This episode of The Archive Project features a conversation between Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg and Portland novelist and screenwriter Jon Raymond, recorded at Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival in 2015. Eisenberg is known for his iconic film roles, as well as regular pieces in The New Yorker and three critically acclaimed plays. During this conversation, he presents his fiction debut, the whip-smart Bream Gives Me Hiccups: And Other Stories. The National Post called the collection, “Funny and poignant, a darkly comic look at family, insecurity, and, briefly, Cameroonian separatism.”
I realized that during this difficult transition that we all make to these different stages of our lives, we react to things usually with kind of these histrionic emotions that we didn’t even know we had.”
“One of the great things about acting is that it forces me to get into the emotional experience of a character in a way that maybe if I was sitting in my room trying to conjure it [through writing], it would be either less effective or more inefficient.”
“Now the two things seem unrelated as finished products, but that’s the nature of art—whatever you’re doing seems to infect everything else.”
Jesse Eisenberg is an Academy Award-nominated actor, playwright, and contributor to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. His acting credits range from indie films like The Squid and the Whale to Oscar contenders like The Social Network. His latest film is Batman v. Superman, in which he takes on the role of the villainous Lex Luthor. Eisenberg is also the author of three plays, including The Spoils, which won the Theater Visions Fund Award. In 2015, he published his first book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups, a short story collection.
Jon Raymond is the author The Half-Life and Rain Dragon, both novels. He also wrote the short story collection Livability, which was chosen as a Discover Great New Writers selection by Barnes & Noble. His screenwriting credits include Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, and Night Moves, which features Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role. Raymond currently serves on the Board of Directors for Literary Arts, and his next novel is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2017.
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