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:
ETA: The rest of the interview is now up: