In Legion of Super-Heroes, Supergirl ventures to the 31st century to find answers to her present-day dilemmas, only to encounter new problems and an old enemy. The movie, which is an action-packed delight, is coming to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on February 7 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment.
Struggling to adjust to her new life on Earth, Supergirl leaves her and Superman's space-time to attend the Legion Academy. There, she quickly makes new friends, as well as a new enemy with old ties: Brainiac 5. However, a nefarious plot lurks in the shadows as the mysterious group known as the Dark Circle seeks a powerful weapon held in the Academy's vault!
Meg Donnelly and Harry Shum Jr. lead a star-studded cast as the voices of Supergirl/Kara and Brainiac 5, and joining them in this star-studded cast is Yuri Lowenthal (Spider-Man) as Mon El.
A character many of you will know best for his role in the Supergirl TV series, Legion of Super-Heroes puts an unexpected spin on the hero that gives Lowenthal the opportunity to deliver a very different type of performance.
We recently caught up with the actor to discuss his role, as well as what he loves about the DCU and how it felt to go from playing Superman in the Legion of Super Heroes TV series to rejoining the franchise as Mon El. Lowenthal also opens up about being embraced by fans, finding the character's voice, and more.
Check out our conversation with the Legion of Super-Heroes star below.
When you’re given the opportunity to play a lesser-known character like Mon El, compared to Spider-Man, for example, do you find you’re given a little more freedom to play in the booth and bring your own ideas to the table?
[Laughs] Yeah, one has definitely had a little more publicity than the other one! Absolutely. It’s definitely fun playing a character where there’s not the weight of expectations and so many past iterations. There will definitely be people watching the movie who have been reading comics all these years that have their own solid version of who Mon El is. I haven’t seen the episodes of Supergirl he appeared in, but he got a run there and appeared briefly in the Legion of Super-Heroes TV show that I played Superman on back in the day [Laughs]. It was a long time ago. It was nice being able to bring what I bring naturally to a role and with the knowledge I have of that character, working with the team to create the Mon El they wanted. It was definitely a joint effort and super fun. One of the things I love most about this business is working with other people and I definitely got to do that!
Mon El is this Superman-like character, and kind of a Kal-El fanboy as well, so how does that confidence bleed into what you’re doing in the recording booth, even if it’s just puffing up your chest or standing a little taller?
Totally! You know, I’m glad I can’t see myself in the booth and that they don’t have any mirrors in there. There are some times when I wish people could see what we look like in there because we do crazy things in front of the microphone to find the characters and bring reality to the performance. I’d never be able to perform if I could see myself because I think what we do in there is patently ridiculous [Laughs]. I’m just glad I can’t see myself. When I was playing Superman on the old Legion show, I didn’t realise, and it wasn’t until someone brought my attention to it, that they said, ‘You know, when you deliver lines as Superman, you take that superhero pose with your hands on your hips, your feet slightly spread apart, and your chest puffed out a bit.’ I didn’t even realise that was where my body was going with it, but I guess we find whatever gets us there.
In terms of finding the character’s voice, what did your process of figuring out what Mon El would sound like involve?
I put a little bit of thought going into it, but again, I wanted to work with the team to figure him out. I was going to bring what I bring naturally and, having read the script, I’m like, ‘Here’s who I think he is.’ Then I would go in and we’d work together to find the voice. He has this really interesting arc and we wanted to make sure we honoured that throughout. It was super fun working together to find the voice because while I may come in with things, I love getting ideas I wouldn’t think of that totally change and colour my performance in a way that I might not have found on my own.
Without giving anything away, you do get the chance to explore a few different sides of Mon El. What was most interesting to you about figuring out who this character is?
I did enjoy his arc that he’s not just the [Laughs] handsome Superman clone. I loved working together with the rest of the group to shape him. Working with other people is my favourite thing about working in this business. There’s been some isolation in recent years in the creative portion of it, but we still get to work together to find the character. It was definitely fun collaborating with the team and Wes Gleason, the voice director, to find out and craft the Mon El this story needed.
Mon El and Supergirl seem to have an immediate attraction when they meet, and it makes for very funny viewing, but what about those early scenes did you enjoy?
I loved that initial romantic interest thing. It’s funny because, with him, the dynamic is twofold. On the one hand, he’s the big man on campus as he’s already there at the Legion Academy and knows the ins and outs. Supergirl is not. He can take the reigns and say, ‘Let me show you around,’ but on the other hand, he’s knocked back a little bit because he’s such a huge Superman family fanboy. You can tell he’s just so excited to be talking to her so it was a fun dynamic to play with. While I didn’t get to work with Meg Donnelly and we didn’t record together, we’re big fans of the Disney Zombies movies in our household, so it was nice to at least picture in my head that she was there.
You’ve been all over the Marvel and DC Universes now, but what about this DC world, in particular, do you enjoy getting to explore as an actor? The last time we spoke for Injustice, you had three or four roles in that one!
Josh, you know from us talking before that I love superheroes and that I grew up reading comics. I still read comics and I still can’t believe this gets to be my job. Every time I get to play in this world is like a dream come true to me. Like you said, I got to play four different characters in Injustice! I can’t check them off fast enough on my mental checklist. Even for a second, I got to play The Atom - for a death scream! - who I had never played before [Laughs]. Then The Flash too…every time I come back to this, I’m just thrilled I get to do what I did as a kid which is to play superheroes. I love this DC Universe, I love the stories told, and I love how people get inspired by, what looks to be on the surface, silly comic book stories. We know they’re not, Josh, we know they’re not. I’m thrilled to keep coming back to this well because it will never run dry for me.
You’ve been part of so many genres, but you and comic book characters definitely seem to go hand-in-hand; what has it meant to you to be part of this genre and embraced by the fans along the way? We are a picky bunch sometimes…
Yeah, and that terrifies me [Laughs]. Whenever you’re playing one of these characters…Mon El less so because he’s not as well known by the public, but certainly, playing Superman comes with all sorts of great responsibility. Being somebody who is a big fan, I feel the pressure too. And you’re right [Laughs], fans are a super picky bunch, and I’ve had to remind myself that sometimes they’re going to like my portrayal of one of these characters, and sometimes they’re not. That has to be okay because, as a fan, sometimes I like someone’s portrayal and sometimes I don’t. If I’m going to be that way, I have to be okay with fans doing the same. Of course, it always feels so good when I do portray a character like that and people dig it. I’d be a liar to say I don’t care.
As you mentioned, you lent your voice to Superman in the Legion of Super-Heroes TV series, so how has it been to return to the franchise with this Supergirl-centric spin?
I love it. I’ve been a fan of the Legion ever since I did that show and I’m still a fan of it. I loved coming back to that world and seeing it from a different angle. Coming into ant Legion story, anybody who knows the Legion of Super-Heroes is probably thinking the same as I am: which Legionnaires are we going to get to see in this story? There are so many of them! Which weird powers are they going to showcase? It was definitely fun to come back and see it from a new angle.
Legion of Super-Heroes is set to be released on February 7.