Follow Us on Twitter

The Social Network – Jesse Eisenberg interview

Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JESSE Eisenberg talks about playing the key role of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, some of the challenges involved and some of the feedback he’s had since the film was released.

Q. From the first scene, when we experience your character’s rapid fire delivery for the first time, you have us hooked. How did you go about preparing to play someone about whom the world seems to know so much and so little at the same time?
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah, Mark [Zuckerberg] is both publicly enigmatic as well as arguably the most accessible person in the world because he’s created this thing that allows us to all be as accessible as we would like to be. And so in that way he’s a very interesting character. There’s a lot to find out about him and also the more you find out about him, the more mysterious he may become.

But Aaron Sorkin is fully credited with creating this wonderful character, that is a character in a movie that is based on a real person, and my primary responsibility was to play that version of that character. To supplement my preparation I found out everything I could about the real person because it helped me feel more prepared, but I was primarily playing Aaron’s version of Mark.

Q. Do you use Facebook or does your celebrity force you to miss out on using such a phenomenon without an alias? And looking from the outside in, what do you make of the fact that so many people are addicted to it?
Jesse Eisenberg: It is a real phenomenon. I don’t have a Facebook page like the others. I set one up as an alias, as Andrew Garfield for a few weeks and made no friends! No one was interested, except Andrew’s alias, who wanted to be best friends with his own fan page [laughs].

Q. What kind of feedback have you had, if any, from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo or Sean Parker? And, in approaching the roles, did you feel the need to study any film or did you have any footage of them?
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah sure, I think it’s been reported that last Friday Mark rented a movie theatre in Paolo Alto, California, where his office is, and took all of his employees to the movie – and that included my cousin, who is actually an employee of Facebook, and my cousin sent me a message saying that Mark really liked the parts of the movie that he thought we got right, which is about the nicest reaction I could have hoped for.

Read our review of The Social Network

Read our interview with Justin Timberlake