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?
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Scott, whose THR coverage appears both in print and online, is one of the film industry's most experienced and trusted awards analysts, and possesses one of the strongest track records at forecasting the Oscars. His best showings came in 2006 (when he called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he called 20 of 24 winners); he was also the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). An alumnus of Brandeis University, he previously ran "The Feinberg Files" blog for the Los Angeles Times. He is now a voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and is writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 350 high-profile Hollywood figures.
Gregg contributes awards news, features online, and "The Race" column in print.
Tim contributes awards news and features, both in print and online.