Fans have been fairly divided over Jesse Eisenberg playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, basically because he’s nothing like how the villain has appeared before. Kevin Spacey and Gene Hackman have both portrayed him as a seasoned criminal mastermind but Eisenberg’s incarnation will be different; younger, more energetic and equally as scheming.
The actor recently sat down with Playboy to discuss his approach to the role and had some very interesting things to say. He described his version of the character as a more modern and psychologically realistic ‘concept.’
“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.”
“He reminds me of one of those characters in old Greek theatre 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. He speaks in broad themes and ideas: That’s what makes the character very theatrical and yet authentic. This is the kind of role actors really like to play because you don’t feel like it’s a problem if you colour outside the lines. I 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. Take it as far as you want and be as theatrical as you want to be – it’s all correct.”
Eisenberg also shed some light on what it was like to work with Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, saying they were wonderful to film with because they have a similar style to his.