'Social Network': Natalie Portman was Aaron Sorkin's secret weapon

Natalie-PortmanImage Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty ImagesIn The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) models Facebook on Harvard’s legendary final clubs, private groups made up of some of the school’s most privileged students. But the clubs are as secretive as they are exclusive, which meant researching them was no easy task for screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Luckily, he got a hand from one of the school’s most famous alums: Natalie Portman. The star studied at Harvard from 1999-2003 and dated a member of the famous Porcellian Club — and she couldn’t wait to tell Sorkin all about it.

“Natalie Portman got in touch with me when she heard that I was doing this to say, ‘Listen…come over for dinner and I’ll tell you some stories,'” Sorkin said to a group of Harvard students at a sneak preview screening last week. “I would’ve come over for dinner under any circumstances. But that was really helpful.”

Portman also gets a tongue-in-cheek reference in the movie itself, when one character mentions that Zuckerberg became the hottest thing on a campus that included Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prizer winners, future Olympians, and a movie star.

For more on The Social Network, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Oct. 1. To watch Dave Karger’s video chat with the stars and screenwriter (part 1 embedded below), go to EW.com/socialnetworkvideo.

More ‘Social Network':
EW Review: ‘The Social Network’
Dave Karger: Can ‘The Social Network’ snag three Best Supporting Actor nods?
Dave Karger’s video chat with ‘Social Network’ stars and screenwriter

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
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  • Victor Eloy

    I can’t wait to watch this film, by the way she seems to be the ones to beat at next academy awards season

    • Zach

      You called the film a “she.” OMG.

      • hannah

        i thinj he was talking about Portman’s buzz for “The Black Swan”. She’s leading in the best actress odds.

  • Dave

    Lol, that’s kinda cool. I love Natalie Portman. Smart, funny, talented, beautiful. And may possibly become the next Best Actress Oscar winner.

  • Victor Eloy

    from what I have read she made an excellent role in the Black swam. so maybe it will be btwn her and Annete Benning and even Julianne Moore….

  • Derek

    I think Hilary Swank should be nominated just to steal another oscar from annette benning.

  • Do the Doggy Bounce

    The Porcellian is a bit more secretive than the others, but final clubs are hardly “secret societies.” They basically function like more upscale frats, and many are often the go-to party spot for people who aren’t going out to the bars in Harvard Square (Kong, Tommy Doyle’s, etc).

    One of the characters in the movie is in the Phoenix, which is arguably the second least exclusive club after the Fox, so it really would not have been difficult to find out everything you need to know.

  • AGreenhill

    Who wouldn’t go to Natalie Portman’s house under any circumstance! Such… hotness.

  • LISA

    Natalie, Sorkin and Harvard must be all Flunkies.

    Facebook was funded by In-Q-Tel (AKA The CIA).

  • Celia

    Cool beans. I always forget she went to Harvard. She’s awesome!

  • Barbara W

    This is obviously a total lie!
    EW you are shameless.

  • Lyrad

    WOW! What I would give to be at that dinner. Aaron Sorkin played that really cool. I would have been much more Tex Avery.

  • Paul

    Elegant classy and beautiful Ms. Portman is. So refreshing to see. i am her biggest fan

  • xoxo

    Well? WHAT are “the stories” that Portman speaks of? Boring article.

  • manish

    I adore Natalie Portman.. and I can’t wait to see the movie

  • AntonioSaucedo

    The most beautiful face in the world.

  • Joey Jo Jo

    Whatever happened to Portman? She used to be so cool but now she does weird indies that nobody wants to watch.

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