Why Michael Fassbender Tried To Get Out Of Playing Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Michael Fassbender

Despite the box office disaster that met its theatrical release, Steve Jobs was a film that deserved better. A good part of the reason why is the centerpiece performance that Michael Fassbender anchored the entire film with, giving his equally stellar cast-mates a lot to work with. Yet despite his excellent work in the Danny Boyle directed / Aaron Sorkin scripted film, it was a project that Fassbender was searching for a way out of. His reason is something we can all relate to, as he found the content of the script a bit intimidating.

During the TIFF Soiree that opened the Toronto International Film Festival, Fassbender was the subject of a Q&A conducted in his honor. Vulture was in attendance, and during the audience question portion of the event, the actor was put on the spot and asked about the toughest part he'd ever played. His answer, without a question, was playing the late founder of Apple, in a performance that saw him nominated for an Academy Award at this year's ceremony. The big reason for his trepidation was Aaron Sorkin's screenplay to Steve Jobs, as he recalled in the anecdote below:

It was so dense! It was such a mountain, and I'm a slow learner, so when the script arrived for me and the opportunity came to play the part, I really thought, 'This is not me. This should be somebody else. It's a miscast scenario.'

Fassbender's remarks take us back to the time when it looked like the role at the center of Steve Jobs wasn't going to forever vacant. Both Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio passed on the role, and for a part that was once considered a hot ticket, it looks like Sorkin's words may have turned it into a cold fish. With its story structure relying on three big sequences, and a fair majority of the dialogue and screen time going to Jobs himself, the project seemed like a beast to even the most experienced actor. Yet somehow, magic happened, and Michael Fassbender found himself at the center of a unique film-making experience.

With a film that turned out an end result like the one advertised above, Steve Jobs must have been an intense experience for all involved. And it sounds like no words could describe the situation more truthful, as Michael Fassbender further entertained the crowd with the story of how he really wanted out of playing Steve Jobs. Apparently, his desire to escape was so intense that Fassbender started to turn to dark humor as a coping mechanism. At least, that's the explanation that seems most reasonable after reading the following:

But in rehearsals I was trying to find a way to get out of the job. I remember telling my driver, 'If I put my arm in the door, you should slam it. It should cause a break and it should get me out of this gig.'

For all the doubts he has about portions of his career, Michael Fassbender still knows how to trump the odds and put in the work needed at the end of the day. While we're not encouraging the man to become an egomaniac of any shape or form, we here at Cinema Blend hope that Mr. Fassbender can relax a little bit about his work. If only to prevent any sort of meltdown that'd deprive himself and the world of his talented acting.

Michael Fassbender can currently be seen in The Light Between The Oceans, with his next role being in Assassin's Creed, which opens on December 21st.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.