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Cover Story: Friending Jesse Eisenberg

The 'Social Network' star loves to meet people. And he talks about what he learned by networking with David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin.

December 16, 2010|By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times

"That may sound to an outsider, of which I consider myself, to be indulgent or excessive, but when you're there you realize it's not that, but it's in fact necessary to create the full picture, a consistent picture with what is in his head. That's a remarkable accomplishment," the actor says.

What happens to Eisenberg now that he's completed his highest profile role yet? He plans to return to school in January to finish his final three classes. He still auditions for roles, even for directors with whom he has already worked. "As popular as I am, which is not that popular, there are other talented people who want to be in the movies," he quips. Little else in his life has changed because of "The Social Network."

"The biggest change for me was being in "Roger Dodger," he says. "It's the same with how Sorkin describes writing. The difference between page 0 and page 1 is life and death, but the difference between 1 and 100 is easy. As an actor creating a career, the difference between being in one good movie is life and death but being in 20 good movies is easy."

Yet Eisenberg, who now has a dozen movies under his belt, many of them plenty good, is still the same determined-yet-insecure actor who really dislikes watching himself on screen, a trait he doesn't mind in the least. In fact, he's studied this phenomenon among his peers and finds it quite common.

"I think there's a misconception that all people who have chosen to act in movies are eager to see themselves in the thing," he says. "You're eager for the experience, you don't necessarily mind that it comes out, and it provides you with the opportunity to do it again, especially if it's successful like 'The Social Network.' But the end goal is not the reason to do it. The end goal often brings a lot of discomfort."

nicole.sperling@latimes.com

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