Ex-Lex Luthor Jesse Eisenberg Has Advice For ‘Superman: Legacy’ Star Nicholas Hoult: “Don’t Watch Me”

Lex end credits Justice League
Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) makes an offer to form a League with Slade Wilson (Joe Manganiello) in Justice League (2017), Warner Bros. Pictures

Former DCEU actor Jesse Eisenberg, who played Lex Luthor three times in the Snyderverse when counting the two differing cuts of Justice League, is probably the last person who should give the guy taking over the part, Nicholas Hoult, advice according to a ton of fans out there. Nevertheless, he has some and it might be constructive.

Lex drunk with power
Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) explains the lie of power to Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Warner Bros. Pictures

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When Variety asked him if he had anything to say to prepare Hoult for Superman: Legacy, Eisenberg said, yes, “Don’t watch me!” This remark was made in a somewhat joking fashion, but when pressed about how close he feels to Lex, he added, “Whenever you play a role you feel connected to it”.

Eisenberg continued, “There’s no way around it. Any time you do anything, even if it’s a movie that’s a Hollywood kind of thing, you connect.” He may have connected uniquely with his portrayal of Lex Luthor, but some people didn’t – even Zack Snyder supporters.

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The actor played Lex a little too close to the way he did Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network to many estimations. Others think he might have been a better fit for The Riddler in either the DCEU or The Batman with the twitchy nerd demeanor Luthor was imbued with in Batman v Superman.

Yet, there is the odd chance of a comeback if, say, the Snyderverse is miraculously sold to Netflix. That incident might warrant a comeback, but Eisenberg isn’t leaving that up to himself as he told ComicBookMovie in 2021. “I’m probably the last person to know the answer to that question because I don’t know how they make those decisions.”

B-ball at the Y with Lex
Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) takes a break from a basketball game in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Warner Bros. Pictures

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He continued, “You know, my background is in theater where you do a play 200 times and you feel like you’re just getting the hang of it by the last performance. I would love to play any character again. After a movie ends, the actors usually turn to each other and say, ‘Oh, now I finally know what I’m doing and I understand what my purpose [was].'”

Eisenberg finished by explaining, “Actors, in my experience, do like playing roles again but that particular one is just not up to me. I’m sure I could do a one-man show somewhere but no one would, you know…”

Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) reveals his plans to weaponise Kryptonite in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice (2016), Warner Bros. Pictures
Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) reveals his plans to weaponize Kryptonite in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice (2016), Warner Bros. Pictures

Snyder planned for Lex to have a redemptive arc in his Justice League trilogy. He’d betray Darkseid in the finale and sacrifice himself to destroy the Lord of Apokolips with a nuke, but Eisenberg didn’t know about any of that. “Oh, yeah. Yeah, of course. Also, if there were [plans], I didn’t know about them. Otherwise, I’d have some great material, but I didn’t know about it!” he said.

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