Jesse Eisenberg talks “The Social Network” as DVD streets – EXCLUSIVE
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Brilliant move by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, releasing a two-disc version of David Fincher’s influential and critically acclaimed “The Social Network” on DVD just in time for the meat of the awards season.
With the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes set to air this weekend, plenty of people hearing more about Fincher’s masterful Facebook drama no doubt will want to see what all of the fuss is about … or be reminded why they appreciated the film the first time they watched it.
It was under the pretense of promoting the “Social Network” DVD release that Jesse Eisenberg called this morning to talk. But while I had him on the phone, we elaborated on Mark Zuckerberg, the cultural impact of Fincher’s film, the never-ending Oscar season, and more. Here is our conversation, in full:
HollywoodNews: I don’t recall satellite interviews and phoners when “Holy Rollers” came out last October.
Jesse Eisenberg: [Laughs] There wasn’t a lot of that, no.
HN: In all seriousness, congratulations on “The Social Network” and all the accolades the film is receiving. Did you have any idea while filming it that it would have this kind of impact?
JE: No. I’ll tell you, when we were filming the movie, we all thought it was great, but none of us could have foreseen the cultural impact it has had. Movies don’t often have the kind of impact that this movie has had. But I think a lot of that has to do with the movie being a fun and accessible vehicle for other people to discuss Facebook and social networking. I think people have wanted to have that discussion, and this movie has allowed that to happen.
HN: Have you seen the DVD cover yet?
JE: Yes, I have. And actually, the costume designer on this movie – and you can watch this on the DVD – found every picture of every character in the movie and dressed us in our real counterpart’s clothing with one exception, which is a shirt that I actually own that made it onto the cover of the DVD.
HN: Oh really? That’s interesting.
JE: Yeah, it was very funny. She did it because it says ARS Nova, which is a theater company I actually work with in New York City. So she did me kind of a favor, not knowing that it would become the cover of the DVD.
HN: And what struck me about it is that it’s probably the only picture from the film of Mark smiling. He looks like a John Hughes anti-hero, surrounded by partying teenagers, on the cover.
JE: Yeah, that’s exactly right. When you watch the movie, the DVD cover is not totally emblematic of the tone of “The Social Network.”
HN: For most of us, “Network” was a first step in learning more about Mark Zuckerberg. And he opened up, appearing on Oprah and being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Do you keep up with any of that, or are you done with Mark now that the role is finished?
JE: When we were rehearsing for the movie, I tried to read up on everything I could and Mark and really understand who he was. Now that the movie is over and I’ve moved on to other things, I read about it like everybody else reads about it. Who is this guy who is really shaping a large part of the socialization of the world? It is interesting to read about him. And you know, I’m not surprised that he has become so known. I think people are interested in learning about who is shaping the way they communicate. And he has just been wonderful in what probably has been a completely uncomfortable situation because this movie doesn’t present him in a 100-percent, purely heroic light. It shows some flaws. It shows how he hurt some friends. I can imagine it must be uncomfortable for him, and he has just been wonderful.
HN: It’s interesting, you could probably stage “The Social Network” five years from now and you’d have a different approach to playing the same character.
JE: Yeah, five years from now, I imagine the real Mark will just be integrated into public life a lot more.
HN: Are you responsible for any of the multiple Jesse Eisenberg Facebook pages that are up and running right now?
JE: [Laughs] No, no, though I heard there are a couple under my name. Except one person told me that I was running late to meet them, and I said, “I never agreed to meet you.” So yeah, they are causing problems.
HN: A colleague of yours who is in the awards race with a different picture referred to this period as one of “extreme deprivation” when it comes to movie watching. Do you understand that feeling, or have you been able to see some of the films “The Social Network” is competing against?
JE: The other movies are wonderful, but it is exactly like you say. I’ve felt it, and it has been strange to be part of this movie that is receiving so much attention. Every other movie I’ve done has been a small, independent movie where we are constantly trying to get attention. This has been the rare example where you are almost overwhelmed with the surge of attention. It’s kind of a strange place to be, and it’s not always a place where you want to be, because there are so many other wonderful movies that deserve to share in that. And they are. But it is strange to be in one of them that is receiving the bulk of it.
HN: In a perfect world, you’d find that happy medium between the two, then.
JE: Exactly. Find a place where you can kind of get some sleep at night, as well.
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