Columbus is the main protagonist and narrator of Zombieland. He has is portrayed as nerdy and cautious, although he also shows enough skill to survive in Zombieland. He shows the most emotion of the four main characters and is often the peacekeeper of the group. Like all of the main characters, he gets his alias from a city in the US (Columbus, Wichita, Little Rock, and Tallahassee).
He is played by later-Academy Award-nominee Jesse Eisenberg, who was probably cast for the role due to the actor's familiarity with the comedy genre due to participating the film Adventureland and the horror genre early in his film career due to being in the films The Village and Cursed.
From his flashback, Columbus seems to have no social life. He seemed well-versed with meanless trivia related to food products and games. However, he is quite clever, knowing how to make a situation work for him; he'll slyly interrogate someone or trick them. Surviving through Zombieland, Columbus' courage hasn't increased much, but only when Krista came into the picture does he find the strength to Be a Hero, ignoring his own safety rules. He is quite shy about revealing his feelings, often ending up embarassed when it comes to Wichita. Refering to his cleverness again, Columbus has lasted longer than any of the other people surviving Zombieland thanks to observations and good deductions.
Despite his shut-in nature, Columbus appears to be very physically fit, being able to run much faster than the zombies he encounters. He also possesses some degree of intellect, having graduated high school and attended college, along with writing his rules for the zombie apocalypse. He acquires a double barrelled shotgun at one point, and learns how to load and fire it quite well. While under stress, however, some of his shots fall short of the mark. While he is not shown to be as espescially skilled in melee combat as Tallahassee, he can at least hold his own against a zombie, as shown in the start of the film with his encounter with 406.
Life Before the Apocalypse Edit
Colombus says he never had a real family or friends before the Zombie Apocalypse. He said in 1997 he went to Prom but never got a dance because it was girl's choice. One Friday night while in his apartment playing World of Warcraft, he is visited by his attractive neighbor (known only as 406), who was approached by a homeless person (not knowing he was a zombie) who tried to attack her. She goes to his apartment for closure and sleeps there. Columbus is woken up by a snarling sound which turns out to be 406, who has transformed into a zombie. After a short chase scene around the house he finally kills her by hitting her with the toilet tank cover. After this, he fled from the city, acquiring a double barrelled shotgun along the way, and starts making a quest across the nation to see his parents in Ohio, even though he never had a very close relationship with them.
Zombie Apocalypse Edit
Columbus says the only reason he survived the Zombie Apocolypse was that he followed his Rules, which enabled him to survive for two months while making his way across the country. One evening at a gas station, while traveling to Columbus to find his family, he encounters a trio of zombies. After killing two of them following a brief chase, he gets away from the zombies by driving away in his car. While traveling across the country, he meets up with another survivor who goes by the name Tallahassee, and they decide to work together to get to their destinations. After raiding a few stores and killing some zombies, they meet two girls: Wichita(AKA Krista) and her younger sister Little Rock. After getting conned by them multiple times and finding some heavy weapons, all four of them agree to work together, realizing they are all each other have in Zombieland. They eventually arrive in LA on their way to Pacific Playland, and take shelter in Bill Murray's mansion, who amuses himself (as well as Tallahassee and Witchita) by scaring people by dressing as a zombie. Unfortunately for him, Columbus mistakes him for a real zombie and shoots him in the chest, killing him. The following night, he bonds with Witchita, and almost kisses her until Tallahassee interrupts. The next day, Witchita and Little Rock leave in their car to go to Pacific Playland, eventually stranding themselves there with zombies all around them. Columbus proceeds to go rescue them (with help from Tallahassee), and drives off with them into the distance, having had formed strong new bonds with his three new friends.
Some fans speculate that Columbus's real name actually is Columbus. His name could be the name of a place, and also his own name. Columbus is a real name for a person (unlike Little Rock, for instance), and Ohio could just be a somewhat odd last name. He has numerous oppourtunities in the film to reveal his own name, but he does not take advantage of these. Another indication of Columbus Ohio being his real name is heard at the end of the film, when he 'signs out'.