Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

How The Cast Of The Social Network Should Really Look

In our tech-obsessed world, one of the most popular and efficient forms of communication is through social media. Since the turn of the century, billions of people across the globe have flocked to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat—the list goes on. But the magnetism of the social media sphere really took hold following the 2004 launch of perhaps the biggest and most revolutionary networking service: Facebook.

With nearly 2 billion active monthly users as of September 2016, interest in the Mark Zuckerberg-founded site has remained strong, and arguably never more than in 2010, with the release of a Facebook biopic. Aptly entitled The Social Network, the Aaron Sorkin-written and David Fincher-directed film has been derided by some as more of a fictionalization than a true-to-life account, despite getting key moments right. These fabrications carry over into the appearances of the film's cast, some of whom look very different than the real-life people they portray. Here's how the cast of The Social Network should really look.

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg

The Founding Father of Facebook himself, Mark Zuckerberg was only 19 years old when the idea for what would become a global social media empire struck him. As a second-year student at the illustrious Harvard University, the story goes that Zuckerberg was just a tiny bit tipsy (he candidly admitted in a LiveJournal blog post that he was "a little intoxicated" on a Tuesday night) when he decided to create a "hot or not"-type website for the university's attendees. According to Zuckerberg's college roommate, Arie Hasit, "At first, [Mark] built a site and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females. Visitors to the site had to choose who was 'hotter' and according to the votes there would be a ranking." While the initial premise had some not-so-great intentions (and language used to describe it), Zuckerberg's early evening drinks sparked the start of something great.

Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, Adventureland, Now You See Me) fills the business magnate's shoes in The Social Network, but bears only a passing resemblance to him. The pair share the same mousy brown curls, sloped nose, sheepish smile, and the "-berg" suffix to their last names, but do they really look that much alike? We think not, with the prominence of Eisenberg's features—particularly his high-cut cheeks, strong brow-bone, and tapered-in jawline—standing out as the biggest differences against Zuckerberg's rounded "baby face." (Hey, better to look too young than too old!) Eisenberg's eyes also settle deep into their sockets, making him look a lot more stern than the doe-eyed Zuckerberg. Some may think these dissimilarities are down to a gap in age, but in reality, Zuckerberg is only a year younger than Eisenberg. Overall, while Eisenberg nails the emotional intensity of the college dropout who revolutionized the social media world, he just looks a tad too mature to really capture the Facebook creator in all his geeky glory.

Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin

As one of the vital pieces of the Facebook puzzle, Brazilian-born Saverin worked with Zuckerberg on the business side of things to bring more accessible (and entertaining) social channels to Harvard University's campus. He then became chief financial officer and business manager of the site, as documented in author Ben Menzin's book on the history of Facebook, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. In the Sorkin-Fincher film, Saverin's rocky relationship with Zuckerberg and what would quickly become the core Facebook team is heavily highlighted, particularly the scandal and confusion surrounding the massive dilution of Saverin's stakeholder shares (to, it bears quoting, "point zero-three percent.")

Now, if we thought Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Zuckerberg looked about as related as cousins a few times removed, we're in for something pretty wild with Andrew Garfield as Saverin. Garfield as gets the basics right: brunette hair, brown eyes, wide lips, and a ever-present three-o'clock shadow. Beyond that, not much else sticks. Perhaps this is due to Garfield's European roots stacked up against Saverin's South American ones; however, like Zuckerberg and Eisenberg, Saverin and Garfield are fairly close in age (the later only a year older). Despite only faintly looking like the billionaire he plays on screen, Garfield absolutely slayed the game in The Social Network, gifting audiences with some of his best work. (We're still quoting "my hoodie and my f— you flip-flops" monologue.)

Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker

Justin Timberlake has been a heartthrob to many for decades, spanning back to his boy band days in the late '90s and early 2000s as a member of *NSYNC. As the years went by, Timberlake broke into the acting biz, bringing the laughs as a frequent guest on Saturday Night Live (making internet history in one particular NSFW skit with Andy Samberg) and a series of cutesy rom-coms like Bad Teacher and Friends with Benefits. With the triple threat—dancer, singer, and now actor—audiences believed there was nothing Timberlake couldn't do. That is, until, he was cast in The Social Network as Sean Parker, Napster founder and early Facebook hopeful (joining the bunch in 2005 as president, a role in which he remains to this day). Timberlake brought a punchy prescription of snark and smarts to his interpretation of Sean Parker, but he looks essentially nothing like the man he was playing.

Timberlake as Parker isn't completely off the mark. The two men share tightly curled ginger-brown hair and light eyes. Parker's features are a bit more subtle than Timberlake's, as he has thinner lips, a smaller nose, eyes more closely set. The actor, on the other hand, has a stronger jaw, eyes that stick out (in a good way), and a beard that isn't quite as full.

Appearances aside, Timberlake's film portrayal has been marked by Parker as "a complete work of fiction," since the caricatured version of himself isn't as "cool" as he is in real life. Rather, the film warps the young billionaire into a "morally reprehensible human being" who often saunters into rooms with a Victoria's Secret model on each arm. While Timberlake's Parker isn't a dead ringer, and despite Parker openly admitting the film Sean is a widely skewed take on his real self, we think all audiences can agree that the actor's adaptation is still fun.

Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss twins

Hollywood has long used a single actor to play multiple siblings, especially twins (we all remember the mirrored image of little Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap remake). With real-life twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss playing a fundamental part in the legacy of Facebook—and the story Sorkin and Fincher wanted to tell in The Social Network—tracking down a set of talented twins to take on the roles was a huge deal. The filmmakers found their solution in American actor Armie Hammer, who'd later be known for his work in The Lone Ranger and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Hammer settles nicely into the double role as the Winklevoss twins, former Harvard University rowers and current entrepreneurs and founders of ConnectU, and looks pretty similar to them as well.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss (sometimes called "the Winklevi," but only ever in jest) are known, at least physically, for their dirty blonde hair, super square jaws, and towering height. Hammer checks all three boxes; the actor is naturally light-haired, stands at an impressive 6'5", and has a noteworthy mandible, even if it's slightly rounder than the Winklevosses'. Granted, the twins' features are a lot heavier, more masculine, and a bit brutish, but the foundation between actor and characters is strong.

While there's not much quibble with in terms of Hammer's depiction of the twins who went toe-to-toe with Zuckerberg, not all the credit can go to the actor. Hammer's double, Josh Pence, actually served as the body for Tyler Winklevoss, and the film's effects teams superimposed Hammer's face in post-production. Still, we think Hammer's interpretation is among the film's most accurate.

Max Minghella as Divya Narendra

Joining the Winklevoss twins in their breach of contract suit against Zuckerberg is Divya Narendra. Like Saverin and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, Narendra was a Harvard University student during Zuckerberg's cohort, and the two met to discuss Zuckerberg possibly jumping on board to help make a brand-new social site that would connect campus students. Though fans know how the story ends in the film—and some Facebook experts may know how it panned out in real life, too—watching The Social Network's adaptation of Narendra in such an intense time was definitely fascinating.

Our fondness for onscreen Narendra is due to Max Minghella's portrayal, but aesthetically, Minghella and Narendra are hardly each other's doppelgänger (to put it lightly). While the English actor is half-Italian and one-quarter Hong Kongese, the man he plays is Indian. Though the divide between Minghella and Narendra's appearances is wide (save the same bold brows and dark eyes), and despite being "initially surprised" that Minghella played him in the film instead of an Indian actor, the businessman says he's happy with the performance. "Max did a good job in pushing the dialogue forward and creating a sense of urgency in what was a very frustrating period," Narendra once commented. We agree.

Douglas Urbanski as Larry Summers

Lawrence "Larry" Summers is a pivotal character in The Social Network, as he served as Harvard University's President from 2001 to 2006, with his most notable years coming during Facebook's creation. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, along with Divya Narendra, came to Summers with their complaints regarding Zuckerberg allegedly stealing their idea after meeting with them to discuss plans for HarvardConnection. Rather than fleshing things out and following proper steps to get the issue cleared away, he dismissed the boys. Talk about a bummer.

Playing Summers, the kind-of villain in The Social Network, is film producer Douglas Urbanski—and boy, is his depiction accurate. Urbanski and Summers are virtual physical twins. Side by side, you can see the shocking sameness: the dark gray hair receding ever-so slightly; the similar complexions; the steely-colored, hooded eyes; even the soft chin and the pouch of skin below the jawline. Subtle differences can be spotted in the actor's higher, rounder nose, slightly dimpled chin, and softer overall facial structure. While Armie Hammer as the Winklevi was convincing, we think Urbanski as Summers takes the cake.

Joseph Mazzello as Dustin Moskovitz

Hold up. In what world do American actor and screenwriter Joseph Mazzello and internet entrepreneur Dustin Moskovitz look absolutely anything alike? The film failed hard as far as physicality is concerned when casting Mazzello as Facebook co-founder Moskovitz. The young billionaire, who left Facebook only a few years after its inception to start up the web and mobile productivity app Asana, shares next to nothing with the dude who donned his name and story in The Social Network. While Mazzello is pink-cheeked with wavy red-brown hair, a thin nose, brunette scruff, and prominent eyes, Moskovitz is essentially the polar opposite: he rocks dark, coarse, curly locks; has a wider nose; is virtually always clean-shaven; and has deep-set eyes.

Moskovitz himself is reportedly not entirely pleased with the way he was portrayed. He once stated, "It is interesting to see my past rewritten in a way that emphasizes things that didn't matter... it's just cool to see a dramatization of history [but] I'm just annoyed people are allowed to use real names in fiction." Ouch. Regardless of the big physical differences and Moskovitz's apparent annoyance with the film, we still think Mazzello brought an entertaining performance to the screen.

Rooney Mara as Erica Albright (rumored to possibly represent Priscilla Chan)

First things first: Erica Albright is not a real person, at least not in the context of the history of Facebook as we know it. Rooney Mara plays the fictitious figure who dates the Facebook founder in the film, but her role as Erica represents someone who may actually exist: Zuckerberg's real-life college girlfriend.

When writing the screenplay for The Social Network, Sorkin uncovered previously-published LiveJournal blog posts Zuckerberg had made leading up to Facebook's inception. The posts, which have some "scorned lover" vibes, reference one "Jessica Alona," whom Zuckerberg allegedly dated (though it hasn't been confirmed). Fans have speculated that in the film, Erica Albright represents Alona, although without any details, we can't be totally sure. The more popular assumption, however, is that that Erica is a fictionalization of Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan, whom he met around the same time he kick-started Facebook. Those rumors can be partially dispelled, because Zuckerberg and Chan didn't officially start dating until 2005. Still, the Albright-Chan comparison is strong among Social Network fans.

If Rooney Mara's Erica Albright was meant to be somewhat of a nod to Priscilla Chan, she'd have to look completely different to be accurate. Physically replacing her European features with Asian ones would be impossible, and the casting director would likely have gone a more authentic route and cast a Sino-Vietnamese actor to more closely represent the philanthropist Chan. Mysteries surrounding who Erica Albright is meant to be aside, we're fans of Mara's performance, and still can't get over that badass dinner scene. (You know the one.)

Wallace Langham as Peter Thiel

Snapping back to reality, let's take a look at how Wallace Langham stacks up against entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager Peter Thiel. He's incredibly important in Facebook's story: he was the company's very first outside investor in mid-2004 after purchasing a $500,000 chunk of stake. Casting an actor to settle into a role with such momentous backstory was likely a daunting task, but the Social Network team seems to have done a fairly good job.

Though Langham isn't Thiel's spitting image, there are some solid features the two share. From their thin upper lips, faint laugh lines, long noses, and tall foreheads, Langham and Thiel skirt by on a decent resemblance. Differences, however, come in Langham's lighter and brighter eye color, salt-and-pepper hair, and far bolder eyebrows. The actor's adaptation isn't too shabby, but there's definitely room for improvement in accuracy.

Patrick Mapel as Chris Hughes

Rounding out the standout cast list is Patrick Mapel, who takes on the role of Chris Hughes, one of Zuckerberg, Saverin, and Moskovitz's roommates during their years at Harvard University. Hughes helped co-found Facebook and was the first to mention the idea of spreading Facebook to additional college campuses for students to use. As a result of his involvement and his ingenuity, Hughes became the de facto spokesman for Facebook, earning him a sturdy position with the company—even after he stayed at Harvard to finish his degree after the rest of the team dropped out to focus on the company full-time.

Mapel (Mad Men, The Artist) as Hughes in The Social Network is impressive. The two share many physical similarities, from floppy strawberry-blonde hair to a round-tip nose and a facial structure that makes them look many years younger than they actually are. Slap a sprinkling of freckles across Mapel's nose, cheeks, and chin, and he'd look that much more like Chris Hughes. As he stands physically, though, we can't find a ton of fault in Patrick Mapel's interpretation of the young entrepreneur.