Jesse Eisenberg has starred in The Social Network and Zombieland among other films

Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. Picture: Supplied
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network. Picture: Supplied

Although the Jesse Eisenberg "type" - a highly intelligent but gawky young man - seems to have become established, the actor has had a variety of interesting roles.

The Squid and the Whale: Writer-director Noah Baumbach's downbeat, occasionally funny film about a divorcing couple and their two sons featured Eisenberg as a teenager who falls in love during the messy process and who passes off a Pink Floyd song as his own.

The Emperor's Club: This was one of a number of moralistic prep-school films (Dead Poets Society, Scent of a Woman, School Ties) that launched notable young actors' careers. Emile Hirsch was the lead student opposite Kevin Kline but Eisenberg, one of the supporting cast, has become more prominent.

The Social Network: Eisenberg attained true star status with his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a socially awkward, arrogant genius. How accurate this David Fincher-directed film is as an account of the founding of the company can be debated but its excellent cast and snappy Aaron Sorkin script make it very rewatchable.

Adventureland: In this evocative '80s-set coming-of-age story, Eisenberg plays a college graduate who takes a summer job at an amusement park where he learns some life lessons and falls in love.

Zombieland: During the zombie apocalypse, nerdy young Columbus (Eisenberg) teams up with an older man and two sisters to survive in this fun horror comedy, followed by a sequel.

Now You See Me: In this highly entertaining heist film, Eisenberg plays one of The Four Horsemen, a team of illusionists who also perform daring heists. Followed by a sequel.

Rio: Eisenberg voices Blu, a domesticated macaw who thinks he's the last of his kind until he meets Jewel (Anne Hathaway) in this fun animated adventure film. Followed by a sequel.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Eisenberg shaved his head for his motormouthed portrayal of evil genius Lex Luthor in this dark DC Comics adaptation that starred Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in the title roles.

This story Jesse's roles: from bad guy to bird first appeared on The Canberra Times.