Like Mother, Like Son? Jordan Elsass Explains Jon’s Family Ties on ‘Superman & Lois’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers from Episode 8 of Superman & Lois, “Holding the Wrench,” so if you haven’t seen it, go lock yourself in an iron-lined Winnebago until you have!]
Superman & Lois may have bid adieu to one hero tonight, but there may be a new on the horizon. In the just-aired episode, “Holding the Wrench,” Wolé Parks‘ John Henry Irons (a.k.a. Steel) headed out of Smallville after helping Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) and General Lane (Dylan Walsh) sort out an infiltration of Kryptonite-enhanced soldiers. While he was in D.O.D. custody, Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and son Jonathan (Jordan Elsass of Little Fires Everywhere) did some reconnaissance by snooping around Irons’ RV, where Jon not only spotted video of the black-suited Superman’s reign of terror on Irons’ Earth-3 but also footage of alt-Lois’ death and Steel’s daughter, Natalie.
Framed around a heartbreaking therapy session in which Lois broke down over her rage at Jon for putting himself at risk, the hour revealed the deep wounds she’s been living with since suffering a miscarriage years ago, while also illuminating the unique bond mother and son share as the only humans in the Kent family now. It also allowed Elsass to finally get in on the family action, which has us thinking that he’d make the perfect protégé for his mom, much like his super-gifted twin brother Jordan (Alex Garfin) is for pops. So we decided to check in with the young actor, who also has the new teen thriller Panic on Amazon Prime, to see what this all means for Jon going forward
First off, I love the Kent brothers and I loved this episode because all along, Jonathan has been kind of sidelined by Jordan’s skills and his relationship with Clark. But tonight, we got such great mother-son stuff with Jonathan and Lois…
Jordan Elsass: Definitely. And you’re going to get it, you’re going to see even more of that. I think that definitely Jonathan aligns more with Lois in terms of his personality traits, but I think he got some of Superman’s sort of grit as well, and heart. I think he was raised well by them, but I also think the fact that he doesn’t have powers does weigh on him throughout the first season…especially later on, as you’ll see. So yeah, I’d say overall that he understands that he’s more like Lois and therefore he maybe strives to be more like her in some ways.
It’s sort of like he’s searching for identity—as so many of us do in high school—and without football, without the popularity he had before moving to Smallville, who is he?
Exactly. I think that he really has to find his path here. He can’t be what he used to be and new times call for changes.
Does Lois realize that she has a chip off of her own block now? Jonathan showed that he’s as daring and brave as she can be.
Definitely. And not to mention, neither of them have powers. So that’s a huge thing. It’s tough for them to do some things so they have to get creative to find out where they can help or be involved in the sort of Superman storyline, you know?
I like this arc for you! Now did you know Alex going into this?
Actually, no, I didn’t. I met him briefly at the screen test back in February of 2020 but we never really talked to each other after that. We followed each other on social media after we both booked the show, but then as soon as we got to Vancouver, we started hanging out. It wasn’t forced, but we didn’t have anyone else to hang out with, so it was nice in that way. We got to bond a lot very early on and develop our relationship in real life, which I think has carried into the show.
It definitely has. As someone who grew up in his brother’s shadow, you guys nail that dynamic of supporting each other and loving one another, while still feeling like, “Well, what about me?”
I appreciate that. I appreciate that.
Now, Jonathan had a very interesting reaction to seeing Natalie on the video screens in John’s trailer.
Oh yeah, I think that really freaks him out. He’s definitely thrown for a loop by that whole situation, you know, knowing like, “Oh, I have a sister…from another planet.” That’s wild! I can’t even imagine what’s going through his head. It’s probably shock, trying to figure that out. I think he’s probably not going to be able to sleep, not really be able to think about anything else. There’s a lot on his mind, for sure.
On top of all of this, you also have Panic now on Prime Video. When did you film this?!
Right, right! So Panic was filmed in 202o, right around the time that I actually would have been shooting Superman & Lois. We were still doing Panic when the pandemic hit, so that actually allowed time for me to finish Panic. I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to film the last few episodes before going to Superman & Lois, but [the shutdowns allowed] for time to finish out Panic.
I am so into that show. It’s way more than just your normal YA stuff.
Oh for sure. And I’m glad to hear that. I’ve actually only seen the first four episodes so far. I haven’t had a chance [to watch more], but yeah, I’m so pumped. I think it’s gonna be sick.
It’s a good time to be you. Little Fires Everywhere, Panic, this. You’re not just working a ton, you’re working with some of the best.
Definitely. But you know, I got a lot of “No”s when I was growing up but now I’m glad that I did because now, I can do something like Superman & Lois, you know what I mean? Something like this is amazing. If this was the peak of everything I ever did, I would be very happy. It’s something I think we can all be proud of. And Panic, as well, I’m really, really very privileged to be a part of both of them.
Superman & Lois, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW