David Fincher is one of the most meticulous filmmakers in Hollywood, which means he needed to know everything there was to know about Harvard before gearing up for production on “The Social Network.” The drama, written by Aaron Sorkin, centers on Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook and is set largely on the Harvard campus.
As Fincher revealed shortly before the film opened in theaters (via Entertainment Weekly), Natalie Portman ended up being an unexpected secret weapon on the film. Portman called Fincher personally when she heard the director was attached to “The Social Network” and invited him to dinner so she could teach him about Harvard life. Portman studied at Harvard from 1999-2003.
On the new episode of the YouTube interview series “Hot Wings,” Portman reveals some of the details of her sit-down with Fincher. Surprisingly, the discussion is the closest Portman has gotten to working with Fincher. The actress dated a member of one of Harvard’s famous final clubs, the Porcellian Club, and taught Fincher about how the clubs work.
Harvard’s final clubs are exclusive, all-male groups officially unrecognized by Harvard. Portman explained to Fincher how prestigious the clubs were for male underclassmen and how the clubs worked on an invite only basis. Portman’s prep found its way into “The Social Network,” as the film begins with Zuckerberg obsessively talking about joining a final club.
Portman most recently starred in the acclaimed science-fiction thriller “Annihilation,” which is now on DVD and Blu-ray. The actress serves as producer on the upcoming food documentary “Eating Animals,” in thaters June 15.
You can watch Portman discuss meeting Fincher (around the nine minute mark), as well as a handful of other topics, in the video below.