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OMFG Tom Welling gave an interview!! - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
OMFG Tom Welling gave an interview!!
Thanks to cloiser_trish for the heads up! It's so wonderful to read his thoughts about the show, and his insights into Clark! I would have posted this sooner, but I was passed out from the shock. Oh, and in other news? Hell freezes over and pigs fly!

Tom Welling Feels Super About Season 9
by Rich Sands September 08, 2009 03:48 PM EST

At July’s Comic-Con, Smallville star Tom Welling made his first appearance at the gargantuan sci-fi and pop-culture extravaganza, sending a packed room of 2,000-plus fans into a frenzy. (An action-packed sizzle reel that included shots of Clark in a new all-black uniform that includes the Superman shield also go the crowd buzzing.) During the audience Q&A portion, a soft-spoken young woman stepped up to the microphone and requested Welling’s answer be “kinda long, so you can keep looking at me.” Luckily for that fan, and the loyal base who still watch the series, there will be at least one more season of face time for Welling. Already TV’s most prolific Superman, the 32-year-old actor agreed last winter to sign on for this year’s ninth season (and a potential 10th) after addressing his main concern (one shared by many fans): How, after eight years, do you keep telling stories about Clark Kent before he dons the red-and-blue tights of the Man of Steel? "At a certain point, we all know where it’s going to go," Welling told TV Guide Magazine, moments after the Comic-Con panel, in a makeshift green room at the San Diego Convention Center. "And even last year, the question about halfway through the year was, ‘What is stopping him from putting on the cape?’…Once that took its form, then the decision wasn’t so difficult." Here Welling shares his feelings on coming back, his role as a producer this season, and putting on the Superman shield for the first time.

You’ve added producing duties this year. How does that change your role on the show?

When I started Smallville obviously I hadn’t done much acting. My goal was to learn everything I could. And along that road I just needed to learn everything about everything and then use that to make the show better.… There’s no bitterness or dark side when I say this, but I think I’ve been contributing as a producer for more than a few years. [Welling has directed several episodes of the series.] The title is the title, nothing changes for us in production. I don’t know if much has changed as what I bring to the table, but I do know that now I have [more] access… I’ve always tried to be open and collaborative and make the show better. I guess in the end one thing that has really changed is that there’s a lot more paperwork that comes to me! Now I literally have a stack of memos like this at the end of every day.

How did you come to the decision to sign on for Season 9, and potentially Season 10?

Well when they brought it up, the first thing I said was, ‘What’s the story gonna be?’ And no one was really sure [at that point], and that’s why it took a little while to figure out, because I really didn’t want to engage in anything until I knew what I was gonna get myself into. So that took a lot of discussion and meetings between myself and [Warner Bros. Television president] Peter Roth and [executive producers] Kelly [Souders] and Brian [Peterson] about what next season was going to be. Once that took its form then the decision wasn’t so difficult. We have a great group, and I love everybody that’s a part of it. Their ideas made sense to me. What I don’t want to do, and what nobody ever wants for the show they’re on, is for it to dwindle out and lose its credibility. And I think this season, if anything, we’ve re-energized it.

Talk about that. I gather Clark will be in a pretty dark place. What is his journey for Season 9?

Well, in the past Clark has always been the reluctant hero. Everyone is telling him what he has to do and he doesn’t want to do it. With the events of Jimmy’s death [in May’s season finale], along with the eight seasons building up, he realizes that his view on humanity has been wrong. And he goes to Jor-El and says, ‘I messed up, what do I do now?’ Jor-El takes him in, and Clark starts his training. His training ultimately is what will prepare him to be who we all know he’s going to be in the future. So it’s him spending time at the Fortress of Solitude downloading all this information. At the same time, information is given to him that the fate of the world depends on Lois Lane’s survival. So Clark has to struggle between his destiny and his humanity. Especially in the first few episodes it gets in the way of the training, because he just can’t help but deal with humans and help people, when all Jor-El wants him to do is shut everyone off, forget about them, rise above them and be the hero he needs to be.

So he’s lost faith in humanity?

He’s lost faith in his role with humanity. I think he’s lost faith in himself and what he thought he was supposed to do.

You mean he feels like there’s only so much he can do?

Right. Not only is there only so much he can do, but what he’s been doing was wrong, and he needs to go and change directions. There’s a lot of isolation. But then of course, there’s the struggle and the drama pulling him back into these relationships.

What’s his relationship going to be with Chloe as she takes on the role of Watchtower?

That’s an interesting one, because even on set, scene by scene, we’re not sure what it is. Allison [Mack] is a tremendous actor. On set, in a very collaborative and positive way, there’s this sense of distance between Chloe and Clark. They’re both changed people. They’re not the Chloe and Clark who used to run around the Torch [in the first few seasons of the show]. They’ve both grown up and they both have better ideas about what they want to do with their lives. And they’re trying to figure out what their relationship is. But right now it’s rough seas.

Clark’s big enemy this season will be Zod, but he's not the Zod we met a few years ago. Who is he when we first see him this season?

He’s trying to figure out why he’s here and who these people are with him. He’s not the only Kryptonian on Earth. There’s a whole gamut of them who will be making appearances throughout the season. It could be that he’ll find himself fighting some of them. I think this season will be about Zod searching for his destiny and why he’s here. I don’t think he’s necessarily evil off the top, I just think he’s got his own agenda, which he’s trying to figure out. And I don’t think he likes being on Earth too much.

I understand there’s going to be a love triangle between Clark, Lois an the Red Blue Blur.

There was a [production] meeting last year that I walked in on and the conversation was about how much Clark was in love with Lois. I sat there and I said, ‘Wait a minute, Clark’s in love with Lois? When did this happen?’ I said Clark doesn’t know he has feelings for her. If he does and people see it, that’s one thing, but he doesn’t know.’ … So last year Clark wasn’t necessarily aware of these feelings. There was something, there was a reason why he found himself next to Lois. And this year, that’s what’s beginning to change, he’s starting to realize he has feelings for her. But at the same time, to protect her life he feels as though he has hide the fact that he’s the Blur, and that it’s safer for her not to know that he’s the Blur.

Sounds like he’s going to be torturing himself.

Again, another year of torture for Clark.

In the clip reel we just saw Clark is wearing a dark outfit with the Superman symbol on his chest. What’s that all about?

That is the symbol of the House of El. I’ve gotten away for many years with the blue t-shirt and the red jacket. Very easy wardrobe for me, very simple, straightforward, very comfortable. This new wardrobe, the leather jacket is a little warmer, you have to learn how to not step on your jacket when you’re in a fight sequence. You learn that pretty quick—it doesn’t take many times before you figure that out! Anyway, he’s trying to establish a call sign for himself. Even though Clark isn’t putting his own face out there it’s his way of taking accountability for what he’s doing.

Will that symbol become known as the symbol of the Red Blue Blur?

Yeah. This year’s he’ll be known as the Blur. And there’s a circumstance in the second episode where he’s almost caught by Lois. And through some very interesting lighting we see the symbol, but we don’t see Clark’s face. And it’s a perfect moment for him to step forward and say, “Lois, it’s me,” but he doesn’t. Poor Lois. Because that’s all she really wants to know.

What was it like putting that costume on and having that S on your chest?

The thing is, it’s a show going into Season 9. We’ve covered a lot of ground. When we first started talking about [this season] my first thought was apprehension. At the beginning the show was ‘Before Superman,’ Clark Kent’s origins, and how he got to that point [of becoming Superman]. Now you can definitely see that it’s a new era for the show. People say, ‘Season 9? It’s been so long.’ It has, but at the same time every year is the only year, every year is a new show. Especially this year. We look at posters up in the office of Season 1, 2 and 3 and we were kids, literally. Looking back it’s like a whole other world. But that’s the way it’s always been on our show. And standing on set wearing a black shirt, with silver S, black leather coat, black jeans, black boots, and thinking about last year, it’s night and day.

The ninth season premiere of Smallville airs Friday, September 25, 8/7c, on The CW.


We also now have the promo pic of Clark in all its big, beautiful glory! Click on the thumbnail for BIGGER:

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jeannev From: jeannev Date: September 8th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can you believe it?!?!?

And he's so articulate, and his answers are so well thought out, and interesting and insightful. It KILLS me that this guy doesn't do more interviews.

There are definitely a few things in this interview I want to pull out, and analyze a bit, but I'll do that over on my own journal and not use up your space.

I will say even he sounds weary about another year of torture for Clark. Or maybe I'm projecting. But it was such a succinct answer, as opposed to other places where he elaborated some.

Do we dare hope there are more to come?
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 8th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can you believe it?!?!?

NO!!! LOL! I love this man so much right now!

It is such a joy to read what he had to share. I hope so much that this is not just a one-time treat for us. I love to hear his thoughts, and he expresses himself so well!

I'm way too giddy for analysis, but I look forward to your more measured thoughts. I will say, though, that I wondered at that short answer, too. But I do feel assured that he did NOT sign on for two more years just for the money, that he had concerns, and that those concerns were resolved. If Tom thinks they have a worthwhile story to tell, I'm in.

And the coat is leather? *looks at pic again* Really?!
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 8th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Un-freaking-believable, isn't it? Wow.

I'm definitely way more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if Tom's on board with the story. And at least he HAS an explanation for what's coming up! He's thought it out, and it makes sense in his head, I can live with that. No promises about what I'll think of the episodes, though. I have watched this show for eight seasons, after all. :D

I want more interviews!
duskwillow From: duskwillow Date: September 8th, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
*jaw hits floor*
An interview?
This was pretty much me: O_o \o/ :)))))))))))
Great answers, and it's wonderful to hear his POV when it comes to Clark, and how Clark is feeling. :) I agree with so much of what he said.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 8th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was pretty much me: O_o \o/ :)))))))))))

YES! With dancing! LOL! I'm telling you, it's the start of a new era. :)

I could listen to him expound on Clark and the show all day long. He gets it!! I loved what he said about Clark being in love with Lois. It means the world to me that he cares that much about showing Clark's POV, and developing his character.

I respect the way that he made the point about him having been a producer in everything but name for years now, without being rude or angry about it. He is such a class act. I'm so glad they're finally acknowledging everything he contributes to the show! *kicks AlMiles*
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: September 8th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for sharing the interview! I don't know why but I didn't feel positive vibes from it thought. Eeek. Any way who cares TOM!!!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 8th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I can't wait to see how it all plays out, I'm more optimistic than ever after reading this. But yes, who cares anyway? AIEEEE! Tom gave an interview! :D
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: September 8th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used to be reluctant to call my feelings toward Tom a "crush" because I haven't had a crush on a celebrity since Cordelia on Angel. But after this interview, I can officially say I have a crush on Tom. I really appreciated his views on Clark and Clark's actions and especially his feelings toward Lois in Season 8 because what he said made sense to me and it made sense in regards to how he portrayed his feelings towards Lois. So, yeah, I officially love him. Smart boys just do it for me.

And it really isn't fair that he's intelligent and so damn beautiful.
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gotearsofjoy From: gotearsofjoy Date: September 8th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
eee this interview!! Thanks for posting! I'm such a spoiler-phobe, but honestly I just couldn't resist reading this, and it's pretty much improved my feelings towards next season. I love how earnestly Tom talks about this show, and Clark as a person. Isn't is endearing that he doesn't feel that Clark loves Lois quite yet? It means that his acting has been totally unaffected by the overarching story of Superman... I don't know, I just trust what he's doing with the character. I'm trying not to be too optimistic but I can't help it!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
I love how earnestly Tom talks about this show, and Clark as a person.

Yes! It's obvious he cares about his performance, and about the story the show is telling. As a viewer and a fan, that means the world to me.

Isn't is endearing that he doesn't feel that Clark loves Lois quite yet?

That was my favorite part of the interview. How awesome is it that he's that invested in his character's development, and that he is so assured of what Clark's POV is? He owns this role, and we couldn't ask for a better guardian for our iconic hero.

I'm optimistic, too! And I can't wait for the season to start!
huzzlewhat From: huzzlewhat Date: September 8th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
The most reassuring thing about this interview for me is that he comes right out and says that the delay in his signing for S9 (and maybe S10) was because he made them come up with a direction and a storyline before he'd commit. This is big.

I really love how he draws a line between Clark being in love with Lois and Clark knowing he's in love with Lois. That makes absolutely perfect sense to me, and I adore it to bits. By the time he realizes it, it'll be way too late for him to run away. :-)

Edited at 2009-09-08 10:31 pm (UTC)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
The most reassuring thing about this interview for me is that he comes right out and says that the delay in his signing for S9 (and maybe S10) was because he made them come up with a direction and a storyline before he'd commit. This is big.

I agree. It's not just about showing up and collecting a big fat paycheck for Tom; he cares about the integrity of his character as well, and wants to be engaged in the story as a performer.

I really love how he draws a line between Clark being in love with Lois and Clark knowing he's in love with Lois. That makes absolutely perfect sense to me, and I adore it to bits.

It's an important distinction, and it just proves how carefully he crafts what we see onscreen. I love that he has the courage and the clout to sit in a production meeting and speak up for Clark, and in a way that will only enhance the storytelling. What a guy!

I really can't wait for September 25! I'm so grateful to Tom for this interview.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: September 8th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay!!! Lovely interview - very articulate and thoughtful answers. I especially love how pleased he is with Clark's new outfit - and learning not to trip on the coat!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 06:53 am (UTC) (Link)
He truly does give the best interviews. It helps that the interviewer was fabulous, too. Great questions, that evoked thoughtful, insightful answers from Tom. I also appreciated that the interviewer obviously knew enough about the show to ask meaningful questions, and enough about the Supes legend to recognize the significance of what we might see on Smallville this season.

Mostly, though, I'm just over the moon that Tom took the time to sit down and tell us what he's thinking about Clark and the show! I love him to pieces for giving this gift to the fans, and for supporting the show this way. ♥
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
I was literally frozen in shock when I first saw the news! LOL! I agree, even after eight years of playing the same role, it's obvious he cares about giving us the best show, and the best performance, he possibly can. I love him for that!
el_elle_8 From: el_elle_8 Date: September 9th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
An interview??

Articulate, intelligent and beautiful. Does it get any better? Well, additional interviews would be better ;) Oh yeah, and movie roles and showing up at my house. Not too much to ask!

I was pleased with his comments about the reason for the delay in signing on for season 9(& possibly 10) as well as his comments about Clark's feelings for Lois. Based on how Clark comes off when Tom directs and what he says about Clark, he seems to have a very good understanding of his character!

Thanks for posting the interview and the larger promo pic! I can't wait for the new season :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 07:02 am (UTC) (Link)
What you said! Honestly, I couldn't agree more. Especially the showing up at my house part! ;)

It gives me confidence in the season ahead just to hear how passionate he is about the show, and how carefully he has considered the story they're trying to tell. No one knows Clark better than Tom, and he's never had more influence over what we'll see on our TV screens. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us in the episodes ahead!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: September 9th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC) (Link)
He's really taking this producer thing seriously, getting out there to promote the show. Or there was a clause in his new contract.

But yay for the happiness it brings you!!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 07:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't think there were clauses dictating much of anything in his new contract. I think he got an entirely sweet deal to continue as Clark Kent. :) I don't know if this whole Comic-Con experience was a one-shot deal, or if he might actually venture out a bit more now that he's a producer, but I'm just thankful for what he has given us already. It's been YEARS since he did an interview!

Thank you so much for always taking joy in my joy, Whimsy. You're the best! *hugs*
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: September 9th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved it, especially the comments about him not knowing he's in love with Lois. I was concerned that they were going to fastforward right past that, but it sounds like Tom will at least try to keep things on track.

Further to some earlier comments, I'm really kinda disgusted at the way some people are reacting to everything Smallville related. Even some people I really respect are jumping on the "oh, the suit is hideous" bandwagon. I mean, WTF? The man is looking fine, and the still in the article shows how dramatic the coat looks when Clark is in action. I don't know, I guess I'll have to develop a tougher skin.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 07:52 am (UTC) (Link)
The part about Clark's feelings for Lois was my favorite. I love that Tom spoke up for Clark, and had the same concerns about developing this relationship properly that we've all had. And I'm so thankful that he seems to have enough clout to make a difference! I know he doesn't run the show, or write it, but I trust him to honor the hero Clark Kent is meant to be, and I can't wait to see this season play out on my TV screen!

I am so glad I'm not the only one who has had more than enough of the Smallville bashing. It's one thing to have genuine concerns about the show because you love it and want it to live up to its potential, and it's something else entirely to rain vitriol down on it because you're mad at TPTB for bursting your fantasy bubble, or because your expectations are completely unrealistic.

I think Smallville does a pretty amazing job of putting on a superhero show on a CW budget, and just because Clark isn't going to end up with the girl you wanted him to doesn't mean Tom just signed on for the money, or that he's an idiot, or a bad actor, or a jerk. That's your bitterness talking, honey, and I wish you would take a good, long look in the mirror, and think before you type next time.

Let's just ignore them and keep this party going, okay? Tom is awesome, we have a wonderful cast, and even if the show ends up driving us nuts sometimes, it will always bring the pretty and give us plenty to love, too.
miss_tress From: miss_tress Date: September 9th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
*runs around in happy circles*

Tom! In an interview! Answering questions and being all smart and thoughtful!

*vows to get a Trapper Keeper so I can write his name on it and draw hearts around it*
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: September 9th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

My squee icon is getting abused today.
theclexfactor From: theclexfactor Date: September 9th, 2009 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)
So, should we declare this day The Awesomest Day in SV Fandom Day? What with the Tom interview and the Clois spoilers...I think it's a holiday or something.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC) (Link)
So, should we declare this day The Awesomest Day in SV Fandom Day?

YES!!! A delightful interview with Tom online; a matching print article in TV Guide; big, pretty promo pics for 9x01 and 9x02; and spoilers that have me counting the days until I can see them come to life on my TV screen! It has been an amazing day, truly. I love Tom, and I still love this show. *is happy*
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: September 9th, 2009 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
The man Speaketh!!

I loved reading it. Sure, there are still some worrisome aspects about the potential direction of the show (Zod possibly being ambiguous, Jor-El, anyone?) but on the whole? It is remarkable that even after 8 years, TW still gets the show. And really gets it, y'know? I loved his thoughts on how the show should evolve, and Clark/lois, and wanting to be really 100% sure in his commitment to re-signing.

Yeah, basically I could ramble about this all day, heh. But since I just have done so at Val' lj, I will spare you my never ending thoughts. ;-)

I'm just so happy we heard from the guy. Like, irrationally so.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 9th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
The man Speaketh!!

He does indeed! And beautifully so! Of course I don't think this show is perfect, and even Tom can't make it so, but his enthusiasm goes a long way toward fueling my optimism for the season ahead.

It is remarkable that even after 8 years, TW still gets the show. And really gets it, y'know? I loved his thoughts on how the show should evolve, and Clark/lois, and wanting to be really 100% sure in his commitment to re-signing.

I agree! Most importantly, Tom gets Clark, and now may finally have the power to be a true guardian of his character.

Tom is so much more than the guy who shows up, hits his mark, and says his lines. He cares about this character, and this show, and obviously goes above and beyond to make his performance, and the entire show, something of which he can be proud. We're always hearing about the leadership role he takes on the set, and that quality shines through in every word of this interview.

Your thoughts, long or short, are always welcome here! :)

I'm just so happy we heard from the guy. Like, irrationally so.

I feel the same way, believe me!
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