PARK CITY, Utah Ashton Kutcher says playing Steve Jobs on screen "was honestly one of the most terrifying things I've ever tried to do in my life."
The 34-year-old actor helped premiere the biopic "jOBS" Friday, which was the closing-night film at the Sundance Film Festival.
Kutcher plays the Apple Inc. founder from the company's humble origins in the 1970s until the launch of the first iPod in 2001. A digital entrepreneur himself, Kutcher said he considers Jobs a personal hero.
"He's a guy who failed and got back on the horse," Kutcher said. "I think we can all sort of relate to that at some point in life."
Kutcher even embodied the Jobs character as he pursued his own high-tech interests off-screen.
"What was nice was when I was preparing for the character, I could still work on product development for technology companies, and I would sort of stay in character, in the mode of the character," he said. "But I didn't feel like I was compromising the work on the film by working on technology stuff because it was pretty much in the same field."
But playing the real-life tech icon who died in 2011 still felt risky, he said, because "he's fresh in our minds."
"It was kind of like throwing myself into this gauntlet of, I know, massive amounts of criticism," Kutcher said, adding that he expects some might take issue with the film's depiction of the facts.
The actor watched "hundreds of hours of footage," listened to Jobs' past speeches and interviewed several of his friends to prepare for the role.