Oscar non-Anne: Jesse Eisenberg

February 28, 2011 13:00:32 Posted at February 28, 2011 13:00:32
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Written by Duana

Late last night, long after it was too late to do anything about it, (and really, what was I going to do? Call up Annie H on her cellphone, because of how tight we are? ) I realized there was an untapped connection at the Academy Awards last night.

Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway starred as siblings in “Get Real”, a show I loved in 1999 which explains why it was immediately cancelled. This happens to me a lot. But the whole thing was that it was actually kind of reliant on good actors, and kids who were good at being real people and not ‘characters.’

I cannot say with any authority that Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway have been in the same room since they shot that show 12 years ago. It’s not like I was looking for an embracing reunion onstage. I would’ve loved it, of course, me and the other three fans of the show – but that’s beside the point.

Look at the divergent paths of these two actors. Hathaway is almost ruthlessly mainstream and has rarely been out of the public eye. Eisenberg got here through a completely different, largely independent path. As a result, he’s now a relatively self-possessed performer who apparently brought both his mom and a date to the ceremony, who is as uninterested in press as it’s possible to be, and who will probably wake up tomorrow morning feeling exactly the same way as he did the morning before. He’s the Unflappable.

He will continue to do excellent, well-regarded (if not always rewarded) work. He will be that guy, the one who everyone knows can pull out a reliable performance. He was so good at playing an unlikeable character that we forget how really good he was at it. We don’t reward men for playing jerks as readily as we reward women. There’s a level of nuance to Eisenberg that makes you forget how excellent he is.

So he’ll be back here at the awards, if he chooses to be, sooner rather than later.


Photos from ROBYN BECK/John Shearer/ Frazer Harrison/Gettyimages.com

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