With a name like Luthor and a family associated with everything opposite of what’s good and right, it’d be easy to classify Lena Luthor as just another Luthor. But from her introduction in season 2, we’ve seen that Lena isn’t like her brother, Lex, or her mother. Lena is determined not to avoid the name completely but to rewrite the narrative that surrounds it.
And while Lena might make decisions that have Supergirl and the audience questioning her true intentions, there’s no such thing as definitively good or definitely bad when it comes to Lena Luthor.
“I think what’s great about Lena is that she’s not a superhero; she’s human,” Katie McGrath told us during a roundtable interview at San Diego Comic-Con. “I don’t know about you, but I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy, I’m somewhere in between. And I think that’s what Lena is. I think that’s what she’s struggling with – being a human surrounded by heroes.”
Lena is around heroes like Supergirl and Guardian and just “trying to do what she thinks is right.” But it’s all about perception. Sometimes what Lena is doing, she’s doing it because she believes that’s what right. And we’re going to continue to see Lena follow her gut when it comes to what’s good and worthy.
“I think what you’re going to see this season is in her trying to do what she thinks is right, you realize that not everyone sees right as the same thing. Not everybody sees good as the same thing. So when she does something good, that can be taken and used for bad.”
From the start, Supergirl and Lena’s relationship was seen as a direct parallel to Superman and Lex Luthor, which is understandable given the foundation of friendship we saw in Smallville between Clark and Lex. But just because Superman and Lex had that dynamic doesn’t mean that that’s where Supergirl and Lena have to follow their example.
“You’ve got this amazing storyline between Superman and Lex – this is archetypal, everyone knows it,” McGrath said. “But that doesn’t mean that’s what we have to do. It doesn’t mean that Lena is Lex, or that Supergirl is Superman. We’re creating our own stories and we’re creating our own characters, it doesn’t mean that the women have to follow what the men did before them.”
Watch our interview with McGrath below, where she talks about the rift between Lena and Supergirl, what Lena sees in James, understanding that on this show glasses are a believable disguise, and more.
Supergirl season 4 premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 at 8/7c on The CW.