Armie Hammer: "I'm glad you didn't hate them."
I actually believed their story in the film - or believed that they believed it.
Armie Hammer: "That's great. I take that as a compliment. Thank you very much."
It is definitely a compliment.
Armie Hammer: "You know, that was the thing. These guys could very easily become a caricature of the big, wealthy jocks who pick on the little nerd. And we wanted to make sure that that didn't happen with these guys. These are real, living people who have been kind of dicked over before and we wouldn't want that to happen to these guys again. We respected them. We realized that these are living people and we didn't want to do them any harm because as crazy as it sounds, more people - I think - on the planet are going to know the twins according to Fincher and Sorkin's interpretation of them..."
And your interpretation.
Armie Hammer: "Right. As opposed to the twins themselves."
Did you form an opinion as to whether they were telling the truth or not?
Armie Hammer: "Obviously I had to - while we were filming - I had to really believe that these guys are telling the truth, Mark Zuckerberg is a jerk and he did steal this from them. But, you know, having now wrapped the project and distanced myself from them, I'm able to be a little bit more objective and sort of say we don't know. We don't know because they can't even agree. Three different people all showed up and gave three different stories so instead of us seven years later trying to pick what happened, let's instead bring the relative truth of each story to the screen and show that these are perspectives that we're showing, not necessarily truths."
We'll never know exactly what happened. Sorkin did any incredible amount of research while writing the script, but did you do additional research on top of that to find out who these guys are?
Armie Hammer: "Yes, but any research that I did after Sorkin's amazing script was all peripheral. It was, you know, what is like to go to school at Harvard? What is it like to grow up in Connecticut? What is it like to row? You know, all that stuff. But in terms of characterizations and coming up with these humans that we were bringing to the screen, that was fortunately all done by an amazing writer, which is one of the benefits of having a writer like Aaron Sorkin involved on a project. It's less work for the actor because the amazing author has done more work on his own."
Was there anything in the script in particular that you latched onto and went, "A-ha, that's what defines these guys?"
Armie Hammer: "The concept of chivalry. The concept of being a gentleman of Harvard. I mean, I don't get that. I didn't attend Harvard; I don't have the same sort of respect for the college I attended. I don't get that, but what I do get is the drive to want to feel like you are being a good person, the feeling of, 'I am a gentleman, and yes I did behave myself as such.' I get that that's a noble aspiration and I get that's what these guys were going for, but I also get the struggle of the fact that that kind of chivalry is becoming more and more inefficacious in this modern world."
How was your relationship with Jesse Eisenberg when you weren't shooting, given that the relationship in the film was so antagonistic?
Armie Hammer: "I could not have more respect for him, period. It was great. I mean you would think that because of the animosity or hostility between the characters, that in-between takes you'd give each other looks or just storm away or something like that, but it wasn't like that. We were all actors who understood our point here and understood our place. And especially myself being the newest, in terms of this business, I quickly understood that these guys were all interested in turning in the best project, no matter what, even if it meant encouraging each other, even if it meant offering each other tips, even if it meant giving each other what you needed in the scenes to get the right performance."
"This was one of the best sets I've ever worked on because there was no ego, which was not what I was expecting. You have international superstars, you have amazing British actors, you have Jesse Eisenberg who is a highly regarded American actor, you have all these guys and David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin, all these guys, you'd think that there would be ego wars on the set but there wasn't because we were all ultimately just interested in this project and turning out the best project we could at the end of the day. So it was the best time I can say I've ever had on set."
Were you familiar at all with the story before you started working on the film?
Armie Hammer: "No. No, not at all. In fact the first time I read the script, I put it down and the first thing I said out loud to myself was, 'How did I not know any of this? This is amazing!'"
Are you into Facebook now?
Armie Hammer: "I'm not into, no. Not personally. I respect it and I understand that it's one of the most amazing networking and professional tools that we've been given in this 21st century, especially considering the fact that it's free. It's amazing, but personally no, I'm not a big Facebook user."
And learning how to row, how difficult was that?
Armie Hammer: "That was the hardest part of this movie. It was infinitely harder [than playing twins]. It was so hard because acting is what I love, it's what I've been trained to do. It's my passion. Rowing was something that I got to do because I love acting so much, which is an amazing opportunity. But at the same time, I wasn't an athlete before this. I was in shape and I'd always been athletic, but rowers - I mean that's a whole other caliber of athlete. You have to be a physical specimen to do that, and they really for eight months beat me up to the point where I could at least pretend like I knew how to row."
So it's not something you do in your spare time now?
Armie Hammer: "No. I wish. I wish. Unfortunately, it's so much more popular on the East Coast than it is in LA. In LA, you'd have to drive an hour to get to where you can row and then you'd have to pay to have a boat and store the boat. Whereas in Boston when we were there, you'd be rowing on the Charles and pass eight boathouses in a matter of minutes."
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The Social Network hits theaters on October 1, 2010.