The Case for Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs

The Atlantic
The Case for Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs
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The Case for Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs

The idea that goofball Ashton Kutcher will play visionary Steve Jobs in an upcoming film sounded so ludicrous that when Variety made the announcement yesterday, the Internet cautioned that it could be an April Fools joke. Today is April 2nd, though, and the Variety article still stands. Kutcher will play Jobs in an upcoming film titled Jobs by director Joshua Michael Stern, who also directed Swing Vote. We understand the hesitance to accept this news: Jobs was an American icon, a serious man whose products changed the world. Kutcher, on the other hand, hosted Punk'd. But, just look at that photo above, there's potential there.

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Here's why Kutcher is actually an inspired casting choice for Jobs:

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They look alike. In biopic territory, this is an important bullet point. Think: Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin -- all great acting performances helped by the right look. With Kutcher and Jobs, it's not obvious until looking at a photo of the two next to one another, but Kutcher's got that whispy hair, those slim eyes, that wry smile and even the slight figure. 

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They're both tech visionaries. Both Kutcher and Jobs can spot tech trends before the rest of us. Jobs created the products, Kutcher invests in them. Kutcher doesn't just throw money at shiny new tech start-ups, his projects have turned into successful ventures. He's put money into Path, AirBnb, Hipmunk, and Flipboard. He was also all up on Twitter before the rest of us. 

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They're both cults. Jobs had the type of fame only the biggest celebrities acquire. He has many of his own action figures not to mention the weeks of mourning and fan tributes that followed his death. As a quite good looking Hollywood star, Kutcher has fans, too. Fans who buy Kutcher action figures, fan shirts and get tattoos of eternal love etched on their backs. Kutcher gets the type of scrutiny and love that someone like Jobs was subjected to.

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They're both sadists. They both derive pleasure from others' pain, in a way and both made money doing it. Jobs was a notorious jerk, chastising employees for not doing things his way. Kutcher hosted a show all about pulling pranks on his famous friends. Jobs achieved the perfectionism that made his iProducts so successful by acting this way (probably). Kutcher proved he could do more than play the ditzy Michael Kelso on That '70s Show

They're both kind of brats. When Jobs didn't get his way, he freaked out a bit. We're thinking of that time the iPhone screens weren't the right material, so he made all those Foxconn employees work overtime to get it right before iPhone day. When Kutcher offended his followers on Twitter with a Joe Paterno tweet, instead of handling it like a real person and apologizing, he publicly resigned from the service. 

Ashton Kutcher isn't the worst actor ever. "He earned strong notices for his more serious turns in David Mackenzie's sex dramedy Spread and Emilio Estevez's historical drama Bobby," writes Variety's Jeff Sneider. And he played a pretty likable, vulnerable dude in No Strings Attached, we think. Plus, like Jobs, he has that kind of self-made man thing going for him.

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