Jesse Eisenberg Impersonates NPR Host on Facebook
On Oscar weekend, Jesse Eisenberg confesses on NPR's show, Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, that he impersonated host Peter Sagal on Facebook to research The Social Network.
So Mark Zuckerberg did Oprah and Time and 60 Minutes. Big deal! To promote his Zuckerberg impersonation, Jesse Eisenberg went on the nation's leading comedy news quiz show.
Here's an excerpt of his performance (you can hear it on NPR or by Saturday afternoon online):
Sagal: We understand you were not a big Facebook guy though, before you got this role.
Eisenberg: No, uh and this is something that I really wanted to tell you because I had never seen Facebook and then I was rehearsing for the movie and I was, my character was discussing all of these things that I didn’t know anything about. And so I got a Facebook page while I was listening to this show and I didn’t want to use my own name, so I used your name, um, and…So, the account has been deleted soon thereafter. But, it was the strangest thing.
Sagal: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You’re telling me that part your research for this role you opened a Facebook account under my name.
Eisenberg: So I would. I was doing interviews for several months about the movie, and people would always ask me, “Do you have a Facebook page?”. And I would always say no because I had deleted the account. But people would say that they had looked online the night before and they saw that I did have a Facebook page, and that I had several. I would always get like quietly furious that somebody was, you know, pretending to be me. And it never occurred to me, until they asked me to do this show, that I had, I had done that to somebody. And I apologize, you know, if uh, you know, you have experienced any strange looks....
Sagal: Are you looking forward to this week being over, and you know, you won’t be Oscar nominee anymore. You’ll either be an Oscar winner or just Jesse Eisenberg again.
Eisenberg: Uh, well, you don’t lose the, the nominee.
Sagal: Oh, excuse me. I’m sorry!
Eisenberg: No they don’t force you back into a civilian.
Sagal: I know. They don’t take away your privileges.
Eisenberg: No, no, no. No, um, I mean, yea you know you build up this great anticipation and its just, you know, it’s a strange kind of place to live in for several months, with that kind of that anticipation. It’s a strange and unsustainable feeling to have.
Adam Felber: Will you show up out front there on your bike?
Sagal: You should do that! You should. They have the limos pulling up and you should just ride up on your Schwinn. I think that would be totally cool.
Eisenberg: Yea, and then where do I lock it up, though?
Sagal: Just hand it to Joan Rivers and say, “Watch this for a few hours. I’ll be back”. What is she going to do, say no? Who’s your date? Can you tell me?
Eisenberg: Uh, I’m taking my mother and you know, uh, she, she couldn’t be more thrilled.
Sagal: I bet! That’s really exciting. That’s really great.
Paula Poundstone: That is so sweet. Is she going to ride in the basket?
Follow THR's The Race Awards blog on Twitter: @timappelo.
Feedback, brickbats, shameless lobbying to: Tim.Appelo@thr.com.
HOLLYWOOD'S RED CARPET A-LIST
Covering The Race
Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.