Jesse Eisenberg Talks ‘Social Network,’ Costar Justin Timberlake And His Passsion For Musicals

It’s a new decade, and with it, a whole new crop of fresh faces to focus on. MTV chose Jesse Eisenberg as one of their 10 to watch in 2010. Movies editor Josh Horowitz had a chance to chat with Jesse about the project and upcoming works.

If people describe Robert Pattinson as self-deprecating, Jesse Eisenberg seems to be taking that to the extreme. Never one to build himself up to be more than he is, he was very clear in the interview that his successes last year in “Zombieland” and “Adventureland” did not contribute to his landing the leading role in “The Social Network.”

“The last concern of [director David Fincher] is casting someone with momentum,” Jesse said. “I auditioned for this. I made a tape. I’m sure lots of people made tapes. I don’t see a connection in terms of a climatic career trajectory or anything.”

In the interview, Jesse admitted he hadn’t been familiar with any of David’s work because “I don’t really watch movies,” and was not familiar with his costar Justin Timberlake either (“I can’t say I knew his music too much except for knowing about him because he’s so ubiquitous”). However, he did say his appreciation for both grew during the shoot.

“Everybody speaks about [David] with such awe, and now having worked with him for the last four months, I would certainly agree he’s working in a completely unique way and in way I found very satisfying,” Jesse said about his director.

He added about Justin, “I heard such great things about working with him both personally and professionally from so many people. He’s certainly lived up to that and more; extremely professional and charming and modest, which is probably unique for someone that famous.”

As to what else we’ll be seeing Jesse do in the next year or so, he said he’d be up for a “Zombieland” sequel as long as it’s not “stupid.” Jesse said what he could prefer to do is make the plays and musicals he wrote a reality in New York.

“I’ve been trying to do these plays I’ve written in New York and this musical I’ve written. I wrote the music and lyrics and somebody else wrote the book. There’s no character for me,” Jesse said. “It’s a satire about self-indulgence called ’Me Time.’ It’s about contemporary, obnoxious selfishness on the Upper East Side of New York City. I would love to get it on, but I wind up going to California to do movies. I’ve been trying to focus on those for two years, so I assume if I don’t get work as an actor, that’s where I’ll be.”