Steve Wozniak on the Steve Jobs movie and why accuracy does not matter

 US Apple co-founder and engineer Steve Wozniak gesturing during the South Summit in Madrid on Oct 7, 2015.
US Apple co-founder and engineer Steve Wozniak gesturing during the South Summit in Madrid on Oct 7, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg/Reuters) - In the movie Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak serves as the film's conscience. The Apple co-founder, played by Seth Rogen, is an awkward but assertive counterbalance to Jobs.

Mr Wozniak's on-screen confrontations are some of the movie's most memorable, but according to the real Woz, they are all fiction.

In his first in-depth interview since the release of Steve Jobs in some United States theatres over the weekend, Mr Wozniak, 65, said Rogen's character "said things I could never say."

"Everything in the movie didn't happen," he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "Every scene that I'm in, I wasn't talking to Steve Jobs at those events."

Before seeing the movie, he told Bloomberg that a scene in the trailer was invented.

He consulted for the film, which entailed "hours and hours" of discussions with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and attending a magic show in Los Angeles with Rogen.

He had also talked extensively with Walter Isaacson for his 2011 biography that the movie is based on. He said he never read the book. "I was there, and I don't need to read all this stuff," he said.

Sorkin described the movie as a "portrait," not a photograph, in an on-stage interview at an Oct 9 screening of the movie in San Francisco. (Mr Wozniak was in the audience.)

The film is structured around the backstage preparation for three product-launch events - 1984's Macintosh, 1988's NeXT cube and 1998's iMac - hosted by Jobs, which Sorkin said he chose as a way to break from the traditional life-story format of a biopic.

The writer joked about the improbability of Jobs' most significant life moments happening immediately before announcing a new computer.

Even though the real-world events did not happen the way they do in the movie, Mr Wozniak said Steve Jobs is the best depiction of Apple yet, and he has already seen it three times.

He said Michael Fassbender, whose performance has made him an Oscar favourite, showed the "brilliance" he loved about Jobs as well as the flaws. "But it is not how Jobs acted in any way," Mr Wozniak said. "The movie is not about reality. It's about personalities."

He touches on other subjects in the interview, including his admiration for Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk, innovation at Apple, and a conversation with Jobs before his death about the possibility of Mr Wozniak's return to Apple.

"I said, 'No, I love the life I have,'" Mr Wozniak recalled. "I'm not the person for it."

Steve Jobs is the third film focused on the late tech guru's life and, like its predecessors, has been met with protests from insiders who say it presents an unduly harsh portrait.

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley echoed those concerns, telling Reuters in an interview that the film, which delves into Jobs' strained relationship with his daughter, shows just one side of a complicated man.

"I knew the young Steve Jobs really well, and he was a much bigger, better person than one could come to the conclusion if they only saw the movie," he said.

The film devotes great attention to Jobs' relationship with Sculley, now 76, who is depicted as both a father figure to the entrepreneur and a target of his famous temper. Some of the film's most heated scenes show the men feuding over Apple's advertising and Jobs' ouster.