Erica Durance has a date with an Angel — all four of ‘em, actually — as a guest star on this Thursday’s Charlie’s Angels (ABC, 8/7c), which pays homage to the classic “Angels in Chains” episode circa 1976. TVLine spoke with the Smallville alumna about getting her Glock on as a CIA agent, her Hope to star in a medical drama, and breaking out of the genre-TV “box.” (We also of course made one last grab for Clark/Lois scoop!)
TVLINE | You told me that once Smallville wrapped, you wanted to “kick ass and take numbers.” So, do you get to kick a little ass on Charlie’s Angels?
In kind of a different way. She’s got the gun, she has a little physicality, and there’s definitely potential for her to really be tough, but in this particular situation there’s only a bit of that. They’re just establishing who she is, and we’ll see where they go with it. But I am a “gun-toting CIA agent”! [Laughs]
TVLINE | Specifically, a “Glock-toting CIA agent.” Tell us more about Samantha Masters.
Oh, Samantha Masters…. She’s a woman who is very career-driven, and she has a little bit of a history with Bosley (played by Ramon Rodriguez). He’s part of the reason she’s had a falling out with the CIA, so there’s a lot of tension they get to play with. She’s very self-reliant, and independent….
TVLINE | She knows a few of Bosley’s own secrets….
Yeah, you’ll see that she has a lot more on him than he has on her, though she plays it close to the vest. She’s very hard-nosed — I really like her.
TVLINE | What’s going on in the photos I’ve seen, with you and Ramon sneaking a field?
It’s kind of a reconnaissance mission where we are there to back up the Angels. [Samantha] was initially quite an obstacle, but I end up coming along for the ride, so we’re checking out how we can best help the Angels — and bickering as well! And then we all get in a lot of trouble.
TVLINE | Is there sexual tension between her and Boz?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a sexual tension, but there’s definitely a tension from them having had a relationship before that is not quite finished yet.
TVLINE | Is Charlie’s Angels a pilot you went up for in the spring?
I did not. I was busy filming Smallville, but I was well aware of it, because of course it was [original Smallville EPs Al Hough and Miles Millar's] next venture. So I knew it was casting, but I knew that I wouldn’t be unavailable to work on it. I was very happily surprised when Al and Miles, who were really good to me with Smallville, called to see if I wanted to come down and do this.
TVLINE | What was it like working with them again?
I was only able to chat with Al, and it was really, really great. I also saw a couple of alums from the Smallville crew when I was down in Miami, so that was like a little reunion!
TVLINE | Al said that when they were casting the voice of Charlie, Michael Rosenbaum lobbied for the gig — and even sent tapes.
[Laughs] Yeah, I bet he did! It’d be the perfect thing for Michael. He’s very animated and fun, plus he’d get to stay in L.A.
TVLINE | Are you locked in for just the one Angels episode? Or have you booked a second?
I have not. There was the thought that it could recur, and if all of that works out with the timing of whatever project I’m working on, I’d be open to seeing where they go with the character.
TVLINE | Where do things stand with Saving Hope, the Canadian medical drama on which you star and also serve as a producer? [Durance plays Dr. Alice Joy, the idealistic Chief Surgical Resident at a hospital whose happenings are narrated by its comatose Chief of Surgery.]
I’m still waiting to hear. We had some really positive feedback from some of the people we approached… so we’ll see what happens. That was a wonderful experience and a project I’m really proud of.
TVLINE | Alice is smart doctor, but…? What’s her foible?
What’s her foible? [Laughs] Maybe her foible is she doesn’t know what her foible is yet. That’s something that I’m still working on developing. I was very interested in playing doctor who has to deal with all kinds of drama on a day-in, day-out basis, and being part of a project that talks about not just the surgeries but that whole life. She’s a great character, but there’s a quality to her that is quite detached. Plus, it was nice to be a part of something where I can be a producer as well. One of my goals is to educate myself more as a woman in this business.
TVLINE | Cassidy Freeman booked a new A&E series and a recurring role on [the since-canceled] Playboy Club, Justin Hartley is going to be on Chuck, you’ve got Saving Hope and this Angels appearance… Is it a weight off your shoulders to see several Smallville vets book new gigs right away, and not left in some sci-fi cubbyhole?
I think that all actors just want to continue acting, so if you get the opportunity to go out and do something again, you feel very lucky. Speaking for myself, I felt so lucky to get seven years [on Smallville], so I never took for granted that I’d be able to go out and get another job. And I’m still not taking for granted that I’m going to [stay busy]. I just keep looking for things that are interesting and keep calm as possible about it all, not worrying about being in a “box.” That’s why I went off and did a film in Italy – I wanted to stretch my wings and see what it’s like to make film with Italians and see what that market is like, and that role was very challenging. [Twins, in which Durance plays dual roles, screened this month at the Rome Film Festival to a standing-room-only crowd.] I’m really happy for my fellow colleagues, because I know they wouldn’t be doing these roles unless they thought it was something really interesting and fun for them.
TVLINE | Lastly, I’m curious: Even at two hours, the Smallville series finale had a lot to get done. Was there anything left on the cutting room floor that we should watch for on the DVDs?
I don’t know if our outtakes will wind up on the DVD, but yeah, we had to shave a lot of it. So we’ll see what happens. I hope that they leave in some of the scenes they had to cut around.
TVLINE | What kind of stuff was cut?
[Pauses to think] You know what? It’s all a blur to me…. I don’t have any good scoop for you, Matt — sorry!
TVLINE | But it wasn’t, like, Lois flying with Clark… right?
Nooooo, nothing as exciting as that. Are you kidding me?! [Read more about the Smallville Season 10 DVD outtakes here.]