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Oscar Watch: Social Network's Eisenberg Talks Zuckerberg, Guilt, Perfectionism and Fincher

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 23, 2010 at 4:04AM

The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg and I met for a bite at Hollywood's fabled Musso & Frank's Grill to dig into his lauded role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The youthful New Yorker has been juggling school, theater, TV and film since he was a kid; at 27 he's got quite a few juicy film roles under his belt, from The Squid and the Whale to Adventureland and Zombieland. 2011 could well mark his debut as an Oscar contender.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg and I met for a bite at Hollywood's fabled Musso & Frank's Grill to dig into his lauded role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The youthful New Yorker has been juggling school, theater, TV and film since he was a kid; at 27 he's got quite a few juicy film roles under his belt, from The Squid and the Whale to Adventureland and Zombieland. 2011 could well mark his debut as an Oscar contender.

Part One: Eisenberg talks acting background, career beginnings, perfectionism and landing the role of Mark Zuckerberg.


Part Two: Woody Allen, feeling guilty about playing Zuckerberg, reining in his desire to make him more sympathetic, defending his character.

Part Three: Zuckerberg as a creative and defensive person, addressing the misogyny issue, "this movie is respectful to its characters," Facebook as a living thing.

Part Four: Feedback, actors as a cog in a wheel, Fincher's meticulous directing style, multiple takes shooting on video, the awards circuit.

This article is related to: Awards, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, Interviews , Oscars, David Fincher, Biopics, Andrew Garfield, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.