Park City - Ashton Kutcher found playing Steve Jobs to be a "terrifying" experience. Fortunately for him, he had the Sundance Film Festival to cushion his landing as he jumped into the lead role in "jOBS," a biopic that chronicles the life of the founder of Apple Computers from 1974-2002.
The sitcom star couldn't have found a more friendly place for the film to premiere. He got applause when he walked into the theater. He got applause when his name appeared in the opening credits. He got the typical, fawning plaudits in what is loosely known as the Q&A after the film.
(It's not hard to feel loved when questions from the audience are peppered with comments about the "fantastic" movie and the "amazing" cast.)
But Kutcher, nonetheless, seemed a bit nervous. He swayed back and forth onstage during the Q&A and barely cracked a smile.
"This was honestly one of the most terrifying things I've ever tried to do in my life," he said of the film, "because I admire this man so much. And I admire the way he built things.
"I admire the fact that you're filming this with an iPad right now," he said to one audience member.
Indeed, there was no small degree of serendipity that the theater was filled with people on their iPads and iPhones.
"This guy created the tool that we use every day in our lives," Kutcher said. "And he believed in it when no one else did."
Although the film has its moments of idol worship - the soaring, heroic music that plays when Jobs introduces the iPod is more than a bit over the top - "jOBS" doesn't shy away from his incomprehensibly bad behavior toward his oldest child or his abuse of colleagues.
And the star of "Two and a Half Men" acknowledged that it was tough to play an icon who remains "fresh in our minds."
"I've never seen Abraham Lincoln walk into a room," Kutcher said. "I've seen Steve Jobs walk into a room."
Playing Jobs was a bit "like throwing myself into this gantlet of massive amounts of criticism."