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Jesse Eisenberg on his "psychologically realistic" and "multifaceted" Luthor

02.12.2016

One of Superman's most infamous foes will be returning in the upcoming BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, only this time, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) will have to use that famous intellect to juggle not one but two of DC's biggest heroes. Jesse Eisenberg's casting as Lex Luthor led to a lot of mixed feelings from the fan community, but based on what we've seen and heard I'm actually quite looking forward to seeing what Eisenberg can do with the role. The actor spoke with Playboy recently and discussed just what's going on in Luthor's mind.

The character is in line with what audiences want to see now, which is a more modern, psychologically realistic concept of Lex Luthor. His motivations are multifaceted; he has a way of using language that’s specific to the way his mind works; he struggles with interesting philosophical dilemmas like that of the individual having too much power, even if that individual is using that power for good. For instance, Superman has so far been using his powers to do some good, but is it safe to have someone like that walking the streets? It’s great that all of this happens in the context of a very exciting superhero movie.

Jesse Eisenberg went on to say that Lex reminded him of "one of those characters in old Greek theater who very explicitly state the philosophical dilemma at hand and put it in a way that feels in line with that character’s interests and voice" and that he's having a lot of fun with the role as he "can be as funny as I want to be in the context of my character behaving poorly, and I can be as sad as I want because the character’s also going through real internal conflict." It's not all about being an over-the-top villain however, Eisenberg is also really enjoying working with Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck:

They’re both very smart, funny people. They were wonderful to work with because we were all sort of adjusting things to make the scenes as good as they could be. Henry has already played Superman in another movie so he has such a strong idea of his character. That was fun for me because I could play with that. Ben Affleck is also very sharp. Doing this was a lot of fun because the three of us like to improvise, changing dialogue and all. But it was also strange for me: I have a lot of respect for both of them and yet my character mocks them both a lot in the movie. But that was just the nature of the thing.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE will be released on March 25, 2016.

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Source: Playboy

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8:33AM on 02/15/2016
I'm expecting some significant character evolution for the main players in this film. Superman will define his role and responsibilities, Batman will come back from the brink somewhat and Luthor will shift from the public persona of the slightly wacky billionaire genius into something darker and with defined purpose. Just theories of course, but that seems like the route they might be going with this film. If so, the Luthor we end up with will be more in line with what's expected than what
I'm expecting some significant character evolution for the main players in this film. Superman will define his role and responsibilities, Batman will come back from the brink somewhat and Luthor will shift from the public persona of the slightly wacky billionaire genius into something darker and with defined purpose. Just theories of course, but that seems like the route they might be going with this film. If so, the Luthor we end up with will be more in line with what's expected than what we've seen in the trailers.
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12:06AM on 02/15/2016

Nope

From what we've seen Luthor looks awful. Whiny over played lines. Does Snyder know the tone he wants? One minute dark and brooding, the next over the top campy and delivery of lines such as from Eisenberg. This looks a right mess.
From what we've seen Luthor looks awful. Whiny over played lines. Does Snyder know the tone he wants? One minute dark and brooding, the next over the top campy and delivery of lines such as from Eisenberg. This looks a right mess.
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11:16PM on 02/14/2016
I'm sure the Director told Eisenberg to just play himself with a little bit of his Social Network style. I'm still not feeling the casting for that role.
I'm sure the Director told Eisenberg to just play himself with a little bit of his Social Network style. I'm still not feeling the casting for that role.
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11:58AM on 02/14/2016
The trailers so far have played up a fairly cheesy villainous turn by Eisenberg. But I'm a fan of the actor, and the "Three little syllables..." line is actually pretty cool. Soon the world will know Eisenberg's Luthor, and if they like him or not. Hopefully the character works.
The trailers so far have played up a fairly cheesy villainous turn by Eisenberg. But I'm a fan of the actor, and the "Three little syllables..." line is actually pretty cool. Soon the world will know Eisenberg's Luthor, and if they like him or not. Hopefully the character works.
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2:29AM on 02/14/2016
Get out of here is that "realistic" BS. This is just damage control to the hate his terrible performance is getting. I hate these pretentious actors who's ego is too big to allow them to play an established character. They take the character and throw it out the window while saying "screw that, I'm going to do whatever and if it doesn't fit the character then fuck you." It's like being cast as Richard Nixon and saying "I don't like Nixon, I'm going to play him as Andy Dick"
Get out of here is that "realistic" BS. This is just damage control to the hate his terrible performance is getting. I hate these pretentious actors who's ego is too big to allow them to play an established character. They take the character and throw it out the window while saying "screw that, I'm going to do whatever and if it doesn't fit the character then fuck you." It's like being cast as Richard Nixon and saying "I don't like Nixon, I'm going to play him as Andy Dick"
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6:54AM on 02/15/2016
Yeah, it would almost be like if the guy who used to play James Bond drove an invisible car, attacked a city sized ice palace, dropped off a 300 foot cliff and perfectly surfboarded his way in-between icebergs out of the situation. There can never be a serious Bond now, right? It's almost as if history has dictated that there isn't one definitive version of a character and directors/creators can manipulate them to fit their story as long as they maintain certain traits such as being [link]
Yeah, it would almost be like if the guy who used to play James Bond drove an invisible car, attacked a city sized ice palace, dropped off a 300 foot cliff and perfectly surfboarded his way in-between icebergs out of the situation. There can never be a serious Bond now, right? It's almost as if history has dictated that there isn't one definitive version of a character and directors/creators can manipulate them to fit their story as long as they maintain certain traits such as being [link] superman/being invested in [link] for a modern audience. I get where the disdain for Eisenberg is coming from, as I'm not a huge fan of him to begin with, but don't say he "doesn't fit the character" when there's been a million interpretations of the character (some of which actually fall in line with what Eisenberg is doing) and you haven't even seen the character in context. I'd honestly like to know, which "version" of Lex Luthor are you hoping to see? Animated series? Silver Age? Golden age? Smallville version? Kevin Spacey? Gene Hackman? They're all very different, so fuck off with this idea that just because this movie does something different it's automatically bad. Sorry for the rant, but damn, so sick of the hate for this. It's BvS, think glass half full, not half empty.
9:48PM on 02/13/2016
I know this is an unpopular opinion around here, but I really like what I've seen of him in the trailers. And there's no doubt- even if you didn't like it - that his take on the character is going to be very memorable.
I know this is an unpopular opinion around here, but I really like what I've seen of him in the trailers. And there's no doubt- even if you didn't like it - that his take on the character is going to be very memorable.
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9:14PM on 02/13/2016

Lex has always been multi-faceted....

People from Hollywood miss that because they saw the lame performances by two great actors (Hackman & Spacey) that completely missed the traits of the character. Luthor has always been torn between his maniacal need for power and his heartfelt belief that Superman was bad for the planet because he was interfering in natural human evolution. It was the fact that he was genuine that made his character compelling.
People from Hollywood miss that because they saw the lame performances by two great actors (Hackman & Spacey) that completely missed the traits of the character. Luthor has always been torn between his maniacal need for power and his heartfelt belief that Superman was bad for the planet because he was interfering in natural human evolution. It was the fact that he was genuine that made his character compelling.
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5:30PM on 02/13/2016
From what he says it sound interesting, from what I've seen in previous films comparatively to this one I'm unimpressed. Not much of a difference thus far....same squeaky Social Network mouth jittered bs. Yes, I am making a judgement based on his previous films in relation to what we have seen in the trailers and there is no difference. But then again, Ben looks great action wise but comes off sounding like O'Banion.
From what he says it sound interesting, from what I've seen in previous films comparatively to this one I'm unimpressed. Not much of a difference thus far....same squeaky Social Network mouth jittered bs. Yes, I am making a judgement based on his previous films in relation to what we have seen in the trailers and there is no difference. But then again, Ben looks great action wise but comes off sounding like O'Banion.
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4:28PM on 02/13/2016

I still don't see Luthor, I see a 20 year old stoner with bad hair

Seriously, the dude is not intimidating enough and the role just screams hipster garbage. Lex Luthor needs to be more than a whiny brat with an annoying voice. I'm all for Ben as the Batman and Henry as Superman though. Gal Gadot is shitty too, she will suck as Wonder Woman. They are focusing and relying too much on sex appeal and not enough on actual talent.
Seriously, the dude is not intimidating enough and the role just screams hipster garbage. Lex Luthor needs to be more than a whiny brat with an annoying voice. I'm all for Ben as the Batman and Henry as Superman though. Gal Gadot is shitty too, she will suck as Wonder Woman. They are focusing and relying too much on sex appeal and not enough on actual talent.
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11:54AM on 02/13/2016
Luthor, like the Joker, can be interpreted many different ways as shown by past comics, shows, and movies, and still work. I'm willing to give this new version a chance. It'll be interesting to see how he develops over the course of the film, or multiple films.
Luthor, like the Joker, can be interpreted many different ways as shown by past comics, shows, and movies, and still work. I'm willing to give this new version a chance. It'll be interesting to see how he develops over the course of the film, or multiple films.
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11:02AM on 02/13/2016
I like everything he said about the character, how they're approaching him, and working with Cavill and Affleck. There may be some rumors circulating that he is difficult to work with, but these quotes are very classy and intelligent sounding.
I like everything he said about the character, how they're approaching him, and working with Cavill and Affleck. There may be some rumors circulating that he is difficult to work with, but these quotes are very classy and intelligent sounding.
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9:26AM on 02/13/2016
I'd rather have a Luthor who has a presence great enough to even get elected as president. Like what if Donald Trump has the charisma of Barack Obama, if that makes any kind of sense.
I'd rather have a Luthor who has a presence great enough to even get elected as president. Like what if Donald Trump has the charisma of Barack Obama, if that makes any kind of sense.
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3:15AM on 02/13/2016
Sorry, but we've seen his Luthor and it is awful and over the top. Stop trying to spin it. He isn't even playing Luthor. He created some random as hell character who name happens to be Luthor.

We have yet to get a true proper Luther in the movies. Smallville nailed Luthor, and that Luthor was a great realistic character. Spacey could have been a great Luthor under different direction. His character in House of Cards is very Luthor-ish (villains don't have to be flamboyantly quirky to be
Sorry, but we've seen his Luthor and it is awful and over the top. Stop trying to spin it. He isn't even playing Luthor. He created some random as hell character who name happens to be Luthor.

We have yet to get a true proper Luther in the movies. Smallville nailed Luthor, and that Luthor was a great realistic character. Spacey could have been a great Luthor under different direction. His character in House of Cards is very Luthor-ish (villains don't have to be flamboyantly quirky to be interesting).
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10:48AM on 02/13/2016
Wow, way to judge a character by one trailer.
Wow, way to judge a character by one trailer.
3:53PM on 02/13/2016
That is one of the most asinine comments I've ever read. You think that somehow the performance we saw in the trailer isn't going to be in the movie? That for some reason he gave a completely different performance just for the trailer only? Come on now, I know you want this to be a good movie, but sticking your head in the sand isn't going to make his Luthor good.
That is one of the most asinine comments I've ever read. You think that somehow the performance we saw in the trailer isn't going to be in the movie? That for some reason he gave a completely different performance just for the trailer only? Come on now, I know you want this to be a good movie, but sticking your head in the sand isn't going to make his Luthor good.
11:53PM on 02/13/2016
You're judging a character by a few lines of dialogue. Most of which is likely completely out of context. Why don't we just wait until we actually see the movie before we declare how terrible he is/was.
You're judging a character by a few lines of dialogue. Most of which is likely completely out of context. Why don't we just wait until we actually see the movie before we declare how terrible he is/was.
1:58AM on 02/14/2016
Agreed with OP
Agreed with OP
11:44PM on 02/12/2016
I think he might possibly steal the show. Comic book movies are starving for a compelling villain, we've been lacking the last few years.
I think he might possibly steal the show. Comic book movies are starving for a compelling villain, we've been lacking the last few years.
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10:31PM on 02/12/2016
Excited as hell for the film, but he's the one aspect that I'm still unsure of.
Excited as hell for the film, but he's the one aspect that I'm still unsure of.
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