Alfred Molina is awesome. Just take a look at his IMDb page: It has everything from Raiders of the Lost Ark to Maverick to Boogie Nights to Chocolat and Spider-Man 2. Before running off to shoot Matador with director Robert Rodriguez on the El Rey network, Molina can be heard reprising his role as Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind of our time, on the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise, airing this Sunday on Adult Swim.
Nerdist had a chance to talk to Molina about his diverse career, what he looks for in a project, and where Lex’s hair metal past came from.
The clip above that you’ve just enjoyed features Lex Luthor performing with his band “Sexx Luthor” at his high school talent show. How was it for the three time Tony award winner performing an ’80s hair metal number? Said Molina, “When they first presented me with the possibility… it was a bit of an afterthought, and I thought maybe they didn’t mean me to sing it. It was going to be, like, recited or with some kind of musical background and I’d be kind of speak like it was a poem of some sort, and then Seth [Green] said, ‘No, no, let’s really go for it and let’s just kind of rock out.’ So I just sort of learned the tune, and he said, ‘Don’t worry about being too accurate, it’s not The X Factor,’ and we just went for it, and he creates a very joyous atmosphere and work and there’s kind of a sense that everyone’s just very collaborative and it made it easy. It was a lot of fun.”
Molina continued, “Doing a song as Lex Luthor, it’s clearly meant to be the most shocking thing you can imagine doing. It was just wonderfully – the anarchy and, like all great subversiveness in art, it always comes from a real point of affection and Seth and his creative team and writers, you know, they clearly love this stuff. They clearly love these characters and this world so it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”
When I mentioned the fun and diversity of acting roles on Molina’s IMDb page, the actor reflected on his career, saying, “I’ve been acting since ’74 — 1974 — which makes me sound terribly old, but my only criteria has been to stay working, to stay employed. So I usually say yes to everything and I’ve never been in a position – even now – where I’ve got like, three or four jobs lined up… So my criteria is stay busy. So whatever comes up, I’ll say yes to, you know?”
The actor has the El Rey network’s original series Matador lined up next where he plays Andrés Galan, a mysterious millionaire and alleged bad guy. Molina was excited, saying, “They’ve got great showrunners, Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, and I think some of that energy and verve that Robert [Rodriguez] has brought to his movies he’s aiming to sort of put on the small screen with his new network. It’s very exciting to be in on something so new and be in on it in the beginning, it’s lovely.”
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special II: Villains in Paradise premieres Sunday, April 6 on Adult Swim.