Jesse Eisenberg's 'Art Of Self-Defense' Is No Motivational Sports Montage
Art Business

Jesse Eisenberg’s ‘Art Of Self-Defense’ Is No Motivational Sports Montage

is both scathing cultural commentary and dark comedy. The script is "the funniest thing I’ve ever read," says star Jesse Eisenberg. Jesse Eisenberg built his career playing quick-witted intellectuals — but he gets more physical in his new movie, The Art of Self-Defense. The film, written and directed by Riley Stearns, stars Eisenberg as Casey Davies, a socially stunted man who seeks out a martial arts class-turned-cult after getting mugged. "It’s like a twisted sports movie," Eisenberg explains — Casey sets out to better himself and it works out terribly. Unlike the beloved underdog Rocky Balboa, Eisenberg says, Casey’s version of confidence-building "is punching his boss in the throat rather than, like, running up the stairs of the Philadelphia art museum." Eisenberg believes the film’s message will resonate in the context of the #MeToo movement. He was filming The Art of Self-Defense when prominent actresses began speaking out about workplace harassment and sexual violence. Eisenberg knew both survivors and perpetrators — and he realized that his character’s pressure to perform masculinity via violence and aggression was particularly relevant to the present moment. Interview Highlights On his character, Casey Davies He’s impressionable, he’s lonely, and so he gets pulled into […]


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