Aaron Sorkin explains why a guy who looks nothing like Steve Jobs was purposely cast to play him

Franc╠žois Duhamel/UniversalMichael Fassbender as Steve Jobs.

Often when you see a biopic on an iconic figure, the movie attempts to make the lead actor look like who is being depicting.

Take, for example, Ashton Kutcher when he played Steve Jobs in another movie version a few years ago:

Ashton Kutcher Steve JobsTwitterAshton Kutcher’s face is the left side, Steve Jobs’ face is the right.

But Aaron Sorkin’s new movie “Steve Jobs” is not your typical biopic.

Sorkin, the film’s screenwriter who also wrote “The Social Network,” has openly said his film is only loosely based on Walter Isaacson‘s authorised biography of Apple’s co-founder.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the actor who plays Jobs, Michael Fassbender, didn’t spend much time in the make-up chair.

“Steve Jobs” examines Jobs and his relationship with his inner-circle over three landmark launches in his career — the Machintosh in 1984, NeXT in 1988, and the iMac in 1998.

Though at times Fassbender’s voice seems to mimic Jobs, physically there are very few similarities between the two. Perhaps the closest Fassbender comes to resembling Jobs is during the third act (the iMac launch) when Fassbender’s hair is grey and he’s wearing Jobs’ memorable all-black attire.

Here’s Jobs:

And here’s Fassbender:

According to the film’s director, Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”), the decision to not have Fassbender look like Jobs was made very early on.

“We were very clear right from the get-go that this wasn’t about a physical impersonation at all,” Boyle told Business Insider. “It was about inhabiting, it’s almost Shakespearean. He’s historically accurate to a degree, but then he is our version of him and there will be other versions.”

Sorkin, who also spoke with Business Insider before the film premiered at the New York Film Festival over the weekend, said he instantly agreed with Boyle’s instinct.

“In this movie [the way Fassbender looks] just isn’t important,” he said. “The fact that he doesn’t look like Jobs, I think, is one of the things that signals to the audience that this is a painting and not a photograph. This isn’t probably what you expected to see when you came into the theatre.”

That said, Fassbender was not the first choice to play Jobs.

Over the years the project was in development, such A-list stars as Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale flirted with the role.

We’ll never know, but it would have been fascinating to see if either actor would have wanted to be more “physical” with the role.

“Steve Jobs” opens in theatres on Friday.

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