Kate Winslet Is Set to Play Polish-Armenian Early Apple Employee in Steve Jobs Movie


At right, Kate Winslet at Joanna Hoffman, and at left, the real Joanna Hoffman

At left, Kate Winslet at Joanna Hoffman, and at right, the real Joanna Hoffman

LOS ANGELES (Business Insider) — Kate Winslet is set to play Joanna Hoffman — a Polish-Armenian immigrant and one of Apple’s earliest employees who was known for standing up to Steve Jobs — in the new movie about the legendary Apple cofounder’s life, simply titled “Steve Jobs.”

The movie, which includes a star-studded cast that features Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, is set to debut on October 9.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Winslet explained how she landed the role. The actress was interested in the role as soon as she heard about the film from her hair-and-makeup artist, who was set to work on the movie after she had finished working with Winslet on “The Dressmaker.” The fact that the film was written by Andrew Sorkin was enough to draw Winslet in, but she was also intrigued by the movie’s three-act format.

Winslet decided to move on the opportunity right away, but there was one hurdle: she looks nothing like Hoffman, the Polish-Armenian immigrant that served as the only marketing person on the original Mac team for more than a year.

So, to audition for the role, she sent her husband out to purchase dark brown wigs in varying lengths. She took photos of herself in the wigs and sent them over to Scott Rudin, the film’s producer.

Here’s how she described the process to Vulture:

So I put a wig on my head and scrubbed my face of all makeup. I took one photograph of myself, and, lucky me, I have an email address of one Mr. Scott Rudin, and I just sent him the photo with no subject. Soon there’s this call saying, okay, okay, can [Director] Danny [Boyle] come and meet with Kate in Australia? They sent me the script, and immediately I thought, This is amazing, I really want to play this part. I had the meeting with Danny, and I just said, “This is how I would play this part, this is who I believe that she is,” and he said, “I want you to play this part.” So then cut to three and a half weeks later, I’m in a rehearsal room in San Francisco. We rehearsed each act like a play and then filmed it in order from start to finish.