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The fictional town of Smallville collided with Supanova in Sydney and Perth earlier this year, and fans of the beloved show got to meet their favourite hero and villain. Supa-Stars Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum took to the stage and spoke about their time working together, with some highlights from Perthnova below.
Smallville first graced the small screen back in 2001 and ran until 2011. The show took viewers on a journey to discover what it was like for a young Clark Kent who had not quite yet discovered who he was.
“I played a character who was trying to figure out his life, where his place was in the world, his body was changing – I think there was no way of avoiding bringing on a bit of John Schneider and his sort of mannerisms, they did influence me,” Tom Welling said when asked what it was like playing young Clark Kent.
“It was the story before the story,” Rosenbaum added, “No one had ever played a young Lex before, I don’t think, who was growing up with a young Clark and his friends. So it was a unique story and we would bring what we could to it.”
Rosenbaum was quick to think about which episodes he liked, and discussed how he felt re-watching them. “Lexmas is a great episode, Onyx, and the Pilot – it is dear to me. They did a great effort with the pilot. Sure now, when we are rewatching it and I am like, ‘Oh gosh, Lex is such an idiot. Why did you do it like that?’ But then I tell myself to let it go, I was younger. You can’t go back and criticize yourself.”
Welling added, “Yeah some of the earlier episodes that we rewatched together, I see Clark doing some stuff and I am like, ‘Hm, that’s pretty good.’ I couldn’t be that ignorant now.”
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
DC fans were delighted when they heard the iconic story Crisis on Infinite Earths was being adapted on The CW’s TV shows. The event would see the return of both old and new characters making special appearances, including Smallville’s Clark Kent.
“They reached out to me and they said, ‘We know you’re going to say no,’” Welling said when asked how the process of his character returning to TV came about. “I made it very clear I didn’t want to do it ever again. And they said, ‘Just read it.’ So I remember reading it and I remember reading the pages and I was like, ‘This is good. Arghh, this is a good idea. Argh!’ So I did it. Because it was just a great idea.
“I confirm,” Welling said when asked if he snuck onto the set of Supernatural. “I was in the trunk. I was driving along one night at like 3 o’clock in the morning and you get to recognise these signs for what shows they are. They are coded so people don’t know what show is filming so they don’t stalk them. So anyway I saw the sign for Supernatural and was like, ‘Ehhh, maybe I’ll go say hi.’
“So I pulled in and the guy who lets you in, I know who he was because we worked on Smallville, so I was kind of just able to walk on set. I knew a bunch of people. So I was like ‘What’s up, what’s up. What’s going on.’ And they were like, ‘Oh, Jared and Jensen, they’re not here but they are going to get in the impala and drive through this alley. It is a big wide crane shot. And when they get up to this bar they’re going to get out and walk in.’ And so I was like, ‘There are no close-ups or anything?’ and they were like, ‘No, no no.’
“So I go to the impala, and I get in the back seat and I lay down on the ground. I remember that Jared is complaining about something and having a conversation with Jensen. I am just sitting in the back. Anyway so [the crew] go ‘ACTION!’ and [Jared and Jensen] start driving. And it was maybe a few hundred meters. And they make a right-hand turn and I sat up from the back seat and go, ‘HEY GUYS!’ And there was no camera in the car and so they were like ‘What the‑‑!’
“Jared actually turned around and was just like, ‘Mhm,’ because he is as cool as a cucumber. He’s like, ‘Sup brother?’ So anyway we pull up, the doors open. Jensen gets out, Jared gets out and I follow. So it is like this big crane shot and you hear this, ‘Um, cut?’ The director and showrunner, he goes, ‘Welling! What the hell are you doing here?’ It was the best prank I have ever done.”
SMALLVILLE FINALE SUIT
The final episode of Smallville had the iconic character bearing the iconic emblem. To many fans, this was THE moment of we had all been waiting for.
“They showed up with a full leotard suit,” Welling began to say. “But the shot was only of me going like this (Tom acts out ripping open his shirt) and I only wanted to go this far. So the suit itself got cut into a crop top with no sleeves, so that they couldn’t do anymore with it. But later I found out they could have just CGI’d it anyway.”
“But I am proud of the way it ended for the reason that he is out there and we believe he is out there doing good. We did a thing with Kristen not long ago and she brought up where Lana might be. I agree with her that her character may have turned into a superhero on her own, I thought that was cool.”
“ZOD!” Rosenbaum shouted when asked what he found most embarrassing to shoot for Smallville. “There is a scene where I had to play Zod, and there were all these wires and I was flying in wearing this trench coat, and I was trying to be all cool but the wires kept getting crossed.”
“No but you have to understand, it was an awesome shot,” Welling added. “The idea that he would be twice as high as these beams here, right. He would be on this platform and I would be standing here facing him. And on ‘action’ he would come down from the heavens and he would lay down his perfect mark and say, ‘Kneel before Zod.’ Well… that stuff went wrong! He just kept getting twisted in the wind and then finally it worked.”
“Yeah, but honestly, it was just ten takes of me going, ‘COME ON!!! FIGURE IT OUT, ROSS!’” Rosenbaum said, “then I finally I get it there and the first thing I have to say is, ‘Kneel before Zod,’ but really I was like, ‘This is stupid!’ But I guess we sold it.”
Lead Image: Tom Welling at Supanova 2022 – Sydney. Photo by Ewan Ly.