When Total Film caught up with Jesse Eisenberg to discuss his new drama Night Moves and, more importantly, his role as Lex Luthor in the highly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the 30-year-old actor revealed he does not read comics nor has he seen any comic book movies. In fact, when TF mentioned how Heath Ledger reinvented the Joker and tapped into modern-day fears of terrorism in The Dark Knight, Eisenberg could only reply, "Oh, that's interesting, really interesting." However, after he had landed the villain role in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel follow-up, the actor did look through stacks of comics and he also watched "that movie with Gene Hackman," referring to one of Christopher Reeve's early Superman movies. "My father always cautions me against thinking of something as a means to some other end, because then its irresponsible to the 'means' thing," explained Jesse Eisenberg, reassuring that he did not take the high-profile role in Dawn of Justice simply for the cash or any other overarching career opportunities. "They asked me if I wanted to play the part before they sent me the script. I'm not sure how it worked, but it's something I read with the understanding that I could do the role, If I..." he stopped. "You know, they don't just hand the scripts out. But I really liked it on its own terms. I would do it if it was for free and it was tiny."
The TF interviewer then implied that once Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters, Eisenberg won't be able to casually stand in the street without being noticed. "I've been in things that have been popular before," asserted the actor. "To say, I can't do that which will appear in thousands of theaters on opening day, but I can do this which will appear in this amount of theaters... It's arbitrary. I realise how popular comic-book movies are, and now, working on one, I realise why they're popular - the story is really good, the dialogue is really good, the artistry behind every department is high, the acting is really good. So if they're all put together with that level of quality..." For obvious reasons, Eisenberg couldn't share any specifics about Lex Luthor or Dawn of Justice, but he did offer some intriguing hints. "There are some indications of how the character should behave based on the script, and then as actor makes it his or her own," he says. "I got to know one of the writers really well, Chris Terrio, and we were able to discuss things at length and figure out who this person is to create a real psychology behind what is, perhaps, in a comic book, a less than totally modern psychology. I can only say I've been asked to play an interesting role: a complicated, challenging person."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, and Holly Hunter. The film, written by Chris Terrio from David S. Goyer's screenplay, and directed by Zack Snyder, hits March 25, 2016!
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