Ashton Kutcher knows that he might face some criticism for playing someone as well known as Steve Jobs. Plus, it’s the first time he’s played a real person.
“It’s funny—you always play a real person. Most of the time people don’t know who you’re playing. It gives you liberty to screw up,” he said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “People are probably going to watch and in some ways feel there are things I didn’t nail. There’s a lot of different perspectives on the guy. I looked at the Steve Jobs I felt like the most people knew, which is the guy in the black turtleneck, and New Balance shoes, and round glasses and shaved head, presenting a product.”
Because he knew there could be harsh reviews, Kutcher did as much research as he could for Jobs. “His [adoptive] parents, one was from Wisconsin, one was from Northern California, so [the accent] is kind of a mix,” he explained. “Then I looked at behaviors he repeated, whether it was his gestures, the way he walked, the way he counted on his fingers starting with his pinkie. I read books that he read The Autobiography of a Yogi, The Mucus-Free Diet Healing System. I researched the entrepreneurs he looked up to, whether it was Hewlett-Packard, Edwin Land, Thomas Edison. The artists he liked—Bauhaus, Folon, Ansel Adams. Listened to the music that he listened to [Bob Dylan]. With the assumption that if I consumed what he consumed, maybe I would be able to see the world a little bit closer to the way he saw it.”
Audiences can judge for themselves whether Kutcher achieved his goal when the film is released Friday, August 16.