Jesse Eisenberg who plays Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice talks on what it was like to tackle a role like Lex Luthor in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Eisenberg goes to say how the character was rendered incredibly well in the script and how realistic the character is to people who are leaders of big organizations, when it comes putting up a front in public, but being another way in their private lives.
What’s it like to tackle a role like Lex Luthor, where there’s such a sense of expectation, even before the movie comes out? Is that overwhelming, or do you think about that at all?
Well, I don’t really have to necessarily account for what is expected. When I read the script, I thought, this character is rendered so incredibly well that I just have to do what I know I do well, and it will be a great character because the character is full of interesting, contradictory, realistic elements that make a character wonderful. And as an actor, those are the most comfortable and convenient characters to play. The difficult characters to play are the ones where it doesn’t seem like the character has been rendered realistically or with human feelings behind them. That wasn’t the case with this character.
What are some of the contradictions you see in Lex Luthor?
He has a kind of charming public persona, and then a deeply private rage. And this is not only interesting as an actor to play, but I would say more realistic to how extroverted people like this, who are kind of leaders of big organizations, probably feel. You have to kind of put on a public front that appears genial and appears accessible, but you’re likely — if you’re very ambitious — harboring feelings of competitiveness, envy, and all these other things we try to avoid in public. So stuff like that was very interesting as an actor to explore. And then kind of coloring in that framework is somebody who’s also very clever and funny and emotional and vengeful.