Aaron Sorkin admits: 'I haven't gotten used to any of this'
BY DONNA FREYDKIN
Aaron Sorkin is the scribe behind "Steve Jobs," a look at the complex, revered former head of Apple, through three product launches. He's played by Michael Fassbender, one of the greats working today.
The film, now in theaters, has had its share of controversy. Apple's current head Tim Cook slammed it as "opportunistic," Jobs' widow didn't want it made, and folks who knew Job, who died from pancreatic cancer in October 2011, say it's full of distortions.
That's not impacting reviews, which have been mostly very positive, and box office: the movie is earning solid numbers in limited release, and goes wider today.
We sat down with Sorkin, after a talk at AOL with director Danny Boyle and co-star Jeff Daniels, to discuss why he made the movie, the fallout, and whether he's done with the tech world, after taking on Facebook in "The Social Network," which earned him an Oscar.
Q: I assume after Facebook and Apple, you're done with covering Silicon Valley for a while.
A: With the tech world, at least for a little bit. I just finished a new screenplay that I'm putting together with a director and a star. It's sort of back to what I love doing: stories about doing the right thing when no one is looking. It's a true story. I'm crazy about this heroine.
Q: When Jobs died, the Apple store near me became a shrine to him. How did it feel, taking on someone so larger than life?
A: I was nervous going in because I felt like I was writing about the Beatles while only being a casual fan of the Beatles. I'm much more than just a casual fan of the Beatles, by the way. There was no way I was never going to know as much as people who were avid fans. I was nervous about doing justice to them. I was nervous because I didn't know what I was going to write. I didn't want to do the cradle-to-grave biopic. It was by sitting through and talking to real people, especially Lisa. I'm nervous before I write anything.
Q: Now that you're out promoting it, which questions are the most annoying?
A: I don't find really any of the questions annoying. There's no such thing. Listen, I have to tell you, I haven't gotten used to any of this. I still feel like I'm vice president of my high school drama club.
Q: Have you heard from Apple since Tim Cook's comments about the film? It was a little surprising to hear him slam it when no one had seen it yet.
A: No. No. I was surprised that they jumped the gun a little early but I completely understand. Tim Cook was very close to Steve. You're going to feel protective. That times a thousand when you're the mother of three of his children. I don't begrudge them their feelings. But if they see the movie, some of their fears will be (allayed). We're not saying he was a dumb jerk. We're saying he was a complicated man who was capable of great things.
Q: You created 'The West Wing,' about the White House. What do you make of the drama happening now in the presidential election? It's too good to even be scripted.
A: Honestly, I feel like if the characters on the 'West Wing' were watching a television show about the Republican candidates for president, they would say: 'That is not at all believable.' I'm staring at this in disbelief.
Sorkin doesn't let it get to him. From the start, he said his drama wasn't a "cradle-to-grave" biopic of Jobs, but instead, a dramatic