Interestingly, the major players in the new movie “The Social Network” recently visited the Bay Area to talk about the movie in person, rather than on Facebook.
Despite, or perhaps because of, experiences working on the story of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, the cast and crew of the film — directed by Oscar nominee David Fincher and opening Friday — aren’t big Facebook users.
“I stopped. I’m going back to the old-fashioned way of sending a messenger pigeon to my friends,” says actor Andrew Garfield, who plays Zuckerberg’s friend and estranged business partner Eduardo Saverin. “I worry that it separates us more than connects us.”
Armie Hammer plays twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who sued Zuckerberg for stealing their idea for a dating site at Harvard.
“I do have a Facebook, but I check it on a lunar cycle at best,” he says. “I’m always running into friends, ‘Dude! I IM-ed you three weeks ago, and I poked you and I tagged you in six photos, and you didn’t post anything.’ And I’m like, ‘pick up the phone, because I’m done with this conversation.’”
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, creator of TV’s “The West Wing,” says he set up a Facebook page while working on the movie, but deleted it when it was finished.
But star Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg, has them all beat. He has never owned a Facebook account. “I have zero friends,” he says, “but I haven’t made any enemies!”
“Jesse makes me feel tech-savvy,” says Sorkin. The celebrated writer who has ventured deep behind the scenes to write such movies as “A Few Good Men” and “The American President” summarizes his career as: “I don’t know anything, but I like writing about people who do.”
Playing a character that knows something, Eisenberg dove in and experimented with “quiet confidence, which is masking this terrible anxiety about feeling completely alienated by personal interactions.”
Eisenberg says the ultimate irony of the Zuckerberg character is that, despite creating this new online society filled with friends he can relate to on his own terms, “he feels alone, and in some ways more alone than ever. He can have everything he wants, but he’s alone.”
IF YOU GO
The Social Network
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Brenda Song, Justin Timberlake
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by David Fincher
Running time 2 hours