Kyle Marvin is having a moment. In the Apple TV+ limited series WeCrashed, he stars alongside Academy Award winners Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. No pressure for an actor with just a few credits to his name before tackling this role.
WeCrashed follows Adam and Rebekah Neumann (Leto and Hathaway), the flamboyant and eccentric couple at The We Company’s core, as they created this unicorn alongside Miguel McKelvey (Marvin).
Like Miguel, he was supposed to sort of blend into the background just like the real person he was portraying. Instead, Marvin’s breakthrough performance has catapulted him right into the Hollywood spotlight. In a recent interview, he admitted he’s been so busy working that he wasn’t aware of all the fuss at first.
“It’s surreal,” he laughs. “I haven’t had time to process what’s going on though I do get updates from my mom.” He does say he had a feeling WeCrashed would be a hit. “Watching Annie and Jared on set I just knew this show was going to be big. I knew from the outset it was going to be something to watch.”
The weekend the eight-episode series premiered, Marvin began production on the highly-anticipated road trip comedy 80 for Brady, a film he co-wrote and is directing about a group of friends who have made it their life mission to go to the Super Bowl to meet NFL superstar Tom Brady. The cast includes Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, Jimmy O. Yang, Harry Hamlin, Bob Balaban, Sara Gilbert and yes, even Brady makes an appearance.
WeCrashed premiered on March 18 and runs through April 22 and is inspired by actual events surrounding the epic rise and fall of WeWork which grew from a single coworking space into a global brand worth $47 billion in under a decade. Then, in less than a year, its value plummeted leading to the crash and burn of one of the world’s most valuable startups.
There’s an obvious interest in stories about those who dare to dream big, succeed against all odds and then experience magnificent falls from grace. We read the headlines, listen to the podcasts and then binge-watch the series en masse.
WeCrashed premiered in good company with recent series including Showtime’s Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber and Hulu’s The Dropout about Elizabeth Holmes’ flawed company, Theranos.
“Our show came out at just the right time,” Marvin says. “It hit the cultural zeitgeist in the right moment.” When asked his thoughts on WeWork’s downfall, Marvin believes the demand for speed was the killer. “They had a pretty sustainable business model but to satisfy the investor’s ROI they needed to scale quickly and there’s no way to sustainably grow in the way they were expected to. They were a young startup flying by the seat of their pants and they were expected to expand rapidly. Of course, they wanted to make it look like Starbucks and pop up everywhere. In my opinion, had they just delayed the IPO even just six months I think they would’ve made it.”
There was another factor Marvin contributes to the demise of the company. “Greed is a part of that though there are a lot of greedy people who succeed in the world. For them, the carrot was dangling and they ran towards it not looking down and they fell off a cliff.”
He explains that because he never met the real Miguel, he’s careful when asked to describe him. “In my opinion, he’s very competent and driven. Miguel and Adam were drawn together by their work ethic. The thing I latched onto was the bond between them; they were going to work their asses off until something happened.”
With Adam and Rebekah’s larger-than-life personas, Miguel was often overlooked. “He may not be the most interesting person in the room but he’s one of the smartest and hardest working,” explains Marvin. “He wasn’t interested in that part of the ego. From what I’ve read he ended up ok though,” he adds, laughing. “I mean he walked away with close to $1 billion. Or, maybe it was only $990 million.”
In its heydey, WeWork had 400,000 global members across more than 550 locations and at one point, the company was the largest tenant in New York.
Adam was blamed for the company’s dramatic fall from grace with some describing him as magnetic and exuberant while others said he was greedy and narcissistic. Miguel, on the other hand, had more of a logical and hardworking approach to business.
“The hard-partying, reckless mentality of the company had such a heavy impact on everyone involved but Miguel pivoted towards cultural consciousness and inclusivity and worked to make things better,” says Marvin. “I’m interested to see where he goes next.”
Marvin admires what the trio accomplished. “It’s the American dream to start with nothing and all of a sudden you’re flying private all around the world. To go from sitting in a basement to being one of the richest people in the world in a decade is the ultimate dream. It’s what America promises you. There’s also this need to have it all now which is the disease of our culture.”