Tom Welling & ‘Smallville’ Cast Reunite & Look Back at NYCC 2022 Panel
Tom Welling (Clark), Erica Durance (Lois), Kristin Kreuk (Lana), and John Glover (Lionel) were on hand to look back on fond (or “farm”) memories of the series, as well as at its legacy, and share some things they would have liked to have seen.
Welling appreciates the show more now
He’s doing a rewatch podcast with Michael Rosenbaum — who wasn’t present but was mentioned plenty of times, something the others knew he’d enjoy — and “the more time passes, the more I appreciate it.” Looking back at it now, he’s able to forget the bad and just remember the good. He admitted that’s something he couldn’t have done years ago, “and Michael’s an idiot, so it’s a lot of fun.”
Glover changed the course of Lionel
He came in when another actor dropped out, and he just filmed one scene, but they’d wanted him back. He couldn’t do it due to other obligations, but then come Season 2, they gave him a contract. Furthermore, Glover said he had a lot of input, “because they wrote a villain and I wanted to make him human.” He thought it worked because people would ask him if he was supposed to be a good or bad guy. (However, Kreuk noted that it was different for the younger actors; Glover’s opinion carried more weight than, say, hers did.)
The “no flights, no tights” rule and Welling’s contract
Welling had put it in his original contract that he wouldn’t wear tights or put on the suit and cape. “The show to me was … about people trying to figure out their identities,” he explained. “Honestly, we wouldn’t have lasted 10 years if we’d put the suit on.” Added Kreuk, “it made the show focus on what it was supposed to focus on.”
For what Welling called his funniest prank, with Glen Winter, when Lex was supposed to, as president, give a speech at a podium, they’d put together a poorly-written two-page speech, knowing they wouldn’t use it. Rosenbaum came in, not thinking he’d have to rehearse, and asked “where are the teleprompters?” and noted, “I’m the president. I would have teleprompters, somebody, cut!” They went him away to memorize what he could in 10 minutes, and he did come back having gotten most of it. The cast also remembered putting Rosenbaum in a green screen suit.
Why fans connected with Smallville
For Glover, “it’s about family, [which] draws everybody in.” According to Kreuk, “it’s very much about the weirdness that makes you special and I feel like everybody has a thing that makes them odd or different … that sets them apart.”
Added Durance, “people love the good versus bad story. They love people that are fighting for what’s true and what’s right and they want to see good win over and if life or the world, in general, is tough and difficult, to sit down and watch something where you see goodness and truth and kindness, then it’s simple, but it’s a beautiful story.” Plus, as Welling pointed out, identity was a big theme: “Who am I? why am I here? What am I supposed to do or not supposed to do?”
Welling’s Bruce Wayne crossover pitch
“I thought it would be cool for Clark to come into the Talon and Lex is sitting with somebody, who gets up and leaves, and Clark looks at Lana, ‘who’s that? Lex looks really upset.’” And the other person is Bruce Wayne.
On filming with Christopher Reeve for “Rosetta”
Welling recalled having had one day to shoot, but Reeve stayed longer than scheduled, to the point that his nurse had to force him to leave. “One thing he did not allow you to feel is sorry for him,” he said. “And then if you look at that performance, it’s all in his eyes. … It was a very powerful day.” Glover added that he worked with Reeve before his accident and noted, “he grew so much as a human being because of that accident. He was a remarkable man.”
Welling on Smallville’s legacy paving the way for other shows
“Supernatural would’ve never made it 15 years … Jensen Ackles as my coach and Lana’s boyfriend, come on. That just launched his career.”
Any backstory for Welling and Durance’s guest spots in the Arrowverse’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”?
The short answer is no. “Clark lost his powers, and I was like, ‘How did he lose his powers?’ They were like, ‘We don’t know. … Do you need us to figure it out?’ I was like, ‘no, I got it.’ I have no idea how he lost his powers or why,” Welling said. “He was happy with his wife and his family. … That was definitely not Lex Luthor.”
Welling’s “what if?”
He would’ve liked to see a multiverse scene where Lionel had found Clark, which Kreuk called a “nature vs. nurture episode” and Durance thought would’ve meant seeing Clark “be mean with powers.” “And I could be bald!” Welling added.