Facing Jesse Eisenberg
by michael ventre
What do you have in common with the character you played?
JE: We are both socially uncomfortable. There is also the fact that when something bad happens in our lives, instead of lashing out and blaming others, we become creative. I’m most creative when I’ve been embarrassed or rejected.
Will this be your first time making the rounds of award shows?
JE: I went to two award shows before—the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the National Board of Review Awards—for The Squid and the Whale. It’s nerve-wracking. I didn’t want to win because I don’t like public speaking.
Does the buzz surrounding the film and the possibility of winning awards make you nervous?
JE: It’s been impossible for me to figure out the appropriate response to all this because I have nothing to relate it to. It’s uncomfortable to receive attention.
What are you looking forward to about the awards season?
JE: Every time I’ve worked with people on a movie, you spend two months with them and then you tend not to see most of them again. So I look forward to seeing the people from this movie again. It’s kind of a celebration of the experience you had together.
Are you on Facebook?
JE: I never use it. I’m not on it. Somebody told me there’s a page up. It’s not actually me.
In The Social Network, you worked with two of the most intense individuals in Hollywood, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. What was that experience like?
JE: David Fincher is known for being very meticulous, and he is. It was a great blessing. He believes in doing scenes as many times as it takes. I’ve been a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin’s work for many years. It was a great honor to play a character he created who was so endlessly fascinating to me.
Aaron Sorkin is known for his rapid-fire dialogue. Was it a challenge to deliver those lines?
JE: In my experience, the only time dialogue is challenging is when it doesn’t match the character. That was never the case with this script.
Obviously, Zuckerberg is a computer whiz. How would you rate your computer skills?
JE: Very average. I just don’t have an interest in learning about computers beyond what I need to know.
Facebook changed Zuckerberg’s life. How has The Social Network changed yours?
JE: I don’t really know yet. I’m just excited about being in quality projects that I like and getting the chance to play interesting characters like this one.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.