Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Q&A: Ashton Kutcher Talks About Portraying Steve Jobs

By Associated Press - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:23PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Kutcher hopes his performance is as much a lesson about entrepreneurship to today's youth as it a profile of a man who revolutionized technology.

This film image released by Open Road Films shows Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, left, and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak in a scene from the film Jobs. AP Photo/Open Road Films, Glen Wilson

Ashton Kutcher -- the 35-year-old actor and technology enthusiast -- seems to hold an unflinching reverence for Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder he portrays in the film Jobs, opening Friday.

When he speaks about embodying the notoriously demanding Mac mastermind during a recent video conversation on Skype, in which Kutcher was an early investor, he's resolute and thoughtful. It's the antithesis of his goofball on-screen personas in TV series like That '70s Show and Two and a Half Men and in films such as Dude, Where's My Car? and What Happens in Vegas.

For Kutcher, he says it was imperative that he personify, not parody, the well-documented mannerisms of Jobs, who died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer and will also be profiled in an untitled Sony film by Aaron Sorkin. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who's played by Josh Gad in Jobs, has been hired as an advisor on the upcoming Sorkin film.

With Jobs, Kutcher hopes his performance is as much a lesson about entrepreneurship to today's youth as it a profile of a man who revolutionized technology.

AP: You don't paint a spotless portrait of Steve Jobs in this film. How did you balance playing a man that's obviously an icon but also has flaws like everyone else?

Kutcher: I think Steve cared about the end result and wasn't worried about being liked and knew he would eventually be liked if his creations were properly executed. He was very blunt, but it's because he cared. I tried to look at his faults as his gifts, and I tried to understand it and not judge it. I think the way that guy received love in life was by creating products that people loved, and when they loved the products, they thereby loved him.

AP: How did you mentally prepare for the scenes where Jobs goes into beast mode and he's yelling and combative?

Kutcher: He was never just senselessly combative. I think there was something he desired, and he had a goal and passion for his consumers that were driving his frustration. He wanted the people around him to care as much about the result as he did. I think his frustration was in an effort to motivate people to care.

AP: Why do you think now is the right time for this story? It isn't too soon?

Kutcher: As time passes, I think the tales get taller. He'll become more glorified for the things he did right, and more vilified for the things he did wrong. We had a great opportunity to tell a story about a guy with an exponential amount of resources to inform us about what really happened -- or as close to what really happened as they can recall.

AP: How do you feel about Steve Wozniak declaring some scenes weren't accurate after he saw footage of the film?

Kutcher: Steve Wozniak is being paid by another company to support their Steve Jobs film. It's personal for him, but it's also business. We have to keep that in mind. He was also extremely unavailable to us when producing this film. He's a brilliant man and I respect his work, but he wasn't available to us as a resource, so his account isn't going to be our account because we don't know exactly what it was. We did the best job we could. Nobody really knows what happened in the rooms.

link

The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$173.03 (-0.09%) $0.16

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
403%
 
S&P 500 Returns
128%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/17/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.