Suguru Geto in Jujutsu Kaisen.
(MAPPA)

Lex Lang ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ Interview: ‘Geto Wanted To Be Loved’

Priding himself on his voice work, voice actor Lex Lang has been recognized for bringing memorable characters to life in popular franchises such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, Lupin III, and the Yakuza series.

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When I spoke to him at Anime Central 2024, Lang dove into the depths of his career, broke down his relationship with performance arts, and teased what’s next to come as he looks ahead to future roles: “At one point, a director of a film asked if they could send someone from the school I was attending at the time [to set] to teach the actors how to look like they could play instruments. When I was showing the actors how to jump off stage and everything else, the director asked if I was [myself] was an actor.”

Lang was hired to be the lead guitar player in the movie and, from there, was able to see the trajectory of his career expand. “I had a friend who was in a movie, Suzie Q, where his counterpart was Amy Jo Johnson—the Pink Power Ranger. While walking back from set after dinner, I started doing different voices and my standup routine. Amy said to me, ‘you’d be a great voice actor.’”

Lang originally was unfamiliar with the concept of voice acting, but always knew he was an actor. He talked about how, in the 1990s, anime wasn’t as prominent in the United States, and noted that it was referred to as “Japanimation.” At the time, he said, video games didn’t have the capacity of incorporating voice acting, as the technology to do so was still emerging, leaving Lang unaware that he would later go on to take roles in video games. He said that Johnson explained how Power Rangers used voice dubbing over scenes and cited that as the starting point for his voice acting career.

He said, “I found very quickly that voice acting was different than [performing on stage] or on camera acting, because I wasn’t being judged on my look, but it was more about the performance of the character I was becoming. This was really motivating for me.” Lang broke into Western animation after Power Rangers, where he took on projects like The Batman and Justice League. His first video game role was Doctor Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot before transitioning over to anime. Now, he believes that anime and gaming have converged: “That was one of the big reasons why I stuck with voice acting, because I could play so many characters, and then I was encouraged to keep going from others because they thought the work I was doing was good.”

Throughout his time as a voice actor, Lang has accrued an impressive collection of acting credits, with a lot of variety. “What was interesting to me,” Lang said when breaking down the nuances between the different forms of acting he has pulled into his portfolio, “was that my wife inspired me to become a voice match specialist. I started doing a lot of voice matching, which I found to be the most challenging. Sometimes I’d be cast as a particular celebrity, and I’d [be nervous], because my voice would have to match theirs perfectly. Luckily for me, it’s all been spot-on enough where I’m still working in voice replacement.”

Throughout his time spent working in the niche of voice matching, it was 1998’s Lost in Space that really stood out to him the most. “When I was cast to voice over William Hurt’s role in Lost in Space, Hurt was off the grid. He was at an ashram in India for the next 18 weeks, leaving me to dub all the lines they needed to replace. It was 38 lines, with 16 of them being on-camera. It’s pretty daunting when you’re recreating big scenes, and I was lucky that I could lock in.” Because Lang eventually took on so many additional roles in Lost in Space, he now affectionately refers to the movie as “Lex In Space.”

Outside of voice matching, Lang said that he’s been “so blessed” to accept the roles he’s had while bringing his characters to life. “I played Batman a few times, and that was on my bucket list. I’d love to play Batman again in a series that it’s a real meaty take on the Dark Knight, like a Dark Knight Returns-adjacent project. Another Batman thing would be cool, but I’ve always wanted to play Superman as well. I thought that would be cool. To be in a show like that would be awesome.”

Lang thanks his theater training as a method of transforming into characters when digging into the emotional content. He not only thinks about the role from an emotional perspective, but embraces the mindset of who the character is, and what they are grateful for: “It’s an interesting approach, even when playing a villain—what are they grateful for? Most of the time, actors aren’t thinking about that.” He calls upon key life questions matched with emotional states to fully immerse himself in his characters’ relationships with others, regardless of what he’s working on.

“When I’m playing villains, look at Geto,” Lang said when reflecting on his time voicing Suguru Geto throughout the Jujutsu Kaisen English dub. “He’s also Kenjaku. With Geto, there’s the ideology that started very pure where he wanted to protect those who he thought were weaker than him. Geto had this sense of honor that he wanted to maintain, and wanted to stand for something good. Through the events of his life and confrontation with Toji Fushiguro, Geto slowly descended into this darkness as a character.”

For Lang as an actor, he was right there all along through Geto’s descent. “With Kenjaku, even though he’s in the body of Geto, he has a whole different ideology while working on his own master plan for hundreds of years. It’s not just a descent into darkness, but it’s overall confidence on where he stands. As an actor, I bring those subtleties of Geto into my Kenjaku performance. I bring Geto’s certain sense of calm and confidence while following the despair that he also fell into.”

There’s an unwavering, bittersweet affection shared for Geto in the Jujutsu Kaisen fandom, despite being such a morally grey character. “The fanbase that pivots around Geto is pretty amazing. Geto is flawed, as we all are as human beings,” Lang said. “In the most simplest form of our core existence, that’s relatable. We watch Geto go into that darkness, and you relate.” Lang said that he interprets the fascination with Geto as a humanistic “look what he’s going through” psychological response: “You take the trip with Geto down the rabbit hole, but when he’s in charge of destruction, you feel bad for him. ‘Woah, this poor guy has gone so deep into despair.’ It’s amazing.”

Lang also finds Geto resonating with him, even if they don’t completely share the same life experiences: “Deep down, everyone wants to be loved. Geto wants to be loved, like anyone. He wants to love, like anyone. He wants to be happy. I related to those things. Where things veer [away is when Geto doesn’t get to be happy. He gets to these experiences where [others are suffering] and it crushes him.”

Lang can be heard in Digimon productions and an upcoming variation of Lupin III, as well as taking on voice roles in Love, Death & Robots. Additionally, he can be heard as background primates in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. For those who want to connect with Lang, he can be found on Instagram, where followers can stay up to date with his personal and professional life.


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Author
Annie Banks
Annie Banks is a professional entertainment journalist from Chicago, Illinois. She holds degrees in journalism and marketing, and has been incredibly fortunate to watch her career path collide with her passions. Throughout her six years of entertainment journalism experience, Annie has fervently written about movies, television shows, anime, manga, K-Pop, comics and video games. To this day, she still proudly retains her title as a Rotten Tomatoes-approved Tomatometer critic.