My secret life: Jesse Eisenberg, Actor

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The Independent Online

My parents were...

My father is a college professor and my mother teaches cultural sensitivity in hospitals – how young doctors should be sensitive to a diverse group of patients. It's a very new thing.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was in Queens, an urban area outside New York City, and then in New Jersey, and I finished high school in New York City proper.

When I was a child I wanted to ... I either wanted to be an astronaut or a banana. Now I'm an actor so I can probably be both of those things at some point. I was also just eager to become an adult – I felt powerless as a child.

If I could change one thing aboutmyself ... I would change my socks.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... It's the reverse: I've been seen in very public places [being very good at] doing things that I have no idea how to do. I finished a movie last night, playing a prodigy pianist, and I don't play the piano. Last year I created a website, and I don't know how to type with my left hand.

You wouldn't know it but I'm no goodat ... I'm no good at really anything that involves motor skills.

At night I dream of ... Mostly falling off things. I think it's because the bed is too high off the ground, I should adjust it.

I wish I'd never worn ... I used to wear, on a daily basis, entirely purple sweat pants and top, in order to eschew gender norms.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... Usually the murderer standing behind me.

My favourite item of clothing ... I steal clothes from movie sets – whatever the last thing I had to wear, I carry on wearing. It's a strange thing to put on the same clothes every day for several months, you inevitably get really comfortable in that.

I drive/ride ... A bicycle, every day, all over.

It's not fashionable but I like ... All of my pleasures are guilty, but that's just the way I'm wired...

My house is ... Run by cats – when you have cats, you can't own anything nice.

A book that changed me ... Maybe Huck Finn, I really loved that one.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... I don't really do that, though for this movie I was playing a pianist, so I downloaded all this Chopin and Steve Reich.

Movie heaven ... I don't watch movies.

My secret crush is ... In the spirit of the question, I guess we'll keep it secret.

My real-life villains ... I ride a bicycle so maybe some kind of erratic driver with no rear-view mirror.

The person who really makes me laugh ... Ricky Gervais, your home-town hero. That [David Brent] was the greatest character ever, in The Office.

The last time I cried ... Yesterday. I cry daily any time I see my body naked in its entirety – usually when I'm in a shower.

My five-year plan ... I have to finish college. I had a goal of doing a play I wrote, and I'm doing that this year. I got nominated for an Academy Award and lost, and people who lose get to go to space, so I want to go to space. And I've got some benevolent dictatorship work I've got to do.

What's the point? I don't know. Mother Teresa was asked what was the meaning of life, and she said to help other people, and I thought: "What a strange thing to say" – but maybe it's the right thing to say.

My life in six words ... I usually describe it in seven.

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