Born in Queens and raised in New Jersey, actor Jesse Eisenberg first made an impression on filmgoers as an awkward teen whose uncle leads him on a lusty tour of Manhattan in director Dylan Kidd's award-winning indie Roger Dodger. Though Eisenberg had previously appeared on the Fox drama Get Real and as a storm-chasing teen in the made-for-television drama Lightning: Fire from the Sky, it was Roger Dodger that marked his entrance as a dramatic actor. While subsequent roles in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and the Wes Craven werewolf fiasco Cursed may have offered Eisenberg little chance to display his dramatic prowess on camera, a more substantial role as a teen whose parents are divorcing in The Squid and the Whale found Eisenberg singled out for praise at both The Gotham Awards and The Independent Spirit Awards. The following years would see Eisenberg climbing the rungs in smaller films like The Education of Charlie Banks, The Hunting Party, and Boys Don't Leave, but his breakthrough came in 2009 with a leading role opposite Kristen Stewart in the period comedy-drama Adventureland. He would soon follow this critically acclaimed hit with a movie that impressed critics and audiences alike, the 2010 horror-comedy Zombieland, in which the actor played the unlikely survivor of a zombie apocalypse. Fast becomming a household name, Eisenberg found an even better vehicle for his talents playing the leading role in the 2010 Oscar contender The Social Network. Playing real life Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Eisenberg was nominated for a host of awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The following year, the actor signed on to play another character based on a real person, this time with the bizarre comedy 30 Minutes or Less, about a pizza delivery guy forced to commit a bank robbery. He voiced the lead role in the animated film Rio, and in 2012 had a brief turn in the indie comedy Free Samples.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Born and raised in New York's Queens borough (in the neighborhood of Bayside), then moved to suburban New Jersey as a teenager.
- Has been playing the drums since age 8.
- Made his Broadway debut at age 13 in Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke.
- Was a member of the New York-based youth concert group Broadway Kids.
- Created the now-retired Web site OneUpMe.com (2006-08), which featured wordplay games.
- Not an avid watcher of horror films, despite starring in 2009's Zombieland.
- Was an anthropology major in college.