May 21, 2010

PODCAST: Jesse Eisenberg

HOLY ROLLERS star Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg, star of Adventureland and The Squid and the Whale, stars in Kevin Asch's film Holy Rollers, which opened in select theaters this weekend.

Holy Rollers is inspired by actual events in the late nineties when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States. Sam Gold (Eisenberg), a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community reluctantly follows the path his family has chosen for him, awaiting a pending arranged marriage and studying to become a Rabbi. A charming neighbor, Yosef Zimmerman (Justin Bartha), senses Sam’s resistance and propositions him to transport ‘medicine’ for Jackie (Danny A. Abeckaser), an Israeli dealer, and his girlfriend, Rachel (Ari Graynor).Sam quickly demonstrates his business skill to his bosses, who instantly take Sam under their wing. Now exposed to the exciting and gritty worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife, Sam begins to spiral deeper into their detrimental lifestyle, experimenting with ecstasy and then falling for Rachel. As the business grows, Sam’s double life begins to rip his family apart and the community becomes suspicious of his illegal activities. Sam slowly comes to realize the façade behind the easy money and parties. Caught between life as a smuggler and the path back to God, Sam goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down.

I talked with Eisenberg about the illusion of "based on a true story," acting with his sister onscreen, his busy month ahead (Don't miss The Living Wake!), and the Zombieland sequel that's in the works.

To listen to the podcast, click here. (17:40)

Update: Holy Rollers is now out on DVD.

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Posted by ahillis at May 21, 2010 2:34 PM


I think this movie is going to turn out really well. I am a big fan of Jessie Eisenberg, I think he is on the rise. I am intrigued by the entire idea of High Rollers, I did not know that there was even a story like that. You learned something new everyday.

Posted by: Karim at June 23, 2010 10:16 AM

Very good and nicely researched interview with Jesse. I got to spend a little bit of time with him at Sundance and the Holy Rollers premiere so I know - your interview let him be the smart, funny and humble guy he is in person. Well done.

Posted by: mj mynarski at October 18, 2010 5:55 PM
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