How Aaron Sorkin’s interview with Lisa changed Steve Jobs

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Michael Fassbender is Steve Jobs.
Michael Fassbender is Steve Jobs.
Photo: Universal Pictures

Steve Jobs’ relationship with his first daughter, Lisa, plays a major role in the upcoming Steve Jobs movie, but according to screen writer Aaron Sorkin, that wouldn’t have been the case had he not scored a key interview even Walter Isaacson never got.

Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve’s first daughter, spent some time with Aaron Sorkin before he wrote the script for the upcoming film, and according to Sorkin, it completely changed what he was looking for in the movie.

“At first I didn’t know what I was looking for,” Aaron Sorkin told Business Insider. “Lisa didn’t speak to Walter Isaacson when Walter was writing the book [“Steve Jobs”] because her father was alive at the time. But she was willing to speak to me. She was able to tell stories about her father that weren’t necessarily flattering stories, but she would tell the story and then show me how you could see he really did love her.”

Lisa plays a pivotal role in all three acts of the film, each of which take place backstage before keynotes for the Mac, NeXT, and iMac. Jobs denied paternity of Lisa for years, even after a court-ordered DNA test proved he was her father.

The relationship between Jobs and Lisa was much better before Steve’s death in 2011. Sorkin says if he had the chance to ask Jobs one question though, he’d ask him to tell the truth about his daughter.

“I would ask, ‘Why do you pretend you didn’t name the computer after Lisa?’ I can’t fathom,” Sorkin told BI. “Any other father, if they hadn’t named it after their daughter would lie and say they did. I just can’t fathom it.”

Steve Jobs originally claimed the Lisa computer stood for ‘Local Integrated System Architecture.’ ‘Let’s Invent Some Acronym’ was the joke in Apple at the time.

Eventually Jobs did admit that the computer was named after Lisa. In the official Jobs biography, Steve admits to Walter Isaacson, “obviously it was named for my daughter.”