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Jesse Eisenberg Explains Why He Hasn't Seen 'To Rome With Love,' Now Out on DVD

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire January 15, 2013 at 11:46AM

It only seemed like a matter of time before Jesse Eisenberg would fall under Woody Allen's radar. The New York-born 28-year-old Oscar-nominee has, over the course of his short career, proved himself to be one of the best actors of his generation at conveying a charming neurosis commonly associated with Allen's leading men, in films like "The Squid and the Whale," "Adventureland" and "30 Minutes or Less."

"To Rome With Love"
Sony Pictures Classics "To Rome With Love"

You've really missed out on some pretty great films this past decade.

Aw, that's very sweet.

Never seen "The Social Network"?

We had a thing and I looked at the floor.

I want to know whether your relationship with Woody evolved over the course of your short time together?

A little bit, then I got to like have dinner with him a few times after the movie was over. But I only got to know him a little bit. When I was with him, I wasn't trying to get him to like me. That would be a stressful experience, trying to get Woody to think I was funny. I just liked being in the same room as him, because it's so interesting to hear the way he talks, to hear how he thinks. But I wasn't trying to make a friend. Someone like him has already made his friends.

Have you two kept in touch since wrapping?

I saw him a few times for press things, but he's so busy. I'm less so, but also doing things -- but no. Oh wait, yeah he invited he to see his play on Broadway.

"To Rome With Love"
Sony Pictures Classics "To Rome With Love"

How confident does working with someone of Woody's caliber make you, with regards to your abilities as a performer?

No, I generally feel like I'm the only judge of what I'm doing. So if I'm doing something that's not surrounded by people like that and I feel good about it, I still feel good. And conversely, if I'm doing something and I feel terrible, I still feel terrible even when surrounded by someone like that.

I haven't tried to work with people like that just for that reason. I still look at the script and criticize it.

What are the recurring insecurities you feel on a day-to-day basis when on set?

In a movie, you're trying to portray some kind of reality to a fake situation and bring some real emotional experience to it. If I don't achieve some kind of real emotional response, I get frazzled and I feel like it's not going well. So I guess that's the main concern.

This article is related to: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Allen, To Rome With Love, Sony Pictures Classics , Interviews

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