OnlyOnAOL: Tao Okamoto has no Mercy for Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman'

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Tao Okamoto On "Batman V. Superman"

BY DONNA FREYDKIN

There's nothing like kicking off the year with a massive, loud, deafening bang. And we can't think of a bigger one than "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," opening Friday. It pits Gotham versus Metropolis, as two of the DC Comics' world's most venerable creations, Batman (Ben Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill), go at it.

Complicating things is maniacal, manipulative, megalomaniacal Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), who has a bee in his bonnet about destroying Superman. He's aided by his efficient sidekick Mercy Graves (Tao Okamoto).

The film, directed by Zack Snyder, has been cloaked (sorry for the pun) in near total secrecy. This reporter has seen it. And fearless prediction: fans will freak. Okamoto definitely thinks so.

"To be honest, I haven't watched other 'Superman' movies, other than 'Man of Steel.' I haven't seen other Lex Luthors. I don't know what people are expecting from Jesse – but he was so amazing and funny and strange and weird. That made it creepy and spooky. He brought the character to life. The audience will love it," she says.

AOL Build Presents: Tao Okamoto, "Batman v Superman"

The Japanese actress has made the switch from modeling -- her first major role was the female lead opposite Hugh Jackman in 2013's "Wolverine." She's been taking acting classes and perfecting her command of English. And she put everything to use as Mercy.

"It was so fascinating. I didn't have a big speaking role. I used to act as sassy girls all the time as a model so that wasn't so challenging to me. But I enjoyed it so much, being mean. I tried to be mean," she says.

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OnlyOnAOL: Tao Okamoto has no Mercy for Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman'
This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Comics shows, Gal Gadot, as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, in the action adventure film, "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. The movie releases March 25, 2016. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics via AP)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 08: A view of atmosphere on the set of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' on August 8, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/GC Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 08: A view of atmosphere on the set of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' on August 8, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/GC Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 08: Director Zack Snyder on the set of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' on August 8, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/GC Images)
DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 07: A view of atmosphere on the set of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' on August 7, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/GC Images)
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Of course, playing against Eisenberg, with his rapid-fire delivery and ability to improvise, is no easy feat. It requires superhuman responsiveness. "He spoke so much. He added so many lines. I was more the assistant, making sure everything was going well and he was doing his own thing," says Okamoto.

With the film opening, she's not averse to doing a bit of catwalk stuff here or there. But it's not her main calling anymore. "It's not about how major these (campaigns) are. It's more about how much they appreciate me, doing new stuff. I'm pretty proud of what I've done as an actor and I don't want to be just another Asian model again," she says.

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OnlyOnAOL: Tao Okamoto has no Mercy for Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman'
Actor Ben Affleck poses with a statue of Batman during a press conference for the movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" in Beijing, China, Friday, March 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Ben Affleck on the set of 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' on August 9, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Paul Warner/GC Images)
(Photo courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)
American director and actor Ben Affleck attends a press conference as part of the new movie 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' global tour on March 11, 2016 in Beijing, China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. It is intended to be the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. (Photo © Atlaspix / Alamy)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. It is intended to be the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. (Photo © Atlaspix / Alamy)
Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice is an upcoming American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. This photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of the film company and/or the photographer assigned by the film or production company and can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit to the film company is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Ben Affleck attends the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
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