Jared Leto, Anne Hathaway don't judge 'WeCrashed' characters

Adam (Jared Leto) and Rebekah Neumann (Anne Hathaway) spearhead WeWork. Photo courtesy of Apple TV+
1 of 5 | Adam (Jared Leto) and Rebekah Neumann (Anne Hathaway) spearhead WeWork. Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

LOS ANGELES, March 18 (UPI) -- Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway said they hope audiences draw their own conclusions about their characters in WeCrashed, premiering Friday on Apple TV+.

Leto and Hathaway play WeWork founders Adam and Rebekah Neumann.


"These are people who had very sincere intentions," Hathaway said on a recent Television Critics Association Zoom panel. "I really think they wanted to make the world a better place. How they executed that is a lot more complicated."

The hour-long drama series, WeCrashed, depicts how Adam developed the idea for WeWork shared work spaces, raised billions of dollars from investors and ultimately resigned when he was unable to launch an initial public offering of stock. The series was preceded by Hulu's 2021 documentary, WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn.


Leto said creators Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello's approach appealed to him because it was not "a takedown piece."

"Adam set out to build something that he was proud of, something that he believed in," Leto said. "And I think that he set his sights on a pretty impossible goal and achieved something pretty remarkable."

WeCrashed shows Adam claiming he had interest from more investors than he really did. In the show, Adam convinces Rebekah to invest a wedding gift of $1 million her father gave her in the company.

The show flashes back and forth between the company's failed IPO and the development of WeWork. The company faced a lawsuit in 2021 for defaulting on a Manhattan lease, according to NBC News.

Some WeWork locations are still in use since Neumann's departure. Leto said the show can only attempt to depict what made Adam charismatic enough to attract such high-profile investors as SoftBank.

"This is a painting," Leto said. "It's not a photograph. It's not a documentary. So it's impressionistic."

In the show, Adam persuades employees to join WeWork for shares of stock instead of salaries. Those shares become worthless when the company fails to launch an IPO.


"One of his superpowers is his ability to use words," Leto said. "I related to that quite a bit, as any artist probably would."

Leto said he had visited WeWorks. Hathaway said she was unfamiliar with the company before playing Rebekah.

Hathaway said Adam and Rebekah's love story attracted her to WeCrashed. In the first episode, Rebekah is not impressed when Adam asks her out.

Adam ultimately endears himself to Rebekah when he stands up to her boss at a yoga studio and demands that he pay her more. In addition to investing her $1 million wedding gift, WeCrashed shows Rebekah reassuring Adam when potential investors criticize his plans.

"Just because people do things that we might disagree with doesn't automatically make them bad," Hathaway said. "At the end of the day, I'm just playing a human being."

Crevello said he and Eisenberg did not want to reduce the Neumanns to caricatures. Crevello said he hopes WeCrashed provokes viewers to debate the WeWork founders.

"Were these idealistic visionaries or was there a cynicism there, an opportunism? Or both?" Crevello asked.

In their individual portrayals of Adam and Rebekah, Leto and Hathaway tackled their speaking voices. Adam was born in Israel and moved to the United States with his mother after his parents divorced.


Leto said he surrounded himself with Israelis to learn the accent. However, Leto said studying video of Adam taught him idiosyncrasies unique to his character.

"It's a series of habits," Leto said. "It's the way your mouth makes shapes, and everyone learns them differently."

Rebekah was an aspiring actor when she met Adam. On WeCrashed, Rebekah does a poor Russian accent in a performance of Chekhov's Three Sisters.

"I realize there's a difference between an accent and a voice," Hathaway said.

While Hathaway also studied speeches that Rebekah gave over the history of WeWork, Hathaway followed Leto's lead in creating her character.

"He had found a voice and, all of a sudden, I opened my mouth and Rebekah's voice came out," Hathaway said. "In that moment, we found each other on some acting level and as the characters."

New episodes of WeCrashed premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.

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