Steve Jobs wanted Jeff Goldblum to be ‘voice of Apple’


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Jeff Goldblum appeared in a 1998 ad for Apple.
Photo: Apple

Steve Jobs wanted The Fly and Jurassic Park actor Jeff Goldblum to be the “voice of Apple,” the actor claimed in a recent interview on the Today Show in Australia. “Steve Jobs called me up a few decades ago,” said Goldblum. “That was early on, and I did not know it was Steve Jobs.”

Sadly it didn’t exactly happen like that. It seems that, unlike life, Steve Jobs, uh, couldn’t find a way

Sadly, there’s no timeline on when this would have happened, or what the “voice of Apple” may have entailed. Gizmodo suggests that this could have led to Jeff Goldblum becoming the voice of Siri, instead of actor Susan Bennett.

As enjoyable a thought as that may be, however, it doesn’t seem totally likely. Apple acquired Siri back in 2010, which wouldn’t be “a few decades ago” by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Goldblum’s association with Apple goes back a lot further than that — making it virtually impossible that Goldblum would be unfamiliar with Jobs at the time Siri was launched.

Goldblum’s first association with Apple came in the late 1990s, at the first MacWorld where Jobs made an appearance after returning to the company he co-founded. At the event, Goldblum made one of the best quips about Apple’s chaotic nature at the time, saying that, “In Jurassic Park and the upcoming Lost World, I play Ian Malcolm, an expert on chaos theory — so I figure that qualifies me to speak at an Apple event.”

Later on, after Jobs was back running Apple and had launched the iMac G3, Goldblum was recruited once more to play himself in an ad, describing the new computer. Unlike subsequent actors associated with Apple, however, this never became a recurring role.

One part of the story that is pretty neat, though, is the fact that Jobs was willing to pick up the phone and speak to people in person to try and persuade them to help out the Apple cause. Throughout his career he was more than willing to do this, and it came in particularly handy when securing deals for Apple before it had its massive resurgence in success — such as securing the likenesses of people for the “Think Different” campaign.

In Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Jobs, he tells a story about how Jobs could be so convincing that Robin Williams’ wife wouldn’t even allow her husband to speak with Jobs on the phone knowing that Jobs would easily convince him to narrate an ad that Williams didn’t want to do.