Jared Leto, who stars in WeCrashed, said he knew he would regret not meeting with Adam Neumann before embodying the former WeWork CEO for the Apple TV+ series.
“I didn’t want to play a villain, especially villainize someone who’s still alive,” the Morbius star said during a panel for the show at Deadline’s Contenders Television event.
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As part of his research, Leto said he secretly met with Neumann to inform his portrayal. The actor said he felt an “obligation” to represent the businessman with dignity and grace despite the co-working space’s major downfall. The meeting, however, remained a secret to series showrunners and creators Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello, who said they didn’t learn of the private conversation until Neumann later admitted that Leto reached out.
WeCrashed follows the greed-filled rise and inevitable fall of WeWork, one of the world’s most valuable startups, and the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible. WeWork grew from a single co-working space into a global brand worth $47 billion in under a decade. Then, in less than a year, its value plummeted. What happened?
In addition to meeting the real-life figure behind his character, Leto’s research also included working closely with a voice coaching team to nail down Neumann’s Israeli accent.
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“I had an amazing group of these five Israeli that really helped me, nurture me, beat me up and keep me on track,” he said.
Leto may be a spitting image of Neumann when he appears opposite Anne Hathaway’s Rebekah Neumann, but that wasn’t accidental at all, Crevello said.
“We had a picture of Jared up [when looking for inspiration],” he said.
The series may highlight the rise and fall of the co-working space, but Eisenberg and Crevello approach the story through Adam and Rebekah’s romance, which proved a “unique” way to enter story behind WeWork’s downfall.
“For us they’re inextricably linked,” Eisenberg said.
Eisenberg and Crevello executive produce with directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Charlie Gogolak, Hathaway and Natalie Sandy.Emma Ludbrook will executive produce alongside Leto through their Paradox production company, and Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and Aaron Hart executive produce from Wondery.
WeCrashed now streams on Apple TV+.
Check out the panel video above.
Deadline Contenders Television is sponsored by Apple TV+, Eyepetizer, Final Draft, Los Siete Misterios and Michter’s. Partners include Desalto, Film AlUla, Four Seasons Resort Maui, Jason Mizrahi Design, ModMD, The American Pavilion, and Tidelli.
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