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Interview: Armie Hammer (''The Social Network'')

The actor talks about playing twins, digital-age chivalry, and growing up in the most interesting family that ever existed
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  October 4, 2010

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Armie Hammer looks like a menswear catalog model. He’s well over six feet tall, blonde, and brimming with good health. He’s got a booming voice to match his physique. He seems like he’s spent a lot of time on yachts.

READ:Complete Phoenix coverage of The Social Network
In The Social Network, Armie Hammer plays lock-jawed twins and future Olympic rowers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Is this typecasting? Perhaps, but Hammer brings a welcome glint of menace.

Hammer’s family is among America’s most interesting, and wealthy. He is the great grandson of the tycoon Armand Hammer, famous for being a Soviet ally and a staunch Republican. His father, Michael Armand Hammer, a billionaire, sits on the board of Oral Roberts University. To wit, young Armie has starred in a biopic of Billy Graham.

What do you think of Boston?
I love this place, it’s so fun. When we were shooting here I had to do all the nerdy things like the Duck Tour. I walked the Freedom Trail. Like, that’s where the Boston Massacre happened, are you kidding me? Just walking around Boston, it’s such a beautiful city. Getting paid to just live in Boston and have a great time was the best.

I read that the Justice League movie got cancelled [Hammer had been tapped to play Batman in the film]. I’m sad about that.
You’re sad? I’m sad.

Were you shooting?
We were down in Australia for a month or pre-production, just about to start shooting, and it just kind of fell apart.

What’re you working on next?
Actually I just got married.

Congratulations. How recently?
A couple months ago. So I’m in the process right now of creating a life with my wife. On the big scale I think that’s so much more important. Obviously there are more projects lined up but nothing concrete that I would want to jinx or talk about.

Okay, won’t make you jinx.
Very kind of you.

In The Social Network, you play a pair of twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. What was it like to play two different characters with such subtle variations and yet manage to make them have distinct personalities?
I’m so glad you thought so. Thank you very much.

Our film critic concurs.
Oh! Well good, good. Tell the film critic I say thank you. In terms of creating those two, myself and another actor, Josh Pence, really worked together to create those twins. And we wanted to create twins who were cut from the same cloth – they both had the same aristocratic blue-blooded upbringing. They’re very similar, but at the same time they’re very distinct. You have the one twin, Cameron Winklevoss, who adheres a little bit more to the old-world sense of nobility and chivalry – you should be a gentleman and behave yourself as such. You don’t sue people; you handle yourself as a man. And then you have Tyler Winklevoss, who has a little bit more of the modern man infused in him. He wants to fight everyone if they steal from him. But at the same time, these two guys, being from the same upbringing, they still have to end up at the same goal because they know better. There’s that duality that’s sort of present in all of us. Someone did something to me, so do I handle myself like a gentleman, or do I choke them like I want to? So it was a lot of fun to create the two differences between the two guys.

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