Spoilers: Covenant, among others.
Description: Lex gives an interview to GQ Magazine. These things are never easy.
Notes: This story poured out of me in about 2 hours, with essentially one draft. Be kind.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lex (rats) and I don't own GQ (well, except for a few issues...)
Feedback: I fiend for it.
EXCERPT FROM GQ MAGAZINE - SEPTEMBER 2004
What do Yul Brynner, Michael Jordan and Patrick Stewart have in common with Lex Luther? Absolutely nothing.
This boy billionaire is showing a new generation of men, ahem, women, the definition of bald and beautiful. Jason Miranda interviewed the heir to the LuthorCorp throne, and learned how he's putting the Lexy in sexy. It hasn't always been easy.
Lex Luthor has had a last couple of years that would try the most fortuitous of souls. Two failed marriages, desertion on a tropical island, and a bitter fued with his father, culminating in the latter's incarceration, all combine to sound too angst-wridden to be true. Still, on this summer afternoon in downtown Metropolis, Lex is an alluring combination of reserve, calm, urbaness, and, oh, did we mention, sexiness. Just entering the bistro, he has no shortage of admirers. Yet, accept for a generic nod to the more vocal patrons, he seems oblivious to the gawkers that he leaves in his wake. There are whispers and giggles and fluttering eyes as we make our way to the private room where we'll be having our interview - despite the fact that neither of us has ever stepped foot in this place before.
"Why the private room?" I ask, when we are finally seated. He seems to answer by rote.
"I lose my anonymity when I'm in the city," he answers, "this affords me some measure of privacy." He is immediately brought a cup of coffee and a designer water (Evian), which he barely acknowledges.
"You know you have fans, then?" I ask innocently.
"Which I find very curious," he replies, skipping the affirmative, "I am not a celebrity in the traditional sense. I haven't sought out fame in any way. It was a birthright."
"Like royalty," I add. He doesn't reply.
He has a way of doing that - ignoring you in a way that seems both admonishing and polite. You come under his spell quickly.
A waiter then approaches to take our drink orders. We soon learn that they only serve ale and liquor - no wines. I order a Guinness. And Lex?
"But it's 4:00!" I remind him.
"My day's over after this," he replies, missing my point.
"But it's 4:00!"
"What can I say, I can hold my liquor."
Our interview begins:
What do you hate the most about these interviews?
The random multiple-choice questions: Ben Affleck or Matt Damon, East Coast or West Coast, truth or dare, tall or green.
Is that what they did to you this morning at the Teen People interview?
You better believe it.
OK, then...American or Cuban?
Oh, here we go. Are we talking about women or cigars?
Cuban women, American cigars.
Armani or Versace?
Both. I purchase pieces, not brands.
Blond or brunette?
Gay or straight?
Gay or straight?
Why did I have to ask twice?
I'm bemused by this question. I've been married twice.
Granted, but they were marriages nonetheless. And I've been connected with a long list of very beautiful woman.
That implies that not all of the connections were true.
Minnie Driver? I've never even met her.
I laugh. Our drinks arrive.
You mind if we move along to the meat of the interview?
Can I start by asking a few questions?
You're welcome to ask them...
Well, OK. Your wife, your former wife, was reported missing last summer in a dubious plane crash.
He looks down stroking the side of his scotch. Correct.
Has she been found?
Not to my knowledge.
Her father has been very vocal in his accusations against you. Are you in any way, responsible for her disappearance?
A pilot was killed. He looks at me as if to say, "I answer questions." Do you feel a compulsion to promote your innocence?
As I've maintained, my wife, Helen, and I got in a very heated argument.
About...something that would get us in a heated argument. She pulled out a gun, and attempted to shoot me. However, in the ensuing struggle she missed, and as we quickly realized, shot the pilot. I ran to the cockpit to seize control of the craft, and she jumped from the plane.
So you didn't kill her, throw her from the plane and then shoot the pilot?
Of course not. The investigators found no sign of residual gunpowder on my hands after my return. I never fired that gun.
You seem to have an especially hard time with women? Has that affected your love life?
How could it not? I'm obviously more cautious, more jaded. I'd never get married again.
Not a chance. Even if you ask my old flames, I was never a perfect...suitor, but I was always a gentleman, always He gets a pensive look. Always sought ladies. Now, I he laughs now, I'm a pimp.
Is Clark Kent your trick?
Is Clark Kent your trick?
Clark Kent is my friend.
Are you saying that because he's 17?
I'm saying that because he's my friend.
Have you had any girlfriends since the presumed death of your wife?
(Pause.) It depends on how you define girlfriend.
So there have been other women?
Are you with someone now?
(Another pause.) No.
And how should I read that pause?
Now a question about you.
Versus the other questions you've been asking.
It has been reported that you were in the hospital for some time this summer suffering from an undisclosed ailment.
Can you confirm that your father had someone shoot you?
That...that is not true.
So what is true?
I suffered some suspicious injuries,... poisoning to be exact.
Do you believe your father was behind it?
He could be. I'd rather not say until I have definitive evidence.
How equanimous of you. In a word, how would you describe you and your father's relationship?
(Longest pause of the interview.) Cosmic enmity.
That's two words.
I needed two words.
Is this enmity a recent development? Because in preparing for this interview, I read some rather familial articles about your relationship last winter.
I would hardly call the nature of our relationship a recent development, although it had warmed there for some time.
Because of your stay at Belle Reeve?
(Lex gives me a look that I've never received before, and doubtfully will receive again. It's pierces me straight through, severs me in half, and nearly makes me leap from the table and run home, interview half-done, except that it is also tinged with a little pain.)
No Belle Reeve questions.
There was a time, before you moved to Smallville, that you and your father had a good relationship, correct?
Mmmm. (He's still a little rattled.) My father and I have never been especially close, but before moving to Smallville, I had a different view of him. He was my ultimate authority.
Would you explain that?
When he told me to do something, I thought I had two options: obedience or rebellion. That was it. I always did one or the other, sometimes choosing randomly. I did a lot of self-destructive things when I was younger, especially after I turned 13, sometimes cutting off my nose to spite my face.
What changed after you came to Smallville?
(He shrugs.) I grew up.
You mentioned turning thirteen. Your mother died when you were thirteen, right?
Mind fielding a question or two about her?
Be my guest.
Were you and her close?
Very. I loved her dearly.
What did she die of?
Do you think her death affected your adolescence?
Her death defined my adolescence. She couldn't have died at a worst time. I ached for her every moment of my existence.
And now - (he sighs, shifting a little and glancing away for just a second) - and now I've been able to remember her in a way that enables me, not destroys me.
Got a picture of her?
(He pulls from his exotic leather Burberry wallet a tattered photo, clearly handled often. Despite its condition, it's evident that his mother was very beautiful. Lex resembles her a lot. He takes it back and, after examining it a moment himself, returns it to his wallet.)
To totally shift gears -
God help us all.
You've been running it since your father's incarceration, which by the way, you initiated.
His own actions initiated his incarceration.
Some people think that you drummed up the fictitious murder of your grandparents just to gain a vocational advantage.
Note that none of these people are cops, FBI agents, investigators or court officials.
According to analysts, you've done, at worst, a capable job, and by some accounts an impressive job of running LuthorCorp.
What are your goals for this fiscal year?
I was raised on LuthorCorp. Some kids are raised to go to the Olympics, become entertainers, go in the miltary. I was raised to run LuthorCorp. This has been my life's ambition, although there were times when I jeopardized that ambition. My goal is to do that legacy proud, to fulfill it as I've always dreamed.
As your father always dreamed?
As it was meant to be.
One final question: boxers or briefs?
Both, and occasionally boxer-briefs, depending on what I'm wearing.
Thanks for the interview
It's been my pleasure.