It's no secret: Jesse Eisenberg isn't a big fan of doing interviews.
While promoting "The Social Network" last fall, the 27-year-old Oscar nominee was open about the fact that being on the award circuit -- where one is required to talk often about him or herself -- made him uncomfortable.
But after a few months off, the red-carpet averse star was begrudgingly back in the spotlight Monday night in Hollywood at the premiere of his new film, "30 Minutes or Less."
"I requested a black carpet," Eisenberg joked, adding that since award season he has "been practicing" his media skills. "I've laid out a carpet in my apartment and just had my girlfriend pepper me with questions and I would try to deflect them."
After such a serious turn as Mark Zuckerberg in the Facebook movie, Eisenberg may surprise audiences with "30 Minutes," a dark comedy in which he plays a pizza delivery guy who is kidnapped, strapped with a bomb and forced to rob a bank. But he said the specificity of that situation provided him with "a lot of stuff to do" as an actor, even though the movie "plays generally as a comedy."
He even got Method, hanging out with an actual pizza-delivery dude.
"You wanna do as much as you can so by the time you show up on set and there's big lights set up that you feel prepared," he said.
Costar Aziz Ansari said that having a cast made up of so many comedians -- including Danny McBride and Nick Swardson -- made for a fun environment on-set, where everyone was improvising left and right.
"Everyone was comfortable with doing that kind of stuff, and we had a great script, also," Ansari said. "Ruben [Fleischer, the director] was very encouraging if we had any ideas to bring them to the table -- and a lot of that stuff is in the movie for sure."
"30 Minutes or Less" opens Friday.
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: "30 Minutes or Less" actors Bianca Kajlich, left, Nick Swardson, Aziz Ansari, Jesse Eisenberg, Dilshad Vadsaria and Michael Peña outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Aug. 8, 2011. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.