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I worship at the television altar
Smallville: Another blast from the past

Reading about Smallville's final wrap party this weekend, and knowing that Tom will film his last scenes ever as Clark Kent later this week, has made me rather nostalgic, so I'm back with some more scans of magazine articles from the early years. You might find something that's new to you, or maybe, like me, you're just in the mood for a walk down memory lane. As always, click for BIGGER.

Rising star Tom Welling was featured as a Breakthrough in the December 31, 2001 issue of People, saluting The 25 Most Intriguing People of 2001.

Michael Rosenbaum:
I tell him if his head gets big, I'll start calling him Tom Swelling.

Executive producer Joe Davola and Tom were interviewed in the February 2002 issue of Cinescape (#57).

Tom Welling:
I was stunned that there was no flying. I still think the audience will be waiting for that.

You throw yourself out there and you've got to figure some things out on your own. You've got a million people telling you different things, but you really have to find the truth in yourself.

Clickable thumbnails of the entire article:

This Smallville article is from the December 6, 2002 issue of Entertainment Weekly (#685). I didn't much care for the reporter's snarky attitude, especially toward Tom, but there were some interesting quotes, and those famous Tony Duran photographs. It was also an eye-opener for me; I had no idea that critics and fans thought the show went downhill in S1.

EP Brian Robbins:
The Evil Clark episode was frickin' great and opened up Tom as an actor. He's been better ever since.

Michael Rosenbaum:
The big misconception is that it's a teen show. It's just not. [I met] a 60-year-old black woman at a Chicago concert, and she was like, "Mmm-hmm, you're Lex Luthor. I love your show."

Clickable thumbnails of the article:

Rob LaBelle talked about playing Dr. Walden in the April 2003 issue of Cult Times (#91). He tells the same story about laughing through his scenes that Tom and Michael did on the Rosetta commentary.

I spent my first couple of days working with Michael Rosenbaum, who I found enjoyable to act opposite. He likes to experiment, and by that I mean he's always thinking and trying different things, which I truly appreciate. I had a ball filming the cave scenes with him, Tom Welling, and Allison Mack. At one point we were laughing so much that I didn't think we would get through a take.

Before he changed his name and became famous for playing the vampire with a heart of gold, Paul Wesley was Paul Wasilewski, and he guest starred on Smallville as Lucas Luthor, Lex's evil half brother. He talked about his experience on the show in the May 2003 issue of Cult Times (#92).

First off, I think Tom plays a good superhero in the making. Superman is meant to be this well-rounded, neutral, Everyman kind of guy. He represents Good in all its forms, so the contrast between our two characters was really interesting. We had this little basketball scene where Lucas starts to get under Clark's skin and it was cool to see Superman have a little bit of a temper. It felt great to know that I could get that much of a rise out of him.

Here's what director Greg Beeman said about that same scene, in the S2 Smallville Companion:

[It was] the moment I noticed Tom Welling become a leader behind the scenes as well as being the lead of the show, which is the best thing for a series. If the series lead is a selfish, self-involved person, it really is a disaster. We ran out of time shooting the basketball scene when Lucas comes in and plays with Clark and Pete. I had an hour and a half to shoot the scene, and Tom just stepped up. He pulled the actors together, and told them what he was going to do, and in a matter of ten minutes he had choreographed the whole scene. Tom was almost like a quarterback on the fly, making it up. Even as director, I wasn't in a position to make that scene happen in the timeframe unless Tom did exactly what he did. He might already have become it, but that was the moment when I noticed Tom become the leader behind the scenes.

The interviewer in this article in the November 2004 issue of SFX (#123) tried to create innuendo where there was none, and I wasn't crazy about her sense of humor, but I did appreciate this tidbit she shared about Tom:

When the unassuming Welling made his way onto set for rehearsal, every single member of the show's production crew (completely unprompted) commented on how special he was "as a man" and how much he brings to their production.

Tom had some interesting thoughts about the scene in Obsession where Jonathan walks in on Clark and Alicia:

It was interesting because the scene in the bedroom was important. It was the icing on the cake, for Clark to find someone he could be with physically and emotionally - as he believes at the time. Of course, later he finds out that he was wrong. But it's important to realize that when he goes downstairs, Clark's apologizing for what he did and how he did it, but he's still not sorry that it happened. I think we did a pretty good job of having Jonathan and Martha recognize that, as in realizing that their son was growing up and acknowledging how important this girl was to him. That scene was important because it's absolutely the opposite of all the other scenes we've ever done before.

Clickable thumbnails of the article:

And finally, this S4 Tom Welling interview from the April 2005 issue of Dreamwatch is one of my favorites. Both the questions and answers are thoughtful, and Tom gives us some wonderful insights into the show.

I'll tell you that I honestly don't remember the first season. It was so big and we were so out-of-control with the production, that I don't remember it. I can watch the first season DVD and sometimes not know what's going to happen next. People tell me stories of things that I did and I just don't recall. Back then we were working 20 hour days with three hours of sleep; it was incredible.

What I particularly enjoy about [Lois] is the side of Clark that she brings out. I love the sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek humor that we're able to portray in that relationship, and haven't been able to in the past because of the heavy, dramatic situations that Clark often found himself in with the other characters.

Erica and I get along great. We did from day one. With respect to Clark and Lois, I think Erica and I get along so well that we have to remind ourselves that Clark and Lois aren't necessarily supposed to get along so well. I'd sum up Clark and Lois' relationship as playful - they love and hate each other at the same time.

Clickable thumbnails of the article:

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17 comments or Leave a comment
jeannev From: jeannev Date: March 21st, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for all of these. It just makes me want to cry. :( It reminds me of a time when I really believed that Tom was going to go very far in the acting world. On the big screen, in fact. And while I still think he's talented and perfectly capable, I just no longer get this same impression from him. He's become a very different man, I think.

I'm ready for Smallville to be over. But it brings a lot of sadness in so many ways.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 21st, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lately I've found myself wondering what would have happened if Smallville had ended with S5, if Tom would have made the jump to films then. He's still very young, and he's got the talent, but I just don't know that he has any hunger for it. He's such a mystery to me.

I'm so happy that after 10 years on the show he has the creative and financial freedom to do whatever he wants, but I selfishly want him to choose acting, and I don't think he will. :(
jeannev From: jeannev Date: March 21st, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right, exactly. I really just wish him the best. But selfishly, I want him in front of the cameras again, PRONTO!

I think the issues now are twofold. Not only do I get no sense at all that he's terribly interested in continuing to act. But I think he's in a harder position to transition into other roles so easily. I think his "hotness" (not in looks, but it terms of the business) has waned somewhat as the show has gone on.

Ugh, I'm depressing myself. :(
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 21st, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think that's true compared to the first couple of years that Smallville was on, but I've also seen a lot of "hot" young stars who jumped at every opportunity fade into obscurity. Tom comes out of Smallville with an incredible skill set and a wealth of experience; if he wanted to, I think he could build a film career without much trouble.

I can't begrudge him taking some time off after ten years, but I'm secretly hoping he's become so used to his insane schedule that he'll get bored and start looking for a new project soon.
homicidalfink From: homicidalfink Date: March 21st, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, man. I am so in denial about everything being over this week. Thank you for the scans, though, I envy your Tom collection, and love how much the crew seems to get along/like/respect him.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 22nd, 2011 02:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been so focused on filming coming to an end, I have to remind myself that we still have more episodes to watch! But in a matter of weeks it will all be over. :(

I just hope that someday soon I'll have new articles and interviews to add to my collection. Don't disappear, Tom!
tjw_jaypat From: tjw_jaypat Date: March 21st, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aww, the good old times... *cry* Thanks for bringing back the memories...

Beeman´s quote is one of my favorites. It shows how early on Tom was taking over the set and showed interest in the behind the scenes stuff. It´s silly, but reading such things just makes me proud of him. lol

It seems we´ll have plenty of cheering up to do soon! ;))
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 22nd, 2011 03:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I feel the same way when I read quotes like that. Right from the start, Tom showed himself to be exceptional in every way.

I'm trying to be optimistic, truly. Any hint of his intentions would help, but I know better than to expect that. I'll just keep my fingers crossed.
audrey229 From: audrey229 Date: March 21st, 2011 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for posting these. I enjoy reading them so much. I remember buying all these magazines back in the day and reading them but I wasn't a part of fandom back then and they all got lost along the way. I really appreciate it!

Tom is such a mysterious person. I mean that as a compliment because I certainly think he's just terribly interesting and fascinating. I really feel as though he wouldn't have too much trouble getting noticed again if he found the right role. He is certainly talented enough to land a great guest spot on another series and show people what he is made of. I think it's more a question of if it's what he truly desires.

I've often wondered how he must be feeling right now and what his plans are. I remember him saying years ago that he wanted to have children but that he thought he would wait until the show was over so that he could actually be home to be with them. At this point though....I do wonder if maybe they've decided just not to have children (or, for whatever reason, if perhaps they can't have children.) I thought Tom's wife was actually 2 years older than he was....and while it's not too late....the clock is ticking. Anyway, obviously, none of this is any of business. I just want him to be happy and fulfilled whatever that means. I just remember that he always used to talk about wanting to be a father.

Thank you again for this!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 22nd, 2011 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, as much as I'm going to miss him once Smallville is over, if Tom wants to take a couple of years off to start a family, more power to him. I think he would be an amazing father.

Whether he loved every minute of making Smallville or not, it must feel incredibly liberating just to be free. And with his many talents, his options are limitless. I'm dying to know what he'll do next! :)
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: March 21st, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love what he said about his relationship with Erica, because it is so playful, and that's why I love it. And love Erica.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 22nd, 2011 03:25 am (UTC) (Link)
When Lois joined Smallville it showed us a whole new side of Clark, and gave Tom many more opportunities to use his considerable gift for comedy. Those first four episodes of S4 are among my favorites of the whole series. And once Clark and Lois started working together in S8, it just got better. They make such a fun team.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: March 22nd, 2011 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I hadn't read Tom's comments about Alicia & the bedroom scene before - I like his take on it!

Hadn't seen the Paul Wesley article either. LOL at his memory of watching Michael "do stupid stuff" & sing!

Tom did a great job blocking the Prodigal scene - jealous, angry Clark is hot!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: March 22nd, 2011 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)
It's not often that Tom explores Clark's feelings in depth for an interview, so when he does, I'm always fascinated.

I loved how both Rob LaBelle and Paul Wesley singled out working with Michael as the highlight of their time on Smallville. And we already know he's been singing on the set of Breaking In. :) I wonder if he serenaded Tom at all during their brief time together filming the finale.

I watched that basketball scene last night, and Tom was wonderful in it. I'll bet having a hand in creating it inspired his performance. His first taste of directing!
trystan830 From: trystan830 Date: March 22nd, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooooh Rob Labelle!!

and Paul Wesley. very cool stuff!
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: March 23rd, 2011 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Your post is a real treasure to me! So many interviews I had never read before! THANK YOU!
Something must have happened from S6 to S8 that Tom just stopped doing interviews.
chris_43 From: chris_43 Date: March 23rd, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't thank you enough for this trip down memory lane. Some of these are new too me and some are a wonderful re-read. With it all coming to an end it's really nice to revisit the journey of the show through these interviews and I look forward to re-watching the basketball scene from Lucas.

I keep hoping that with the show completing filming that maybe Tom will have time for an interview or two as the series completes. I would really love to hear his director perspective on Booster and of course some hype for the finale. *crosses fingers* You never know. :)
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