In the film Steve Jobs, written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), Michael Fassbender plays the now-deceased computer icon as a mercurial, stubborn and misunderstood genius struggling to maintain control of his technological empire.
While Fassbender is a truly talented actor, some early criticism of him being cast as Jobs came from his appearance because he looks nothing like Steve Jobs. According to emails leaked in the Sony hack in 2014, writer Sorkin called the decision to cast him "insane." Sorkin wanted Tom Cruise instead.
We bring up the fact that Fassbender looks nothing like Jobs because it's baffling to us why the filmmakers would attempt to make the curvy, sultry Kate Winslet look like the real Joanna Hoffman on her worst day. It seems that if they could fudge Fassbender's appearance, why not allow Winslet to bring more of her natural beauty to the role?
The above photo shows the real Joanna Hoffman next to Winslet's portrayal of her. Yes, Joanna is in a geometric print dress that no one would wear today, but she looks like a typical '80s girl going through a Pat Benatar phase. So why couldn't the filmmakers embrace the same aesthetic for her movie doppelgänger? It seems like they wanted Winslet's Joanna to be unstylish and frumpy. What's up with that? We know there must have been a better '80s dress to put her in. Why not make her style more like a Nagel print and less like a tragic cat lady librarian?
Same goes for the image below. Winslet looks more like herself, but she's still hidden under that drape of a dull sweater.
Image: Universal via Facebook
Was it intentional? Probably not. But it still seems slightly insulting. It's almost playing on the trope that smart, intelligent women can't look attractive — and we all know that's not true. So were the filmmakers worried that audiences would want the two characters to be romantically linked so they crushed that possibility by making her less attractive? If that's true, then they're denying the real spark of attraction: chemistry.
Who is Hoffman, you ask? We'll give you some background: She was hired to lead the Apple marketing team in 1980, despite the fact that the "Macintosh Project" was still in development. She also drafted the first user interface guidelines for the Macintosh computer. At Apple and later at neXT, also working with Jobs, Hoffman earned the reputation as the only person who could successfully interact with Jobs and not start a war. She even received a faux award for being the one person who could go head-to-head with Jobs in 1981 and 1982. Clearly, Hoffman is a woman to be reckoned with.
So what do you think? Fassbender looks nothing like Steve Jobs, so why should Winslet look like an even frumpier Hoffman? Let us know in the comments section below.
Steve Jobs opens in theaters Oct. 9.
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