Jesse Eisenberg: Visiting my Polish cousin made me realize my privilege

A visit to Poland and an encounter with a second cousin who did not make it to America and survived the Holocaust changed his perspective on his identity and inspired him his play The Revisionist.

Cast member Jesse Eisenberg attends the premiere of "Zombieland: Double Tap" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 10, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL MCCARTEN)
Cast member Jesse Eisenberg attends the premiere of "Zombieland: Double Tap" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 10, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/PHIL MCCARTEN)
Hollywood star Jesse Eisenberg said that a visit to Poland and an encounter with a second cousin who did not make it to America and survived the Holocaust changed his perspective on his identity and inspired him his play The Revisionist.
Speaking to The Open Ears Project podcast, Eisenberg, who grew up in a secular Jewish family, said that he “just had this revelation juxtaposing my own kind of privilege in America and the lucky life I had compared to what she had gone through,” the Jewish Chronicle reported on Sunday.
“That’s probably very similar to a lot of American Jews in my generation, which is that you’re kind of too far removed to have some kind of like survivor’s guilt from the war, but it’s such a part of your history and if you choose to engage with it you’ll realize that you have a lot more engagement with it than you expected,” he added.
The play, which tells the story of a young American Jew who visits an elderly cousin in Poland, premiered off-Broadway in 2013.
Eisenberg won an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Social Network in 2009, impersonating Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.