We have a new picture of Jesse that accompanies the following article. The photo has been added to the gallery
There’s a tiny part of Jesse Eisenberg’s character in Columbia Pictures’ new horror action-comedy “Zombieland” that is true to life. Like his character Columbus , Eisenberg is frightened of clowns! “And that was just greatly heightened by the fact that Columbus has all these OCDs,” says the young actor. “Someone who’s running from zombies all day long, who’s obsessed with this list of 47 rules – it really does infiltrate your life.”
In “Zombieland,” Eisenberg plays a young “cowardly” character who teams up with a one-man zombie slaying machine, Tallahassee , played with relish by Woody Harrelson. The setting may be extraordinary – a post apocalyptic world where flesh eating zombies are out to get the last band of survivors – but indeed very funny.
Initially, Eisenberg was a little nervous at the prospect of working with Harrelson. “I was intimidated because I know how funny Woody is but what I didn’t realize was how much he likes to improvise.”
As it turned out, Eisenberg clearly also has a talent for comedy. Off screen too, he’s wonderfully self-deprecating and adept at delivering deadpan one-liners. “I went for the audition with Woody and I was nervous because he is so funny and quick but actually I loved it. And I loved working with him too. There are four main characters in the film and we would improvise and Woody was the only one who was able to keep a straight face the whole time. And that’s amazing because everything he says is hysterical.”
The unlikely duo of Columbus and Tallahassee team up with two other survivors, Wichita (Emma Stone) and her 12-year-old sister, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and together form a tight knit band who have one aim – to stay alive in a hostile world full of the un-dead.
“I loved the script and I judge everything based on itself and I thought it was pretty rare to have a movie like this, which is kind of a poppy movie and at the same time had these great characters,” says Eisenberg.
“There are really only four characters in the movie, which is so rare. Normally there are 20 characters and most of them have no function. And this movie had four really good, fleshed out characters.
“And it was funny and I thought I could do the role well. I was just a little hesitant to do a big movie, because of all the things that come with doing a big movie. But then when I found out that Woody Harrelson was playing the other part I thought, ‘This is just going to be the greatest thing.’”
Eisenberg says that he likes to do diverse projects and he relished the chance to try something totally new with “Zombieland.” “I don’t really like action movies that much,” he laughs. “This was the first one and actually, I really enjoyed it. Also, we shot it on video as opposed to film and so there was the challenge of being able to film for very long periods of time without stopping – that was a unique challenge. And working with Woody and Emma and Abigail in that was really great. You kind of expect the unexpected and go with it. I liked that a lot.”