Jesse Eisenberg: Zombies, Facebook And Birds, “It’s Been A Strange Experience”
by Global Grind Staff
Jesse Eisenberg stars in the new movie “Rio,” with Anne Hathaway, Jamie Fox, Will.i.am and George Lopez. Jesse plays a Spix Macaw named Blu. Blu is smuggled from his home in Rio and saved by Linda (Leslie Mann), who raises him in her book store.
“Rio” is a new genre for Jesse who has played in small films like “The Education of Charlie Banks,” and bigger films like “Zombieland” and “The Social Network”. GlobalGrind’s entertainment editor Xilla Valentine talked to Jesse about his new role in “Rio,” a possible “Zombieland 2″ and what it was like singing with some of the biggest stars in music. Check out our interview below.
GLOBALGRIND: You actually have to sing in this movie, what was it like singing for the first time?
Jesse Eisenberg: It was fun, I was surrounded by the greatest musicians in the world. We have singers and actors in this movie, like Sergio Mendes, Taio Cruz, Jamie Fox and Will.i.am who are creating this incredible soundtrack, as well as playing characters in the movie.
GLOBALGRIND: Did you feel any pressure to be a good singer?
JE: I really felt like I was being supported by the greatest people working in music today. I only had to sing two lines, so I felt pretty comfortable that nothing would go severely wrong. I was working with some of the greatest actors today. I felt like it was really safe and creative environment.
GLOBALGRIND: This is a new genre for you, are you excited for kids to see this movie?
JE: I’m thrilled for kids to see this movie, because one of the most important parts of this movie is the message that it has about protecting the environment and endangered species. The character I play is a Spix Macaw and it’s really an endangered species. So to have a movie that is so much fun and so colorful and has wonderful music that’s really funny, it also has a really positive message for kids.
GLOBALGRIND: You’ve done movies like “The Education of Charlie Banks,” “Zombieland” and “The Social Network.” What genre of movie do you enjoy making the most?
JE: I started out doing New York independent movies. I felt really comfortable in those, because I spend sometimes two years trying to raise the money to make it, or rehearsing for several weeks or months with your cast members and then filming it very quickly in not the most convenient circumstances. I’d just gotten used to that and felt very comfortable in that environment. Now that I’ve worked on some bigger movies like you mentioned, they were so much fun to work on. They just take a lot longer and sometimes as an actor its hard to keep up that kind of momentum over the course of a long shoot. But, to me, the most various things to work on are some of the projects I feel most proud of regardless of the circumstances or budget.
GLOBALGRIND: Would you be interested in being a part of a “Zombieland 2″?
JE: If everybody in the cast is interested in doing a sequel, but it would have to be the right story of course. My concern is that the further we get away from the first one, the more difficult it will be to be to make a second one.
GLOBALGRIND: You’ve been on a pretty amazing ride of late, from the Golden Globes to the Oscars, could you explain how it felt to receive all that attention?
JE: I spent the last 5 months travelling the world doing publicity to promote that movie (“The Social Nework”) and taking it around the world. The reception for that movie was so wonderful and beyond our expectations. The countless events I attended in capacities I never thought I’d be in. I am sure the kind of, full breathe, and appreciation for those experiences will come as I get further and further away from it.
GLOBALGRIND: Well, after the success of “The Social Network,” doing “SNL” and now “Rio,” you must get recognized a lot more. How do you deal with being famous?
JE: It’s a strange experience, it’s nothing that I ever would have imagined. It’s sometimes nice to meet new people, but it’s been a strange experience and one that I am struggling to get used to. But it’s part of doing something that I would not have wanted to give up. So I am just kind of understanding that it’s part of that and learning to accept it.
GLOBALGRIND: You said you don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter, but do you see yourself ever using one of those social platforms?
JE: No! Because to do something that is occasionally so public like interviews, talk shows and so much publicity, that the last thing I want to do is go home and talk about myself more on the Internet. I don’t ever foresee ever using any kind of social media device to talk about myself.
GLOBALGRIND: Who is your favorite musician?
JE: I like this band called WEEN. I really love them, but they are also the most interesting band. Everything they do and every song of theirs is so different and unique. You can always tell that it’s them. They are my favorite band.
GLOBALGRIND: “Rio” is extremely funny, did you find it hard to keep your composure while you were recording your lines?
JE: The strange thing about recording is that you never meet the cast because everybody records at a different time in separate studios. So I met the cast for the first time at the premiere of the movie. That’s pretty strange, it’s sort of a backwards way to do things.
It was a pleasure chatting it up with Jesse Eisenberg and “Rio” is an amazing film the whole family will enjoy. Check out the trailer on the next page and go see “Rio” when it opens on Friday