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Aaron Sorkin: Zuckerberg as Antihero/Tragic Hero

This article is more than 9 years old.
Left to right: Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, and Tom Ashbrook (Credit: WBUR's Jesse Costa)
Left to right: Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Armie Hammer, and Tom Ashbrook (Credit: WBUR's Jesse Costa)

For our show on "The Social Network," the film about the creation of Facebook, On Point was joined Wednesday by, among others, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (listen to the audio). Sorkin repeatedly insisted that his movie was not "fictionalized," but based on fact. The film and the book it was based on, Ben Mezrich's "The Accidental Billionaires," have been criticized for presenting a biased, negative view of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. But Sorkin had this to say about Zuckerberg, the central figure of the film:

Just to return to something that we were talking about a little while ago, which is having affection for the character of Mark Zuckerberg, you know, Jesse [Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who plays Zuckerberg] told you that in playing the part, that he has to have affection for the character. The same thing is true for me in writing the part. You don’t write a bad guy; you write a guy who is making his case to God why he should get into Heaven. I had a lot of empathy for Mark when I was writing him. I have a lot of respect for him now. He spends the first hour and 55 minutes of the movie being an antihero, but the final five minutes of the movie being a tragic hero, which means he meets two requirements: he has paid a price, and he feels remorse.

This program aired on September 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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