The dark side of disruption. The new Apple TV+ series WeCrashed is a fictionalized take on the downfall of WeWork — and Adam Neumann, the man behind the curtain.
Adam cofounded the business with Miguel McKelvey in 2010, but WeWork really started to make headlines in 2019 when it was forced to postpone its IPO after journalists questioned the company’s ability to become profitable. By the end of that year, WeWork laid off 2,400 employees, or a total of 20 percent of its global workforce, and Adam stepped down as CEO.
Rebekah, who served as WeWork’s chief brand and impact office until September 2019, wasn’t exempt from criticism either. In 2017, she founded WeGrow, a private school in New York City, but two years later, the school announced that it would close its doors at the end of the academic year.
Though the Neumanns drummed up their fair share of controversy, Hathaway said that she approached the role of Rebekah with a judgment-free attitude.
“I appreciate that the world has kind of made up their minds about [Rebekah],” the Oscar winner told Bustle in an interview published on Friday, March 18. “But what if I can come to this experience with fresh eyes? What if I judge her favorably? The end result is still the same, but what if I [embrace] her good intentions? That opened up the character for me in a way that felt very honest and authentic.”
Leto, for his part, met with Adam before playing him — and later suggested that the businessman shouldn’t watch the show about his life. “He told me not to,” Adam said during a panel discussion in November 2021. “When someone tells you, ‘I am going to act you, and you shouldn’t watch it.’ … What happened in the world that we can take a person, look exactly like them, put on prosthetics, put their wife and kids in a show and then do a show on a … single-sided narrative that I am telling you is not actually true in a lot of things?”
The Princess Diaries actress had never heard of WeWork before signing on for the show, but she spoke to acquaintances of Rebekah’s to get insight into her character. “Based on the media angle on her, people felt almost compelled to judge her harshly,” she explained. “But then when you actually look at the things that she was saying, a lot of them make sense. That doesn’t mean that the practice of them was perfect.”
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