How's this for an about-face? After ruffling the feathers of fans everywhere at San Diego Comic-Con this year, actor Jesse Eisenberg is now coming out with remarks that express his utmost gratitude for the opportunity to play- what he calls- "the best, most advantageous role I’ve ever been given." Along the way, he also apologizes for his behavior at SDCC and admonishes himself for being careless with his words, while also taking an opportunity to heap praise onto that hotly-anticipated project known as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
So let's get to his remarks, shall we?
Earlier this year, Eisenberg referred to the boundless excitement of fans at the annual SDCC as "some kind of genocide." He seemed uncomfortable at the panel for Batman v Superman and, overall, gave the impression that he was less than thrilled to be part of the fanboy pandemonium that comes with projects like these.
In a chat with Observer, Eisenberg is now taking the time to explain himself and apologize for how he came off:
"Listen, the responsibility is on me to keep my guard up when discussing something that is going to be parsed. I’m not new to it but I should be savvier. The truth of the matter is I had a wonderful experience at Comic-Con because people loved the movie that I was in. In my attempt to make a dumb, self-deprecating joke I maybe hurt people’s feelings and that’s wrong. Whether or not people had a sense of humor is another story."
"There’s this two-pronged pressure that I feel. You do so many interviews and there’s this tacit request to be honest and open and yet then there’s this simultaneous flogging of a person who says things, says things that are only 1 percent off center. That said, I’m not excusing myself. I’m a smart enough person to be aware that certain comments are taken in different ways."
After his explanation and pseudo-apology, Eisenberg then went on to discuss his role as Lex Luthor in the Zack Snyder joint.
"A lot of great actors are doing comic book adaptations. But that’s because those movies have become so good. 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. So in that way it was not at all compromised. If anything it was the best, most advantageous role I’ve ever been given."
Aside from expressing his gratitude for the chance to stretch himself as an actor and play such an iconic role, Eisenberg credits writer Chris Terrio with creating a truly special script:
"It’s because the opportunity to do an interesting character on a movie of that scale is incredibly rare… The character is written by the phenomenal writer [and Argo Oscar winner] Chris Terrio. 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."
Eisenberg doesn't just stop there. Outside of updating and creating a new, exciting take on the character of Luthor, the actor says that this film incorporates some seriously deep thematic ideas into the film:
"Now people expect the tone to be more realistic just because we live in a world where the average audience member has a sense of psychological motivations… [It raises 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. Terrio cleverly ties in these really exciting superhero elements with these really sophisticated, philosophical themes in a much smarter, different way. That’s what I like to do with my writing: To have these very sophisticated, philosophical debates happen on very basic levels."
That last quote echoes the sentiments of the film's director, who has recently made it a point to discuss how deep, thoughtful, and mythological the film hopes to be. It sounds like everyone involved with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wanted to create a transcendent piece of entertainment. Something that excites the fanboy heart, but also gets the thinking man thinking- similar to what Christopher Nolan achieved with The Dark Knight.
Did they succeed? We won't know until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes over a theater near you on March 25, 2016.
What do you think of Eisenberg's mea culpa? Do you buy his views on that experience, and on the film itself? Are you going to give him the chance to become your Lex Luthor? Discuss.