In creating “WeCrashed” for Apple TV+, the cast and crew did their due diligence, amassing as much research on the real-life subjects of the story as possible. But Jared Leto, who plays Adam Neumann, was one of the only ones who actually got to discuss the show with the figures at the center of the storm — and doing so made all the difference.
Leto plays the founder of WeWork in the limited series, alongside Anne Hathaway as his wife, Rebekah. Together, Adam and Rebekah created a multi-billion dollar company, which later suffered a harsh comeuppance for its business model and financial strategy (or lack thereof). Adam Neumann was the public face of the company and faced particularly negative criticism for his excessive spending.
“I’m glad that I had this kind of top-secret meeting with them. I found them to be really warm, kind, considerate people with a giant family. You know — they have kids running all over the place,” Leto said in the latest installment of TheWrap’s “How I Did It” series. This episode is sponsored by Apple TV+.
“And this is something that’s really still fresh,” he continued. “Like, when we shot this it was something that was still unfolding. And it still is. And, you know, we’re making a project about this guy’s greatest successes and his greatest failures. So I came in with a list of questions, things that I wanted clarity on. I got a chance to see him move and talk in person and that’s invaluable.”
That homework is what led Leto to encourage showrunners Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello to load up his plate in terms of dialogue.
“He said, ‘Adam’s superpower is his words. You need to give me more longer speeches. Every scene, just make them bigger, make them longer,’” Eisenberg recalled.
Of course, Eisenberg and Crevello also did their own homework.
“We read every article that exists about them, listened to every podcast and watched every YouTube video,” Eisenberg said. “We had researchers, the actors had their own research done. We spoke to college friends of theirs, ex-roommates, to really get a 360-degree view of these people.”
Hathaway did similar information-gathering, but found that one group of people in particular was most useful.
“What was helpful was talking to people that knew them, and had known them maybe for a long period of time, who knew them before they met each other, who knew them before the valuation [of WeWork] came in, and were able to kind of help me play certain shifts that had happened,” Hathaway told TheWrap in March.
As a result, “WeCrashed” got a lot of things right — all the way down to the little moments. Adam Neumann really did love Katy Perry’s song “Roar.” Rebekah Neumann really did dress as one of James Cameron’s Na’vi characters from “Avatar” for Halloween.
So yes, Eisenberg hopes that the Neumanns have seen “WeCrashed.” But he doesn’t know for sure.
“I hope everyone has seen the show,” Eisenberg said with a laugh. “I hope that Adam Neumann has seen it and told his friends to watch it.”