Following his short story ‘An Honest Film Review’ in the New Yorker, Jesse Eisenberg has kindly agreed to write a short story EXCLUSIVELY for The Studio Exec.
The Guy who Hated Now You See Me
BY JESSE EISENBERG
This was 2013, and I was with the usual crowd of friends on Friday night. We’re all studying at NYU and Pringle, Billy the Beard and Sally are all grad students. I used to be a grad student but apparently you need some kinda diploma or degree or something. Still, they let me hang out with them, even if sometimes they treat me condescendingly and say that I have a disgusting body odor. And this isn’t something I overheard. They said it ‘to my face’. So Pringle, who identifies as female, said, ‘Hey, let’s go and see that new Jessse Eisenberg movie.’
And everyone was like ‘don’t you mean the new Jesse Eisenberg movie’, and Pringle was saying ‘What did I say?’ and they said ‘You said Jessse Eisenberg’ and Pringle said, ‘Oh I’ve just been to the dentist and my mouth is still numbssss.’ So after a kaffufle it was agreed and we headed downtown to one of those ‘cinemas’. When we got to the cinema, there were people already there, which I hate. People are just so incredibly irritating. They represent over a million potential failings for me and I was standing in front of the poster for the movie and I said, ‘Oh Mark Ruffalo is in it. I like Mark Ruffalo!’ And this girl – who looked really hot, like Paris Hilton, but you know a hot version of Paris Hilton. And she said, ‘Mark Ruffalo? Are you kidding? He’s a piece of shit both talent-wise and in his social skills. You should go and see that movie just for Jesse Eisenberg.’ And I walked away from her but she followed me and she was telling me how at a party in Hollywood that she had gone to – she’s a publicist for some studio I quickly gathered – Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg were both there and they both reached for the same jalapeno pepper at the same time and it was the last one and Jesse Eisenberg, being a gentleman, said ‘no please you take it Mark’ and right in front of everyone Mark Ruffalo – the c*nt – just took that jalapeno pepper and ate it right up. ‘That’s sick,’ someone in crowd said and they all started chanting ‘Ruffalo’s a c*nt! We prefered Edward Norton’s Hulk!’ Even though the chant was long, within seconds everyone was word perfect, because of the truth of the sentiment I suppose. I ducked into the toilets and looked at my tiny penis for a few minutes while it dropped urine out. Then I joined Pringle, Sally and Bill the Beard who had got the tickets and we went in.
I watched the movie but I was also conscious of Sally next to me and Pringle on my other side. I wondered if they’d ever allow me to take part in their much vaunted and well-publicized threesomes. I’d asked once but they had told me ‘no’. This had been the ‘disgusting body odor’ conversation of 2011. On the screen Jesse Eisenberg led a team of magicians who were mixed up in some nefarious dealings and Mark Ruffalo was a cop trying to catch them. I got very confused because of the deep thinking that the film demanded. And Jesse Eisenberg was just too intimidating for me to watch. I kept thinking: ‘This guy is so smart and self-aware and really handsome.’ And then I thought about my small penis and disgusting body odor and Mark Ruffalo eating that jalapeno pepper and I began to hate the movie. Not because of the movie you understand, but because of me and the fact I’m a terrible person who doesn’t even know it, because i have very little self-awareness. Unlike Jesse Eisenberg, who sometimes seems to have too much.
When we got out of the theatre, we hit a couple of bars and everyone was raving about the film. ‘Jesse Eisenberg is the best!’ ‘Magic is the new rock and roll!’ and ‘I’d hit that!’ were all real comments actual people said. We did Jaeger shots and everything got a little screwy. When I woke up next morning, I was in Pringle’s apartment and the walls were Jackson Pollocked with bloody and the floor sludgy with eviscera. Apparently, in a fit of jealous pique, I had killed all my friends in a horrifically violent rage after my Holocaust denial had met with like zero traction the night before.
On the wall miraculously free from blood splatter, Jesse Eisenberg looked down from a framed print from his earlier work The Squid and the Whale. His youthful face seemed to be looking directly at me and my small penis and my anti-Semitism and the bloody remains of my way cooler friends and I could almost hear the words of his thoughts in my own head. They said, ‘You really didn’t like Now You See Me? That’s okay. I guess everyone has a right to their opinion.’ And I knew then that now he saw me.