Jesse Eisenberg Biography

Actor, Playwright, Film Actor, Theater Actor (1983–)
American actor Jesse Eisenberg is known for memorable performances in movies from indie drama 'The Squid and the Whale' to Oscar contender 'The Social Network.'


Jesse Eisenberg was born in New York City on October 5, 1983. His early interest in acting led him from children's theater to films like the independent drama The Squid and the Whale and the comedy Adventureland. He is best known for his role as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 drama The Social Network, and later portrayed the villainous Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He is also a playwright and has appeared in his own works in off-Broadway theaters.

Early Life

Jesse Eisenberg was born on October 5, 1983, in the Queens borough of New York City, to Barry and Amy Eisenberg. Eisenberg's father was a sociology professor, and his mother occasionally entertained as a clown at children's parties. Eisenberg and his two sisters, Hallie Kate and Kerri, were raised in the suburb of East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Eisenberg became interested in acting at an early age. When he was 7, he starred as Oliver Twist in a children's theater production of the musical Oliver! and at the age of 13 he was an understudy in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke.

Film Breakthroughs

Eisenberg attended East Brunswick High School in New Jersey before transferring to the High School of Performing Arts in New York. When he was a senior he received a breakthrough role in the independent comedy-drama film Roger Dodger, cast alongside Campbell Scott, Isabella Rossellini and Jennifer Beals.

Eisenberg attended college at The New School in New York and continued to act in a range of movies. He had a small role in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village in 2004. He attracted favorable reviews for his performance in 2005's well-received indie drama The Squid and the Whale, in which he played a bright, awkward teenager coming of age in 1980s Brooklyn while coping with the divorce of his parents, played by Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney. In 2007 he appeared in The Hunting Party (a drama set in Bosnia) and The Education of Charlie Banks. 2009 was another busy year: He co-starred with Kristen Stewart in the witty teen comedy-drama Adventureland, and with Woody Harrelson in the apocalyptic farce Zombieland.

Fame and 'The Social Network'

Eisenberg achieved his greatest prominence to date in 2010, with his lead performance in David Fincher's The Social Network. In this fictionalized account of the founding of Facebook, Eisenberg portrayed real-life technology entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, bringing an uncanny blend of intelligence, arrogance and neuroses to the part. His performance brought him several award nominations, as well as a higher degree of critical and popular recognition. However, he maintained a low profile in his private life, continuing to live in New York with his longtime girlfriend, Anna Strout, who works for a nonprofit arts-education organization.

'Now You See Me' and Lex Luthor

Eisenberg's recent film projects have been a mix of genres. He has appeared in Holy Rollers, based on a true story of Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn lured into an Israeli drug-smuggling ring (2010); the animated comedy Rio (2011); the action-crime caper 30 Minutes or Less (2011); and Woody Allen's romantic comedy To Rome With Love (2012). His releases for 2013 included Now You See Me, a crime thriller about a group of stage magicians who pull off bank heists, and the environmental drama Night Moves

In 2015, Eisenberg starred in the drama The End of the Tour, portraying Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky, and reunited with Stewart for the comedic action flick American Ultra. The following year saw Eisenberg portraying comic-book villain Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, co-starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill

Theater Performances

Eisenberg has also returned to his theater career in New York, where he had last appeared in the off-Broadway play The Gathering in 1999. He performed in Scarcity, a dark comedy about working-class life, in 2007. He has also written (and acted in) two plays: Asuncion (2011), a comedy about male friendship, and The Revisionist (2013), a drama about the complex relationship between a young writer and his older, Holocaust-survivor cousin (played by Vanessa Redgrave). Later, he starred as an acerbic former film student in 2015's The Spoils.

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