If you have trouble keeping Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera apart, you're definitely not alone. Both young actors have a wide-eyed yet somewhat underplayed awkwardness that probably has them competing for many of the same roles.
And... well, they also kind of look and sound alike.
In an attempt to distinguish them from each other once and for all, here we'll compare them in several categories. May the best charmingly-awkward gentleman win.
Just to clarify before we get started: Jesse Eisenberg is the guy in "The Social Network" and Michael Cera is the guy in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." As that probably didn't help at all, let's go deeper...
Cera: Nervous, put-upon nebbish whose typical every-day activities -- waking up, getting dressed and interacting with the rest of the planet -- are somehow rendered as insurmountable challenges
Eisenberg: Nervous, put-upon nebbish whose typical every-day activities -- waking up, getting dressed and interacting with the rest of the planet -- are somehow rendered as insurmountable challenges
Winner: Uh... tie?
Cera: Canadian; parents worked for Xerox
Eisenberg: Born and raised New Yorkers; mom was a clown
Winner: Eisenberg. Because if he didn't win, his mom would murder us. Clowns do that. In the dark.
Early Acting Gigs
Cera: Poked the Pillsbury Doughboy in the tummy in a TV commercial
Eisenberg: Appeared on Broadway in Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke"
Winner: Cera. Obviously.
Notable Television Credits
Cera: A recurring character on "Arrested Development"
Eisenberg: A few episodes of "Get Real" (remember that?)
Winner: Cera. George-Michael Bluth rules.
Internet Reference in Movie Title
Cera: "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"
Eisenberg: "The Social Network"
Winner: Eisenberg. Both have great music, though.
Movies With "Land" in the Title
Eisenberg: "Zombieland" and "Adventureland"
Winner: Eisenberg. (Note: This category is rather silly and probably completely unnecessary -- as opposed to the others in this feature, which are obviously valid and essential.)
Biggest Embarrassment on Resume
Cera: "Extreme Movie"
Winner: Cera. Meaning the little-seen comedy "Extreme Movie" was less worse than the Wes Craven misfire "Cursed." Twist: Eisenberg was also in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village."
Three Hottest Co-Stars
Cera: Kat Dennings ("Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"); Portia Doubleday ("Youth in Revolt"); Mary Elizabeth Winstead ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The World")
Eisenberg: Kristen Stewart ("Adventureland"); Rooney Mara ("The Social Network"); Emma Stone ("Zombieland")
Winner: Have to go with Eisenberg on this one. K-Stew, by default, takes you that extra mile.
Cool Indie Cred
Eisenberg: "The Squid and the Whale"
Winner: A tie. Both films are equally precious, precocious and twee as only indie films can be.
Cera: The World, in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"
Eisenberg: The Undead, in "Zombieland"
Winner: Cera. Though everyone appreciates a good zombie-slayer, The World itself is a daunting opponent indeed.
Historical Figures on the Resume
Cera: Alexander Hamilton, in an episode of Funny or Die's "Drunk History"
Eisenberg: Mark Zuckerberg, boy wonder behind Facebook, in "The Social Network"
Winner: Whoa. This might actually be a tie. Playing the youngest billionaire in history is definitely something. But Alexander Hamilton, the guy who helped to develop technology that would later make Facebook possible? Don't put the chicken before the egg. Or something.
Results: A tie, with 4 for Eisenberg, 4 for Cera and 3 ties. Which proves that they might very well be the same person after all. Ah well, we tried…