'Social Network' star: Facebook is upset because movie hits 'too close to home' [UPDATED]
It's no secret that the executives at Facebook are not too pleased about the upcoming release of David Fincher's "The Social Network." The company has for months distanced itself from the highly anticipated film, which explores the roots of the Web site and depicts founder Mark Zuckerberg as an ambitious but perhaps double-dealing entrepreneur.
Questions about the story — based on Ben Mezrich's 2009 book, "Accidental Billionaires" — and its accuracy continue to surface. But the fact that Facebook is so worried about the movie is revealing, believes Brenda Song, the actress who plays co-founder Eduardo Saverin's girlfriend.
"Well, all I can say is, if the people are upset about it, I think we're doing something right. Because maybe we're hitting a little too close to home," Song told us at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
Song gushed about the experience of working on an Oscar-contending film. Up to now, she's mostly been recognized as a Disney Channel star who has appeared on "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and its spinoff, "The Suite Life on Deck."
Her new role is a bit, um, racier. According to those who have seen the movie, Song plays a woman dismissed by Saverin as a "groupie" — perhaps a fair characterization, since she and a girlfriend immediately try to sleep with the co-founder. The characters end up engaging in some promiscuous behavior in a bathroom stall right after a Bill Gates speech.
Trying to find out about the woman her character was based upon was a challenge for one very clear reason, Song said.
"Um, she actually is suing us right now, so we are not talking about her," she said as she smiled nervously.
[UPDATE: Sony spokesperson Steve Elzer contacted the Times on Tuesday, saying Song was misinformed about a lawsuit. "No one has filed any suit against the
film," he said. A call to Song's publicist was not immediately returned.]
"Yes, it was very, very difficult. But, you know, we changed her name. It's always hard when you play someone who's real, because you want to stay true but you want to have creative force driving behind it as well."
Ultimately, she believes, the film is objective. "The great thing about the film is it really tells a story from three different points of view. It's completely non-biased. So you as a viewer get to go in there and get to choose what you believe really happened."
— Amy Kaufman
RECENT AND RELATED: