Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg explained the importance of having a plan B in life while promoting his first published book “Bream Gives Me Hiccups,” a compilation of 28 short stories, at New Jersey City University.
“By studying anthropology what I discovered was the more I can infuse what I’m really interested in into the work that I do even if the two things seem very unrelated, the better I’ll be,” Eisenberg said at the crowded Margaret Williams Theater.
“So a lot of this book comes from studying things outside of writing, things outside of acting, and things that have to do with learning about other cultures.”
During a question and answer session between Eisenberg and radio host Nicole Ryan, a stage-light shined onto the world of writing, acting, and his life experiences via a live broadcast courtesy of NJCU.
The broadcast reached nearly 500 colleges nationwide as a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) lecture series.
“I think it’s interesting because I was already acting before going to college so I wanted to study something that was outside that field because I didn’t feel like it would’ve been the most unusual thing for me to learn,” said Eisenberg, the star of “The Social Network” and “Zombieland.”
Eisenberg also explained that his parents were supportive of him pursuing an acting career, which he considered a given since his mother worked as a clown for children’s birthday parties.
The NSLS invites established success stories to speak at NJCU such as NBC weather reporter and anchor AL Roker from the “Today” show, who previously appeared, and actor/comedian John Leguizamo – who will appear on November 11th.
Initially known as comedic actor, Eisenberg portrays the iconic comic book villain Lex Luthor in 2016’s Zack Snyder directed “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” He compared the situation to his dream of playing for the Phoenix Suns.
“I wanted to play for the Phoenix Suns my whole life,” said Eisenberg jokingly. “No, I was so close. I was a foot away from it. Unfortunately, the one foot that was missing was from my body.”
“I wanted to be a basketball player so much. I mean, being in the biggest coolest movie like Batman is a great disappointment compared to not being on the Suns.”
On a more serious note, Eisenberg expressed how he never planned to act in the Batman movie, write a playwright, or a novel. Expressing that movie acting is more calculated, that made him delve into the art of writing a novel and being a playwright.
“I do it out of a kind of desperation. I feel like I have all these thoughts or stories I might add so I write them down and only afterwards I think ‘Oh this could actually be a book’ or I’ll read a book that is similar to my stories and think, ‘Oh I have compiled enough material to account for a book.’”
“Or I’ll write a play for myself thinking about how I want to perform a play. When I have an idea for a character I’ll sit down and write that, and only afterwards do I think, ‘Oh, I should put this on, this could be good so I don’t think of it in the reversed way,’” said Eisenberg.
According to Eisenberg, during the duration of “To Rome with Love’s” production, Woody Allan used a writing technique, which Eisenberg emulates by writing story ideas onto a piece of paper and only after a completed production does he sift into the drawer to use another idea.
More specifically, the title of “Bream Gives Me Hiccups,” was inspired by the main character who goes to restaurants with his mother after his parent’s divorce.
The mother no longer has the financial stability ensued by the father, but the ex-husband said he’d pay for an expense dealing with their child.
The mother then drags her son to fancy restaurants hence the name Bream, a greenish-bronze fresh water fish native to Europe served in upper scale restaurants.
On the other hand, Hiccups has a vague association to an adolescence.