Jesse Eisenberg on depicting a "Jesse Eisenberg type" in "The Hummingbird Project"


It’s no surprise that Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg enjoys playing characters that are smart, aggressive and often greedy and selfish. But, Eisenberg revealed to Salon, he seeks out these types of characters because they hopefully teach deeper lessons about humanity and what motivates people.

While discussing his newest role in “The Hummingbird Project,” where he plays a high-frequency trader looking to outsmart Wall Street, Eisenberg explained why playing flawed and complex characters are an acting challenge.

“You kind of challenge yourself to understand and sympathize with these people that are maybe not honorable in society,” he said. But when Eisenberg thinks about how these characters act, he’s always thinking about it within a larger context.

“When I write plays, I normally play characters that are bigoted and selfish, but the message of the plays are never that, of course.” Eisenberg says he is more interested in questioning the nature of morally ambiguous characters. “These people are in society, and why are they in society? And what is driving them? How can society function with people that are horrible?”

Watch the video above to learn about how Eisenberg relates to his character Vincent in “The Hummingbird Project.” And watch the full episode to hear why Eisenberg considers himself an “unremarkable” guy. “The Hummingbird Project” is in theaters Mar. 15.


About “Salon Talks”

Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on Salon.com.


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