Thursday, 5 July 2012
Armie Hammer Occidental Petroleum
“You’ve gotta meet the dwarves,” Armie Hammer says. “I mean, the little people. The LPs. I said dwarves because it’s Snow White. Don’t ever call them dwarves. Don’t ever pat them on the head.” We’re driving around the F1 racetrack on Montreal’s Ile Notre-Dame, going 20 mph in a Dodge minivan, on our way to stunt training in a building behind the bleachers. “They’ll all just start making puke noises,” he says, “one followed by the next.
They have the most amazing rapport. They’re like a family.” Hammer, 25, pauses for effect, as he likes to do when telling stories. “And they’re such h***y bastards, too,” he continues. “Singling out women like this: ‘You know who she looks like? She looks like that girl from the LPA convention in 2008. Oh, man, she gave the best blow jobs.’”
This is Prince Charming talking, relishing an out-of-character moment. For the past three months he’s been brushing up on his noblesse oblige and playing a role that seems all but genetically determined. “If you had to draw a prince,” says Tarsem Singh, the director of the still-untitled Snow White adaptation, “you’d draw this guy. But I’m not talking about a Disney prince. With Armie, you know there are undertones.”
So far, Hammer’s one-for-one in the nuance department. His two-way rendering of the contemporary American alpha-douche in The Social Network was instantly iconic. Dropping Aaron Sorkin’s lines like Ivy League daisy cutters, Hammer portrayed Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the identical-twin Olympic rowers who claimed that Facebook was snatched from them by their Harvard classmate Mark Zuckerberg. Hammer plays not one complete as***le but two, nailing all the physical and linguistic tics produced by the twins’ hulking sense of privilege and entitlement. When Hammer-as-Winklevoss wears a robe, it’s as if to say, This is how an as***le wears a robe. When Hammer-as-Winklevoss rips into a burger, it’s as if to say, This is how an as***le eats meat.
Armand Hammer (May 21, 1898 – December 10, 1990) was an American business tycoon most closely associated with Occidental Petroleum, a company he ran for decades, though he was known as well as for his art collection, his philanthropy, and for his close ties to the Soviet Union.
Thanks to business interests around the world and his “citizen diplomacy,” Hammer cultivated a wide network of friends and acquaintances. During his lifetime, some objected to him on the grounds that he had made an illegal campaign contribution to U.S. president Richard Nixon.
He appeared frequently on television, commenting on international relations or agitating for research into a cure for cancer. As of 2008, he has been the subject of five biographies – in 1975 (Considine, authorized biography), 1985 (Bryson, coffee table book), Weinberg 1989, Blumay 1992, and Epstein 1996 – and two autobiographies (1932 and a best seller in 1987). His art collection and his philanthropic projects were the subject of numerous publications as well.