Jon Cryer Teases Lex's Agenda & Sociopathy in 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'

Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three
Q&A
Dean Buscher/The CW

The Crisis is here, and that means that the Arrowverse heroes have to work with people they may not particularly like ... including none other than Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer).

And this comes as the heroes have just lost one of their own: Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). "Team morale is at its lowest point at the start of Episode 2," Cryer told TV Insider before correcting himself with, "Actually, as bad as it is at the start of Episode 2, it gets worse."

And outside of those from Supergirl, Lex has zero connections to the rest of the Arrowverse. "Lex is a wildcard in that whole situation, because he comes in with a completely different agenda than anybody else," he continued. "He's sociopathically oblivious to the pain of everyone else, and that's why he's such a threat."

Here, Cryer previews what's still to come in the epic crossover.

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Does Lex represent a sign of hope, someone who died and was brought back?

Jon Cryer: That's a good point. But it always seems so arbitrary. The Monitor sets loose these characters and we're all wandering around going, "what's our purpose in this?" Lex has this incredible intellect, but he doesn't know any more than anybody else. So he just gets into his usual single-minded, "me, me, me," attitude and goes about his business.

Speaking of that resurrection, has dying and being brought back changed Lex at all?

It has changed him. He's seen death. There's no way to go through that and not be altered by it. What it seems he's taken from it is an incredibly clear desire for that to never, ever, ever to occur again, and so he's even more single-mindedly focused on setting his own agenda and not caring about what anybody else wants or need.

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

We briefly saw Lex with The Monitor at the end of Supergirl 508. What does Lex think of this cosmic being and what he said to him? It's gotta feel pretty good to be told they need his mind and he's going to be a hero, despite always considering himself to be one.

He considers this guy kind of a blow-hard nuisance more than anything else. He comes in and makes these grand pronouncements, and it's just, say what you mean. He's really tired of him, frankly. He has such disdain for every other being besides him that he doesn't think The Monitor is anything particularly special.

We even see that when he tells The Monitor they have to talk about his sister.

Yes, exactly. I have some conditions...

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How much does he know about what Lena's been up to and what can you say about what's to come for those two?

I love working with Katie [McGrath]. No matter what, Lex is going to be messing with his younger sister. He's a bully, sociopath, basically your nightmare older sibling is what Lex is. But she is brilliant, and she is capable of beating him actually, and she's capable of resisting him through just being who she is. They'll always be good foils for each other. He's not aware of what's happened while he's gone, so if and when they do have interactions that I'm not allowed to talk about, it's going to be loaded with all of that baggage. Plus, you don't know what exactly he wanted to say to The Monitor, and I do. [Laughs]

In one of the trailers, there's a news report of Lex Luthor killing the Man of Steel. Can you say if that Lex is your Lex? 

I can't say. How can I phrase this? Lex Luthor would consider a universe that had a thousand Supermen that he had a chance to kill just more opportunities for fun.

(Dean Buscher/The CW)

Are there any surprises in terms of who has the easiest and who has the hardest time working with Lex? 

Nobody's really working with Lex. He's a chaos agent and he's pretty much making any situation he's in worse for the superheroes, but you do get to see why The Monitor thought that would be helpful in the situation. None of the heroes really get along with Lex. In fact, there's a running gag in many of the episodes about to what extent people will put up with Lex's behavior. If you've seen that still of Batwoman with Lex up against the wall, that interaction did not go well.

Speaking of that photo (above), what can you say about that dynamic?

Batwoman has zero patience for Lex.

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How are things between Lex and Kara given all their history and the fact that he’s the one who told Lena her secret, but everyone has to accept he's there?

Because The Monitor has decreed that Lex has some contribution to make to this situation, they all very grudgingly have to put up with him to some extent. I can say there's a fair amount of interaction with Kara and she's horribly conflicted the whole time because he's the worst of the worst.

What else can you preview about the crossover? How he reacts to the heroes around him?

I can tell you what my reaction was. Just because I was the only guy who wasn't in a super suit for a fair amount of it, you do feel oddly, you want to stick up for humanity when you get a chance. You're like, the only straight-up human here is a real jerk. You get a little defensive sometimes. And also as an actor, you work with Grant [Gustin] and Melissa [Benoist] and Stephen and Caity [Lotz] and all of them. The physical demands on these people are just enormous and I go, wow, they're 28. I'm no longer 28 and I've got to be in these same situations as well, so it was very demanding, but so impressive what the number 1s were doing.

(Katie Yu/The CW)

Arrowverse "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Crossover, December 2019 and January 2020, The CW