2. TOM WELLING
Ah, Tom Welling: one of the big reasons I can never write off Smallville since it stars one of the nicest dudes I’ve ever had the pleasure to interact with.
The background on this one was that it was early fall of 2005 and earlier in the day I has just gone to the doctor to get tested for lactose intolerance.
Had I known what the test for this was, I would not have scheduled it on a day I had to interview friggin’ Tom Welling.
Basically, they (or at least my guy) inject you with a vial full of concentrate lactose, and if you feel like crap later, you’re lactose intolerant. I believe there may have also been a blood test or something involved, but that’s the part I mainly remember—and folks, I am definitely lactose intolerant.
So I drag myself into the office and am feeling absolutely awful. My stomach is gurgling like nobody’s business and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I vomit. My “office” at the time was a little corridor off the main hall that I shared with Rickey, and I’m pretty sure he can still remember and attest to what bad shape I was in. I basically told him that if I had to puke during the Welling interview, I was grabbing the trash can, tossing him the phone and question list, and it was his show.
I wasn’t actually speaking to Tom about Smallville, but rather the remake of The Fog he was starring in with Maggie Grace and Selma Blair, though we did talk Superman stuff at the end. Since I was nervous and just wanted to get it out of the way, I was straight up with him after we began talking and exchanged names and told him my situation, right down to “…so if you hear something that sounds like somebody heaving their guts up in the background during this call, that’s totally me.”
Now many celebrities—or, y’know, people—may have been a little weirded out by this, hung up the phone and called their agent about never speaking with Wizard again, but Mr. Tom Welling gave an only slightly nervous chuckle and assured me everything would be fine.
And it was! We ended up having a great interview and I felt totally calm about 30 seconds in because Tom was so eloquent, witty and I daresay quite charming that I really enjoyed the conversation and totally forgot how sick I was.
But it wasn’t the main interview that gets him this high on the list, it’s the back-and-forth that ended the call:
Me: “Well, those are all the questions I’ve got, Tom—anything else you wanted to say?”
Tom: “Just that I hope you feel better, man.”
Me: “Aww…you know, after hearing that, I do already!”
Tom: “Oh great, now I think you’re going to make me puke.”
We both laugh heartily and say goodbye.
And that is why, Tom Welling, you are my Superman.
And just in case you're curious, here is a scan of the article that was a result of that phone interview:
Click the thumbnails for full-size (1024 x 1522) scans:
Scans courtesy of Iron Man Fan, with my thanks!