In this video created by Funny or Die, actors Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Zombieland) and Kristen Stewart (The Twilight Saga) interview one another as a promotion for their 2015 film American Ultra. Quickly, it becomes apparent that the questions posed to Jesse reflect what is commonly asked to actresses—such as personal and probing questions about the body, romantic and sexual relationships, and clothing –while those asked of Kristen are more commonly asked to actors– personal interest questions such as favorite sports teams or what the actor was like in high school. This piece takes a comedic and uncomfortable look at the inequitable way men and women are interviewed and reported on by celebrity news through its use of contrasting questions such as “Who is your favorite sports team?” vs. “Are you pregnant?” with the intention of drawing public attention to the disparities.
Jesse made a comment that the questions the interviewer had for Kristen were “easier.” What do you think? What constitutes an “easy” question versus a hard one? What about more generally—do you think men get “easier” interview questions than women? In what contexts?
How does this kind of difference in questioning play out in professional sports reporting?
Throughout the piece, Jesse maintained a level of surprise at the sorts of questions Kristen is normally asked. Do you think that men watching this video would have trouble understanding the frequency and effects these kind of objectifying and prying questions have? Why or why not?
The video ends with Jesse saying, “now I know what it’s like to be a woman.” Do you think he really understands? What are the potential dangers of making such sweeping generalizations based off of one experience?