THE INSIDER: JESSE EISENBERG
Zombieland 2? Bring it!
The “indie” label might not apply to Jesse Eisenberg anymore. After years staying under-the-radar with roles in critically acclaimed (but barely seen) flicks like Rodger Dodger and The Squid and the Whale, the actor finally got a taste of the big-time with last year’s release of Adventureland and Zombieland. Now, he’s got three films—The Living Wake, Holy Rollers, and Solitary Man—coming out this month, with The Social Network (aka The Facebook Movie) set for release in October. NYLON recently made Eisenberg wake up early to talk about it all.
You were in two of my favorite films of 2009—Adventureland and Zombieland. Are you just really picky? I got lucky to get into those movies, because I think a lot of people thought they were really, really good. It’s not some special foresight I have. I had no idea how Zombieland would turned out, and I was concerned at some points during filming. The script was really funny and great, and the director had done great stuff, but it was hard to tell how it would come together. Whereas with Adventureland, it felt a bit clearer what it would become while we were filming. I’ve worked on some bad things, and there’s nothing worse than being on a set all day for something that you don’t believe in.
You filmed The Living Wake back in 2005. Is it weird to be promoting something that you worked on so long ago? It was such a special movie. The long wait was a little frustrating, because you feel like you have something that’s so great. I think it’s still a big part of me; it’s the kind of thing that I think is the greatest thing anybody ever does in their life, it’s so well-written and well-executed. It was really the whole package. I’ve never had an experience like on this movie, and I’ve done a lot of movies.
You sing and play guitar in The Living Wake—any band aspirations? I play mostly piano. I wrote a musical called “Me Time” over the course of the last years, and it’s finally in the early stages of production. It’s [a satire] about self-indulgence. I also wrote two plays, one of which is getting put on next year, and one is being turned into a movie. I love theater, movies have such a commerciality of the product, and with theater you just don’t see it in the say way.
Is there any truth to the Zombieland 2 rumor? That doesn’t really exist. I think they do that with every movie that makes a profit.
If it does happen, would you sign on? Yeah, I guess so—if it was good. I’d look at it like a new project, we’d all evaluate it like it was the first time we were reading it.
When you spoke with NYLON Guys last year, you talked about people on the street thinking you were Jonathan Groff, “the guy from the musical Spring Awakening.” Are you finally getting recognized as Jesse Eisenberg? Not at all. I went to the benefit for the Atlantic Theater, where we both work, and two people from there came up to me and said his name. He’s nice, he’s a great actor…. I think I’m going to work with him very soon. Any time somebody recognizes you on the street, it’s uncomfortable for several reasons: they’re strangers; it makes you feel like an idiot; it makes you question the whole profession. It’s a totally unnatural thing, and in no other part of society would that happen.
THE INSIDER: JESSE EISENBERG
Posted by on May 19, 2010