NEW YORK — Armie Hammer faced some interesting acting challenges for The Social Network. Playing both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical twins who claimed Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them, Hammer gets some of the best lines in the movie — and spends most of his scenes arguing with himself. Metro caught up with Hammer at the Harvard Club to talk about working with David Fincher, fact versus fiction and the permanence of Facebook photos.
When you get a project with a script by Aaron Sorkin that’s going to be directed by David Fincher, what goes through your head?
You almost have to try not to think about it because it would overwhelming. To think about the fact that you are working with Fincher and you are doing two parts, if you show up carrying that anxiety with you, you won’t get the same performance. We really had to trust Fincher and let go of the fact that he was Fincher and just do whatever he asked. He’s just the most voraciously intelligent human being I’ve ever been around, period. And I’ve been around some interesting people, you know?
How was the working relationship with your co-stars?
You would think that if you had this many young actors, the tendency would be for everyone to just be like, “We just want to have fun! We want to play! We’re just going to party and be irresponsible!” But that wasn’t the case. [Fincher] really had all these guys passionate, and all these guys showed up bringing their A-game, and that inspired the person next to them to bring their A-game because you couldn’t be the only one bringing a C+ to this party, you know? There were no competing egos, which was shocking to me.
The real Winklevoss twins were at the premiere. Did you meet them before you made the movie?
I met them afterward. I’m really glad I didn’t meet them before, because I feel like I would’ve been tempted to do almost like an imitation of these guys who I don’t know. I really know the characters in the script better than I know the real guys.
And what was their response to the film?
From what I could tell, it was positive. Honestly, I just think they’re happy that their side of the story is being told, you know?
On Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg referred to the film as a work of fiction. Do you see it as a true story?
First of all, I would say this: If I were Mark Zuckerberg, I would definitely try to play this off as fiction as well. I mean, I’m not surprised that’s what he said. Do I see this as a work of nonfiction? Um… yes, but in the sense that truth is relative. So to each of the characters as it relates to them, they are telling the truth and this is their true story. But it’s up to the audience to take these three perspectives and sort of figure out what they think.
I noticed in one scene Jesse Eisenberg is wearing an Arm & Hammer T-shirt. Did you know about that beforehand?
No, I didn’t, so when I first saw the movie, I thought, “Oh my God, that’s funny.” It had nothing to do with me or my family or anything like that. Basically what happened was the wardrobe woman — because once you put a picture on Facebook, it’s on Facebook and it doesn’t come down — she was able to pull thousands of images of these guys. And basically she recreated every single outfit. So any outfit that you see a character on screen wearing, they’re only wearing that because at one point or another they’ve been photographed wearing that. So Mark Zuckerberg actually was wearing that Arm & Hammer T-shirt at one point. Small world. It’s almost like I was made to be in the movie.