Hollywood award season sure takes Jesse Eisenberg back.
“I feel like when I was 13 and I had to go to bar mitzvahs every weekend. This is the same feeling. You have to put on a suit every weekend to go meet with a bunch of Jews,” the actor, 27, nominated as Best Actor for The Social Network, joked at the annual Oscar nominees’ luncheon on Monday in Beverly Hills.
It’s all a little nerve-wracking – not that he’s complaining. “It’s been nice, and I think the alternative would be if nobody liked your movie, so this is better,” he says. “It’s been an honor to be part of this long, overwhelming experience.”
While he doesn’t expect to feel entirely comfortable at the Oscars, Eisenberg says he’s probably not alone in that regard. “I have this general sense of feeling like I don’t belong, even though I’ve talked to some other people that very much belong and they have the same feeling,” he says. “I think it’s a room full of insecure actors, which is ultimately very comforting.”
Eisenberg had another chance to feel uncomfortable recently – when he finally met Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder whom he played in The Social Network, live on stage during Saturday Night Live.
“I was nervous to meet him, because I spent a year and a half thinking about him,” Eisenberg says. “So, I think in a strange way it was probably best to meet under even more strange circumstances.”
• Reporting by MICHELLE WARD