Ashton Kutcher and director break down 'Jobs,' talk man behind the curtain
26th Jul 2013 | 20:55
Deconstructing Apple's late co-founder
"It only takes one person to start a revolution," and after a special screening of the Jobs biopic, it's evident that Ashton Kutcher, the actor portraying the iconic Apple founder, believes in the credo.
On Thursday, film studio Open Road invited the press to a pre-release screening of Jobs in San Francisco. The film will open in U.S. theaters Aug. 16.
While we can't divulge on the film, a post-credits Q&A with direct Joshua Michael Stern and Kutcher gave us plenty of writing fodder.
The theater was packed with press and rather annoyingly, many had Google Glass in tow.
However, sporting the gaudy gear seemed appropriate for a film about the limitless boundaries of innovation, where during the question and answer session Kutcher eloquently addressed the importance of failing, and the need to encourage entrepreneurs in the breakneck world of tech.
Jobs' life was filled with troublesome relationships caused by his "prickly personality," which is putting it rather mildly.
Stern addressed how Jobs never lived in the past, rather relying on the present and focusing on future endeavors. For Stern, Jobs was loyal to his achievements first, and that required boxed up emotions and a lack of sentimentality.
When asked what his thoughts were on Jobs' mercurial cruelty, Kutcher explained that after much research, he believed the continued rejection in Jobs' life from his parents, people around him and the betrayal from his own company played a huge role in creating the famous, dysfunctional personality.
Kutcher said the result of Jobs' erratic, anti-social tendencies only pushed him harder to create products that people would love - because in loving the product, they essentially love its creator, an emotional process that Kutcher described as "very human."
The baseball hat-donned actor also added that despite Jobs' genius, there's clearly a kinder way to treat employees, and people in general - reassuring since Kutcher himself co-founded a media company and created a venture capital fund.
Kutcher walks the walk and talks the talk
When asked about the type of preparations he took on for the role, the infamous Steve Jobs gait was brought up.
With three months to prep, Kutcher said he tried to digest all of the books Jobs read (Edison, Ansel Adams, etc.), while researching Bauhaus and numerous other design concepts.
He even had hours of Jobs audio on a Soundcloud full of speeches he'd listen to while driving or walking, and even fall asleep to, in order to get the perplexing role right.
Because Jobs often liked to be outside walking and hiking, and even having meetings in the fresh air, Kutcher did the same - which is when he would practice the peculiar hunched hop Jobs was known for.
Kutcher had his own speculations about this particular walking style. He felt Jobs' barefoot days in the 70s during college made him lift his feet higher to avoid stubbing his toes, a step he then simply carried on for the rest of his life.
The dedication of Kutcher's research to show us the man behind the curtain seems quite obsessive in nature (heck, it even put him in the hospital as reported earlier this year), and interestingly, provides another parallel to Jobs' own obsessive personality.
Kutcher catches fire
Personality and mop-top makeup aside, the tall bean-pole actor shares other similarities with Jobs: the ability to convey idealistic soliloquies with extreme passion as if his life depended on it.
Though his topics of discussion almost sounded like a valedictorian speech, Kutcher still won over the audience by expressing what appeared like genuine, articulate thoughts on the need for more never-give-up type of entrepreneurs in the tech sphere:
"We need entrepreneurs more than ever … the great innovation that happens in the world is happening around technology … we're doing an incredible job leading the world - the United States is building technology and we need to inspire people."
It seems like he's taking a page right of Jobs' book with his desire to tell others to rise up and be more, and to be better. Kutcher's zeal for tech is so transparent, he went on to mention Elon Musk or even one of the entrepreneurs he works with every day as being the next "god" to revolutionize tech.
Regardless of who it is, Kutcher adamantly stated that the formula for the next Jobs will require someone who is "driven, focused and works hard and fearlessly approaches failure, and falls down and gets back up."
For Kutcher, failing repeatedly will birth the next great pioneer in technology: "I guarantee you the next person who innovates that way will be someone who's failed many times in their lifetime."
Though a lot more was said (as if there wasn't enough here already) about the portrayal of the iconic Apple founder, one issue raised were the discrepancies with reality present in the film.
Steve Wozniak has been vocal about this by telling Gizmodo how it was actually him trying to convince Jobs about the democratization of technology - Jobs apparently only wanted to make a quick buck and his lofty speeches seen in the trailers, "came much further down the line."
However, Stern claims Jobs always had an aura of mystery that no one could or would be able to unravel and that the film wasn't an exact science in terms of real events, but was as close as the filmmakers could get.
For Kutcher, near-perfect authenticity was also important, evident in his countless hours of research. But what mattered most to him occurred after a private screening held for the original Apple gang - a member strode up to Kutcher and said, "Thank you for giving me back two hours with Steve."
And really, that's all we can hope for from the film.