'The Social Network': All hail Armie Hammer!

Image credit: Merrick Morton

Yesterday my colleague Adam Markovitz explained — with David Fincher’s help — how actor Armie Hammer managed to portray twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in The Social Network. His performance (or should I say performances) provide a bit of comic relief in the film and are truly a sight to behold. I’d even call Hammer a dark horse candidate for a Best Supporting Actor nomination if the film becomes a major overall player. (Though of course he’ll have to compete with his own costars Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake for the nod.)

In Part 4 of our interview with the Social Network gang, we focus on Hammer’s achievement, particularly in light of Fincher’s penchant for wanting dozens and dozens of takes for each scene. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that Hammer had it worse than anyone else.

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  • j

    Armie over Justin, for sure. He portrayed the pretentious Harvard Guy perfectly.

    • Nathan

      Absolutely, Timberlake wasn’t all that great anyway. Hammer and Garfield should be nominated for Sup Actor.

      • Brandon DuGrey

        Hammer is quite deserving of a supporting actor nod, no question. But Garfield is by no means a supporting player, and a nomination in that category would be an injustice. All too often the supporting categories are used as a catchall dump for younger or lesser known actors in leading roles who most likely (at least in the studios’ collective thinking) wouldn’t stand a chance in the leading category (i.e.: Timothy Hutton in ‘Ordinary People’[1980], Jennifer Hudson in ‘Dreamgirls’[2006], Tatum O’Neal in ‘Paper Moon’ [1973], George Clooney in ‘Syriana’ [2005] — which, sadly, takes the award away from true supporting players: Joe Pesci in ‘Raging Bull’ [1980], Adriana Barazza or Rinko Kikuchi in ‘Babel’ [2006], Silvia Sydney in ‘Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams’ [1973], Matt Dillon in ‘Crash’ or the unnominated but thoroughly deserving Mickey Rourke in ‘Sin City’ [both 2005]).

        A lead character is defined by whether he or she is a central point of focus (hence Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins both winning leading awards for ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ [1991] — it is true that her screen time is close to three times greater than his, but they are both central points of focus throughout the film). There are cusp cases from time to time. It could be argued that Kevin Spacey plays a leading character in ‘The Usual Suspects’ and therefore should not have been allowed to compete (and win) in the supporting category. But it could just as easily be argued that the entire cast of ‘Suspects’ was simply supporting each other, that there were no leads, and therefore everyone is a supporting player. It’s a tough call (for my money, Spacey and Gabriel Byrne were the lead characters; all others supporting players — and by that token, I would have given the 1995 Oscar for supporting actor to Brad Pitt in ’12 Monkeys’ or Ed Harris in ‘Apollo 13’).

        But in the case of ‘The Social Network’, it’s clear that both Eisenberg and Garfield are the central points of focus, and that the rest of the cast is supporting them. It would be a shame to see Hammer’s pitch-perfect dual supporting performance nudged out by Garfield’s leading turn. And it wouldn’t be fair. I know, I know — life’s not fair. If it was, no one would be able to make billions of dollars off of a glorified email/blog site where attention-starved people go to air their dirty laundry and embarrass themselves ;-)

    • tori

      I agree. Justin did a great job playing an absolute creep but Armie was fantastic. He nailed not one, but two parts for crying out loud.

    • yokay

      Did NOT know this was one guy. BEST line in the film was when they were referred to as Winklevii. I laughed my ass off on that one.

      • laurasan

        I totally agree! That was my favorite line in the entire move.

    • James S.

      Agreed. Hammer had the more difficult role, and he played it perfectly.

    • Bradd bradd

      Andrew Garfield FTW.
      He not only deserves a nomination, but in my opinion he deserves a win. The scene where is share goes to 0.06 or something was played to the upmost PERFECTION. He gave my goosebumps.

    • AlysabethInAustin

      Anyone remember him as Gabriel,the con man/boyfriend of Serena, in Gossip Girl???

    • Gabby

      Definitely – he were so great in the part that it didn’t even feel like the Winklevoss twins were all that pretentious, even though you’re generally supposed to hate that character archetype at first glance. He made them much more complex.

      • Gabby

        *was*

  • Duncan Houst

    It tells me it’s a private video, and I can’t watch it.

  • Ralph

    I guess I still don’t understand why Fincher used 2 actors. With all the tech advances in CGI, couldn’t he just have Hammer play both roles?

    • nosygirl

      Ralph, reread the first sentence. Hammer DID play both of the twins.

    • tori

      The actor they are talking about, Josh Pence, did not act in this movie. He was strictly a stand-in. While Armie played Cameron, Pence would stand in as Tyler and vice versa.

      • Orson

        That’s not true. If he was a stand-in they would’ve billed him and hired him as one. Pence created and shot the character of Tyler which Hammer copies. He says so himself in interviews.

  • Jax

    I personally believe that Social Network will either get all three supporting actors in the race, or only one of them (probably Andrew Garfield). I am really hoping that this film will be in the running for Best Picture, because it seems like audience pleasers are abundant this year (Toy Story 3, Inception, Kids are Alright) and this could be the most fan pleasing year at the Oscars in years.

    • Laurie

      I think its a little to early to call. Most of the studios save their award geared pics for Nov & Dec. There are alot to come.

  • Stacie

    His IMDB page says his name is Armand Hammer. Really? Where’s Andy Warhol when you need him? P.S. He was pretty darn good.

    • DWTStares

      hahaa….I just got it….Arm and Hammer…..hahaaa!

      • Ginny

        Armand Hammer is the heir to the Arm and Hammer fortune. Armie is the grandson or great-grandson. Wealthy AND handsome!!!

  • Stacey

    He was fantastic. But I think Andrew Garfield has the more meaty role. The twins were just comic relief in my view and disappears during certain points… Andrew while not completly Oscar worthy did provide some angst. And he made you believe the role and root for his side at least in the lawsuit battle whether it was the real story in real life or not. The twins, I felt were more money grubbers whether they had the original idea or not… Andrew Garfield and even Justin Timberlake were more impressive and I hate Justin Timberlake…

    • Jacob

      Stacey, you don’t make any sense. Just because you didn’t like an actor’s character doesn’t mean their performance was worse than a character that you liked.

      • RJM

        Actually if they make you hate the character, they are probably doing an excellent job.

  • Five

    Yeah, I think Garfield’s got the best shot for best supporting actor here. I was only most interested in his character after awhile.

  • Joseph

    Would love if Hammer scored an Oscar nod.
    My order of preference to nominate:
    Garfield
    Hammer
    Timberlake
    My top 5 will include Garfield and Hammer. I will see how the year plays out to see if Timberlake squeaks in as well.

  • tiffany p.

    I truly hopes the gets an Oscar nomination because he brought so much rich complexity ( and humor) to his performances . He was just an incredible scene stealer. You could tell he was having the time of his life playing both roles. Armie also brought a James Spader-ish & Alec Baldwin-ish vibe to Social Network. Besides being a major hottie, Hammer has a speaking voice to die for. Definitely, I will be following Armie’s career.

    • teekay

      I’m with you Tiffany; he was awesome. I walked out of that movie assuming the twins were, well, twins. It wasn’t until I started reading up on the movie afterwards that I realized they were one guy. And I had scene that guy before in Reaper! Great Work, Arnie Hammer!

  • JR

    wow. I can’t wait to see this movie.

    and Dave Karger gets hotter every year.

  • D

    Well I have to say I was shocked when I first learned this was one actor! I hadn’t seen him in any previous work and when I saw this film, I just thought, “Where the hell did they get twins THAT TALL and gorgeous and able to act!” I had no idea it was one guy. Goes to show what a great job he did.

  • Scott

    Just saw the movie today. was very interesting. Armie is HOT AS HELL…. I think he is going to have a huge career.

  • ObiHave

    Hammer over Timberlake any day. He played twins but each had their own personna and that was no small feat considering he had to talk basically to himself for most of the movie.
    I really don’t get why Timberlake is getting all the buzz…he was adequate at best. Don’t compare his “phone it in” performance to Hammer and Garfield…it’s insulting to their work.
    Now let’s see Hammer as Superman!!!!

  • lesliemf

    Armie Hammer has the pedigree himself to portray the Winklevii – he comes from the Hammer family Arm & Hamme. And he would be fantastic as Superman, especially with Andrew Garfield next up as Spiderman. Maybe Jesse Eisenberg as Jimmy Olsen?

  • Tara

    When I saw “the twins” appear on screen I nearly dropped my popcorn. Stunningly handsome! I’d never seen Armie Hammer in any other role. I was blown away with his looks, height and acting abilities. Then I find out it’s ONE actor. Incredible! I hope to see more of him in future roles.

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