Jesse Eisenberg Says He Tried to “Humanize” Lex Luthor in ‘Batman v Superman’

By May 30, 2016

Arguably, one of the most scrutinized and divisive aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was Jesse Eisenberg’s strange(?) take on the iconic and villainous Lex Luthor. Aside from the clear age differences to the character in the comic book, he seemed far too much like a cartoon character than the kind of calm and intelligent Luthor that fans had come to know and love from the comics, tv shows, and even animated series.

Instead of that we got…well.. a scene of him force feeding a cherry Jolly Rancher to a senator, I guess.

During a recent panel at MCM Comic Con in London though, Eisenberg, who has been relatively quiet in the months since Batman v Superman‘s heavily-scrutinized release, talked briefly about what he tried to bring to the character with his performance:

“What I wanted to do with the character is kind of what I want to do in this play, which is I want to humanize these people that you have seen … dehumanized. I wanted to make these people real and relatable and interesting and engaging, not just, you know, a surface bad person. To me, the most interesting acting is when actors can bring you into that other side of the person. When you feel like you are not just seeing the kind of purpose of them for plot. That they are not just delivering a message. They’re actually showing you humanity. And that’s what I tried to do with that character. Whether or not I succeeded or failed depends on your subjective opinion on what you think of people like that. That’s my goal as an actor.”

I’ll be honest, I don’t really blame Eisenberg for the flaws with Luthor in the film. It was clear that he really shouldn’t have been playing the character in the first place, a fact that was proven to be even more true when director Zack Snyder revealed that he had originally met with Eisenberg for a completely different role in the film. The writing just wasn’t on par with the character itself, and I legitimately think that, like all of the other actors in the film, Eisenberg was just doing what the creative team told him to do, under the guise that it was going to be a revolutionary take on the character.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • Student of Alchemy

    It would appear that Eisenberg’s familiarity with Lex Luthor is limited to Luthor’s short-lived pastry-themed crime spree and none of the successful portrayals of Luthor as found in the DCAU, multiple animated films, or, hell, even the Dean Cain Superman series. They portrayed Luthor with more depth than “a surface bad person.” Eiseberg’s Luthor didn’t seem to operate like real person at all, but a depraved individual that had lost touch with his own humanity. Unfortunately, it seems were stuck with his portrayal of Luthor for the remainder of the “DCCU”.