It’s A ‘Work Of Fiction': Original Apple Employees Say Jobs Movie Is Sensationalized
Vijith Assar of Slashdot interviewed Bill Fernandez and Daniel Kottke, two of Apple’s earliest employees, to get their opinions on the recently released Steve Jobs biopic.
Though Kottke seemed relatively pleased by the acting performances, Bill and Daniel couldn’t help but notice the massive amount of flagrant inaccuracies within the film, such as the incorrect portrayals of certain people and events.
“The whole thing is a work of fiction,” said Fernandez, who didn’t see the movie but read the script and screenplay.
When it was in production, he says, “I talked to Victor Rasuk, the actor who was playing me, and he would say, ‘Well, did this happen?’ and I would say, ‘No.’ And ultimately I understood that they were not trying to create a historical document, they were doing a dramatic piece. From those variety of hints or clues, I formulated the opinion that I’d probably be really upset if I saw it.”
Fernandez said he didn’t want to see the movie because “it’ll just be too weird. I don’t want to see someone else playing Jobs.”
Kottke, who did see the film, complimented the movie’s lead role before echoing Daniel’s concerns about accuracy.
“Well, Ashton’s very good,” he said. “I have no complaints with him at all, no complaints with his portrayal of Jobs. The complaint that people would rightly have about the film is that it portrays Woz as not having the same vision as Steve Jobs, which is really unfair.”
The portrayal of Steve Wozniak and his relationship with Jobs were the most frequent and stressed complaints from both men.
Kottke and Fernandez told Assar that Woz’s sense of humor, a key aspect of his personality, was almost completely absent from the film. The movie also depicts Woz and Jobs, along with many other characters, as having many more “dramatic” and heated encounters than they actually had in real life, which the two accepted as embellished for entertainment value.
Kottke also says, “The early versions were painful. Really painful. I forwarded the first draft to (former Apple CEO) Mike Markkula because they wanted his feedback, and Mike took such a bad reaction to it, he wouldn’t have anything more to do with the project. By the time it got to the fourth draft, it was okay. It wasn’t making me cringe. But they still had a scene of me arguing with Steve, which never ever happened, but, you know, in the realm of artistic license.”
Yet, as Fernandez noted, the finished product still included plenty of conversations and business interactions that simply did not happen. This tarnished both men’s perception of the movie, which, judging by this interview, they really didn’t take very seriously.
“I talked to Victor Rasuk, the actor who was playing me,” Fernandez said “and he would say, ‘Well, did this happen?’ and I would say, ‘No.’ And ultimately I understood that they were not trying to create a historical document, they were doing a dramatic piece. From those variety of hints or clues, I formulated the opinion that I’d probably be really upset if I saw it. And it makes perfect sense, you know. They have their project, and it was to make a piece of entertainment around a popular topic. And I think that if they just told the plain truth—if anyone could actually figure out what the plain truth really was—that it would not be a really entertaining piece.”
Via Slash Dot, Photo courtesy Jobs Movie