Smallville’s Lex Luthor actor Michael Rosenbaum reveals which actor intimidated him at first on the set of the popular superhero series.

Michael Rosenbaum, best known for portraying Smallville’s Lex Luthor, reveals which actor on the show intimidated him in season 1. Centering on Superman/Clark Kent’s young adult years in the titular Kansas town, Smallville ran for a total of 10 seasons from 2001-2011. Unique for its melding of teen drama and superhero action, the hit series went on to influence a number of Arrowverse shows, including The Flash and Supergirl.

During a recent episode of the Talk Ville podcast, Rosenbaum recalls that he was intimidated by John Glover, the actor who played his father on Smallville. Worried that the Batman & Robin actor didn’t like him, Rosenbaum shares how he confronted Glover. Check out Rosenbaum’s account of the behind-the-scenes story below:


You know what I found out about John Glover is that in the pilot episode when he came on I was so intimidated by him, and I didn’t think he liked me. I was really worried like ‘oh my God I gotta work with this f—k nut,’ you know that’s how I felt. I confronted him about it later on. I just said hey, ‘I’ve always felt like you didn’t really like me,’ and he’s like, ‘no, I was so nervous, I had just gotten the part, and I was trying to deal with things.’

Related: How Smallville Hinted At Lex Luthor Killing The Justice League

Why Lionel Luthor Was So Important To Smallville

Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor and John Glover as Lionel Luthor standing at altar in Smallville

The founder and CEO of LuthorCorp served in a couple of different roles on the show, namely as both a villain and ally. As one of the main antagonists throughout seasons 1 to 4, Lionel cunningly sought to further his own selfish ambitions and uncover Clark Kent’s secrets. At one point, he even pretends to be blind so that he can watch the actions of those around him without their knowledge. From seasons 5 to 7, Lionel’s intentions are shrouded, but he seems to take a turn for the better after gaining Kryptonian knowledge and Jor-El guiding him. It’s even revealed that he and three other families formed Veritas, a secret society to protect the Traveler’s existence. Glover’s Lionel kept audiences constantly guessing and remained memorable even after his run, with his return in Smallville’s final season welcomed by viewers.

Lionel is second only to Lex when it comes to the show’s top villains and is key to understanding who Lex is. Lionel views his son as an incapable, weak, and disappointing heir, which causes Lex to develop a bitter hatred toward his father. In addition to constantly testing and toying with him, he unfairly blames Lex for the death of his youngest son Julian. Lex inevitably begins to inherit much of his father’s traits in his progression as an antagonist. Obsessed with the future Man of Steel, Lex stops at nothing to unveil Clark and gains an insatiable desire for power. Eventually, he even kills his father, upon learning about Veritas — mirroring how Lionel conspired in the murder of his own parents.

A parallel to the Kent family, Lex and Lionel served as a stark contrast to the warmth between Clark and his parents. Audiences felt the loss of the Luther duo in seasons 8 to 10, who were previously so central to the series. It’s certainly ironic that Rosenbaum started off the show feeling intimidated by Glover, which translated well on screen in their father-son dynamic. Glover’s portrayal was so iconic that the comics even changed the character’s name from Jules to Lionel to reflect his version in Smallville — a series that left a huge legacy and is still among the best Superman stories to date.

More: How Smallville Would Be Different If Lana Didn’t Leave After Season 7

Source: Talk Ville Podcast

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