Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel are arguably two of the most beloved actors of our time, and this summer, they're finally on the big screen together. The two men star in a new movie called The End of the Tour, which chronicles the days David Lipsky (Eisenberg) spent interviewing of David Foster Wallace (Segel) for Rolling Stone Magazine in 1996. You may already be familiar with Wallace and his writing, but watching the film, you'll likely be wondering, who is David Lipsky? His character, as played by Eisenberg, is hugely interesting, and yet little is said about his life or writing background.
It turns out that Lisky is actually not just a reporter, but is in fact a renowned author in his own right. Over the course of his career, the writer has published two non-fiction books, a novel, and several short stories. He has also had his journalism work featured in publications such as The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The New York Times, and of course, Rolling Stone. So even though he is represented as the less experienced writer in The End of The Tour, David Lipsky is clearly no newbie to the literary and journalism worlds. Here are five other things you should know about the author before going to see the new film.
1. He's An Award-Winning Author
Lipsky is the recipient of many awards and honors, beginning with the inclusion of his short story "Three Thousand Dollars" in the 1986 anthology of The Best American Short Stories. He won the National Magazine Award in 2009 for his piece on David Foster Wallace after the author's death a year earlier.
2. He's A New Yorker, Born And Raised
The author was born in New York City in 1965, and attended the prestigious NYC Stuyvesant High School. He still lives in the city today. Fun fact: Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Lipsky on-screen, was also born in New York!
3. The End of The Tour Was Based On His Book
After his trip with David Foster Wallace, Lipsky wrote a book about the experience called Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself. The book, which was incredibly well-received, was adapted by playwright David Margulies to become the script for The End of The Tour.
4. His Original Profile Of Wallace Wasn't Published As Planned
Although Lipsky had a wealth of material from his interviews with the Infinite Jest author, he was reassigned to another story before having a chance to write the Wallace piece for Rolling Stone. The profile remained unpublished until Wallace's tragic death, at which point the magazine reached out to Lipsky and asked him to report on the life and legacy of the admired writer. The resulting piece was published in Rolling Stone under the title "The Lost Years and Last Days of David Foster Wallace."
5. He Told Jesse Eisenberg That The Trip With Wallace Was Very Emotional
Eisenberg said that as he was preparing for his portrayal of Lipsky, he reached out to the author to ask about the significance of the Wallace interview in Lipsky's life. The actor told HitFix,"he confirmed for me and added that this was a really emotionally and dramatically profound experience."
Want to know more about David Lipsky? If you go see The End of The Tour, you can have confidence that you're getting an accurate character representation of the author, as much of the dialogue was taken verbatim from recordings of his conversations with Wallace. As for Jesse Eisenberg's curly mop of hair in the movie... well, let's blame that on poetic license.
Images: Getty Images (3), A24