Nicholas Hoult Talks Preparations to Play Lex Luthor


Nicholas Hoult is sharing some insight into his preparations to play Lex Luthor in James Gunn’s upcoming Superman.

The actor stopped by the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast to chat about his acting career, including the highly-anticipated movie, which began production last week, per the director.

Hoult looked back at his time auditioning for the classic villain, saying Gunn has an “ability to keep things fun and alive and try things in the moment and be like, just shouting out from the monitors, ‘Say this line. Do this! Do that!’ And that’s something that I really enjoy. … That’s the whole process of prep for me is like, be prepared as possible so when you get there you can throw it all away and do whatever you want in the moment.”

As for the weeks leading up to filming, the Renfield actor also told the host that he began working out to play Lex.

“There’s that bit in All-Star Superman [comic book series] where he talks about his muscles being real and hard work and all that,” Hoult said. “I kind of took that as a little bit of fuel for the fire.” But he also noted that he doesn’t think the villain will have any shirtless scenes in the film.

Earlier in the podcast, Hoult revealed to Rosenbaum, who played a younger version of Lex on Smallville, that his iteration of the villain was the first time he saw Lex on screen.

“The first ever Lex I saw was you. Yeah, I grew up, Smallville was on,” the Warm Bodies actor said. “That was the show I would watch and see my first iterations of Superman and Lex and all those stories. I’ve since seen Richard Donner’s movies and all the other ones and kind of seen some of the other performances but you’re like the one. … It’s the best.”

At the end of February, Gunn shared a photo of the cast all together for the first time, noting that the image was taken after the first table read. Hoult appeared to be sporting a shaved head, gearing up to play Lex.

Gunn’s Superman, also starring David Corenswet as Clark Kent/Superman and Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, is set to be released on July 11, 2025.

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