Eisenberg defends 'genocide' comments at Comic-Con panel

Eisenberg defends 'genocide' comments at Comic-Con panel

Jesse Eisenberg has said he was exaggerating when he compared facing screaming fans at Comic-Con to genocide.

The actor previously said the experience of facing the fans at the California convention was “terrifying”.

“It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don’t know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can’t think of anything that’s equivalent,” Eisenberg, who plays Lex Luthor in next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, said of the massive San Diego event that ended on Sunday.

In an interview later, alongside Jason Segel promoting their film The End Of The Tour, Eisenberg explained his response, saying: “Maybe on some cellular memory level, that’s the only thing that seems like an equivalent social experience.

“Even if they’re saying nice things, just being shouted at by thousands of people, it’s horrifying.”

Segel, who has attended Comic-Con in the past, chimed in: “Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s still a mob.”

“Yeah, it’s a mob. Yeah. They were one torch away from burning me,” Eisenberg said. “I’m a normal person with like normal reactions to things, so of course it’s going to be terrifying. If you like that kind of thing and feed off of it in some way, you must have a miserable life.”

“You know, but it’s such an honour to be a part of the film. No, I mean everybody liked the movie. That was the important thing. The screaming was terrifying. We were on the kind of scary end of it.”

But later Eisenberg made another U-turn to further clarify his comments.

“I of course was using hyperbole to describe the sensory overload I experienced. I sometimes do employ that,” he said.

“I’m a normal person who has normal sensory experiences, so Comic-Con was very overwhelming for me. That said, it was really an honour to be on that end of such jubilation.”

Eisenberg said it was “wonderful” to be involved in something so highly anticipated and loved.

“That people are excited about it in that way is unheard of and thrilling,” he said.

“I’ve been on the receiving end of movies that no one loves and no one anticipates. That’s worse, even though it’s a much quieter press tour.”

“You’re also the villain in the movie. There’s like a WWF-style theatrics to it,” added Segel, laughing.

Eisenberg also saw the funny side, adding: “They expect me to use hyperbole! If I didn’t I’d be the hero who usually speaks pretty practically.”

In The End Of The Tour, Eisenberg plays David Lipsky, a journalist interviewing writer David Foster Wallace during the promotional tour for Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest. Segal plays Wallace.

“Yes I have never been on the other side, on your side of journalism. I have normally been the victim so I worked with the guy who I play, I play a real person, David Lipsky,” Eisenberg said.

“I interviewed him. He taught me how to interview and what his process is like and now I understand the pariahs that you guys are.”

Eisenberg said that he was referring to his journalist character in that moment.

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