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Smallville: Michael Shanks talks to Sci Fi TV Zone - I worship at the television altar
tariel22
tariel22
Smallville: Michael Shanks talks to Sci Fi TV Zone


Michael Shanks has given Sci Fi TV Zone an exclusive four-part audio interview about his upcoming appearance as Hawkman in Smallville's Absolute Justice, and you can now hear the first two parts at their web site. I've transcribed a portion of Part 2 here, where MS talks about what it was like to be directed by Tom Welling. I've cleaned it up a bit (mostly editing out um's and you know's) to make it easier to read.

He was great, I was quite surprised. I directed once for Stargate, and was in a little bit over my head in terms of the episode I got, and this was a big thing. It’s a tough thing when some of it’s turned into a two-parter and you get the tail end, with a different DOP, and you don’t, he didn’t even, God bless Tom, he didn’t even get a prep, because he was working a lot in the first part of it, and this all kind of got down to the last minute in terms of deciding it was going to be a two-hour. He was supposed to direct a more talky one that was after it, and he ended up getting sort of saddled with this without a proper prep and whatever, so I expected a lot more stress quotient on his face, because he’s wearing multiple hats on that show to begin with.

We’re in the ninth season, and I’m sure he’s certainly interested in whether or not the show’s going to get picked up, and he’s also got this little acting job that he’s got to do on the side, and co-producing this year, so I expected him to be a little bit more, what I found interesting is that… he’s just a really laid back guy. He’s really laid back, and he really knows the animal this thing is, and he really knows his job as Clark Kent on the show, he really knows that thing, and now he could do it in his sleep, you get the impression, and I certainly know what that’s like.

His third eye is able to wander around a little bit more, and he’s able to relax into that, so that was quite refreshing to sort of see, and what I really enjoy, and I hate to say it, but I often gauge, if an actor is directing, I’ve had it in plays at times as well as the TV show, if they refer to themselves or their character in the first person as they’re doing it, i.e., “push in on me here,” when they’re talking to the DOP or whatever, I get a little wary, because you start to feel that there might be more ego involved here than is going to serve the piece. The minute that Tom, one of the first things that came out of his mouth, he said, “Well, okay, Clark’s going to be standing over here, blah, blah.” The minute he said that, it just completely made it obvious, he gets it.

[He has] a very technical approach. This is not about wanking himself or anything like that, this is about the show, and telling the story properly, and all this other stuff, and that just means you go, cool, they got the right man for the job, and he certainly proved that. I was very impressed with his wearing the multiple hats, and the fact, like I said, he didn’t get the proper prep. This is a huge episode. I’m sure we were doing a few things that they hadn’t done on the show before, [like] the logistics of what my character was. He really took the bull by the horns and never looked back, so I was quite impressed with him given the situation he seemed to be thrust into.


Click on the links below to hear the interview for yourself:

Part 1

Part 2

ETA: The rest of the interview is now up:

Part 3

Part 4

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9 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: February 2nd, 2010 12:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for this! :D

The minute that Tom, one of the first things that came out of his mouth, he said, “Well, okay, Clark’s going to be standing over here, blah, blah.” The minute he said that, it just completely made it obvious, he gets it.

See, this is what I love most about the guy. It kinda irks me when actors say "me" or "I" when they're referring to their characters, and it has always been apparent that Tom's not that kind of guy. I remember so many instances in which people have said "you" or "Tom" to him when referring to Clark, and he's always corrected them. That makes him stand apart for me, because I think he understands that Clark is totally different from Tom (as obvious as that may seem on the outside) and that he makes a conscious effort to play a character as opposed to playing just an extension of his own personality.
jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 2nd, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thats great to hear. "Laid back" is something we hear about Tom a lot from other actors. I appreciate that a lot, because laid back people are what I'm personally drawn to. Tightly wound people are a bit more of a challenge to me. Also, "no ego" is something we hear about Tom a lot. Sometimes, I wish he would pull a bit more ego on the show, because I sometimes think thats why he's got saddled with a lot of crap writing. A reluctance to throw his weight around.

This interview also confirms 2 other things, 1. Tom worked a lot on the first hour of AJ (YAY!), and 2. It seems like he's a crazy busy person, involved in a lot of aspects of the show, directing or not.
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: February 2nd, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow!! These are awesome quotes! I love that Michael go into so much detail about Tom directing! It makes me look forward to the episode even more! And it's coming from someone who actually did direct a sci-fi episode and knows what it's like.
Tom had no time to prep? It's a good thing that he already has directed 4 episodes. It looks like Michael was genuinely impressed.
Thanks so much for the transcription! You rock!
tjw_jaypat From: tjw_jaypat Date: February 2nd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for the transcript!

If we needed more proof that Tom is a genius, here we have it: he is able to just jump in and direct an episode even without proper prep. And he´s not even stressed out by it.

I wish MS would babble a little bit more coherently at times, but as long as he has nice things to say about Tom, I´m happy with what I get. :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: February 2nd, 2010 05:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks a lot for the transcript!

It's wonderful to read so much about Tom directing! (and from an actor I like).
I'm very happy Clark is going to be a lot in the first part too! I'm always impressed by Tom's willingness and ability to cope with so much hard work and by his talent. I wish more people gave him the recognition he deserves!
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: February 2nd, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not even reading just the pic alone. Awesome!
el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: February 3rd, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for transcribing Michael Shank's interview!!!

It is great to hear about Tom the director!
My favourite part:
"[He has] a very technical approach. This is not about wanking himself or anything like that, this is about the show, and telling the story properly, and all this other stuff, and that just means you go, cool, they got the right man for the job, and he certainly proved that."

The positive comments from people who work or have worked with Tom continue :D

I was a little worried about how much time Clark would be onscreen for AJ but Michael's comments have helped alleviate some of those concerns.
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: February 3rd, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awwwww! Tom love! Your Christmas/Easter/New Year's/St. Paddy's Day week continues!
tasabian From: tasabian Date: February 4th, 2010 05:08 am (UTC) (Link)
[He has] a very technical approach. This is not about wanking himself or anything like that
That part's kinda sexy!
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