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The Good Guys
Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari lead the way as a pair of former best friends who have to put aside their epic falling out in order to rob a bank.

"Nick is a pizza delivery guy who dropped out of college a few years back and now feels a bit stuck,” says Eisenberg, describing his character. "It takes a bomb getting strapped on him to light a fire under him, so to speak.”

"The movie has an interesting plot and a clever premise, but what really sets it apart are the characters,” says Eisenberg. "When I look for a project, that is the most relevant thing to me – the concept is less important than the characters. The story is told through the characters' perspectives, and there was a lot for the actors to do. The great premise is almost a bonus.”

For that reason, Eisenberg says, he was happy to have the opportunity to reteam with his Zombieland director. "Ruben puts an emphasis on caring about the characters even when they're doing something despicable,” he says. "He always accounts for the emotional experience of the character, even if a scene is supposed to be an action scene or comedic, and that maintains an honesty for the characters, even set against the backdrop of a very broad movie. That's the common thread between this movie and Zombieland – Ruben never compromises character.

"Jesse is really, really funny, but he's also an amazing actor – he can add to the gravity of the situation, walking a fine line between showing his fear but also allowing the comedy to play,” says Fleischer.

That focus on character was an important factor in the development of the screenplay. Sometimes, it came down to the cast and filmmakers asking themselves what they would do if they had a bomb strapped to their chest. And sometimes, the answer that came back was to search Wikipedia for a hint in how to defuse it. "The movie is comedic, but there's also a scary driving force behind it – the incredible fear you'd have if there was a bomb strapped to you,” Eisenberg explains. "As we were thinking about it, the little things that came out were absurd, the things you would search on the internet as you tried to find a way out of the mess. It's so specific that it's comedic, but it's also real at the same time.”

Eisenberg was especially gratified to be buddied up with Aziz Ansari, who plays Nick's estranged best friend, Chet. "Aziz has a steady stream of funny ideas, but he's also a good judge of what will and will not work. When you're filming the scene and you're in the moment, it can be hard to determine if something's funny or if it goes too far. But Aziz is thinking about that stuff all the time.”

"Chet lives in a small town in Michigan and teaches at a junior high school, but he's almost as stuck as Nick is,” says Ansari of his character. "He doesn't have too much going on – no girlfriend or anything like that. He just sits around with Nick, and teaches his class. Robbing a bank gives him a second look at how he's living his life – if he can do that, he can do anything.”

Ansari takes on his first feature film starring role after rising to fame for his critically praised performance on the NBC hit "Parks and Recreation.” Ansari was lured to the role by the character, Chet. "Not only was the script really funny – and I would get to rob a bank, which is actually a dream of mine – but the character I play has a real arc, and I thought it would be fun to play him. Plus, I was promised there would be Skittles at craft service and I could eat as many as I wanted.”

"Jesse is an actor I really look up to,” Ansari continues. "Watching him and his process, I felt lucky to be working with someone who is clearly one of the most respected young actors out there.”

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