Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad, who will portray Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the upcoming film jOBS, came to MacWorld/iWorld yesterday for an interview about making the film, and what drew them to the project.
Beyond his career as an actor, Kutcher is also a tech investor, coming in at the “angel” stage to help developing technologies get the seed money they need to get started. When asked if he thinks he might have given money to a barefooted Steve Jobs in the 70s, Kutcher took a significant pause, drawing a laugh from the audience. He then explained that what he looks for in projects to fund are people who are seeking to “ease friction” in a process; he compared the railroad to the previous process of the horse and carriage, and said he hoped that he would be smart enough to see what Jobs would have been talking about, a personal computer in an age of mainframes.
Gad, on the other hand, was not as involved with the technology world growing up, but when the iPod was introduced, considered it an amazing device. After he became involved with the film (following a 3-1/2 hour long conversation with Kutcher, who was already attached), he started reading everything he could about Wozniak.
The two addressed the recent criticism that Woz leveled at a clip of the film, with Gad getting another laugh by saying “I hadn’t heard that, what did he say?” Gad said that while they might have gotten details wrong, like what he was wearing to work, he (Gad) thinks they got the tone right, and hoped that Woz would change his opinion after he’d seen the whole film.
Gad also praised Kutcher’s commitment to the role, saying that he felt like he’d only recently gotten to know the actor, since he spent so much time in character as Jobs. Kutcher noted that he made a Soundcloud of every audio file he could find of Jobs’ voice, as well as adopting a fruitarian diet that may have contributed to the pancreatitis he suffered right before filming. They also noted that they shot the early “garage days” footage in the actual house where Jobs and Wozniak worked, and that Jobs’ family gave them access to some of his sketches and notebooks.
When asked what they took away from the process: Gad talked about how there were two sides to Jobs, one was a workaholic who would work feverishly on details, but also a man who could stop and take inspiration from things like whale watching. Kutcher talked about how Jobs believed that the impossible was possible, and pointed to a speech Jobs made where he told students that the world around them was made by people no smarter than them, and that everything can be changed.
After a pause, Gad added “Now my whale story [expletive] sucks.” After a laugh, Kutcher climbed on the couch they shared and hugged Gad.
Be sure to check out more Macworld/iWorld news at AppleTell.