The Memorial Union was crowded with excited fans on Friday night as students tried to get seats to see actor Jesse Eisenberg and comedian Ismo Leikola at the first ISU AfterDark event of the semester.
Kipp Van Dyke, assistant dean and director of student assistance, welcomed Eisenberg to the stage with the help of the audience’s cheers and applause.
In order to break the ice right away, Van Dyke asked Eisenberg a series of rapid-fire questions. Very serious questions, such as Eisenberg’s preference of either pancakes or waffles, and Cyclones or Hawkeyes were asked. Eisenberg gladly gave his answers of waffles and the Cyclones, respectively.
Van Dyke started off the Q&A by going back to the beginning of Eisenberg’s career, asking him how he got started in acting.
“I did children’s theatre,” Eisenberg said. “Local theatre was an outlet for me.”
Throughout his interview, Eisenberg gave multiple pieces of advice to prospective actors and actresses in the audience.
“I won the lottery 16 times to get into movies,” Eisenberg said. “But if you like it, go for it.”
The audience applauded Eisenberg for his brutally honest yet encouraging advice.
Van Dyke went on to ask Eisenberg what he does in the actor’s spare time.
“I do a million other things to keep sane,” Eisenberg said. “Everyday I’m not working, I go to the library and write.”
Van Dyke went on to ask Eisenberg what it has been like to work with Woody Harrelson so many times, including “Zombieland” and “Zombieland: Double Tap.”
“He’s a very social person,” Eisenberg said. “I’m a recluse, so he gets me out of my shell.”
When wrapping up the interview, Van Dyke asked Eisenberg if there was any information he could tell about any of his upcoming projects.
“‘Vivarium,’ they just put the trailer out,” Eisenberg said. “It’s like an art film version of ‘Black Mirror.' Go see it. Or don’t.”
Eisenberg left the stage to applause and standing ovations from the audience.
“My favorite part was seeing how similar Jesse is to the characters he plays in his movies,” said Briasia Bell, junior in political science.
Preceding Eisenberg was Ismo Leikola, a Finnish stand-up comedian.
After a warm greeting of applause from the crowd, Leikola dove right in to his act.
Leikola talked a lot about the many double standards in the English language.
“Having shit to do can mean taxes or cocaine,” Leikola said. “It can mean anything.”
Waves of laughter erupted from the audience as Leikola talked more about the confusing double standards of English as well as common stereotypes in America.
“I know what I’m going to write on my headstone,” Leikola said. “‘I literally died.' That will be the only time ‘literally’ is ever used correctly.”
Ismo made immediate connections with the audience that held strong throughout his entire act.
“The word ‘ass’ is so confusing,” Leikola said, bringing out laughter from the audience. “If you’re a pain in the ass, you’re bad. But if you’re a piece of ass, you’re beautiful.”
From making fun of himself to sports cars to horror movies, Leikola stayed relatable and funny throughout his entire act.