Michael Fassbender would be the first person to tell you he doesn’t really look like Steve Jobs. He told Danny Boyle as much when the director approached him to play the charismatic Apple co-founder in Steve Jobs.

“The first thing I said to Danny when I met him was like, ‘Well you know, I don’t look anything like this guy,'” Fassbender recalled in an interview with EW at the recent New York Film Festival. “And Danny was like, ‘Well, that’s not what I’m interested in. I’m interested in capturing an essence of the man.”

Fassbender continued, “Once we had that conversation, that was it. We knew that we were never going to try and resemble aesthetically what he looked like, other than putting in brown contact lenses.”

Written by Aaron Sorkin and loosely based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography, Steve Jobs is more of an impressionistic portrait, one that takes some artistic license while trying to convey greater truths about its subject and the world he helped shape.

“This is a dramatization; it’s not a biopic,” Fassbender said. “I just tried to represent a human being. I have utmost respect for the man. Hopefully it’ll provoke a conversation.”

For more from Fassbender, watch the clip above. Steve Jobs opens wide today.