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ContentsSelected Feature - SmallvilleBuy It

Feature: Smallville

Small Town Boy

Smallville: Tom Welling as Clark Kent (r) with Michael Rosenbaum as not-yet-his-nemesis Lex Luthor

He may not be wearing the red, yellow and blue yet, but Tom Welling is certainly filling the shoes. The actor talks big about Smallville

I really didn't know anything about the Superman mythos," admits Tom Welling, who stars as Clark Kent on Smallville, the freshman WB series that's taken off like a speeding bullet since its début in October, quickly won a full-season pick-up, and reaches the UK on New Year's Eve. "In my mind, that helped. I approached the material only through what was presented to me in the script. And that was it. The WB gave me a book [summarizing the long history of Clark Kent/Superman and the various comic book, TV and film incarnations], but I've not opened it. I know the scripts are not following exactly what's in the comic, just from what everyone has told me, but I made the decision not to research Superman."

Truth be told, Smallville less resembles Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman than it does, say, Dawson's Creek. At heart, it's a teen drama with a Fantasy underpinning – not too unlike the early days of another, now-transplanted, WB series, namely Roswell. "Smallville is about the relationships," Welling says, putting it simply. "It's a matter of geometry, basically. The relationship with Lex, I think, is the most intriguing because it's just a matter of time before the two of them will turn against each other. Right now they're friends and they're just starting their friendship. We all know how these people will end up in a few years, so it's just a matter of how they get there."

How they get there, of course, is the stuff of which Smallville's plots are made. Each week, Clark deals with his burgeoning powers. In X-Ray, for example, Clark begins to discover he can see through just about anything. Each week, he realizes that he could be the coolest guy in Smallville and that he could, if he wanted to, wow Lana Lang [Kristin Kreuk].

So, was Welling psyched or disappointed that producer-writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar employed a `no tights, no flights' edict? "I didn't even have time to feel either way," replies the actor, a 24-year-old whose only significant previous credit was six episodes as Amy Brenneman's younger love interest on the drama Judging Amy. "When I walked into the audition for the first time, they said, `No matter what you're thinking, you're never going to wear tights and you're not going to have to have a cape.' So I really didn't have that much time to speculate about it..."

by Ian Spelling

Get the full four-page interview when you buy
Cult Times Special #20.

Stop Press! Smallville's pilot airs in the UK on New Year's Eve in a double-length presentation (Channel 4, 16.45). There's another episode on Weds 2nd Jan at 18.00.

This information was not available as the issue went to press.

Images © The WB
Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Cult Times Special #20, see below for ordering options
Cult Times Special #20
Christmas 2001
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