Jesse Eisenberg: ‘Asuncion’ inspired by ex-girlfriend

'The Social Network' actor with Camille Mana. Photo by Sandra Coudert

An off-Broadway production will feature a Filipina student as a pivotal character, and we don’t mean Sunshine Corazon.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater presents “Asuncion,” a play about a Filipina student who shares an apartment with two white male students. “The Social Network’s” Jesse Eisenberg debuts as a playwright. Rising star Camille Mana (“Smart People,” “College”) plays the title role. Kip Fagan directs.

“In ‘Asuncion,’ two sheltered young men are forced to confront their ignorance when a young Filipino woman becomes their new roommate. It is a biting commentary on contemporary college life,” said David Van Asselt, Rattlestick’s artistic director, in a statement.

Although the play is funny, Eisenberg said “Asuncion” is about lonely characters with deep feelings of alienation.

“We show Asuncion coming in and brightening up their day. It’s fun to watch how the two characters (Edgar and Vinny) interact with Asuncion,” he tells TheaterMania.

Actress and playwright have never met before this production, but somehow Mana’s reels found their way to Eisenberg when he was casting an Asian actress.

“She has a good comic sensibility,” said Eisenberg. “Camille taught me things about this role that I didn’t know. I based this role on a girl that I had a casual relationship with, and Camille helped me alter the script.”

“Asuncion” plays at the Cherry Lane Theatre at 38 Commerce Street, from October 27 to November 27.

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