While the film itself has been receiving mixed reviews, Ashton Kutcher's performance in "jOBS" has been relatively well-received — with many praising his commitment to the role of the late Steve Jobs. "[It is] certainly his most impressive turn in years, which conveys the character's focused, manipulative intentions in each calculated look," writes Eric Kohn on Indiewire.
Kutcher's journey to channeling a slice of Jobs involved watching hundreds of hours of footage — as well as shifting to some of the unusual diets that the Apple founder embraced over the course of his life. Unfortunately, Jobs' "fruitarian diet" — in which one eats only fruits, nuts and seeds — turned out to be more difficult (and dangerous) than Kutcher realized.
"I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie," Kutcher told reporters Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered, the Associated Press reports. "I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack — which was completely terrifying, considering everything."
Jobs died from complications related to pancreatic cancer in October 2011.
In the best-selling book "Steve Jobs," biographer Walter Isaacson says Jobs was inspired to embrace radical diets after reading the 1971 book "Diet for a Small Planet." These included "purges, fasts, or eating only one or two foods, such as carrots or apples, for weeks on end." As he got older, the frequency of such extreme eating increased.
"He would spend weeks eating the same thing — carrot salad with lemon, or just apples — and then suddenly spurn that food and declare that he had stopped eating it," writes Isaacson. "He would go on fasts, just as he did as a teenager, and he became sanctimonious as he lectured others at the table on the virtues of whatever regimen he was following."
Look for "jOBS" to open in theaters April 19. A first clip from the film is below: