"Social Network" spells Hammer time for actor Armie

Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:12pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - They look so much alike in Oscar-hopeful film "The Social Network," they could be one man, and in fact, they are. But what the Winklevoss twins share with the actor who plays them has less to do with looks and more with their privileged background.

The actor, 24 year-old Armie Hammer, is the great grandson of oil tycoon and philanthropist Armand Hammer. He was blessed with good looks and a prominent family tree, like the Winklevoss'. But the similarities seem to stop there.

While the Winkelvoss twins, as portrayed in the movie, stuck to family traditions, attended Harvard University and became Olympic rowers. Hammer quit school, said hello to Hollywood and angered his family -- if only temporarily.

"I dropped out of high school and I dropped out of college because the movie industry was the only thing I wanted to be in," Hammer told Reuters.

"I definitely got a speech that said, 'You will be the first Hammer man to not graduate college, to not get a degree,'" he said. "But I didn't have any interest in that."

Hammer's passion for acting has clearly come through in "Social Network," because amid all the awards and box office buzz for the movie that traces the origins of Facebook, one consistent message circulating among Hollywood insiders is that Hammer is enjoying a breakthrough performance.

Industry players, the media, and audiences have been scratching their heads at just how one man played the two roles of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who claimed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea when he founded the website and, in the process, became a billionaire.

Hammer said a typical day would involve him shooting a scene playing Cameron Winklevoss with a body double, Josh Pence, standing-in as Tyler.   Continued...

<p>Actors Armie Hammer (L) and Max Minghella are shown in a scene from the film "The Social Network," in this undated publicity photograph. 24 year-old Armie Hammer, the great grandson of oil tycoon and philanthropist Armand Hammer, portrays both Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Howard Winklevoss in the film. REUTERS/Merrick Morton/ 2009 Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc. /Handout</p>