You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Steve Jobs’ Premiere: Michael Fassbender, Danny Boyle on Apple Blowback

Steve Jobs was a corporate rock star with few equals.

He made Apple the most successful technology company in the world, but his influence went beyond balance sheets. The phones, computers and tablets he helped revolutionize gave him an outsized influence on people’s daily lives, making the public feel like it had a personal connection to the Apple co-founder. His tempestuous life and hard-driving persona are front and center in “Steve Jobs,” a warts-and-all biopic that had its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival on Saturday.

“He changed the way we all live,” said Michael Fassbender, who plays Jobs in a bravura performance that defies Oscar voters to look away. “He changed the way we communicate, changed the way we buy things, changed the way we listen to music.

“Instead of having technology just be a tool for us, it became more than that,” he added. “We develop a relationship with it. Before, computers were scary things and they were only there for hobbyists and computer geeks, and he was like, ‘No, these are for everybody.'”

Not everyone is happy to have Hollywood turn the spotlight on the prickly Jobs. Director Danny Boyle acknowledged that the blowback from Apple has been intense with company leaders like Tim Cook slamming the picture.

“These corporations, and they’re so vast now, will be unhappy, because they’re all about total control,” said Boyle. “It’s not been the easiest passage.”

Yet Boyle argues that with companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and others transforming the way we share information, find out about events and engage in commerce, artists have a duty to investigate the technological revolution unfolding around us.

“These people have changed our world,” said Boyle. “Whether we like that or not, we are in the midst of that change. It’s impossible to see where it will end, so you need to be able to hold them up to the microscope. These people are having an enormous influence on our lives and sometimes they’re so powerful that governments, or the law, is unable to hold them to account.”

“Steve Jobs” doesn’t unfold like a conventional biopic. Instead of following the Apple tycoon from birth to death, it focuses on three seminal product launches, using them as jumping off points to investigate Jobs’ web of personal and professional relationships.

Then there’s the dialogue, which in true Aaron Sorkin form overflows with arias of erudition. Kate Winslet, who plays Jobs’ confidant Joanna Hoffman, said Sorkin’s language was one of the main reasons she wanted to be involved with the project.

“It’s extremely natural,” said Winslet. “The rhythms are incredibly realistic and when it fires, it’s like an orchestra. As actors, you struggle to make characters work and sometimes you might fiddle with the dialogue to make something fit a bit better. With Aaron’s dialogue you don’t need to touch a thing.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

  • Joker

    How 'Joker' Production Designer and Costume Designer Brought New Color to a Familiar World

    The partnership between a film’s production designer and costume designer is an important one. One creates the outfits and the look of the character, the other creates the world that the viewer disappears into. Together, they collaborate to reinforce the visuals of the film. Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is a world where production designer Mark Friedberg [...]

  • History-of-the-Occult

    Blood Window Announces 2019 WIP and World Premiere Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    Ventana Sur’s Blood Window sidebar for projects and films in progress has been a standout event on the Latin horror calendar since its launch in 2013, and is one of the Buenos Aires market’s most popular sections. In the following years, it has become a key two-way conduit between Latin American and international festivals and [...]

  • Scarlett Johansson Chris Evans Actors on

    Why Chris Evans Thinks Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver Need Oscars for 'Marriage Story'

    Scarlett Johansson (“Marriage Story”) isn’t afraid to ask for another take and she encourages young actors to do the same. Johansson revealed her thought process behind multiple takes while shooting during an intimate conversation with Chris Evans (“Knives Out”) for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” “I feel like if you have an idea — and [...]

  • 'Harriet' Movie: Why It Doesn't Mention

    Why 'Harriet' Doesn't Mention the $20 Bill

    In “Harriet,” directed and co-written by Kasi Lemmons, Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery, joined the Underground Railroad and then freed more than 70 people from slavery. (Spoilers about the movie ahead.) Though Tubman died in 1913 at age 91, the movie ends during the Civil War, with Tubman leading a troop of [...]

  • Frank Grillo Maggie Q

    Frank Grillo, Maggie Q to Star in Thriller 'Cutman' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Frank Grillo and Maggie Q will star in “Cutman,” a dramatic thriller directed by Michael Mailer and written by Tiffany Heath. Grillo will play an over-the-hill boxer who begins working as the muscle for a local gangster. His life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a young girl whose mother is a heroin addict [...]

  • Jamie Foxx Renee Zellweger Shuzhen Zhao

    Oscar Predictions 2019: Breaking Down the Early Frontrunners

    The Oscar race is on. Renée Zellweger is a sure bet to snag a nomination for her transformation in “Judy” and Adam Driver looks certain to be a nominee for his work in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” In the lead for best picture are movies including “The Irishman,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content