Meet Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak — version 2.0.
That’s the promise and premise of Jobs, a biopic due in April in which Ashton Kutcher (as Jobs) and Josh Gad portray the budding tech titans during the company’s early days in the 1970s. The film, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, makes its world premiere as the closing-night film for the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 26.
Gad, who also stars in the new NBC sitcom 1600 Penn (he’s also co-creator and executive producer), says he was blown away after noticing the physical similarities that Kutcher has to the visionary Jobs, who died of pancreatic cancer in October 2011.
“There is an eerie resemblance — he didn’t have to do much to get there,” says Gad. “When he showed up, it sent a ripple of shock throughout the set. Everyone was like, ‘We’re in the presence of Jobs. Let’s go do this.’ It was literally like being in the room with the creator of Apple. This is one of those roles that’s the perfect fit.”
Aston Kutcher portrays Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs in ‘Jobs.’ The movie will be the Sundance Film Festival’s closing night film later this month.
Gad, too, studied “literally hundreds” of hours of Wozniak footage and read everything he could find on the visionary computer engineer. He even took programming courses to tap into the mind-set. “This was definitely outside my wheelhouse. I felt like I was going to college.”
Gad’s transformation was even more radical coming off a starring role in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon where he played clean-cut Elder Arnold Cunningham. To go full Wozniak, he had to apply a fake beard and have his hair straightened every morning.
“Unfortunately it was a grueling two-hour process each day, where my face felt like it needed to be ripped off,” says Gad. “The first night I went to bed, I was literally stuck to my pillow. It was sick, sick glue.”
Theneed to get Wozniak right was imperative because of the tremendous impact he had on Jobs’ historical arc.
“In a way, it’s a love story between these two men,” says Gad. “And their journey is full of heartbreak and some different parting-of-ways moments.”
“The combination of Jobs’ ambition and design and Woz’s technical genius provided us with one of the most revolutionary tools ever created — the personal computer,” says Kutcher.
Sony Pictures has a separate big-screen adaption on the life of Jobs underway based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling authorized biography, with the screenplay by The Social Network’s Aaron Sorkin. But Jobs, which was picked up by Open Roads pictures, is the first out of the gate and follows the title character through the beginnings of Apple in the 1970s to the launch of the first iPhone in 2001.
The film even chronicles the very Palo Alto, Calif., garage where Apple began, with the historic setting serving as a key location in the film.
“We were blessed with the opportunity to actually shoot in that garage,” says Gad, who admits to being an iPhone junkie himself. “It was so eerie to go back there and think, ‘This is where it all started.’ And then you notice everyone texting on their iPhone. It was otherworldly.”
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