Oh, Mila Kunis, what have you wrought? Back in March, one of the stars of "Oz the Great and Powerful" had a delightful, off-the-cuff interview at a press junket with a rookie, starstruck BBC Radio 1 interviewer -- and it went viral. But a new press junket interview has recently surfaced between Jesse Eisenberg and an interviewer named Romina Puga, and the results are considerably more schticky and cloying.
Puga does a web series for Univision called "Say My Name," and part of her gimmick is that her interview subject says her name for the camera. Not deep, but all right. The thing is, not every interviewee is happy to play along and Eisenberg -- who sat down with her to promote his film "Now You See It" was a little less than cooperative.
In the self-edited video of the exchange (in which interactions have clearly been cut down and re-ordered), Eisenberg alternates between appearing tolerant, irritated and flirty -- though he's clearly trying to stay somewhat professional despite being asked to laugh at a "separated finger" magic trick, then show off a card trick for an interviewer who may or may not have actually written questions on her hand. At no point are they actually discussing the movie (though arguably it is about magicians, so card tricks make some sense).
In the course of their discussion, Eisenberg calls her the "Carrot Top of interviewers," noting that she relies on props. She doesn't take kindly to it. "OK, I'm going to cry now," she says with a smile on her face.
"No, don't cry now, cry after the interview is over. 'Cause otherwise it'll look like I'm responsible," he says.
"Well, you are."
Things go downhill from there; she saves the "say my name" query for the very end, and when he's reluctant to do more than just literally speak "Romina," she gives him some direction: "You're trying to find me in a crowded place."
"I would never hear that."
"The thing is, I didn't really want to find you, I was hoping to stay alone."
Which leads to this natural climax, wherein Puga says -- smile still intact -- "You're such a jerk."
So who was the real jerk -- Eisenberg, for not playing along, or Puga, for insisting that he be quirky on command? Puga clearly feels offended; as she wrote on her Tumblr blog, "I was just humiliated by Jesse Eisenberg," and calls the five-minute interview (less than three minutes make it to the video) "self-esteem butchering." Yet even after the interview was done she wasn't so humiliated that she had to flee the premises, and sought out Eisenberg for a little chat: "I peaked (sic) around the curtain to ask Jesse about his neighborhood in New York ... and he immediately says, 'You're still here?'"
"I finally walked away," she wrote.
Undoubtedly, all parties were relieved. Check out the video for the edited interview.