Up until now he has mainly been known for humorous roles on screen in That 70’s Show, Punk’d, Dude Where’s My Car, and more recently, Two and a Half Men. But Ashton Kutcher’s career is about to take a more serious turn thanks to the soon-to-be released Jobs, a biopic in which he plays Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Ashton, who is dating actress Mila Kunis, spent three months preparing for the role, which follows the business and personal life of the late tech innovator, who was regarded as a genius by many. He says playing Jobs was both exciting and terrifying, as the inventor was also known for being a complicated person. Here Ashton talks about going on a strict fruit diet, staying in character on set and being an Apple addict himself…
Did you hesitate about taking on the role of Steve Jobs because he’s such an iconic figure?
I didn’t hesitate because he’s an iconic figure as much as I did because I have friends who knew him and cared for him. When I first read the screenplay, it wasn’t always a flattering portrayal of him and I wanted to make sure that the way I portrayed him was the way that the people who respected him saw him.
Do you see any similarities between yourself and Steve Jobs?
I see some of my qualities in him. I don’t think I could have played him if I didn’t have empathy and couldn’t appreciate his joy. We had similar upbringings; we’re both from pretty humble, middle-class families. We had similar experiences in that I went to school for one year for Biochemical Engineering and dropped out because I wasn’t really getting what I wanted from it. I had an opportunity to travel around the world at a young age. I had a fondness for art and technology and the way those two things work together. I have similarities with him in never being satisfied with the world and instead trying build it and have other people benefit from it.
How did you get into character?
I spent a lot of time reading about Jobs’ life and watching videos of his presentations at Apple. I also found audio files, which I listened to night and day. I compiled them and listened to them while I was sleeping and driving in my car 24 hours a day, just trying to understand him.
For the complete interview with Ashton Kutcher, get your copy of Ahlan! out on stands 22 August.