MOTW: Armie Hammer: Making Waves in Hollywood

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
July 1st, 2013

MOTW: Armie Hammer: Making Waves in Hollywood

Although his unusual name might be the first thing about him that stands out, Armie Hammer has become a serious player in Hollywood. Hammer was born on August 28, 1986, in Los Angeles, California. His unique name is a tribute to both his grandfather and his father. Michael Armand Hammer is a successful business mogul, overseeing a film production company called Hammer Productions, as well as other prominent businesses. In addition, Hammer's grandfather and namesake was a renowned philanthropist and oil tycoon. Hammer was born into a line of successful figures, and lost little time in proving that he also has plenty to offer the world.

As a child, Hammer and his family moved several times. With his parents and his brother, Viktor, Hammer spent some time in Dallas, Texas, before moving on to the Cayman Islands. As a teenager, Hammer rebelled against the high expectations of following his parents' dreams for him. He only had one major goal for his life. In eleventh grade, Hammer made the controversial decision to drop out of school and become more serious about his plans pursue a career in acting. Since his parents disapproved and wanted Hammer to finish his education, he compromised by attending college courses at schools such as Pasadena City College and University of California, Los Angeles. Although he knew that dodging high school graduation was a gamble, Hammer was willing to take that risk in exchange for succeeding at his acting ambitions.

At first, Hammer only landed fairly small roles on a range of TV shows. Between 2005 and 2007, the aspiring actor built up a resume that included appearances on "Veronica Mars," "Desperate Housewives," and "Arrested Development." His first real starring role came in 2008, when Hammer landed the role of Billy Graham in a biographical film about the well-known Christian evangelist. His performance caught the attention of faith-based organizations and also served as a stepping stone to more mainstream roles. Hammer next appeared in "2081" (2009), a sci-fi short. Although it did not see a very wide release, the film helped prove Hammer's acting chops.

In 2010, Hammer finally landed a breakthrough role that truly launched his career and gave Hammer the fame and acknowledgement he had been hoping for since he left high school to pursue his dream of acting. In "The Social Network," Hammer played not one, but two, starring roles. He appeared as the Winklevoss twins, portraying both Cameron and Cameron's identical brother, Tyler. Directed by David Fincher, "The Social Network" earned plenty of critical and popular acclaim. Hammer's role in the film's success did not go unnoticed. He landed an award for best supporting actor from the Toronto Film Critics Association. Hammer also received nominations for a slew of other awards, including one from the Screen Actors Guild.

Hammer's next big role came in 2011, with "J. Edgar." Hammer played lawyer Clyde Tolson in director Clint Eastwood's biopic. In this film, Hammer had a chance to co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio. The performance once again earned Hammer a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. The next time Hammer appeared onscreen, it would be in a fantasy film. Working with inventive director Tarsem Singh, Hammer starred as the charming Prince Andrew Alcott in "Mirror Mirror." The lighthearted adaptation of the Snow White story let Hammer show off his comedic skills, as well as gave him a chance to be in the spotlight as a romantic lead.

All this was only preamble for Hammer's biggest starring role of all. Hammer landed the coveted chance to star as the lead character in director Gore Verbinski's "The Lone Ranger" (2013). Hammer had big boots to fill, taking on a beloved and nostalgic character and reinventing him as a hero who appeals to contemporary audiences. As the masked vigilante of the Old West, Hammer starred alongside actor Johnny Depp, who portrayed Tonto.

Hammer has continued to make appearances on TV shows, even after breaking into movies. In 2009, he appeared in four episodes of "Gossip Girl" as Serena van der Woodsen's love interest. He has also provided voice work for both "The Simpsons" and "American Dad!"

In 2010, Hammer wed Elizabeth Chambers, a model and successful news reporter who appears on various networks.

Although Hammer's parents initially felt disappointed by Hammer's decision to pursue acting instead of business, his rise to stardom helped them come to terms with their son's ambitions. Within the space of a few short years, Hammer has become one of the most sought-after young stars in Hollywood. His career has only just started. With such promising appearances in a versatile range of blockbusters and critically acclaimed movies, Hammer promises to become an invaluable presence in Hollywood. The gamble he took as a teenager has paid off in big ways.