Armie Hammer – tall of stature, handsome of countenance, bevy of talent, and unlikely of name – first came to prominence playing the Winklevoss twins in 2010’s The Social Network. With that one performance (… or was it two?) he proved beyond a doubt that he was more than just a funny name. A lot more.
Armand Douglas Hammer was born on August 28th, 1986 in Los Angeles, California. His father, Michael Armand Hammer, is a businessman who owns Knoedler Publishing and Hammer Productions (yes, a film company, but not to be confused with the UK’s Hammer Films), among others. Armie’s mother, Dru Ann (Mobley) Hammer, is a former bank officer. Armie is named after his great-great-grandfather, Armand Hammer, the American tycoon, industrialist, art collector, and philanthropist who did NOT found the Arm & Hammer brand, but DID run Occidental Petroleum for decades. The Hammer family does come from money, but not baking soda money.
But tell that to a bunch of school bullies. According to Armie, his nickname was “baking soda boy. Try going to junior high with the name Armie Hammer. It’s Open Season.” This finally came to an end when “I punched a kid in the face. I took it for two years! I tried perseverance …”
Armie was raised in Los Angeles, CA, Highland Park, TX, and the Cayman Islands. While residing on the latter, Armie attended a school founded by his father, Grace Christian Academy. He also was enrolled at Faulkner’s Academy in the Bahamas. (Rough life, kid.) Later, after returning stateside, Armie went to Los Angeles Baptist High School. After graduation, Armie briefly attended Pasadena City College, and UCLA before turning his full attention to an acting career.
After landing a few television roles – Arrested Development (2005), Veronica Mars (2006), and Desperate Housewives (2007) – Armie landed a lead role in the independent biopic Billy: The Early Years (2008), where the 21-year-old portrayed respected evangelist Billy Graham. The film received mixed reviews, but most agreed that Armie was terrific.
During this time, Armie was cast by director George Miller to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in his Justice League movie. Yet before that project got too far off the ground, the plug was pulled – though many thought Armie would have been perfect (albeit it a bit young) in the role.
After a couple more TV parts – Gossip Girl (2009), Reaper (2009) – Armie was cast as the Winklevoss twins in director David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010). Fincher used Benjamin Button-like CGI technology to allow the actor to appear alongside himself without the bother of antiquated split screen tricks. Both the film, its makers, its cast, and Armie received much accolades for the remarkable film.
In May of 2010, Armie married his girlfriend, journalist, model, and actress Elizabeth Chambers.
While Armie may have lost out on the role of Batman in the ill-fated Justice League movie, he will fill a different kind of superhero boots when he plays the titular role in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced The Lone Ranger, opposite Johnny Depp as Tonto. No release date has been announced, but it seems a natural fit.
Coming up for Armie: Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar (2011), the thriller 2:22 (2012), The Brothers Grimm: Snow White (2012 – costarring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts), and The Lone Ranger (TBA).
Armie Hammer Quotes:
“I’ve lost out on jobs because I’m six foot five.”
“I was always the guy who thought I'd never get married because [I thought], 'There's never going to be one woman worth giving up all the others. But [Elizabeth] knocked me off my feet."
On married life: "[My apartment] is a home now, which is so much better. The kitchen is not just a room anymore – it actually holds food! It's not just where you keep your beer!"
"My wife comes from a foodie family so I've been indoctrinated into that. I had sweetbreads the other night, and I have to say, not my favorite thing in the world. You're eating a gland."
Regarding marriage: “Have a small wedding. That would be my first tip. I wanted to elope, and my wife wanted a 500-person wedding. So we settled somewhere in the middle at, oh, about 480.”
Regarding his first trip to Chicago: “We got in last night and we were driving through and the first thing I saw was the Sears Tower with the lights on top, and I was just like, “WHAT IS THAT?” And they were like, “That’s the Sears Tower.” And I’m like, “HOW CAN WE GET TO THE TOP OF IT?” This city is amazing. Just driving through, you feel the energy. It’s like New York, but it’s got a little more of that niceness to it. You’re not on the East Coast where everyone’s kind of an ass.”
Regarding facebook: “I was [on facebook] in college, but I quit a couple of years after I graduated. It got to the point where I was checking it every day, and I just started to get sick of it. The status updates, and who tagged what photos, who poked whom. There's all this stuff to keep track of. I'd rather just pick up my phone and text somebody.”
On his post-Social Network life: “People on the street yell at me, Where’s your twin! It’s funny the first time.”
Regarding meeting the real-life Winklevoss twins: “Tyler walked up to me and said, ‘Dude, I do not own a pair of earmuffs.’”
Regarding growing up in the Cayman Islands: “It doesn’t suck.”