Jesse Eisenberg Gets Nauseated Looking At Himself

Jesse Eisenberg had trouble filming Manodrome when his trainer asked him to take photos flexing in front of a mirror.

By Chad Langen | Updated


With blockbuster films like The Social Network, Zombieland, and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice under his belt, Jesse Eisenberg has proven he’s one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors. Still, playing a beefed-up and enraged gym rat in the upcoming drama Manodrome seems to have taken the 39-year-old star well beyond his comfort zone. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Eisenberg discussed his complex character in the John Trengrove-directed picture and how he would often get “nauseated” looking at himself in the mirror while preparing for the role.

Jesse Eisenberg told the outlet that he rarely watches any of his movies. That said, it should come as no surprise that the Oscar-winning performer doesn’t get his jollies from taking selfies. When asked if he’s ever photographed himself flexing his muscles, he said, “I did it for this movie.”

He continued, “I had a wonderful trainer – Colin Campbell, and he asked me early on to flex in the mirror and take a picture. But I was so nauseated by the idea I couldn’t do it for months and months.” Compared to his DCU co-star, Henry Cavill, flexing and working on muscles isn’t something the actor is used to.

Jesse Eisenberg is known for playing scrawny and timid characters, portraying a gym-obsessed, pill-popping young man in Manodrome was understandably a difficult role for the star to prepare for. As someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time in the gym in his own life, Eisenberg said it “was a really big hurdle” spending hours upon hours each day lifting weights and following a strict diet. To make matters worse, shooting on the film was delayed several times, and the actor found himself working out for a longer stretch than he’d originally anticipated.

Fortunately, his role in Manodrome looks to have motivated him to lead a healthier lifestyle outside of his acting career. Now that filming has wrapped, Jesse Eisenberg said he still frequents the gym, but he works out on his own terms and doesn’t have to deal with the intense pressure. But as expected, the actor said he hasn’t seen the movie thus, he has no idea how different he looks.

lex luthor
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

Manodrome centers on a New York Uber driver named Ralphie, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who struggles to make ends meet with his pregnant partner, Sal. Ralphie is introduced to an intense all-male-self-help group by a friend, and after suffering a breakdown, he descends into madness. He winds up tapping into his destructive instincts and becomes an entirely different person.

John Trengrove directed the film from a script he penned himself. It premiered at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival earlier this month and was produced by Riley Keough and Gina Gammell’s Felix Culpa and Ben Giladi’s Liminal Content. In addition to Jesse Eisenberg, the cast includes Adrien Brody, Odessa Young, Sallieu Sesay, Philip Ettinger, Ethan Suplee, Evan Jonigkeit, Sean Edward Lewis and Brian Brehm.

Manodrome doesn’t have a release date; however, the film is expected to release later this year. Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg is preparing to film his next role as Theodore Gericault in the Peter Webber-directed feature The Medusa, which will also star Pierce Brosnan. Set during the turmoil of post-Napoleonic France, the story centers on Géricault, artist and enfant terrible, who learns that his best friend has died after the Naval vessel Medusa runs aground near Senegal. Plunged into grief and entangled in a passionate but doomed love affair, Géricault searches for a reason to live. In this quest, he becomes morbidly obsessed with the disaster and seeing justice served.