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Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs: 'Like Hamlet, times two,' says co-star Kate Winslet

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It’s a serious biopic about Steve Jobs, written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and produced by Oscar kingmaker Scott Rudin. No wonder so many of Hollywood’s most famous leading men were interested in starring as Apple’s iconoclastic leader. But despite initial interest from Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale, Boyle’s Steve Jobs movie seemed to be losing momentum.

Enter Michael Fassbender, who swooped in between blockbusters and agreed to tackle the challenging role as one of the world’s most famous prickly visionaries. Once he came aboard, the rest of the cast filled in quickly, with Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Kate Winslet, who plays Apple exec Joanna Hoffman. Not to diminish their contributions, but in some ways, the film is a one-man show, with Aaron Sorkin’s three-act script built around three of Jobs’ most momentous tech launches, mixed in with occasional flashbacks.

“The way in which that film was shot was extraordinary… extraordinary,” said Winslet, whose excitement for the project bubbled to the surface during her recent press tour for A Little Chaos. “Each act is continuous 45 minutes backstage of real time at each launch that Steve Jobs made during those time periods — ’84 was the launch of the Macintosh, ’88 was the NeXT computer, ’98 was the iMac. Each act takes place backstage and literally ends with him walking from the wings on to the stage to rapturous applause.

“We have nine-minute takes, sometimes even longer,” Winslet continued. “I think there’s a scene that Michael and Jeff had that was about 14 pages, so it really went for 11 minutes of continuous dialogue. It’s not unusual for an actor to learn huge passages of dialogue when you do a play. But it is unusual for an actor like Michael Fassbender to learn 182 pages of dialogue of which he’s on every page. It’s like Hamlet, times two.”

In the new trailer, the first in-depth look at the biopic, Fassbender doesn’t necessarily resemble Jobs physically, even with the iconic glasses and turtlenecks. But he definitely delivers Jobs’ passion, arrogance, and mad-genius aura. Winslet’s Hamlet comparison may have been intended to accent the scope and magnitude of the lead role, but there’s also something extremely Shakespearean about this Steve Jobs. 

The film arrives in theaters on Oct. 9.