Andrew Garfield’s “lawyer up” scene in The Social Network is one of the film’s most memorable moments. Eleven years after the Oscar-winning movie came out in theaters, Garfield still has fans referencing his famous “lawyer up, a**hole” line. In a recent interview, the actor revealed the grueling process behind the scene. And considering the fact that it’s a David Fincher movie, it should come as no surprise that he had to film it 40 times.
Andrew Garfield’s ‘lawyer up’ scene in ‘The Social Network’
Garfield played Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, one of the founders of Facebook who was close friends with Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg. The film depicts the creation of the social media platform, from its beginnings at Harvard University all the way up to Saverin’s lawsuit against Zuckerberg.
In its climactic scene, Garfield’s character visits the Facebook office in California where learns he’s being pushed out of the company. He immediately confronts Mark and Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) in front of the rest of the company. Garfield smashes a laptop before delivering some of The Social Network‘s best lines.
“Sorry, my Prada’s at the cleaners along with my hoodie and my f***-you flip-flops you pretentious douchebag,” Garfield yells at Timberlake and Eisenberg.
In the best moment of the entire movie (let’s call a spade a spade here), Garfield says to Eisenberg:
“And I’ll bet what you hated the most is that they identified me as a co-founder of Facebook—which I am! You better lawyer up, a**hole, ‘cause I’m not comin’ back for my 30 percent, I’m comin’ back for everything!”
The scene ends with Garfield leaning in to punch the scared Timberlake, to which Garfield responds, “I like standing next to you, Sean. It makes me look so tough.”
Andrew Garfield’s ‘The Social Network’ ‘lawyer up’ scene was a long day of filming
Fincher is known for making his actors do a lot of takes for one scene. And it doesn’t always go well. (Zodiac star Jake Gyllenhaal really didn’t like it.) But Garfield said the exhausting process makes for compelling scenes.
Sharing what he remembers of filming the “you set me up” scene in The Social Network, Garfield told Collider:
“Jesse, laptop smash, that day, that long goddamn day, and Fincher being such a good dad that day. He was the perfect sports dad. He was instilling me with, ‘Keep doing it, and you can keep doing it, believe that you can keep doing… I know I’m going to ask you to do this a lot, and your voice is going to be tired, and your heart is going to be tired, and your body’s going to be exhausted, and I know you’re going to hate me, and that’s OK, because we are going to get it absolutely perfect.'”
Garfield told Vanity Fair in 2011 the laptop smash took 13 takes alone. And he told Collider filming his closeups took around 40 takes. But Fincher’s leadership got him through it. He said:
“At the end, instead of saying, ‘We’re moving on,’ I was sat on the floor after take 35, 40 of my closeup of that scene, which you can imagine would have been a lot of screaming and agony. And I’m sat on the floor, just wiped, exhausted, thinking we’re probably going to go again another 10 times. He just walks up to me, up that corridor from this monitor, and he puts his hand out to me and pulls me up and shakes my hand, and he says, ‘Moving on.’ And that was that.”
Andrew Garfield perfected the scene with improvisation
While Fincher’s directing style may be tiresome, Garfield found it incredibly rewarding.
“That was a beautiful moment,” he said of completing the grueling scene. “I felt very gratified. Leaving it all in the field. That was a beautiful day. I loved it.”
The many different takes also made Garfield change up the delivery of his lines to keep things interesting. While his iconic “you better lawyer up, a**hole” line was in Aaron Sorkin’s Oscar-winning script, Garfield told Buzzfeed it was his idea to whisper it. And it made the line more effective.
“The cool thing about that movie [is that] my love [for] Jesse Eisenberg and the relationship we created for that film meant that I wanted that line to hurt more than if I [had] shouted it,” he said. “I wanted it to be lodged in his f***ing soul.”
Looks like it worked.