Sweaty Harvard jocks pitch in on Facebook movie

Film crews for David Fincher's "The Social Network," the tell-all film about Facebook's origins, have enlisted the university's heavyweight crew team to participate in a few scenes, according to The Boston Globe.

A boat rows on the Charles River in Boston in the fall of 2006. Caroline McCarthy/CNET

Now, these are some guys you don't see at the average Silicon Valley hackathon: The Harvard heavyweight crew team is filming scenes for "The Social Network," according to a Boston Globe gossip column on Tuesday. Film crews have been on the Charles River in Boston recently, the column reports.

That's because two of the main characters in the juicy, David Fincher-directed tell-all about the origins of Facebook are Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, would-be social-network entrepreneurs who claimed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole the code and business plan for their project, ConnectU. The identical twin Winklevosses were also members of Harvard's crew team, they and ultimately wound up on the U.S. Olympic squad last summer in Beijing.

The Globe column also notes that one of the rowers had some red dots painted on his face so that ultimately, the face of an actor could be superimposed on it--which, though it sounds technologically complicated, is probably easier than trying to teach an actor how to row. Besides, "The Social Network" already has some smoke and mirrors to deal with: the Winklevoss twins are being played by a single actor, Armie Hammer .

(The Globe assumes that the face to be superimposed is that of pop star Justin Timberlake, who plays Napster co-founder Sean Parker in "The Social Network." But Parker, we're pretty sure, never rowed on Harvard's heavyweight crew team.)

Meanwhile, though the Charles River is apparently fair game, it looks like Harvard didn't let the film crew on campus: Johns Hopkins University in Maryland put out a release on Tuesday saying it will be standing in for Harvard, in some scenes shot in early November.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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