A Q&A with Director Joshua Michael Stern and Supporting Actor Josh Gad, of the film “JOBS”

Posted in Interviews, Top Stories by - August 17, 2013
A Q&A with Director Joshua Michael Stern and Supporting Actor Josh Gad, of the film “JOBS”

This session was recorded on the morning of August 1st, 2013, in Dallas, Texas – by Alexander Moore

Q: In doing this movie, you had to do a lot of preparation. What kinds of prep did you(Josh Gad) have to do for this part?

A: I really immersed myself. I was kind of late to the party. Ashton had been involved. He essentially had a 5-month head start on me. So by the time I had my first phone call with Ashton, he was already living in Jobs’ shoes, which terrified me. It was like cramming for the SATs the night before. So, really, Josh(Stern) was brilliant with providing me as many resources as possible to capture that authenticity, so that you’re not necessarily faking it.

Q: You took a lot of risk doing this movie, working with an outsider. What do you(Josh Stern) expect from the movie and the process of the movie?

A: I think it was inspiring. On some level, I knew that this could be a very small indie with an unknown cast that would be sort of like a video-on-demand and interesting, but more of a lark or we could try to make something important and cast people that mean something and I knew very early on the only way this movie would succeed was if there was a cultural curiosity about it. So, I always felt that was important and casting the right people. So, for me, there was a great risk in it and that made it frightening, but as Josh(Gad) will tell you and as Ashton will tell you, it scared the hell out of everybody and nobody more than the producer and, certainly, myself.

Q: It was, I’m sure, kind of a temptation to be so reverential toward this man who was such a genius. How did you(Josh Stern) balance all that?

A: Well, I think that from the very beginning, it was a balance, but we had to be true to what we knew about him and in this period of his life he had a vision and he was exacting and he had a lot of frustration about how to translate that vision to people who had no point-of-reference to what he was talking about. His love was his product and the movie is about the fact that he created something and found something and eventually he became synonymous with his product. It’s a movie about Steve Jobs, who creates a product and then becomes one with the product. What became the only reality was his product.

Q: Has there been any reaction from Steve Jobs’ family to account for?

A: (Josh Stern) No, I don’t think they would. I don’t think that they will ever publicly have a reaction. I don’t think it’s within their makeup. They’re very, very private.

A: (Josh Gad) I think that Josh(Stern) is right. I don’t think that they would come out and say anything publicly because I don’t think that’s what it’s about. This movie is celebrating the legacy of a man that people hold dear.

Q: How involved were the people, who were there originally, in making this film?

A: (Josh Gad) There were some people who were absolutely involved intimately.

A: (Josh Stern) We screened the film for almost all the original guys in the garage and they loved it. They went to Ashton and they thanked him for bringing Steve back for two hours because I think those who knew Steve, the way he walked and his mannerisms, they each said to a person, “That scene happened a hundred times,” even though it may not have happened exactly like that.

Q: I’m thinking back to the scene where they’re introducing Scully and as you(Josh Gad) turn back to play the video game, you were channeling a lot right there. Can you talk a little about that?

A: My approach to the film, in terms of what I was going for, was providing the audience with a conscious for Steve. For our story purposes, there was a level of, “provide that bouncing board for Steve to get a sense of right from wrong.” We tried to tell that story. Originally, as scripted, I was in that scene and I said, “ I want to be back here at this game console because I think that we need to start seeing that Wozniak is drifting away.”

Q: How are you(Josh Gad) similar to your character and how did that help you?

A: Well, I’m similar in that I think I have a tenacity for pranks. I have a tenacity for joy and openness, emotional openness. I think that those are essentially the characteristics that best describe Steve Wozniak. I relate to that and I relate to that in a big way cause that sense of openness and joy is something that I pride myself on.

Q: OK, sort of an off-the-wall question. I was reading about some of the background and production of the film. I understand that when you(Josh Stern) were first putting the movie out there, you had an idea to make the “J” a lower-case “j” in keeping with the “i” concept, but there were people complaining that it wasn’t in keeping with Jobs’ type of aesthetic design. Any thoughts?

A: I don’t remember it getting that deep. I think it was one of those simple things where when the script was being written, someone just simply did the letter in lower-case cause it kind of looked cool and it sort of translated, but in the end it wasn’t ever going to be a part of the campaign or sort of the design of the film. This film isn’t about the products and it made it feel like an “i-something,” but this was about Steve and then how he became a part of his products.

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