|Cowboy Michael! Smallville Cast speak out!.
||[Jul. 27th, 2009|02:00 pm]
Congratulations to earthseed_fic and ange_elphe who correctly identified the first question asked of Tom at ComicCon: "When will Batman come on the show?"
Here's a wonderful treat, found by polytikal on Twitter! Cowboy Michael - check out those sexy hips!!!! What is this movie and WHEN can I see it???
If the above link doesn't work, photo can be seen at RosenbaumMedia
I thought the most interesting question asked of Tom at ComicCon was what he would like to accomplish as a producer. His answer was interesting too.
Tom: "I hope to close the gap between production and the actual onset shooting that we do....just cut that time and increase communication."
Though phrased with diplomacy, the acknowledgment that a communications gap exists between cast and producers confirms what fans have wondered about for years.
It's very unusual for Tom to speak out - but over the years, other cast members have occasionally offered criticisms of aspects of the show. This is the exception rather than the rule - usually the cast have been very positive - but there is definitely a pattern to the criticism: the actors want more information & perhaps a little input on their characters.
Some examples behind the cut:
Erica notes a S7 plot omission:
"Lois doesn't know that Grant was a clone or dead. I wished the writers would've have told Lois about that and explored that story line a bit more before moving on."
Sam Witwer, not entirely happy with the end to his character's arc:
"I didn’t see it going down like that, so I was very surprised. Aaron is such a great actor that I really disliked the idea of taking him out. I don’t know that I saw Davis freaking out and killing Jimmy. It’s my job to just say the lines convincingly, but that was something I struggled with."
Q: Did you express your concerns to the writers?
"I did, but they had their ideas. It is not for me to say what should happen. Throughout the season, they were very receptive to what I had to say. This was not a battle that I won. But I did my damnedest to take what I was given and run with it."
John Glover notes that he learned he was leaving the show.... from his driver!:
"Oh, they never let me know. No, no. There weren't always -- they didn't let us know what scripts, what was coming. Actually, a driver told me I was going to be killed a few months before it happened. He said, "So how's it feel, they're killing you this year?" I said, "What are you talking about?" I guess he would drive them on their scouts, all the producers and the designers and everything. He would hear them talk in the car. I assumed he thought I'd been told but I hadn't. So I knew it was coming before it came, but they didn't talk to me. So I just let it be. Interesting, eh?"
Jensen was the soul of diplomacy while on SV - but in 2009 he wonders: has the show run its course?
"Well Al (Gough) and Miles (Miller), the creators, aren’t even there anymore. That’s one thing ... I love Tom (Welling). I think he’s got a great thing going on and I know that he’s made the most of his situation (which is great) but at the same time, he and Allison Mack are the only two left from the original cast. So, do I envy that aspect of it? No.
You know, I don’t want the show to change so much that it’s like it’s taken a complete different life of its own, which that one kind of has. You know, they still get three-four million people watching every week ... that’s business then it turns into a business."
Katherine Isabelle guest-starred on the SV episode "Slumber" and had some interesting comments. Here. she refers to a conflict between a director and KK:
"They wanted her in J.Lo bum shorts. She didn't want to do it, and right in the middle, in front of the whole crew, the director is shouting: 'Come on! You have a great body!' And he would not take the fact that she was uncomfortable as reason enough not to do it. He was like: 'What -- do you have a giant wart on your ass?' "
(Kristin apparently prevailed - no booty shorts!)
Kristin herself has subtly conveyed that it wasn't always an easy relationship with the producers:
"My own personal experience is that MOST producers are men, in fact most directors I have worked with are men. And although men are amazing and driven, they can never truly understand the female experience. Just as we cannot understand theirs....I have also experienced being new to this business, and really feeling indebted to the people I work for. Telling men, especially men that employ you, that you want something different than what they want, has been a challenge for me, and I suspect it is for other young actresses (and older) as well."
From the Globe & Mail in 2007: "It also bothers her that people expect her to be like the character she plays....."
"What is portrayed through Smallville, which is both my responsibility and other people's, is a girl who needs saving and a girl who needs help."
At the recent Screaming Tiki-Con, Michael launched into an entertaining rant:
"To defend the writers, you know, seven years of writing 160 episodes of TV. There's going to be some crap episodes, some okay, some brilliant....that's TV. So yeah, we get a little tired of: "Poor Lex..." Why the hell did I get beat up so much? I used to get so mad, I'd go: "I'm supposed to be a genius, a billionaire..." I had no security in my house! 40 million dollar castle, all these henchmen and people were just coming right through the door and grabbing me!"
"I got beat up every episode. It still upsets me! I'd go: "Guys, do not put me in the hospital. I cannot get beat up by another guy! It makes me look weak." But they did it!"
Michael & James Marsters discussed the "Smallville Ignorance Factor" at DragonCon (transcript by amorYcohetes)
JM: "I remember, we were shooting. We were supposed to be in Honduras…"
MR: "Yeah, that was fun, wasn't it?"
JM: "Yeah, it was fun, but I wasn't yet, like, acclimatized to the whole Smallville Ignorance Factor - like, they don't tell you what's going on, at all."
JM: "and I go, 'Hey Mike, why did I trick you into coming into Honduras?' And you go, 'I have no idea, man.'"
MR: "But let's go with this. Let's go with it. It obviously happened! You're here."
JM: "Exactly. And I asked the producer and he refused to tell me!"
MR: That was the trick about being on Smallville. I mean, there's a giant through-line throughout the seven years of the show, and they go: "'Okay this is what's gonna happen. Lex will become bad. But right now he's not.' [goes back to own voice, hesitant and puzzled] 'Okay, so.... I mean, when I just killed that guy... did I mean to do it? Do I feel bad?' [Producer voice] 'Uh, just, you're doing great. Whatever you're doing, just keep doing it.' (back to own voice) Cause it was….(turns to JM) Did you feel like that sometimes?
JM: "Oh, yeah. But, but - the problem is, it doesn't seem to affect the acting! It still works!"
MR: "I know! People say, 'You're so ambiguous.' Really? - cause I don't know what the hell I'm doing!"
MR: "There’s a lot of things that came out of left field...."
JM: "I remember – this was one of my favorite moves – I was injecting you with some sort of primary-colored fluid. I was trying so hard to find out what I was doing, because, like - why am I kidnapping Lex, why am I messing with you, what is this whole thing... and finally at the very last shot of the last scene of the whole season, you’re like, ‘Oh, you’re turning me into Zod! That’s what’s going on!’ Well, now I can do it!"
JM: "I was so thankful, man. I was like, going to everybody: ‘Can you tell me what’s going on?’ ‘No, no!’"
MR: "‘Why am I doing this?’ I’m telling you, a lot of times we didn’t know what we were doing, we just committed to it. No matter what happens, you commit. Whether it’s comedy, whether it’s - you’re bombing, you JUST COMMIT. Put it in!!"
JM: "Sell it. Sell it."
Though only on the show a short time, Ian Somerhalder was quite outspoken about not enjoying his Smallville stint. (He also has a bit of a diva rep!)
Q:What has been your most physically demanding job? Emotionally demanding? Why?
"Well, there were a few times on Smallville in which it was excruciatingly difficult because of the temperature and the content. I reached probably the closest to hypothermia that I ever intend on reaching for a long time..."
I think I read somewhere that "Smallville" was not a great experience for you. Is that true, and if it is can you say why?
"I wouldn’t say that it was a terrible experience, it was just hard. The people on that show are truly good people; it’s just a matter of very strong-willed producers that didn’t want their material changed by some actor that they’d hired for 6 episodes- understandably so…"
Ian: "That set drives me up the fucking wall and I usually am doing business on the phone so I don’t read on this set"
"Let me set this one straight. The set itself doesn’t drive me crazy, I should have rephrased that... It’s cold up here and the producers really kind of screwed me up by switching my story line after I had shot three episodes thinking that I was one thing, when in fact I was another. It’s disheartening to an actor to be in that position because you play a character a certain way only to find out that the direction was wrong. I guess, in layman’s terms you just feel sort of stupid."
And among the regular cast, perhaps the most outspoken has been John Schneider. In a S4 interview, he praises Tom, while taking aim at the writing:
In a recent interview printed in the New York Daily News TV Guide Supplement, John Schneider spoke candidly about recent changes made to the show and how he feels about them.
"Smallville has been anything but innocent this year," John Schneider said in an interview. "I think in this day and age what people are doing is paying a lot more attention to demographics and trying to give an audience what they want," the paper claims he has said. "There's only so much control that any of us have over our characters, so I think with what Tom has been given, he's managed to maintain an amazing level of innocence and integrity when he is Clark."
As for his own role, Schneider said "There's so little parental involvement now. If I'm in one scene, then I fly up in the morning and fly back at night. I seem to be putting in a lot more miles lately."
Regardless of how Schneider feels about the current lack of innocence, Schneider still stresses that "the writing on Smallville is still some of the finest on television - whether I'm a fan of the direction some of the episodes are taking doesn't really matter."
A Kryptonsite poster was surprised by JS's remarks at a 2005 signing:
So yesterday I had the honor of meeting John Schneider at the Dukesfest in Bristol TN. He was very nice and signed autographs for HOURS. Anyways, I'm a Dukes fan but I am a bigger Smallville fan so I took a Smallville poster to sign (The one where Clark is the scarecrow with the S on his chest.) anyways, I take the poster out for him to sign and he chuckled saying how that's not really TW's body, just his head. I mentioned that I wish I could have found a Smallville poster with him on it, he then got pretty serious and said: "It's because they have no clue how important the parents are on that show, I swear they are the stupidest people I've ever worked for."
And this year, JS had an amusing encounter with a pair of fans - he has a sense of humour & calls himself "Bo Kent!" A few quotes:
"I'm deceased so now I don't watch it any more."
On the initials TW...
"You know it's so funny: TW & TW. When we started Smallville, I told Tom it's going to go forever because you're T.W., just like Wopat!"
Fanboy: "Should have left Lana dead! Who needs Lana?"
JS: "That's what I heard from most people when we did that, when the show came out! "It's tragic – but thank god Lana's gone!"
Here's the vid! SV discussion begins at 5.34:
As I mentioned above, the vast majority of cast interviews dwell on the positive, so these remarks are the (interesting) exceptions!
'caps by acampbell, JS vid found by eeyore1017, MR/JM transcripts by amorYcohetes. MR/JM photos by GraySunrise.