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Simon Pegg on Jesse Eisenberg in ‘The Social Network’

Actors on actors

Jesse Eisenberg’s celluloid Mark Zuckerberg is a rare creation, an anti-hero who doesn’t win favor through Machiavellian wiles but rather through sheer force of honesty and lack of deeper pretension.

Eisenberg dares us to dislike his creation and yet wins as the character we emphatically root for. It is a performance of extraordinary precision and sensitivity — the inevitable manifestation of the promise this gifted young actor displayed in Noah Baumbach’s ‘The Squid and the Whale.’ He manages to evoke empathy, admiration and support for his terminally pragmatic super nerd, from an audience he never soft soaps.

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