Jesse Eisenberg has actually played a range of fringy incels throughout his acting profession: a separated daddy (Fleishman remains in Trouble), a kid of a separated daddy (The Squid and the Whale), a post-apocalyptic hypochondriac (Zombieland), Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network), and Lex Luther (Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice). Now he’s playing what seems Joe Rogan’s target market as a libertarian member of a hazardous masculinity cult in John Trengove’s Manodrome.
Eisenberg spoke with THR about what at first drew him to the function:
“Probably like a lot of people, I’m fascinated by the growing fringe and not-so-fringe movement of embracing masculinity in this strange and dangerous way, which is obviously a backlash to the progress we’ve made… It started a few years before, when I was doing this movie The Art of Self-Defense, which is like an absurdist comic take on dangerous notions of masculinity. And I just became really fascinated by these fringe-y movements, which are becoming more mainstream. And then doing this movie, which takes a very serious, very dark, almost fever dream dissection of this culture, I became more interested in the darker sides of it.”
In addition to his fascination with the violent incel motion which started emerging out of Trump- period America, part of getting ready for function implied getting seriously enthusiast:
“What I actually spent most of my time doing in preparation for this movie was just spending time at the gym, because I’m so naturally thin that to get to a point where I could play someone who was in the gym every day was a really big hurdle. So I spent hours in the gym and eating, and for months, because the movie was going to get made two years before it did. So I was preparing in the gym every day, and then it would get pushed six months, but I couldn’t exactly stop.”
Eisenberg stated requiring himself to exercise fanatically highlighted the sensations of insufficiency his character Ralphie specifies his life by:
“It consumed my life for such a long time. And it gets you into this mode, for me, of having these unreachable goals. So in some way, it overlapped with what my character was dealing with, which is just this deep personal shame, well of insecurity and self-hate. Just spending all that time at the gym and feeling like my goals are ever further receding into the distance.”
He presumed regarding even taking mirror selfies:
“I did it for this movie. I had a wonderful trainer – Colin Campbell, and he asked me early on to flex in the mirror and take a picture. But I was so nauseated by the idea I couldn’t do it for months and months.”
Manodrome Is About ‘a Family of Men’
The movie, which premiered Saturday at the Berlin Film Festival, is directed by John Trengove, who explained his movie thusly:
“It really became this idea of a character who just immerses himself in a world of men. And that blurs the lines between camaraderie and sexuality. And it all kind of leads to a sort of madness, a kind of a fever dream.”
Trengove, who recognizes as a gay male, associated the queer idea of picked household to the movie’s concentrate on a group which highly looks like the infamously homophobic alt-right Proud Boys gang in a current Deadline interview:
“Is it important to me? I don’t know. It’s very much my perspective as a gay man that gave rise to my interest in the idea of the performance of masculinity. There’s something inherently camp in the idea of bodybuilding and of putting on a show and a front, that idea of something that doesn’t really exist. And then, there is the schism between that and the sort of soft child that sits behind that mask. And as I said at the start, there is a kind of queering of these radicalized men’s groups. It’s something that’s me, that’s my starting point, my interest. It remains to be seen whether Manodrome is actually a Queer film. I’m not sure that it’s necessarily going to be embraced by Queer cinema. But for me, that’s the starting point of thinking about it and the reason for doing it for sure.”
Adrien Brody likewise stars in the movie as incel cultleader Dad Dan, who leads Eisenberg’s Ralphie character down a monastic course to increased male hostility.