About to be immortal -ised and played onscreen by J. Timberlake in Aaron Sorkin’s treatise on the Facebook story – ‘The Social Network’, 30 year old Sean Parker, co-founder of the colossal social networking site, is apparently a clotheshorse, a party animal and young man whose phenomenal success has intrigued us all.
According to Vanity Fair, the intelligent and high tech savvy Parker, is a lover of the good life, maintaining a collection of elegant white shoes, a closetful of Tom Ford suits, and a $100,000 Tesla electric sports car he never quite seems to have time to drive. He divides his nights between a San Francisco apartment and a palatial (rented) New York town house. Among its many amenities: a full, mowed lawn on a patio on the third of its five floors.
He parties with the world’s who-is-who, fraternising in the most elite precincts of global governance and policy—but in his own way. At the World Economic Forum in January, he was disappointed in the quality of the nightlife in Davos and speculated with relish that he could throw the all-time-best forum party if he took over a big local venue and brought in some of his rock-star friends.
And although he thinks little of hiring a private jet for a late-night trip from New York to Washington, he is also almost compulsively benevolent. When his friends fund-raise for charity, several told me, Parker is often the one who contributes the most. A connoisseur of tea (he has a collection of about 100 varieties), he makes gifts of his favorite blends, which he personally labels and presents in special mulberry-bark canisters ordered from Japan. He has financed the businesses of numerous cohorts, merely out of affection. “He’s one of the most generous people I know,” says another associate. “Also one of the flakiest.”
Parker met his on-screen alter ego, Justin Timberlake, just once—at a club, after the actor had read Aaron Sorkin’s script. “He said he wanted to get to know me,” recalls Parker, “but I said, ‘That isn’t going to help you play the part Sorkin has written. That character really isn’t me.’ ”
In the film trailer, Sorkin’s Parker is depicted as vindictive, calculating, and mean, apparently unlike the real one. The Parker of the script is also greedy, which is not Sean Parker’s big issue. He tells Vanity Fair that more than money, he wants credit and recognition. “I’ve helped change the world, at least three times,” says Parker at one point, by way of self-assessment. But he also says, wistfully, “I’m a perennial outsider.” With the movie likely to be a hit, one thing is certainly going to change. He’s about to get the kind of recognition that the superficial society which he scorns seems to value the most: the stamp of real celebrity. How he handles it is another question.
Excerpted from Vanity Fair Magazine. Read the full article here.