Actor Jesse Eisenberg pays visit to IU sorority

Jesse Eisenberg

He may play the villain in the upcoming "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice" film, but actor Jesse Eisenberg is a hero in Bloomington.  He is supporting his friend's domestic violence organization called Middle Way House.

"I realized how much their able to achieve and how efficient they are where every dollar goes to some incredible program," said Eisenberg.  "It seems hard to avoid reading about domestic violence these days and sexual assault on college campuses."

Eisenberg, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network", helped launch an online fundraising campaign called "I'm with Jesse" in hopes of raising money for Middle Way House.

"It seemed like the perfect opportunity to use my public persona which I often feel ambivalent about or uncomfortable with, for something I don't feel ambivalent about and something I feel very comfortable with, which is helping Middle Way House and to stop domestic violence," said Eisenberg.  "It's important for people to know there is help.  There are avenues of support."

Wednesday, the actor made a surprise visit to Alpha Chi Omega.  The IU sorority raised $7,000 for Middle Way House by hosting a philanthropic event. 

Eisenberg thanked the women during a surprise tour of the IU sorority.

"It's amazing.  We had no idea he was coming. Everyone's upstairs.  Girls are walking out in towels. Oh, my God!  Who is this?  What's going on?  He's probably thinking, 'What's going on?' It was amazing for him to come here and do this all for us," said Kate Harbinson with Alpha Chi Omega.

"It's been great to see, I'm going to sound old now, the young people, like my grandmother, getting interested and engaged with such a wonderful organization that is just steps from their university," said Eisenberg.

Eisenberg is passionate about Middle Way House and his new movie which hits theatres March 25th.

"The movie, Batman v Superman is truly wonderful.  It's creative. Very sophisticated.  It's spin on the comic book movie.  I think my character in particular is so phenomenal.  He's a guy whose obviously evil, that's part of the cannon, what we know about him.  He's really clever and charming and all these things we don't associate with evil," said Eisenberg.

While most fans will be rooting for Batman or Superman, Eisenberg admits few kids will root for his character, Lex Luther.

"I can imagine nobody - unless they're very confused - would want to be my character.  But, as an actor, it's the most fortunate character to get to play. Because the villain is always the most fun," said Eisenberg.

Off camera, I found Eisenberg to be friendly, smart and funny though he seems uncomfortable with his celebrity status.

"I spent the first half of my life being ignored by young women and I've spent the last few years - by virtue of being in movies - getting attention - both are really uncomfortable," said Eisenberg. 

Eisenberg is hopeful to help Middle Way House raise $500,000 to pay off its mortgage so the organization can focus entirely on helping the women and children it serves.

To learn more about Middle Way House and the fundraising campaign, click here.

Middle Way House