Actor Jesse Eisenberg clarifies Comic-Con genocide comments

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jesse Eisenberg said that he was using hyperbole when he compared the Comic-Con experience to "genocide" late Tuesday afternoon.

The actor previously said the experience of facing screaming fans at Comic-Con was "terrifying."

"It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don't know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can't think of anything that's equivalent," Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in next year's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," said of the massive San Diego convention that ended Sunday.

On Tuesday morning, in an interview alongside Jason Segel promoting their film "The End of the Tour," Eisenberg explained his response.

"Maybe on some cellular memory level, that's the only thing that seems like an equivalent social experience," he said. "Even if they're saying nice things, just being shouted at by thousands of people, it's horrifying."

Then, late Tuesday afternoon, Eisenberg spoke to the Associated Press for a third time to further clarify his comments.

"I of course was using hyperbole to describe the sensory overload I experienced. I sometimes do employ that," he said. "I'm a normal person who has normal sensory experiences, so Comic-Con was very overwhelming for me. That said, it was really an honor to be on that end of such jubilation."

Eisenberg said it was "wonderful" to be involved in something that is so highly anticipated and loved.

"That people are excited about it in that way is unheard of and thrilling," he said.

He added: "I've been on the receiving end of movies that no one loves and no one anticipates. That's worse, even though it's a much quieter press tour."

"You're also the villain in the movie. There's like a WWF-style theatrics to it," added Segel, laughing.

Eisenberg also laughed.

"They expect me to use hyperbole!" he said. "If I didn't I'd be the hero who usually speaks pretty practically."

In "The End of the Tour," Eisenberg plays David Lipsky, a journalist interviewing writer David Foster Wallace during the promotional tour for Wallace's novel "Infinite Jest." Segal plays Wallace.

"Yes I have never been on the other side, on your side of journalism. I have normally been the victim so I worked with the guy who I play, I play a real person, David Lipsky," he said. "I interviewed him. He taught me how to interview and what his process is like and now I understand the pariahs that you guys are."

Eisenberg said Tuesday that he was referring to his journalist character in that moment.


AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson and AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr contributed to this report