The Oscar-winning screenwriter on reinventing the biopic, and the bad sex scene that helped him identify with the Apple founder. Read the full interview here:
  1. "My first computer, my roommates and I chipped in, and we got that first Macintosh — 128K. It had as much memory as a greeting card that plays music."
  2. On antiheroes: "I like to write them as if they’re making their case to God as to why they should be allowed into Heaven."
  3. "I have to be able to identify with them; I have to be able to find things about them that are like me, and that I would want to be able to defend."
  4. "I’ve often thought that I’d be better off alone in a room, writing pages, slipping those pages under the door, and someone would slip a tray of food back the other way."
  5. "That cult of Apple, this love for Steve — when he died, I was overwhelmed by the eulogizing, which I hadn’t seen since John Lennon."
  6. "He called me once to tell me he liked something I’d written. The second time he asked me to come and tour Pixar, to see if I’d write a Pixar movie. And the third, to ask for help with his Stanford commencement speech."
  7. "I can’t emphasize this enough — huge fan of sex, in any combination you want. But for some reason it’s difficult for me to write."
  8. "For me, that’s a way to identify with Steve — somebody messing with one of his products. Steve would think, I don’t want people thinking I think it’s artistically beautiful to have this instead of that."
  9. "I can tell you that before I knew what I wanted to do, I knew what I didn’t want to do, and that was write a biopic."
  10. "The walk-and-talk, for instance: It’s not me, it’s [West Wing director] Tom Schlamme — he said, 'Instead of having these characters in one room for 11 pages, can’t they go and get a cup of coffee while they’re talking, or go to the Xerox machine?'"
  11. "I like claustrophobic spaces, compressed periods of time, especially if there’s a ticking clock, and I love behind the scenes."
  12. "I’ve just compared myself to a cute puppy. But that’s a reasonable comparison, okay?"
  13. "Maybe this is the right time to say that it was Amy Pascal, who has taken more undeserved punches than anyone should ever have to."
  14. On Michael Fassbender: "I thank my lucky stars every night that it turned out to be him."
  15. "When it comes to a line of dialogue, a couplet, a scene, a speech, or an entire act — I care as much about what it sounds like as what it means."
  16. "At some point, you have to stop being clinical and academic and checking with Aristotle’s poetics to make sure, and you just got to let it fly."
  17. "I can’t write if there’s someone else in the house, even in another room with the door closed. Because I’m talking out loud as I’m writing — I’m performing all the parts, I’m jumping around, smoking."
  18. "From the beginning, ever since I knew that nothing else was going to matter to me if I couldn’t get past the manner in which Steve was a father."
  19. "Parents and children are the most important thing there is."
  20. "It isn’t even really about technology. And the parts that are about technology, I don’t understand."