'The Social Network' at 10: How viewers once thought there were Armie Hammer twins playing the Winklevoss brothers

Armie Hammer and Armie Hammer in 'The Social Network' (Columbia Pictures)
Armie Hammer and Armie Hammer in The Social Network. (Columbia Pictures)

The acting was so good, the technical wizardry of David Fincher and crew so convincing, that another phenomenon emerged from The Social Network beyond its oft-memed trailer, critical kudos and box-office love: Some viewers thought there was more than one Armie Hammer.

In the story of the rise to fame and fortune of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) no matter the (proverbial) body count, Hammer — largely unknown at the time beyond a horse movie here, mega-rich family there — co-starred as both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The rowing stars and Zuckerberg’s Harvard classmates eventually found their own success in the worlds of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, but not before suing Z-man for stealing their “ConnectU” early social media concept and transforming it into Facebook.

In 2016, while promoting his film Nocturnal Animals, Hammer told us that people who had seen The Social Network, which was released 10 years ago, on Oct. 1, 2010, would come up to him and ask where his twin was (watch below).

Hammer says he would then serve up a zesty reply.

“I like to tell them, ‘You know how sometimes twins will eat each other in the womb, like one will absorb the other? We just did it much later in life.’ It gets very strange looks sometimes.”

In reality Fincher used two performers to portray the “Winklevii,” with actor Josh Pence standing in for one. The production used split-screen effects and digital face replacements on Pence.

As Hammer revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, he was originally only set to play one of the twins, with Pence — actual face and all — set to play the other, despite the fact that the Winklevosses were identical.

Ultimately, Fincher decided we’d get a double dose of Hammer Time, which the actor said created some awkwardness on set. “[Fincher] is like, ‘OK, here's what we have to do: These twins have to be identical. So Armie, we’re going to double you. Josh, we’re going to put dots on your face,’” Hammer told THR. “You could cut the tension with a spoon.”

The quasi-pair of performances generated Hammer Oscar buzz at the time, and he has been a marquee mainstay ever since, appearing in films like J. Edgar (2011), The Lone Ranger (2013), The Birth of a Nation (2016), Call Me By Your Name (2017), Cars 3 (2017), Sorry to Bother You (2018), and On the Basis of Sex (2018).

So it’s unlikely Hammer is still being asked where his non-existent twin is hiding, but it is comforting to know he has a stellar explanation prepared.

Stream The Social Network on Amazon Prime.

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