BY DONNA FREYDKIN
Some actors have to work overtime to avoid spilling spoilers from their movies.
Not Jesse Eisenberg, the Oscar-nominated star of "The Social Network" who plays depraved billionaire Lex Luthor in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," opening Friday.
For one thing, says Eisenberg, "It's been drilled into us for the last two years" by director Zack Snyder.
And second of all, and perhaps most importantly, says Eisenberg, "I don't watch movies I'm in. I filmed the movie a year and a half ago. When I do press, I talk about what I remember filming rather than the stuff in the final product."
Eisenberg's Luthor sports a full head of hair -- in contrast to the comic version of the character, who is bald. But otherwise, he has the same hankering to take down Superman (Henry Cavill). Meanwhile, Batman (Ben Affleck) is dealing with his own existential issues. The film represents Eisenberg's first foray into the big-ticket blockbuster world of superheroes.
"For a movie like this, there's a lot of scrutiny prior to the movie coming out, so it's quite unnerving. Just see the thing before you tear me apart," he says.
It's why Eisenberg isn't on social media at all. Nor does he read reviews.
"It's painful. Even if they say a good thing, it's painful. But more than that, they can be really hurtful. Critics should exist and be able to write horrible things – I just don't want to read them," he says.
And that goes right back to why he can't watch himself in his own movies. "The only thing I can relate it to is, if you hear your voice on the answering machine times a million. The first time I saw myself in something, I saw that the side of my face was not how I pictured the side of my face," he says.
Rather than fixate on those things, he'd rather spend time developing his roles, especially for someone like Luthor. Playing such an iconic villain took work, says Eisenberg.
His first priority was to keep Luthor grounded. "To make sure he can be larger than life, but not a caricature -- to try and find that balance. The script was really good. It gave him these private moments of reflection," he says. "I like to improvise because it gets me into the spirit of the guy."