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The Continuum kicks off a series of stories on All-Star Superman -- the next DC Universe animated movie, arriving on Feb. 22 -- with a studio provided question-and-answer with Anthony LaPaglia, who provides the voice of Lex Luthor.

Following is an edited transcription:

Question: What were the challenges of creating Lex Luthor as an animated voice?

LaPaglia: You have to understand the medium that you're in. As opposed to (on-camera) acting with another individual where it requires listening in order for you to respond, here you're having to create the question the other person would ask you in your head and then respond to it. It's a much more difficult process because there's a line between it being real and it being animated. There's a slightly different tonal quality to the way you say things, or in the way you have to make it bigger sometimes than you would naturally do in order to sell it. But not having the visual in front of you -- you're kind of shooting in the dark a lot.

Question: Did you enjoy this incarnation of Lex Luthor?

LaPaglia: Yeah, I did actually. I found it surprising that Lex Luthor was getting a bit spiritual (laugh). I guess it's kind of like a sign of the times where he's trying to get in touch with the inner Lex. (laugh)

Question: Can you talk about the journey Lex goes through in All-Star Superman?

LaPaglia: The journey Lex Luthor takes in this film -- in the beginning it's what you'd expect: he's interested in power and world domination and Superman is the bane of his existence. And then as it progresses, there's a slight injection of humanity, which is surprising to Lex Luthor that he's even experiencing feelings that are remotely human. So it kind of gives him an unusual arc. He definitely has more dimension to him in this film.

Question: What do you bring to Lex Luthor?

LaPaglia: As a kid, I loved comic books. It's basically how I learned to read as a kid because my mother would buy them for me to keep me quiet, I think. I remember one time particularly -- I was 4 or 5 years old, and I was sick and I had to stay in bed for three weeks, and so she would buy me comic books every second or third day. And I just created my own world, sitting under the covers reading Superman, Batman, Silver Surfer, a lot of the great comics.

Question: What is it about Lex Luthor that most appeals to you?

LaPaglia: There's a kind of sarcastic streak in Lex Luthor that comes from that extreme confidence in his ability to do what he does. I like the attitude of him. I like that nothing really fazes him, that he feels like he has complete control over everything, therefore, he can be relaxed enough to be a smartass. A good Lex Luthor makes or breaks it for me, I think.

Question: As you've played so many villains, do you prefer being the bad guy?

LaPaglia: I've always liked playing the baddy. Some people have a problem with getting typecast. I'm quite happy with being typecast. I don't care, as long as you're working. The truth is you could play every bad guy in a one dimensional fashion, but it's like everything else in life -- everything's different and everyone's unique, so you have to find the uniqueness in the character to bring it to life.

Question: You've obviously performed in every medium available, but voiceover is relatively new for you. Does voiceover work offer you challenges or joys of acting that you don't get elsewhere?

LaPaglia: I like the isolation part of it. I like that there's a certain amount of freedom, and that you're not waiting for somebody else to find their motivation. It's more challenging to come up with a believable character doing animation work than it is (in live-action). Acting is relatively easy because you have a personal one-on-one interaction with someone, therefore whatever you're doing is a lot smoother. This requires a bit more patience and you have to suspend the fact that you're in a sound stage and really commit to the material.

Question: You had a moment where you weren't understanding Andrea Romano's direction on a particular emotion, and Bruce Timm was able to draw Lex Luthor with an expression that depicted that emotion. Have you ever gotten direction via artwork before?

LaPaglia: That made me laugh. We were trying to get that particular passage done right and I didn't quite know how to get it. It's not an uncommon issue where you have three or four people that have three or four different takes on what it should be -- it gets a little confusing sometimes if you're doing it and you're taking in all the different stuff. You want to deliver what they want but sometimes you're not sure how to quite get there. And I thought that was ingenious, actually, showing me the picture through the glass of the expression on Lex Luthor's face. It made perfect sense -- Bruce is an animator. That's what he does -- so he was able to show me visually what he was looking for in my voice. I could actually see Lex's mental state of anguish. It actually made me think of doing it a different way and that ended up working.

Question: How much does a background in the theatre help in the voiceover booth?

LaPaglia: The theatrical background helps you in doing (voiceover) because you've already been through a hundred different acting classes where you've had to sit on a black box and pretend that you were a lemon or an imaginary cup of coffee or whatever. There's always a part of that program that requires you to strip yourself bare and be an idiot. And if you're not prepared to do that, then you have no place being there.

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