JOBS: Ashton Kutcher honours a genius

22 Aug 13

“He read the script, I understand, in a day,” says Mark Hulme, producer, JOBS.

The filmmaking process went into overdrive when Ashton Kutcher came aboard.

Kutcher met with director Joshua Michael Stern two days later and, a day after that, emerged as the filmmakers’ clear pick for the part.

“It really happened that quickly—which was, of course, pivotal because Steve Jobs’ character has over 40 percent of the dialogue in this movie,” Hulme recalls.

Kutcher was a perfect fit for the lead role, says Hulme, and not just because he shares a nearly uncanny resemblance with the longtime Apple icon.

“He’s got this sort of deep connection with Steve Jobs,” he says.

“The love and understanding for technology which Ashton is all about, and the fact that he’s been an Apple stock owner for 10 years.

"I think he’s always connected, always sympathized, and he’s an incredibly intelligent individual.”

Stern was equally impressed by how right Kutcher was for the role.

“When I first met Ashton, he already, on some level, walked in as Steve,” the director recalls. “I walked out of that meeting pretty much attuned to the fact that he should get the part.

"He’s amazing in it. He truly is committed emotionally to the core. It’s not just about posing and mimicry.”

Some of Kutcher’s co-stars were blown away by his in-depth knowledge of computer technology, including Lukas Haas who plays the role of Daniel Kottke—the friend Jobs went to India with as a young man.

Haas remembers a moment between takes where he was soldering a motherboard for the Apple I computer.

“I’m just soldering it together and I don't know what the hell this is—I have no idea how this stuff works,” Haas says.

“And Ashton literally just started talking about it. He studied everything. He knows everything about Apple, about Steve, about how the circuitry works.”

For his part, Kutcher—an avid consumer electronics fan himself—says his connection with Jobs stole up on him gradually.

“When Steve Jobs passed away, I had this bizarre emotional reaction and I didn’t know what it was,” the actor says.

“I was like, ‘Wow, why am I so shook up about this?’ And I started thinking about all the ways my life was affected by this guy and began learning about him anywhere and everywhere I could.”

That’s when Kutcher’s agent handed him Whiteley’s script. The actor says he viewed taking on the role of Jobs as a way to honor a man whose genius—like that of Thomas Edison or Henry Ford—is in evidence everywhere around us.

He says Jobs was that rare genius who could fuse form and function to create products that were both beautiful and worked well.

“Very rarely do you have someone who can do both,” Kutcher says. “They’re like Leonardo Da Vinci—someone who can paint a Mona Lisa and build a flying contraption.”

“Steve had this incredible understanding of the larger picture that most of us lack,” Whiteley said of the late entrepreneur.

“While most of us see and think of the here and now, [Steve Jobs] had a far greater perspective of how it all connects long term, ten, fifteen years down the road.

"How he managed to live and work in the future is beyond me, but it’s certainly one of the great roots of his genius.”

Kutcher says Jobs’ defining characteristic was his laser focus on the goal, along with an ability “to say no to the things that a lot of other people would say yes to.”

The object of that focus, he says, was the creation of a great consumer experience.

“He cared more than anyone else—with every fiber of his being—about the quality of that experience,” the actor says.

“He dedicated his entire life to building the greatest personal computer in the world and I think, to date, he’s done it.”

To watch the official trailer of the movie, click here

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