DVD: Actors Love David Fincher's Penchant for Multiple Takes, Says the Social Network Making-Of
David Fincher's let's-try-it-again method of shooting, whereby each take is done dozens, if not hundreds, of times, has gotten some mixed reviews from veterans of his films, most notably Jake Gyllenhaal. But the young up-and-comers who starred in The Social Network just love, love, loved it, if the making-of documentary, "How Did They Ever Make a Movie of Facebook?" -- featured on the new DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment -- is to be believed.
Jesse Eisenberg, who comes off as that rare actor who can talk about the process of acting without sounding like a tool, extols this approach, even as we're told that the film's memorable opening scene took almost 100 takes to get just so. But all the cast members from Andrew Garfield to Rooney Mara pop up to give two thumbs up to Fincher's method of wearing his actors down to the nub.
It's like that possibly apocryphal story about Jack Lemmon working with Billy Wilder. After the first take, Wilder told Lemmon that it was good, but to try it again doing even less. Same for the next take. And the next. And the one after that. Finally, an exasperated Lemmon says, "If I do any less, I won't be acting at all," to which Wilder responded, "Oh god, yes! Please!"
Other things I learned from the bonus disc on the Blu-Ray of The Social Network:
· One of the film's unsung heroes is Josh Pence, who did all the physical acting as Tyler Winklevoss but had his voice and face covered by Armie Hammer, who "plays" both Winklevoss twins in the movie. Pence, a strapping Dartmouth grad and real-life rower, gets little sympathy from a sardonic Eisenberg -- "He'll be fine. He can go cry over sex."
· Whoever created the extras for the DVD didn't include a single photo of Mark Zuckerberg or any of the other real people portrayed in the film. Which isn't necessarily a bad choice, but is a deliberate one.
· Trent Reznor is a fan of Wendy Carlos. And he really, really never wants to hear "In the Hall of the Mountain King" ever again.
· Aaron Sorkin is crazily orange. And if that's his real hair, he needs to consider styling it in a way that doesn't look like it isn't.