"I didn't really know much about him," admits Michael Fassbender when asked about playing the title character in "Steve Jobs" (watch below). "I suppose the thing that really stuck with me was meeting people who knew him — John Sculley, Joanna Hoffman, Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld … You could see he was still very much present in their lives. Even if their relationships were difficult, there was a sadness and a love there for him."
The film by Oscar champ Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") paints a complex portrait of the man as a brutal taskmaster with conflicting emotions about his family and his legacy. The actors credit the screenplay by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") as an essential but demanding part of the process.
Recalls Kate Winslet, who plays Jobs' marketing guru Joanna Hoffman, "I have to be honest, it was terrifying. I remember all of us walking into the room on day one of rehearsal when you're trying out your accent and hoping to God that everyone else isn't looking at you and thinking, 'She's shit'. When we walked onto the set, we had to be that well-oiled machine, we had to be ready to go, we had to have Sorkin-ese in our back pockets."
That difficulty wasn't lost on Sorkin. "Each of them, at at least one point in the movie, has a long list of things to say. I went over to Jeff [Daniels] and I said, 'Michael's a really big Irish guy. I think he's going to beat me up.' And Jeff, who had been doing this for three years with 'The Newsroom' stared at me and said, 'I'm a really big Irish guy, and I'm going to beat you up.'"
"Steve Jobs" opens Friday (Oct. 9) in limited release with a nationwide roll-out to follow on October 23.
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Photo: Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. Credit: Daniel Montgomery/Gold Derby