Jesse Eisenberg Says His Sundance Jewish Buddy Movie Is ‘Not Political’ and Gives His Advice to New Lex Luthor Nicholas Hoult: ‘Don’t Watch Me!’

Jesse Eisenberg Says His Sundance Jewish Buddy Movie Is ‘Not Political’ and Gives His Advice to New Lex Luthor Nicholas Hoult: ‘Don’t Watch Me!’

Jesse Eisenberg is officially giving his Lex Luthor advice to Nicholas Hoult, and it’s blunt: “Don’t watch me!”

During an interview at the Variety Studio presented by Audible while attending the Sundance Film Festival, Eisenberg suggested Hoult should forge his own path and not pay attention to Eisenberg’s own work as Lex Luthor in Zack Snyder’s DC Universe.

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“Whenever you play a role you feel connected to it,” Eisenberg added to Variety‘s Matt Donnelly about playing the DC villain for a short time. “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.”

Eisenberg played Lex Luthor in Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” With James Gunn and Peter Safran now in charge of DC Studios at Warner Bros., they are overhauling the DC Universe and creating an entirely new Man of Steel story with 2025’s “Superman: Legacy.” Nicholas Hoult is taking over the role of Lex Luthor in the new DC Universe. David Corenswet and Rachel Brosnahan are playing Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

Eisenberg is at the Sundance Film Festival with two movies: “Sasquatch Sunset” and “A Real Pain.” The latter film he also directed and stars in opposite recent “Succession” Emmy winner Kieran Culkin. The actors play cousins who travel to Poland after their grandmother’s death to see where they came from and end up joining a Holocaust tour.

The actor-director said “there’s a certain idea of a Holocaust movie” where there’s “this reverence for the trauma and the horrors. And of course!” But he was trying to do something different: “The thing that reaches me the most is when someone can humanize that experience in fiction that doesn’t feel sanctimonious of false, and that’s what I was going for.”

While the movie is debuting at the Sundance Film Festival amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Eisenberg stressed “the movie is not political. It could take place any time over the last 30 years…and the last 30 years have been froth with ups and downs. It makes sense now as any time.”

As for what it was like being directed by Eisenberg, Culkin said: “I hate giving people compliments when they’re sitting next to me. Sometimes on the set I feel like it’s one extreme or the other. Someone who is absolutely in charge of everything, a dictator sort of on set, and that doesn’t feel comfortable. Or there’s the who-the-hell-is-in-charge guy and you don’t feel secure. Jesse was right in the middle. He was always asking everyone’s opinions after each take and asking the producers what they saw…It felt really nice.”

“A Real Pain” is seeking distribution out of the Sundance Film Festival.

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