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Sundance: Playing Steve Jobs terrified Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher portrays Apple Computers founder Steve Jobs in the biopic "jOBS."  The movie is on the Premieres slate of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy Glen Wilson  |  Sundance Institute
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actor Josh Gad, playing the role of Steve Wozniak, is photographed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actress Ahna O'Reilly is photographed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actor Ashton Kutcher, playing the role of Steve Jobs, is interviewed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actors Josh Gad, left, playing the role of Steve Wozniak, and Ashton Kutcher, playing Steve Jobs, are photographed Friday on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actor Ashton Kutcher, playing the role of Steve Jobs, is interviewed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Writer Matt Whiteley is photographed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
(Kim Raff  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)  
Actor Ashton Kutcher, playing the role of Steve Jobs, is interviewed on the red carpet for the premiere of  "jOBS" at the Eccles Theatre during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on January 25, 2013.
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Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ partner in the early days of Apple, has already said that the one scene of “jOBS” he has seen was “totally wrong.” Director Joshua Michael Stern acknowledged that “these are really hard movies to enter because there’s a lot of expectations.”

And he said his goal was to give filmgoers “a feeling of what happened” and “finding the essence of who these people were.”

Josh Gad (“Book of Mormon,” “1600 Penn”) pointed out that he clearly got one thing right when it came to portraying Wozniak. “We’re similar in that we both have weight problems,” he said.

When it came to casting Kutcher as Jobs, Stern said he “instantly knew that he was very invested in this role. I felt instantly that it was important to him on many levels.”

And he knew at once that he wanted Kutcher for the role. “All I can say is that it was obvious.”

Kutcher said he went out of his way to get Jobs right. Not only did he watch 100 hours of film footage and listen to speeches he delivered, he also lost “a tremendous amount of weight” to look more like the real Jobs.

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He even tried Jobs’ fruitarian diet — which includes just fruits, nuts and seeds — and that didn’t work out well.

It “can lead to severe issues,” Kutcher said. “I ended up in the hospital, like, two days before we started shooting the movie. I was doubled over in pain.

“And my pancreas levels were completely out of whack. Which was really terrifying, considering everything.”

(Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in October 2011.)

“Steve Jobs is a hero to me,” Kutcher said. “He’s a guy who failed and got back up on the horse. And I think we can all relate to that someplace in our life.”

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Additional screenings

“jOBS” will also be screened Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Eccles Theatre in Park City; and Sunday at 12:15 p.m. at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City.

Tickets for both screenings are wait-list only.


 
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