The CW’s Smallville resumes its 10th and final season in just over a week (on Friday, January 28), making that “unbelievable” Lois-and-Clark moment all the closer. And while Erica Durance is excited to see Clark (played by Tom Welling) reach his destiny, she admits that saying goodbye to the show she has called home for six-and-a-half years is “very bittersweet.”
TVLine welcomed the opportunity to sit with Erica and reflect on life as Lois, Clark’s upcoming journey, and her own plans for after Smallville.
TVLINE | Would you have thought a year ago that you’d now be playing the future Mrs. Clark Kent? Did you think things would progress at that pace?
No, I didn’t. Because it is the final year, they’re able to ramp everything up and play with those ideas. But I certainly didn’t see this coming, so I’m just flying by the seat of my pants! They’ve been doing a great job of keeping the integrity of [Clark and Lois] and still letting them have their moments. I mean of course, who wouldn’t be smitten? But you still have to fight a little.
TVLINE | Lois knows Clark’s secret, and now Clark knows that Lois knows. Has that been freeing as an actress? Do you almost feel like you’re playing a slightly different character?
It’s certainly a different level, that’s for sure. I liked that there were secrets, I enjoyed the secrets, so for me it was great to hide and have Lois tease Clark….
TVLINE | Like when she “dropped her pencil” so he could use his X-ray vision on a file cabinet. “I’m still looking for it….”
[Laughs ]It would be nice to have continued on having had the secret for a while, to showcase that she can be a supportive person. But she was looking for him to trust her, so when he finally does it’s quite amazing for her. Now she’s trying to figure out how she fits. “How do I fit into this Justice League? What can I add to this group of people?”
TVLINE | The script for the proposal scene — how did the scene direction sum up Lois’ reaction? How does one describe what goes through her mind?
Wow, when I read the scene I got teary just thinking about it. He does this thing with [scattering] the blossoms, and it’s such a wonderful surprise. They gave us such a good portion of time to work on the scene, and it was a lot of fun to do. We laughed a lot – a lot more than sometimes our characters are ever allowed to!
TVLINE | That was actually my next question: Are you and Tom having more fun than ever?
We have always had a lot of fun working. I don’t want to speak out of turn for him, but there’s a way we both approach work and how we feel about it. There’s a witty rapport, and you’re lucky when you meet someone with a similar way of thinking. You always hope you’re contracted to work with somebody who’s safe, so that when you have to be open they work with you and not try to sabotage things. A lot of actors try to sabotage other actors and that’s sad, because then you’re never going to get that beautiful scene. Actors will in their mind want to “steal the scene,” and the problem is that means the scene didn’t work in the first place. But Tom and I have a similar perspective — and we have a lot of fun, a lot of laughs.
TVLINE | What is Lois’ arc for these next few months, as it relates to Clark and his destiny?
Now that she knows, and they’ve professed their love, and they’re engaged, it’s about, “How do I fit in a relationship with him? ” She still has her commitment issues and they’re huge. Usually the more terrified she is about someone, the more she tries to find some reason to say, “I’ll leave you first!” But her main focus is absolute and unadulterated support and belief in who he is and what he does, how very important it is, and how it’s so much greater than her. It’s about, “How can we support [Clark's destiny]? How can we make him feel good about what he’s doing?” You’re going to see fun little snippets about how Lois helps hide his identity and work on a “new look.” It’s funny, because it’s just an overblown idea of what women do in marriages anyway. She thinks, “OK, if you’re going to do this, if you want to make this work, this is what we need to do….” But she still stops at nothing, goes off on her own, investigates things, and gets in trouble — as usual! It’s all good.
TVLINE | Will Clark and Lois have any standalone adventures à la “Harvest”?
I believe the script that just came out, with Booster Gold, has a bit of that going on. There’s great interplay between the two of us. [Smallville EP Kelly Souders confirms that "Booster" is "going to be a huge, fun episode, especially with Geoff Johns writing it."]
TVLINE | What did it mean to you that the show, during its final season no less, made time to revisit Lois’ family, including her late mother (played by guest star Teri Hatcher)?
To take the time to see where did Lois come from, and for her to be able to resolve some of those issues, meant so much to me. We’re always so many more things than we appear, and there are always reasons tied to family. So that was amazing.
TVLINE | What is Lois’ take on Chloe’s return? I understand that some characters are wary of her allegiances.
Lois is just happy she’s back. Chloe is like a sister to her, so she’s happy she’s there and she wants her to be safe. It’s unconditional love, like, “You don’t need to tell me everything you’re doing, but be careful.”
TVLINE | Is Lionel Luthor’s “resurrection” a big story that Lois-the-reporter digs into?
I’m just starting to work on something that has to do with Lionel and uncovering what’s going on there. He has another arc going with some of the other characters, so I haven’t gotten to work with him specifically yet.
TVLINE | But I imagine his return has to make headlines.
It’s pretty huge, yeah. [Says Souders, "Lionel's return definitely rattles the Daily Planet a bit that's for sure. It's a big headline in everybody's life."]
TVLINE | If you could grab any keepsake from the set before the series wraps….
My Lois Lane nameplate!
TVLINE | I was thinking maybe one of Lois’ costumes — but they all burned in the apartment fire. So tragic.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about life after Smallville. At this month’s TCA press tour, you were a part of The CW’s “Kick-Ass Women” panel. Would you like to kick more ass, maybe as a member of the new Charlie’s Angels or as TV’s next Wonder Woman? Or do you see yourself joining a straight drama ensemble?
[Pauses to think] I would love to step out on my own, for sure. I just want to kick ass and take numbers! We’ll see if I get the chance.