At Algemeiner ‘J100’ Gala, Actor Jesse Eisenberg Calls Playing French Mime Who Saved Jewish Orphans During Holocaust ‘Most Fulfilling Experience’
Actor Jesse Eisenberg talked about his Jewish identity and how it tied into his latest film role on Tuesday at the seventh annual Algemeiner “J100” gala, held virtually from New York City and broadcast to a global audience.
In “Resistance,” Eisenberg plays the late famous mime Marcel Marceau, who joined the French Resistance during World War II and whose courageous efforts saved hundreds of Jewish orphans.
Eisenberg lost relatives in the Holocaust and said he has a family member who lives in Poland whom he tries to visit often and even wrote a play about.
During his interview with gala director Rosh Lowe at Tuesday’s Algemeiner event, in which “Resistance” director Jonathan Jakubowicz also took part, Eisenberg commented, “For me, this movie really fuses those two things I feel about Jewish culture: both my interest in the war and how it’s kind of impossible to kind of sort out and make sense of the horrors of it, as well as what I so love about Jewish culture, which is all of the kind of wonderful curiosities, and artistic inclinations and kindness.”
“It turned out to be the most fulfilling experience I’d ever had,” Eisenberg explained about playing Marceau, “because every other job I’ve done had some thing of material response and this was purely me helping out with no ego boost. It was just the most relaxing, enjoyable experience I’ve had in my life.”
Eisenberg was also asked by Lowe what he would advise people who had lost hope. Eisenberg responded by encouraging people to think beyond themselves and how they could help others.
“I would not condemn somebody who feels hopeless, but I would gently say that you’re probably looking in the wrong direction,” he said. “You’re looking inward to inspire from nothing, rather than looking outward to inspire from something outside of yourself.”
Eisenberg and Jakubowicz — along with the rest of the creators, cast and crew of “Resistance” — were bestowed with the Algemeiner’s prestigious “Voice of Humanity” award at Tuesday’s event.
Watch the full interview with Eisenberg and Jakubowicz below: