a book or making a movie about Jobs or Apple, is that one needs a serious amount of tech credibility to pass muster with writers, bloggers, and users, and Apple cadre and alumni. Kutcher made the mistake of trying too hard, where Fassbender is playing it smart by stating up front that he is no poser.

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