'Batman v Superman': Jesse Eisenberg Talks Villain Turn as Lex Luthor

"The opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare," actor says of his arch-nemesis role
AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis; AP Photo/DC Entertainment

For those wondering what lured Academy Award-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg to a project like next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the answer turns out not to be a childhood appreciation of his character, Lex Luthor, but the chance to play what he describes as "the best" role he's had the opportunity to portray.

“In a lot of ways Luthor is more of a stretch than any character you would do in an independent movie, which is normally the place you stretch," the actor told Observer. "So in that way it was not at all compromised. If anything it was the best, most advantageous role I’ve ever been given."

He continued, "the opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare," praising the work of screenwriter Chris Terrio (Argo) as the key. "His background is not in comic books so he was coming at it from emotion and story and created this really wonderful character, as enigmatic as he is emotionally honest."

The core of the movie, Eisenberg revealed, was the question "How can one man — Superman — have so much power? These are the kind of things that we talk about when we think about authoritarian states, when we talk about Vladimir Putin having a strong foothold in Eastern Europe. They’re addressing geopolitics in this movie and not in a way that’s pretentious or esoteric."

Instead, he says, "Terrio cleverly ties in these really exciting superhero elements with these really sophisticated, philosophical themes in a much smarter, different way."

Comparing Henry Cavill's Superman to Vladimir Putin? Clearly, Eisenberg is more in tune with his evil alter ego than many might have thought. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be released Mar. 25 2016.

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