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Smallville DVD Commentary: Persona - I worship at the television altar — LiveJournal
Smallville DVD Commentary: Persona
There are two commentaries on the Smallville S7 DVDs, one on Persona and one on Siren. I have transcribed my favorite excerpts from the Persona one here. They include comments about Tom, Michael, and Allison. You should listen to the commentary in its entirety if you can; it also includes lots of love for James Marsters and Marc McClure, and some great BTS stories.

This commentary is by John Glover (JG), Ken Horton (KH), and Todd Slavkin (TS).

* * *

Opening scene with Bizarro and Lana in bed, continuing through the opening credits:

TS: And Tom as Bizarro, it's different. It's such a subtle difference in his performance. I was very impressed, the way that he differentiated between Clark Kent and Bizarro. He's in full Bizarro mode, as you can see.

JG: He's also good on red kryptonite, too, yeah. It frees him! It's amazing what a little red kryptonite'll do every now and then.

KH: I have daughters who are old enough to go, hey, Dad, when's he gonna be on red kryptonite again? One of them looked at him one time and went, yum, yum. [laughter]

JG: Oh, I've not seen these credits before, they're wonderful!

TS: I also remember Tom playing Lionel Luthor, in S4.

JG: He was great in that.

TS: He was great.

JG: I had a lot of trouble playing him. I'm telling you, I wanted to complicate everything. It was very difficult for me to be simple.

KH: That's true. I forgot about that. And that came out wonderful, and it is the simplicity, that Clark is so centered and so quiet, you know. He has quiet body language. Tom is smart enough here that the audience would know right away but not the characters, might not know. The other characters he's playing with would not know. It wasn't so big or so different that you go- [interrupted by TS]

* * *

Scene between Bizarro and Brainiac in Suicide Slums:

TS: This shot, both of these actors, this was a long oner, and Tom just wanted to keep doing this, over and over. They were having a really good time, it was the end of the day, or the end of the night, I should say, just, I think we shot this six times. Mainly, I thought we got it early on, but Tom was really enjoying working with James Marsters, in as theatrical as it gets theater wise, where you weren't doing any cuts, and we were just letting them go, the whole time.

* * *

Scene between Bizarro and Chloe in the DP:

TS: So this was another long oner we do, which Tom, I find, really thrived on. Where we can let him kind of loosen up, and on this walk, this was his idea to mock Allison, which I love every time I see it. [laughter] It was a chance I think for him, as Bizarro, he could really have fun. [watches scene] You can see his patience level is becoming shorter and shorter with Chloe here.

KH: Again, it's subtle enough, so it could be just Clark on a bad day. It's very interesting how it actually unfolds.

TS: Allison Mack, unbelievable actress to work with. So immensely directable, and each take she would give us a little something different, and just such a pleasure as a person as well.

KH: Absolutely.

* * *

Scene between Lex and Lionel:

TS: John, talk about working with Rosenbaum.

JG: [laughing heartily] Where do I begin?

TS: Because you probably had more scenes with him than any-

JG: Anybody, sure, sure. It's [long pause] heaven, and hell at the same time. [laughter] He's just a madman, but the most wonderful kind. Um, so-

TS: It's so different.

JG: It's about play.

TS: And what's incredible with Michael is, and you would never know watching the shows, but he's such a clown, once you yell cut.

JG: And a mimic, like you wouldn't believe! Yeah, he can do everybody.

KH: What I find interesting is how hard he works for the other actor. How he will change his performance, at a time where you feel like the other actor should be startled or something, he's giving you this, this, this, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, comes this yelling version of it, or this highly profane version of it, and it does get sort of a different eye reaction from the other actor. I thought it was interesting.

JG: Yep. [watches the scene] Oh, aren't we intense together?

TS: That's great. This is classic John Glover. [JG laughs]

KH: Michael probably started this scene by saying, listen, I gotta be, I gotta plane, I've gotta gym appointment, I've gotta chiropractor, I've gotta be out of here by, I only have an hour and a half in here, so, can you shoot me out, is that possible, can you do that? [laughter]

* * *

Scene in the kitchen at the Kent Farm, between Chloe, Lana, and Bizarro.

TS: The character of Chloe could come off as bitchy here, but she's so gentle, and soulful, that it just comes off as a caring friend. And then she switches to hurt here, so beautifully.

KH: She's found a way to be in love with two different men on our show, and both of them in an honest way. She has a different plane to her relationship with Clark, than she does with Jimmy, and she's legitimate in both sides. A very difficult thing for an actress to do, I think, and she does pull it off.

TS: And this again, Tom as Bizarro is great here, because he is so subtle, but there, you can just see the differences. [watches scene] Biggest liar in the world.

* * *

Scene between Clark and Lana at the Kent Farm:

TS: This was the first scene I shot of the shoot... I'll never forget, I was drinking coffee, and the first time I went up to Tom to give direction, he said, dude, you need a piece of gum. [laughter] And that kind of set the tone for the rest of the shoot. Tom was fantastic to me, but that was, that, I don't think I've ever chewed more gum in my life, than the three weeks I was up there. It was great.

* * *

Scene between Clark and Chloe at the DP:

TS: Tom's great here as Clark, this is really the difference between Clark and Bizarro.

KH: This was one scene where I tried to get Todd to shoot this differently, Todd stuck to his guns, and he was absolutely correct. I wanted Chloe to recognize Clark, without that, but what it did is, it gave us a magic moment, and this show is about magic moments.

* * *

Scene between Clark, Bizarro, and Lana at Oliver's penthouse:

TS: Tom really embraced the love of Lana here, as Bizarro, and he plays it different than how Clark loves her, because you can see it's kind of, it's much more pure. Bizarro doesn't have the complications that Clark has, with the secret and identity, and it's-

KH: -what made the story interesting, because there's a whole appeal to Bizarro for Lana.

At the end of the scene, as Bizarro explodes:

JG: Well...

TS: Goodbye, Bizarro.

JG: We know she was a little in love with what Bizarro could give her. [laughter]

TS: Something that Clark could not.

JG: [wicked, knowing laughter]

* * *

Scene with Lex in the rain:

TS: This is freezing. Michael, this was like 28 degrees, and what a trooper! And he wanted to wear his jacket, we convinced him not to, and he ran into this tent, I gave him a big hug, soaking wet, I was proud and moved that he sacrificed himself like that, it was great.

* * *

Final scene, in Clark's bedroom:

TS: This is the bed that Bizarro and Lana [pause] "shared" intimately.

JG: [more wicked, knowing laughter]

TS: It will never be the same after this, Clark and Lana, I think.

KH: No, that was the intent going in, is to do something that, just not another breakup, that somehow, for both of them. It was an accident, but-

* * *

Screen caps courtesy of SVFan, with my thanks!

So, there you have it. Lots of love for Tom, some great comments about Michael, and, I think, confirmation that Clark and Lana were not intimate (except for the super-sex in Wrath), even though they were sharing a bed. Interesting.

Justin Hartley is delightful on the Siren commentary, but I couldn't bring myself to transcribe any of it because a lot of stuff the other people say drove me crazy. But I still recommend it; it's definitely worth a listen.

ETA: jeannev has posted a great review of the Siren commentary, with tons of quotes. You can read it HERE.

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40 comments or Leave a comment
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From: seacrystal Date: September 11th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I especially love that quote about Clark's quiet simplicity, and how hard it can be to actually put that across, and there are still many people who don't really appreciate that about TW's portrayal.

Thanks so much for transcribing this! As for the Siren one, maybe you could just post quotes about the great stuff? Leave out the crazies. ;)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I might try that, but honestly it's all mixed up together. Justin will say something really nice, and then in the next second Al will say something that makes my head explode, and then Justin says something nice again. But maybe I'll give it a go.

ETA: jeannev has offered to transcribe the memorable parts of the Siren commentary, for which I will be eternally grateful. :)

Edited at 2008-09-11 04:06 pm (UTC)
chrisluvstommy From: chrisluvstommy Date: September 11th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow that must have took you forever to write that thanks for all your hard work and effort Love the pics too
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
It did take me a while, but I've never been a very fast typist. :) I'm glad you liked it!
jeannev From: jeannev Date: September 11th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you give me a few days, I'll take the pressure off you and do the Siren highlights...or lowpoints, as the case may be. I happen to believe that the more people that are aware of what a bunch of douchebags AlMiles are, the better. And I also would like to credit Justin the credit he's due for being a nice, stand-up guy.

Thanks for providing some of the good stuff from the Persona commentary. I've always found that JG has tremendous respect for Tom's talents as an actor, which means a lot.

I'm curious though, is there much there about KK?

I love the fact that Tom just wanted to keep working with JM. Thats so adorable.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, go for it! I'm really interested to see if the same things drive you nuts as did me! :)

Honestly, I didn't leave comments about KK out on purpose. Off the top of my head, all I remember is TS saying her hair looked nice in one scene, and then KH expressing regret that he never got to work with her, in the context of a comment about how far the actors have come since the early days.

I love that Tom is still excited by acting! It makes me hopeful. It's also interesting to me that they continued, even though the director felt they had already filmed what they needed. To me, it either shows TS's deference to TW, or Tom's clout on the set, or both.

ETA: Oh, and even Al's remarks on the Siren commentary aren't all bad. IIRC, at one point he says Tom is even dreamier in real life. LOL!

Edited at 2008-09-11 04:07 pm (UTC)
dm_wyatt From: dm_wyatt Date: September 11th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I can't afford to get this set until maybe next week, so thanks for doing that!

I was curious what they'd say about Tom. I am looking forward to hearing what JH has to say too, I do like him, but that can wait...


Tom was truly wonderful in Persona...
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was such a treat to listen to this. Three guys I like and respect with great stories to share, and so much appreciation for Tom. I thought the whole commentary was great.

jeannev has generously offered to transcribe excerpts from Siren!
starry_dawn From: starry_dawn Date: September 11th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, this is fantastic! Always good to hear some Tom-praise, especially since it comes so rarely from the top-level authorities of the show. Thank you for doing this! :)

JG is awesomeness personified, seriously. "Aren't we intense together?" Hee! So much love for that man.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
These guys obviously love Tom, and were very generous and enthusiastic in their praise for him.

JG was awesome, and his laughter was the most delicious part of the whole commentary. It was funny, too, because he obviously had never seen the episode before, and had great reactions to some of the scenes, where he would ooh and ah like any other fan. :)
duskwillow From: duskwillow Date: September 11th, 2008 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for this!
Aw, so happy to read the praise for Tom. ♥
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 11th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you liked it!

I loved hearing them compliment Tom, and that's why I wanted to share. For me it's worth it to have the DVDs just so I can listen to this again whenever I want to! :)
eeyore1017 From: eeyore1017 Date: September 11th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I watched the Persona commentary the other day and I was so glad that there wasn't anyone annoying or aggravating on it, unlike on the Siren one. *cough*AlMiles*cough*

I thought the quote about the daughter saying "yum yum" was hilarious. I wonder how old she is and if she'd be mortified to know that her comment is forever immortalized on DVD. :-)

it is the simplicity, that Clark is so centered and so quiet, you know. He has quiet body language.
For some reason I really like the word "quiet" as a way to describe Clark- quiet strength.

I LOVED the fact that it was Tom's idea to mock Allison during the DP scene. It shows that he's not always so serious and definitely has a sense of humor. I think the comment about the director needing some gum shows Tom's funny side as well. :-)

I enjoyed all of the comments about Michael as well. I was amused by the fact that it seems like Michael was always in a hurry to rush off to an appointment or catch a plane or whatever. At the same time, JG and the others compliment him on how much effort he puts into playing his role.

I think Justin is great on the Siren commentary, but I don't blame you for not being able to bear listening to it over and over and over again. jeannev has tasked herself with that job which we will all greatly appreciate. :-)

This was great! Thanks for including the pictures to go along with the quotes! Thank you for doing this at all!

tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the word quiet to describe Clark, too. It reminded me of Clark's confrontation with Lionel at the end of Traveler. He was absolutely in control there, showing no wild displays of emotion, and yet he perfectly conveyed power, and strength, and confidence. He was Superman!

I am so thrilled that we got confirmation that it was Tom's idea to do that! I speculated as much in my original review of the episode, and a lot of us were convinced it was all Tom, but we didn't know. And I love that the director enjoyed it as much as we did! :)

Can't you just see Michael, always with someplace to be, someone to see? He is such a social animal! :) And such a tremendous talent as well. I don't doubt that he could throw himself into scenes with total abandon on a moment's notice, give one of the greatest performances of his life, and in the next instant be off again, on to the next adventure. God, I'm going to miss him.

I'm glad you enjoyed this! I just want to share the Tommy love! :)
carolandtom From: carolandtom Date: September 11th, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much for posting the quotes and the pics! It's wonderful to hear people from the show praising Tom. He's earnt it!
Thanks for doing this for us! *Hugs*
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm so happy you liked it! It was so wonderful to hear this, and to know that Tom truly is appreciated, especially by one of the new show runners. It gives me hope!
whimsywinx From: whimsywinx Date: September 11th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy happy! I love when the love gets shared.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Wasn't it great what John Glover said about Michael? And it was even better in that marvelous voice of his.

I'm just so ridiculously pleased that Tom got so much love in this commentary. And it truly was one of his best performances ever, playing Clark and Bizarro at the same time.
tasabian From: tasabian Date: September 12th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks very much for taking the time to do this for us! Love how zen and cool Glover seems, even in transcript. Michael's a "wonderful madman" - hee! And I love that it was Tom's idea for Bizarro to pull faces behind Chloe because that was my favourite thing in the episode!
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
You really have to hear it for yourself eventually. John's comments are exponentially better in his own voice, and his laughter throughout the episode was just delightful. And he was so into the episode, exclaiming over the plot developments and the stunts. He's just great.

You know, I missed that part when I first watched the episode, and it wasn't until someone mentioned it in the comments on my review that I went back and saw it. I laughed so hard! And I think we all knew that was pure Tom! He is so funny. I hope he gets a chance to show that side of himself more in S8.
jude_judith82 From: jude_judith82 Date: September 12th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I kind of love and hate this commentary. I love all the nice things about Tom but god this whole Bizarro loving Lana thing still pisses me off dude.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I get where you're coming from, believe me. I think that's why I've enjoyed James' Marsters' Brainiac so much. He's completely impervious to Lana's charms! :)
(Deleted comment)
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 12th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Hi! *waves* I'm glad you liked it! I think everyone loves AM. She was complimented on both commentaries.
goodvibe From: goodvibe Date: September 12th, 2008 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for taking the time to type all of this. I enjoyed the complimentary comments towards the cast, in particular about TW. And JG is just always a treat. His presence will be missed on the show, even though I do think it was the right time for Lionel to bow out.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 13th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC) (Link)
The whole commentary is good, I think, but I'm always most interested in what they have to say about the actors. KH and TS obviously appreciate all the cast members on the show. I'm glad you enjoyed reading these excerpts!

I will definitely miss JG. Smallville was lucky to have him on the show.
la_belle_isa From: la_belle_isa Date: September 12th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for trancribing the comments! That's a keeper for me, since I'm French, I always miss about 10% or more of what they say (and there's no caption on commentaries) so it's greatly appreciated!
I'm thrilled that they got into detail about Tom's performance and acknowledge the fact that it's not that easy to play Clark either. I think Tom is definitely more motivated when he gets to do something different.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 13th, 2008 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I could help you understand the commentary more completely! It's funny, when you're transcribing what people say word for word, you realize that we sometimes sound kind of nonsensical when we're talking fast or get excited. I cleaned up a few sentences a tiny bit, removing false starts or words that were mistakes that the speaker then corrected.

I'm so glad they chose this episode for a commentary! It's a real showcase for Tom, and I love hearing them praise him the way they do.
ophelia_77 From: ophelia_77 Date: September 13th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for the summary. Can you believe that I don't have the DVDs yet? *facepalm* But I am getting them tomorrow. I always love Glover's commentary. Like Rosey, he seems so totally different from his character - so kind and soft spoken. One year I want to do that walk of his in Baltimore.
tariel22 From: tariel22 Date: September 13th, 2008 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I think JG is an amazing individual. He's an incredible actor, and he takes such delight in the experience, and especially in his coworkers, both actors and the whole production staff. And I agree that he seems about as far from Lionel as one can be.

My husband and I are supposed to go out tomorrow and finally get a new TV. I also want to pick up a DVR and a Blu-ray player, and if I don't lose my nerve, I'm going to try to get them to throw in the Blu-ray version of S7 for free. :)
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