We've been hearing a few sneaky tips from folks within earshot of the Boston, Mass., set of "The Social Network," the Columbia Pictures movie about the contested origins of Facebook. This week, the film crew has been on the Charles River working on scenes in which Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical twins who had a lawsuit against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are depicted at a Harvard crew practice.
That Boston Globe report about the Harvard heavyweight crew team getting cast in the background? Not quite.
Ivy League athletic restrictions bar current athletes from being film extras, and filming has been an all-day operation while classes are still in session, so an open casting call was held at the new Community Rowing Inc. boathouse on the Charles River in Newton, Mass.--and former Harvard and Northeastern University rowers are among those in front of the cameras. The CRI boathouse, tipsters tell us, has also been the filming HQ for the crew scenes.
The rowers are serving as body doubles for the actors and extras, as well as the actual muscle to power the boats in team scenes. And a few of them indeed have their faces marked up for the CGI superimposing of actor Armie Hammer's visage--he's playing both of the Winklevoss twins.
One thing we've heard is that one of the characters in the scenes is Harry Parker, Harvard's longtime varsity heavyweight crew coach. He's not playing himself, nor does it appear that a well-known actor has been cast to play him (because this would be a great cameo role), but rather a lookalike actor has the role instead.
Most interestingly, a tipster also tells us that while filming of the crew scenes is expected to wrap up this week, that it'll be headed to the iconic Henley Royal Regatta in the U.K. this June. There is indeed a scene in the "Social Network" that takes place at Henley, and it sounds like they're hoping to film it on-site--though we haven't been able to confirm that the formal, buttoned-up annual regatta will allow a movie crew on the grounds.
Other confirmed filming locations for "The Social Network" are Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, which will be standing in for Harvard's campus. Will the cast, which includes "Zombieland" star Jesse Eisenberg (as Mark Zuckerberg) and pop star Justin Timberlake, actually do any filming in Silicon Valley? No word on that yet.
"The Social Network," directed by David Fincher ("Fight Club"), is based on Ben Mezrich's recent book, "The Accidental Billionaires." Facebook has maintained a stance that it stretches the truth.