Lex Luthor has finally arrived on Supergirl, and that spells trouble for his sister Lena. Since he reentered her life, Lex has stolen her research as well as her research assistant Eve Teschmacher -- who, it turns out, was on his side all along. However, when he returned to cure Red Daughter, Lex left behind an even more determined Lena. Now, she will stop at nothing to bring him down, and that means she will work with Supergirl and the DEO to stop him.
Speaking to CBR, Lena Luthor actor Katie McGrath revealed how Lex's latest plan has inspired his sister to take a more proactive role in his capture. She weighed in on Jon Cryer's version of the character, why his performance completely surprised her and what it's like to work with him. She also teased the aftermath of Eve's betrayal, why that moment will make Lena more dangerous than ever, how her use of the cure impacts her relationship with James and more.
CBR: You've played Lena for years now, so you must have built up some version of Lex in your head. How does Jon Cryer's version compare?
McGrath: He smashed it. Any expectations I had, he completely threw them out of the park, because I think people have a preconceived notion of Jon Cryer because they've seen him do so much comedy. There is such a comedic element often to super villains that you think, "Oh, they've cast Jon Cryer. That's kind of where they're going." And then, when he came on set and he was Lex, I was like, "Oh my god, we are in for a fucking surprise here. This is something completely unexpected."
He was so calm and so arrogant and so gentle that when he played the megalomaniac, crazy moments of Lex, you were completely shocked and shook by it! Because the first few scenes I had with him were all when he was very sick and he was in the wheelchair and we were doing all the stuff when we had cancer, so when he actually came to playing Lex as a super villain, it was so unexpected. I had so in my head gotten this idea that this version is quite gentle, a little bit snarky.
You know, I thought I had sort of figured out what he was playing. And I think that's what's so amazing about what Jon Cryer has done. He has given you a Lex that was unexpected, but brilliantly crafted and nuanced and you kind of think he's sympathetic, but then you think he's crazy, but then you're like, "Oh, I'm enjoying how evil he is!" I don't think anybody thought that Jon Cryer was going to do that. He just completely blew all of us away and we realized how completely lucky we are to have him. [laughs]
He's pretty unbelievable and also just the nicest man. I cannot say any more positive things about him as a person as well.
Lena obviously has a soft spot for Lex, despite everything that's happened between them. Do you believe that's something she could ever let go of?
I don't know! I mean, I want to think that she could. I want to think that somebody is always capable of standing up to people who hurt them again and again, but there are those people in our lives that can always get under our skin and often they are family. You were created, often, as a person with them from a very young age. You know, the imprint is made, and you spend the rest of your life dealing with the results of that imprint as a child.
Lena had very, shall we say, traumatic early years and she's still dealing with the results of those and Lex is such a huge part of it. I think that's her Achilles heel, between Lex and Lillian, these people who were supposed to love her unconditionally but then didn't. I think that has shaped her as a human and so therefore, in her later years, of course they're able to get at her and get under her skin like no one else can. I like to think and I hope in years to come she'll be able to stand up to him, but it's family. You know yourself. They can get you when no one else can!
NEXT PAGE: The Aftermath of Eve's Betrayal