Hollywood loves its tech stars. Their legend stories are often the best material for film studios, include Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and so on. Here are 10 well-known names in the tech world who have been portrayed on the big screen.
1. Mark Zuckerberg
In the 2010 film The Social Network, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook was portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg. The actor was nominated for an Oscar for his role, but the film didn’t find a fan in Zuck. “They [the film’s creators] just can’t wrap their head around the idea that someone might build something because they like building things,” he said at an event.
2. Sean Parker
Also from The Social Network: Justin Timberlake flexed his acting chops for the role of Sean Parker. The Silicon Valley bad boy is famous for co-founding Napster and a short-lived presidency of Facebook.
3. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates
In the acclaimed TV movie, Pirates of Silicon Valley, actors Anthony Michael Hall and Noah Wyle star as rivaling computer legends Bill Gates and Steve Jobs
4. Paul Allen
Also from Silicon Valley: Actor Josh Hopkins (currently best known for a starring role on Cougar Town) played Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft.
5. Steve Jobs
Ashton Kutcher landed the role of Steve Jobs in 2013’s highly anticipated biopic Jobs. The movie fared poorly, but the resemblance between the star and the late Apple CEO is pretty uncanny.
6. Steve Wozniak
Another honoree from the Jobs flick was Steve Wozniak. Comedic actor Josh Gad tackled the role of the famed Apple co-founder, but didn’t quite stick the landing. Woz dismissed the film, saying it fell flat and was “disingenuous.”
7. Julian Assange
The wily Australian journalist, who became synonymous with cyber hacking after the explosion of WikiLeaks, was portrayed by British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch in the film The Fifth Estate. Assange widely denounced the film, saying it was “based on a deceitful book.”
8. Ada Lovelace
Avant-garde actress Tilda Swinton portrayed Lovelace in the 1997 flick Conceiving Ada. Though she was the daughter of poet Lord Byron, Lovelace was encouraged to study the sciences instead of the arts. She is often called the “first programmer,” because she designed an algorithm meant to be performed by a machine.
9. Kevin Mitnick
Actor Skeet Ulrich portrayed famous computer hacker Kevin Mitnick in 2000’s critically-panned film, Track Down. In the late ’90s, Mitnick was a wanted computer criminal, imprisoned for hacking into countless computer systems. His criminal days are behind him, and he now runs a company that tests computer security systems.
10. Nikola Tesla
Rock star David Bowie, who’s been known to dabble in film every now and again, was tapped to play the legendary inventor in the 2006 film The Prestige.