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L.A. Times Young Hollywood Roundtable: Working with veterans

November 10, 2010 |  7:01 am

Director David Fincher is known for insisting that actors do multiple, multiple takes on the sets of his movies. So before Andrew Garfield even began filming "The Social Network," the 27-year-old said he was worried about the director's demands.

"We were told a bunch of horror stories about actors keeling over and dying ... having to, like, urinate in jars because they weren't allowed off-set," he said Friday at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre during a roundtable moderated by Los Angeles Times entertainment writer Amy Kaufman that also included  Jesse Eisenberg and Carey Mulligan.

Ultimately, Garfield said, he didn't end up passing out on set. Instead, he discovered Fincher's style "was actually an incredible gift for young actors" because it allowed the freedom to "do your own thing."

Fincher was also incredibly "in tune" with his actors, said Eisenberg, who also starred in "The Social Network." During one scene in which Eisenberg's character -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg -- is being deposed and has a notepad, the actor jotted down which takes he considered best. Then he compared notes with Fincher.

"The two out of the 50 that I thought were good were the ones that he had circled as well," Eisenberg said. "...When you do a lot of takes [for Fincher], it’s not this kind of haphazard obsessive compulsive behavior."

Mulligan, meanwhile, said she had a somewhat different relationship with her "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" costar Michael Douglas, who played her father in the film. In January, the veteran actor's son Cameron pleaded guilty to drug charges, and in April was sentenced to five years in prison. After production had wrapped, Douglas learned he had throat cancer.

"Michael and I didn't really hang out or have any contact -- in a nice way," she said. "I think he sort of kept a distance. He didn't want to get all pal-ly with me, because we had this sort of weird relationship [in the film]. ...I think Michael was in a sort of interesting place in his life, and I was terrified of him."


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