Danny Boyle, the director of ‘Steve Jobs’ speaks out about the movie, and the controversy it has generated. He also speaks about working with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and more in a wide-ranging interview.
Danny Boyle, known principally as the Oscar-winning director of ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ and later, for the drama, ‘127 Hours’ became the director of ‘Steve Jobs’ after David Fincher left the project. In an extensive interview with Rolling Stone, he talked about a variety of topics including the controversy over its depiction of the late Apple co-founder. Being based on the authorized biography of the same title by Walter Isaacson did not insulate from such controversy.
‘Steve Jobs’ stars Michael Fassbender in the title role, with Seth Rogen portraying Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Kate Winslet stars as Apple marketing executive Joanna Hoffman who worked closely with Jobs beginning in the 1980s and Mac.
Rolling Stone asked him about what it was like working with the screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin. The creator of ‘West Wing’ and HBO’s ‘Network,’ he also penned ‘The Social Network,’ which also drew controversy in its depiction of the rise of Facebook and its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Boyle said of Sorkin, “Unlike what his reputation would suggest, he’s actually amazing to collaborate with. He’s not above changing lines for the actors; we did a bit of work on that early on. But Aaron is up for it, so long as it’s done proper — that’s really what he cares about.”
He was also asked about the decision to structure the movie in three scenes — which play out in real time — and he said of it, “Weirdly enough, I think that the less you depict, the more you tell. So if you limit it to key moments, you can say a lot about somebody.”
Continuing, Boyle went on to say, “The idea of telling a story in three acts — a beginning, a middle and an end — is really buried deep within in us as a species. I’m not saying that those three moments that we focus on are Jobs’ beginning, middle and end, of course. But the fact that you’re not trying to touch on too much or are just skimming across the whole life — what Aaron calls the “greatest hits” way of making biopics — I find you get more out on concentrating on a few things.”
And what’s also sparked discussion is the casting choice. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs had personally called Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to pressure them to not take on the role and that she pressured studios not ot take on the project.
Boyle did say of Fassbender’s performance, “Look, Michael looks nothing like Jobs at all — and yet by the end of the production, you’d swear he did. That was what was so weird about the whole thing. It was an odd mirroring where Michael was like a fighter in the first part, trying to get it down — which helped him get a handle on the character in his scrappy phase.”
You can see the full interview here. Danny Boyle speaks at length about the ‘Steve Jobs’ screenplay and what it was like to shoot the movie. He also speaks out about crafting movies about tech founders and startups in Silicon Valley and much more.
You can also see the joint interview of Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin in which they both speak about the movie and, what’s become so endemic to the discussion of bringing ‘Steve Jobs,’ to the big screen, the controversy.