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I worship at the television altar
Smallville director Mairzee Almas on SHoE podcast
I just finished listening to the SHoE podcast for Smallville 9.10 - Disciple, with special guest Mairzee Almas, the director of the episode, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! The podcast is filled with thoughtful insights, about directing, the characters, and the actors, as well as a wonderfully detailed discussion of the episode itself. It answered a lot of my questions, and gave me a deeper understanding of what happened in Disciple. Smallville fans should definitely check it out!

You can download the podcast at the Starkville House of El Podcast web site, or it's available for free on iTunes (look for episode #140).

For the Tom Welling fans on my flist, I transcribed a few quotes:

When I first came on to Smallville, [Greg Beeman] said to me, that Tom has a vertical learning curve. He may not have a lot of experience yet, but he's real smart, and he's paying attention. And I thought, oh, okay, great. Okay, I'll watch that, see how we go, and he was absolutely right. Tom is an incredibly smart guy. He's paying attention, and he watches other performances, he watches movies, he does his research, he pays attention. He pays attention on set. And he's been doing this long enough that, I think he can get a medical degree in less time than he's been on Smallville. He basically has a PhD in Smallville. And it shows.

He knows what he's doing, and he's stretching, I think he's still finding ways to make it a challenge, and to make it exciting for him, and he's pushing himself, and he's still stretching, and a lot of people by this time in a series have long ago walked away from it, you know, in their enthusiasm. And he doesn't, and he hasn't. He still comes in every day with ideas and fun, and very firm ideas about what he wants to do, and yet still very open to the process. He's a joy, he's been a joy, he's a lovely guy. He's really, truly, he's a lovely guy.

[Tom and Erica] have great charisma. They really like each other. First, you know, as actors, they really enjoy each other's company, and as characters, obviously, there's so much to draw from. Tom [is] obviously such a handsome fellow, but beyond that, he's one of those guys that just, I think he just genuinely, really likes women. He likes women. He likes to be around them, he likes to talk to them, you know, he likes women. And you can feel it. You can really feel it when he's around, like with Erica. He just, the two of them have such lovely charisma together. He just so really likes her, and she so really likes him, and you can see it.

I'd love to see Welling in tights! Just because he's a good-looking guy. He's a sort of a freak of nature in that he is so beautiful. He really is a very beautiful guy. He's a gorgeous guy.

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24 comments or Leave a comment
acampbell From: acampbell Date: February 6th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll bet a bunch of us have the equivalent of Ph.D's in SV, too, huh?!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! You got that right! And I would venture to say we know more than most, if not all, of the writers when it comes to show canon and continuity. They need a devoted fan to sit at the writers table and catch that stuff. :)
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: February 6th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
If any one deserves a PHD it's you and Valerie. Maybe you can get some alone time with Dr. Welling. LOL.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL! For a purely educational consultation, of course! :D
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I really do think it was one of the best podcasts they've ever done. Steve was so great at keeping the discussion lively, interesting, and on topic. The questions he asked were perfect. And Mairzee is always so open and unguarded, she's awesome!

And you know anything they say about Tom is always going to be my favorite part. :)
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tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
She's a fangirl, just like us! :D
eeyore1017 From: eeyore1017 Date: February 6th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for taking the time to transcribe these Tom-related quotes.

These quotes just make me love him even more. :-) Mairzee's comment about Tom liking women is a repeat from what she said about him and Justin during the Identity commentary. I would guess that since women are a minority in her field, she's used to having men resent and look down on her/women. I definitely encountered that kind of attitude as a woman director, myself.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
It's my pleasure! I'm just sorry it took me so long, I kept having to stop to post one more interview about Absolute Justice! :)

That's an interesting perspective you have on what it must be like to be a woman director on the Smallville set. They've only ever had three, as far as I know, and one of those is Allison. The other is Marita Grabiak, who directed Skinwalker and Relic. Mairzee's worked on countless episodes as an AD, and seven as the director. That's 11 episodes out of 191 directed by a woman so far.

Obviously she's well respected on Smallville, anyway. I wonder if she'll get to direct Upgrade, since she did Metallo.
fotw_sv From: fotw_sv Date: February 6th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I always enjoy hearing what others say about our man. You don't get that kind of genuine talk about actors much. So much plastic out there. Definitely makes us love him more. Thanks again T! :)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I love how she just gushes about him! Her sincere and spontaneous comments are so much more meaningful to hear than a guarded quote in an official interview. That's what made her episode commentary for Identity such a delight.

Tom may not indulge his fans with lots of interviews and photo ops, but it seems that where it counts, how he truly is as a person, he has no equal. How can we not love him?
jeannev From: jeannev Date: February 6th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to see Welling in tights! Just because he's a good-looking guy. He's a sort of a freak of nature in that he is so beautiful. He really is a very beautiful guy. He's a gorgeous guy.

I love how she just can't stop herself for talking about his looks. I find that so endearing, because I find myself babbling the same way when I watch him on screen.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 04:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I know, she has it as bad as the rest of us! :) The funny thing is, she was on SHoE to talk about Toxic last season, and she didn't say one word about Tom. She raved about Justin and Cassidy, but not a single quote about our boy. I remember being kind of annoyed with her at the time. :)

I don't know if it was because Tom wasn't in Toxic very much, or because the scenes with Oliver and Tess on the island proved to be such a challenge (they had delays due to weather and other problems, IIRC) they dominated her memories of the episode, but I never would have guessed she liked Tom as much as she obviously does. The first time I heard the Identity commentary, I just about fell over dead, I was so surprised. Now I hope she'll direct another episode, just so she can come on SHoE afterward and talk about it! :D
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: February 6th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I love those comments! I don't know if I'll be able to listen to the whole interview, so thanks so much for bringing here the really important part of it. lol Thank you!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:23 am (UTC) (Link)
She likes him, she really likes him! :D

I figure the Tom quotes are top priority, and must be delivered STAT! The rest is most definitely worth a listen (I loved the whole podcast), but you can do it at your leisure. :)
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: February 6th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for transcribing those quotes!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:24 am (UTC) (Link)
It's my pleasure, always!
tjw_jaypat From: tjw_jaypat Date: February 6th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for these great quotes! Mairzée has captured the essence of that extraordinary person our Tommy is. I love her "shameless" swooning. :))
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I love it, too! I'm glad there are people on set who adore him just as much as we do! :)
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: February 6th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thankyou for sharing this!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy to do it! It's my pleasure to share the Tommy love!
jlvsclrk From: jlvsclrk Date: February 7th, 2010 05:43 am (UTC) (Link)
That was wonderful. The SHoE guys can get obsessed with things that I find inexplicable but sometimes they really get it right. And I adore Mairzee!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:32 am (UTC) (Link)
This was an exceptional podcast. Steve was so well prepared, with wonderful questions, and great insights of his own. Plus the episode discussion was really interesting. And Mairzee is just plain awesome!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: February 7th, 2010 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Has your cup runneth over yet? ;)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: February 11th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm just now beginning to catch my breath! :) Expect long-overdue replies to your comments soon!
24 comments or Leave a comment