Not interested in following in the footsteps of fellow Disney champions Zac Efron or the Jonas Brothers, the lead in Adventureland says what he really wants to do is become a humble playwright.
The 25-year-old actor who found fame in Noah Baumbach's indie classic The Squid And The Whale and is now acting alongside Twilight star Kristen Stewart in Disney's latest film, calmly outlines his life plan, when I meet him at a hotel suite in Edinburgh.
"I'm interested in fame insofar as it can help me do what I want to do. I want to be a playwright in New York."
Not what you expect to come out of the mouth of a man currently starring in a twee coming-of-age tale set in eighties America.
"It's very hard to be a playwright, it's very competitive, and yet if you're in movies - regardless of what the movies are about - people are more apt to produce your stuff, even if it's bad."
Jesse says he has had "some moderate success" as a writer so far, mainly because of the contacts he has made during his acting career, but before he puts his full weight behind it, he has an anthropology degree to finish.
"I'm a full-time college student now so I don't have much time to do anything else. I end up spending most of my time at home just doing homework, it's boring," he explains.
His studies give him something in common with his Adventureland character James, whose heart is set on going to university in New York.
When his parents break the news that they can't afford to send him to university any more, James resigns himself to a dead-end job at a theme park and an even bleaker future.
Luckily for him, the park is staffed by an array of interesting characters including stunning and studious Em, played by Kristen, and smooth-talking mechanic Connell, played by Ryan Reynolds. As with many coming-of-age stories, the summer just happens to turn out to be the best one of James' life.
So what makes it different to any other coming-of-age rom-com?
Jesse is keen to tell.
"It's unique. Totally," he enthuses.
"It takes its characters very seriously, the characters take themselves very seriously and it's told in a very authentic way. It doesn't pander to lowbrow comic sensibilities and it's a very sweet story."
One reason for its authenticity could be the fact that James' character is based on the film's writer and producer Greg Mottola - something which worked to Jesse's advantage while making the film.
"Besides the script being so wonderfully written and very personal, it was great being on set with the guy it was based on," he says.
"We could talk about all his experiences and it created a personal atmosphere."
The cast were also able to hunker down and work in peace given that it was filmed before Kristen found fame - and mass hysteria - with the vampire film Twilight and its ensuing franchise.
"We didn't know anything about it at the time," Jesse says - adding quickly: "Not that it would have changed anything but I knew right away she would be either famous or successful. She's just amazing, she's a great actress and unique, there are very few young actresses like her: very serious and also very funny."
Predictably their two characters meet and fall for each other although, not-so-predictably, there are other characters on the scene to tempt them away from the course of true love.
Connell, played by Scarlett Johansson's husband Ryan, is one of them and Jesse says the actor's natural charm added an extra dimension to the part.
"He's the coolest guy at the park but he's lying about most of his life and he's actually this miserable guy who's stuck in this job that he hates.
"Ryan was not like that because Ryan is married to one of the most famous women in the movies, he's charming and smart, which is great for his character because you can buy into this myth of him and when he unravels you realise you've been duped a bit," he says.
Again, the film was made before a ring was on Ryan's finger and Jesse seems relieved not to have encountered blonde bombshell Scarlett on set.
"I didn't know he was dating Scarlett Johansson at the time and she never came to the set but that's a good thing because I probably would have said something stupid," he says coyly.
With his bashful charm and soft voice which occasionally falters and stutters, Jesse is not unlike both The Squid And The Whale's Walt or Adventureland's James.
I joke that he should consider playing a mass murderer to break the stereotype.
"I did a play last year, actually, and I played the bully in town," he offers.
"It was fun to do. As an actor people tend to send you scripts with parts which you've been successful with. If a movie has a lot of exposure then they'll basically send you the same part and if the parts are good they're fun to do, if the scripts are terrible then it's just miserable."
But Jesse's latest part is also a great vehicle for his sense of the absurd, which comes across several times during the interview.
When I ask if he gets any fan mail, he fires back with: "What I do get all comes from Austria and it's all men in tight shirts sending me pictures of them in front of a waterfall. I usually send it to the police."
Similarly, talking about keeping in touch with co-star Kristen he says: "I'm not allowed to speak to Kristen now because of a restraining order since the Twilight movies came out. I'm one of the mad fans and have a website about her."
In contrast, he looks physically pained when I ask him if his girlfriend is still working in the charity sector.
"How do you know that?" he exclaims. "How awful! She hates being mentioned."
Softly-spoken, immensely private and with a good understanding of the absurdities of life. If Hollywood isn't Jesse's next stop, then a writer's den somewhere round the back of Broadway certainly is.
Extra time - Jesse Eisenberg
Jesse started acting aged 13, in a Broadway performance of Tennessee Williams's Summer And Smoke.
Aged 15 he starred alongside Anne Hathaway in TV comedy Get Real.
Talent runs in his family: His little sister Hallie Kate Eisenberg appeared in series of Pepsi adverts and with Al Pacino in The Insider.
Jesse also got to star with Oscar-winning Pacino, in another Broadway play. But Jesse said Pacino tried to warn him off acting. "Every time he started to give advice, he said that's the worst thing I could do," Jesse has said previously.