Jesse Eisenberg clarifies Comic-Con genocide comments

Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg has said he was using hyperbole when he compared the Comic-Con experience to “genocide”.

The actor previously said the experience of facing screaming fans at the event 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,” Jesse, who plays Lex Luthor in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, said of the massive San Diego convention that ended on Sunday.

On Tuesday morning, in an interview alongside Jason Segel promoting their film The End Of The Tour, Jesse 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 on Tuesday afternoon, Jesse 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 honour to be on that end of such jubilation.”

Jesse said it was “wonderful” to be involved in something that is so highly anticipated and loved.

Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel
Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel

“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 Jason, laughing.

Jesse 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, Jesse plays David Lipsky, a journalist interviewing writer David Foster Wallace during the promotional tour for Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest. Jason 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.”

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

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