And Now, An Intimate Conversation With ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP’s Jesse Eisenberg & Ruben Fleischer

Scott's back with another round of incredibly stupid questions for the team behind this weekend's highly-anticipated zom-com.

Brought you boys some White Claws (sets down two cans of White Claw).

Jesse Eisenberg: What is this? (reading can) "Hard seltzer"?

Those ones are Mango.

Ruben Fleischer: Has this been dosed?

You don't know. 

JE: (declining the White Claw) I can't. I can't. I have no tolerance.

So, have either of you worked in the zombie genre before?

JE: Yeah, I was a roadie, for about ten years, with The Zombies.


JE: Yeah! 

How did that work out?

JE: Well, I was fired for plugging everything into the same electrical outlet and I almost electrocuted our bassist. 


JE: Which was the basis for my termination. (excitedly) I almost terminated the bassist and that was the basis for my termination!

You are very excited about this joke.

JE: Oh, yes. 

Jesse, before I forget: was the sequel to Now You See Me not called Now You Don't because that would've been too easy for people to remember?

JE: Yes, but the follow-up, Now You Three Me, will make everything better.


JE: Yeah, two can play that game, Wampler.

Your co-star in Zombieland: Double Tap, Emma Stone, says she'd be interested in making a new Zombieland movie every ten years. In what parallel dimension does Emma Stone live in where she believes any of us will still be alive in ten years?

JE: It is optimistic.

RF: Y'know, these are post-apocalyptic movies, so maybe we'll just film a documentary version.

Speaking of which, do you have a preferred apocalyptic scenario? Like I'd be way into an alien invasion-type deal, but also you've got plagues and nuclear winter and - 

JE: I guess it depends on what faith you grew up in.


JE: It depends on the faith you grew up in.

OK, so what's yours? Like, not your faith, but what's your scenario?

RF: (to Jesse) Like a Rapture-type situation?

Yeah, why is it automatically tied to religion?

JE: Well, that would probably define the thing that you feel. 

RF: I get really excited thinking about being in the world without a lot of people.


RF: And so, whatever version of the apocalypse that happens, I would prefer it to be one that doesn't do much destruction to the world. Like, I wouldn't mind if all the people went away for some reason, as opposed to a scenario where a giant asteroid renders the planet unlivable, and all the plants die and stuff. You don't want that.

OK, so, let's say it's the post-apocalypse. Everything is as it is right now, minus all the people. What's your first move?

RF: Well, we kind of address that in the movie - finding a cool place to live. Our heroes go for the White House. My go-to would be Hearst Castle. But [I'd also want it to be] kind of like The Omega Man, the original. I want a version of that, where Charlton Heston was living in an apartment with a red sports car and making New York his playground. I think that sounds pretty cool.

And you, Jesse?

JE: Well, right now I'm in a one-bedroom. The assholes next door live in a two, and they don't even have kids. So either I'm knocking down the fucking wall or I'm just gonna sneak in and live there.

Speaking of neighbors: you recently starred in The Art of Self Defense. My neighbor, Kevin, is being a real dick about this fence situation and I'm wondering if you can come over and take care of this for me.

JE (zero hesitation): Yes.

You know what I mean by "take care of this"?

JE: Yes.

Like, take care of this.

JE: It's done.

Kevin's got a real attitude problem.

JE: No, no, no - I got this.

He sometimes wears a shirt that says "Fuck Jesse Eisenberg" and I said, "You better not!" and he said -

JE: Wait, y'know, actually - I get a cut of every sale on that shirt, so that's okay.

Let's say you were caught in a zombie apocalypse scenario, though.

RF: Okay.

And you're fighting for your life.

JE: Right.

Would you rather fight 100 two-foot tall zombie toddlers or one regular-sized Tom Hanks?

RF: Tom Hanks.


RF: He's an American treasure, I would be honored to fight Tom Hanks.

Do you think you would win a fight against Tom Hanks?

RF: It would be a close call.

What would be your methodology for fighting Tom Hanks?

JE: Wait, is he a zombie?

Oh, no, it's just Tom Hanks.

RF:  What? I thought it was zombie Tom Hanks.

Nope, just regular Tom Hanks.

JE: This isn't even a question - he's not gonna fight back! He is a class act.

RF: Yeah!

Neither one of you know how bloodthirsty Tom Hanks might be after an apocalypse.

RF: I would write him a letter on an old typewriter. And then that would endear him to me and then we would make up and be friends. Then I could just hang out with Tom Hanks.

Ruben, in 1991 you made a movie called Gangster Squad, starring Christian Slater, Patrick Dempsey, Richard Grieco and a young Costas Mandylor. What was that set like?

RF: (silence)

JE: Was that a different Gangster Squad movie?

No, you're thinking of Mobsters.

RF: I mean, where do I even begin?

JE: Costas Mandylor?

Costas Mandylor.

JE: Great name.

Of the Saw franchise.

RF: All I can say is that when you have a cast like that, they make my job look easy. 

Jesse, of the characters you've played, who's a bigger douche: Lex Luthor or Mark Zuckerberg?

JE: ...wait.

Lex Luthor. Or Mark Zuckerberg.

JE: I could do the joke answer here but then you'd have your pull quote.

RF: Right - "One of those is a horrible evil genius and one of those is Lex Luthor." That seems like a set-up.


JE: Look, I have nothing but affection for Mark Zuckerberg. I have a strange connection to him, where I also feel like I'm responsible for portraying him. A lot of the public would think of me as him...

So, Lex Luthor: bigger douche.

JE: Yeah, totally. He's a horrible person. Explicitly so.

...Not like Mark Zuckerberg.

JE: No!

On a related note: can you tell me what Lex Luthor's mother's name is?

JE: Well, I guess it has to be Martha.

Ruben, I would now like to speak to you about Woody Harrelson's wig in Venom

RF: Well...I really wanted to honor the appearance of the character in the comics, and in the comics Cletus Kasaday is portrayed with a wild mane of red hair. So we just tried to honor the comics with that.

Do you think that, in the sequel, Woody will maintain that look?

RF: I couldn't say. I have no idea.

Fair enough. On a final note, what would you like our readers to know about Zombieland: Double Tap?

RF: What's the name of your website again?


RF: I feel like it adheres to that name, in that there's the birth of the first movie, and then...uh...I don't know.

It's been a long day.

JE: Well, you were the folks that really got behind The Art of Self Defense, right?


JE: Well, I know your site, and I think I know your readership, and Zombieland: Double Tap definitely has some overlap there in terms of [reader interest].

RF: Yeah, see, that's what I was trying to get at, this movie is for people with those kinds of tastes.

JE: It's really funny. It's got offbeat humor...I will say this, for the first Zombieland, we went to like 17 cities, and this time the only place we're going for this movie was Austin, TX. And I think that's also part of what we're saying here: this is a movie for that crowd. 

Well, we hope to see you back here with Zombieland You Don't.

Zombieland: Double Tap hits theaters on October 18th. You should see it. It's very funny.