How do you make an honest movie about a legendary man, one whose early death left his own story unfinished? That question lies at the heart of this week's 60 Minutes story on the making of the film "Steve Jobs." And it's one that acclaimed director Danny Boyle set out to answer when he took on the densely written, three-act script by Aaron Sorkin.
"Ambitious is the word I like to describe it," correspondent Steve Kroft tells Overtime editor Ann Silvio in the video above. "Steve Jobs would have liked this movie, because it's different. It takes a lot of risks."
60 Minutes producer Michael Karzis agrees. "There's no exposition. There's no setup," he explains. "The movie just starts. And you're on a ride for two hours."
It's not a ride that everyone is up for. Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve's widow, was unhappy with her husband's portrayal. And in a December interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook told 60 Minutes, "What I can tell you is the man I knew is not the man in the movie."
Still, Kroft says, that doesn't mean the man in the movie isn't a reflection of the real Jobs. "Everybody saw a little bit different Steve Jobs," Kroft tells Silvio. "I mean, his wife and family certainly saw one side of him. The people that interact with him at work know him from the work environment."
In researching the film, director Danny Boyle found that there was more than one set of facts. One person would tell him something about Jobs, he tells Kroft, and another would dispute it. "And I think what happens in drama, you arrive at something different," he says. "The truth is in the feel of it."
Michael Fassbender, an Irish and German actor, wasn't the most likely choice to play Jobs. "The first thing that I said to [Boyle] was, like, 'I don't look anything like Steve Jobs,'" Fassbender says. "The thing's going to be a bit of a stretch."
But Fassbender inhabited the role in other ways, notes Karzis. "I think that they were going for the essence of the man as opposed to, you know, making him look like him," Karzis says. By the third act of the film, when Fassbender dons Jobs' classic uniform -- a black mock turtleneck -- the audience is convinced.
"How did you figure him out?" Kroft asks the actor.
"I don't know if I did," the actor responds, explaining that he only knows Jobs through the interviews he's done or what other people have said about him. "But do I really know who he is? No. I have my version of it, I would say."
However, the filmmakers did go to extraordinary lengths -- and paid considerably more -- to shoot the film in historically accurate locations, like the Los Altos garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak once tinkered, and De Anza College, where Jobs launched the Macintosh in 1984.
Despite strong reviews and Oscar nominations for Fassbender and Kate Winslet, who plays Apple marketing whiz Joanna Hoffman, the film wasn't a commercial hit at the box office. Kroft has a theory as to why. "It's not like a sort of lay-back-and-have-a-good-time movie," he says. "It's like a day at work."
This video, originally published on February 21, 2016, was produced by Ann Silvio and Lisa Orlando; edited by Lisa Orlando.
Video courtesy of Universal Pictures