'Steve Jobs': Why writer Aaron Sorkin avoided the usual biopic format

'Jobs' was adapted by Sorkin from the biography of the same name by Walter Isaacson. The film stars Michael Fassbender as the Apple co-founder and Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, one of Jobs' co-workers.

Francois Duhamel/Universal Pictures/AP
'Steve Jobs' stars Michael Fassbender (l.) and Kate Winslet (r.).

There are so many reasons for Kate Winslet to feel great about the new "Steve Jobs" movie that it doesn't matter that critics panned the 2013 film "Jobs," which was also about the Apple Computer co-founder.

"I have no reservations whatsoever and so excited to be a part of this project," Winslet said in a recent interview. She plays Joanna Hoffman, who worked closely with Jobs from the early days of Apple Computer.

Winslet's confidence comes in part from the approach taken by the film's Oscar-winning team: writer Aaron Sorkin (who won an Academy Award for adapting “The Social Network”) and director Danny Boyle. Both have a knack for tackling contemporary subject matter. But Winslet also feels that with a figure as prominent in the public conscience as Jobs, it's hard to do a critically acclaimed biopic. So she's happy it wasn't made that way.

"It's actually very much not that. It is deliberately not that. Aaron Sorkin decided that there was no interest for him in writing it in that way," explained Winslet.

Based on Walter Isaacson's book of the same name, the film was shot like a play, rehearsed like one, and told in three acts.

"Each act covers a different year: 1984, '88 and '98 in Steve Jobs' creative working life," Winslet said. "We shot each act in chronological order, one act at a time."

While the actress said making the film was educational, she also said it was a "tough, but fascinating process."

"It was very, very challenging. It's 187 pages of continuous dialogue of just people talking," she said. "It was very hard for all of us to really come up with what Danny (Boyle) wanted and needed to put this film together."

"Steve Jobs" co-stars “The Martian” actor Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen of “The Interview” and is now in theaters.

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