Jesse Eisenberg is a crazy driver. That’s practically all anybody could talk about on the Grand Rapids, Michigan, set of “30 Minutes or Less” last summer. Danny McBride expressed utter surprise that the soon-to-be Oscar nominee was such a daredevil behind the wheel. Director Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”) was less enthused, concerned as he was that the star of his action comedy might not survive the shoot in one piece.
And Eisenberg himself? The guy couldn’t have been more pumped to play, at least for a few scenes, something resembling an action hero. “I live in New York City and ride a bicycle, so I never drive ever, so I’ve been given the opportunity and a cool car,” he told MTV News. “Every time I drive, I get yelled at by the crew, but the stunt drivers always wink at me and say, ‘Nah, that was good, man. Keep doing it.’ I’ve been subtly and subversively encouraged to be very dangerous in the car.”
On the day of our visit to the set, Eisenberg and his cohorts weren’t zooming around in cars, but had settled into a junkyard. The action, though, was no safer. For a full peek into what went down in there, you’ll have to wait until next week, when we roll out our full set visit. But as we push forward with this week’s Summer Movie Preview, we pulled out a snippet of our chat with Eisenberg and Ansari, plus an exclusive photo of the two guys doing some rather unconventional grocery shopping.
“30 Minutes” follows Eisenberg as a pizza delivery boy who is kidnapped by two hilariously incompetent criminals (McBride and Nick Swardson) and made to rob a bank. With a makeshift bomb strapped to his chest and time ticking away, Eisenberg enlists Ansari to help him accomplish the task. Their adventure, as the red-band trailer makes clear, lands them in some high-speed car chases. And, according to Ansari, the two actors liked the action so much, they’re hoping to do more of it in the future.
“I don’t know if it’s premature to say that he’s going to star in the reboot of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise,” he cracked.
“Yes, it is premature. We’re in negotiations,” Eisenberg responded.
Said Ansari, “Let’s just go ahead and tell him. He’s taking over the Paul Walker character, I’m taking over the Vin Diesel character. It’s a reimagining, a reboot, whatever you want to call it. We’re bringing the franchise back. It’s gonna be in 3-D and all the movie seats are going to be changed into tiny cars and you can drive along with us.”
It’s Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated films of the coming months. Get ready to gorge on inside looks at “Captain America,” “The Hangover Part II,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and more.
Check out everything we’ve got on “30 Minutes or Less.”
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