Actor Jesse Eisenberg, who was last seen plotting to conquer the world in Batman V Superman, is back again with his latest offering Now You See Me 2. The actor speaks about once again being part of the hit franchise, why he chose to take it up, what films mean to him and more.
How different was it to shoot for the second part?
Last time, it was difficult to balance the dramatic, funny and splashy elements of the film. This time, we already had that balance.
What do you think about doing sequels?
My only opinion is that I’d rather be in a good movie that’s a sequel than a less-good movie that’s original. And with Now You See Me, it seemed like a good opportunity to make another one.
Do you enjoy playing a douchebag or a baddie?
I feel more sympathy for the guy who’s tortured than the one who is confident. So I like playing bad guys or difficult characters. That’s why I’ll probably even do a third Now You See Me. I get to play this brash, arrogant magician, while in my life I’m a shy, quiet person and I grew up with no social life. It’s a great outlet to play these characters.
You’re also a playwright and do a lot of TV as well. Which medium do you prefer?
I’m not a film buff. I didn’t go to film school. I have a degree in anthropology. I write plays, but I work for the medium that’s on offer. That doesn’t have to be cinema. But today, there’s no room for the kind of cinema that I would like to make.
By your own admission, you are a little bit nerdy. So how do you feel being a film star?
Isn’t it always the calm, shy people who later become successful? I didn’t have any friends when I was growing up. I was a quiet, shy, and often depressed child. I spent all the time intent on revenge on the world. (Laughs) So playing Lex Luthor (Superman’s enemy) suited me. Back then, I had no friends. It often happens that children with a difficult childhood focus on other things and look for other outlets and then later make a career for themselves.
So what do you think of your fame?
Fame has disadvantages too. Fame can be terrifying. It’s not always fun to be looked at by everyone in the street. But you can also use that fame for a good cause. I’m involved with an organisation that campaigns against domestic violence in India and we recently collected half a million dollars for a