We dished our fair share of smack talk towards Ashton Kutcher when he was tabbed to play Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs not because he couldn't make himself look like Steve Jobs but because we were afraid he would put too much Dude Where's My Car into Steve. We still don't know if he'll be able to pull Steve off but it seems the forever pretty boy actor at least tried.
A Quora-er (?) sparked the discussion by asking on Quora, "How did Ashton Kutcher prepare for his role as Steve Jobs in the new movie Jobs?". Actor turned tech investor Ashton Kutcher jumped in the thread (he's popped up on Quora before) to explain. To become Jobs, Ashton dedicated three months.
He watched documentaries and interviews, scoured YouTube and even thumbed through Soundcloud to find audio clips. Kutcher used this Internetting to set the "broad themes of his persona" and began noticing the tics of Jobs, saying:
I then started to dissect the nuances of his behaviour, the walk, the fact that he has an almost imperceptible lisp, his accent that was a combination of northern California and Wisconsin, the way he paused before answer, and nodded in understanding, the way he bowed in namaste when receiving praise, and stared with contempt when in conflict. I noticed how he used his hands to talk and how he counted with his fingers (pinky finger first), how he used the word "aaaaand" and "noooow" to think about what he was going to say next.
See! That sounds like a guy who know Jobs! That sounds like a guy who totally re-watched some keynotes! That sounds like a guy who maybe read that autobiography! That also means very little because, like, anybody who bought the first iPhone could tell you some of that stuff too. So what else did he do? He became Jobs by mimicking what Jobs did.
He invested himself into books Jobs read (Autobiography of a Yogi and Be Here Now), he researched Jobs favourite artists like Bauhaus and Ansel Adams and ate grapes and drank carrot juice. Because that's what Steve did. Because that's what Ashton does. He really did say he ate grapes to connect with Jobs by the way. Like literally. This is what Ashton listed as one of the things he did to become Jobs:
Eating the food he ate: Grapes, Carrot Juice, Popcorn
I guess he can technically count the importance of popcorn since he was hospitalised over the eating habits of Jobs? Plus, method acting and all that. But anyways. Ashton, of course, also talked to people that Jobs knew to get a better understanding of Jobs' conflicts and studied Jobs' creation to get a better tell of the man. The whole Quora post is worth a read — it's a peak behind the process of Ashton's acting ability, whatever that means to you.
But after getting through the post you realise that all Ashton Kutcher is saying is that he just completed a big book report on Steve Jobs which is not unlike a stressed out C+ student listing all the studying he did before a test that'll still result in a C+ (maybe a B-). I'm not saying that Kutcher didn't put in work for the role of Steve, I'm just waiting to see if he has the acting chops to pull it off. [Quora]