Q: Watching Jesse Eisenberg do all of those crazy action and fighting scenes was extraordinary. Were these scenes a big change for Jesse?
Nima: Jesse isn’t the typical action hero which made this role played by him even more exciting. It was wonderful to see Jesse adapting to his role that fast and make it his own. He was very open about everything, even the fighting choreography. For me it was important to show the strength of Jesse’s character in a realistic way which looked authentic. Jesse did a really good job and same can be said about Kristen. Both of them were devoted to the project and worked hard.
Q: Were Kristen and Jesse your first choice for the roles of Phoebe and Mike?
Nima: Yes. The first time Max and l met up to talk about 'American Ultra' we talked about Jesse being the perfect actor to play the part of Mike. He immediately accepted the part so we began to think about the perfect actress to play Phoebe. In the beginning there was a lot going back and forth until Jesse suggested Kristen. I had already talked with Kristen about another project and thought she was the perfect actress for the lead part. Just like Jesse, Kristen was on board immediately. Jesse and Kristen got along very well and so shooting was wonderful.
Translation thanks to @allkindsof_RK, scans/via thanks to @KStewartDailyWW