Exclusive: Allison Mack on Her Post-Smallville Plan and How Wilfred Led Her Back to TV

The following contains mild spoilers from Thursday night’s “special preview” of Wilfred Season 2.

Ryan Newman, the forever-beleaguered protagonist of FX’s Wilfred, has a super new woman in his life: work colleague Amanda, played by Smallville alum Allison Mack.

Though Mack was only glimpsed in the off-kilter comedy’s Season 2 “special preview” on Thursday  — in which Ryan realized that Wilfred the talking, toking dog (played by Jason Gann) is in fact real — rest assured that Amanda will make quite an impression in the weeks to come, appearing in a total of eight episodes.

With the FX series marking Mack’s return to TV one year since Clark Kent went up, up and away, TVLine caught up with her to discuss life after Chloe, what it was that got her sniffing around Wilfred and “reuniting” with two Smallville costars in primetime.

TVLINE | I know you peeled away in the middle of Season 10, but what was your larger attack plan for life post-Smallville? What did you set out to do?
You know, I wasn’t super-sure. I had been on the show for so long, and before that I had just been acting for so long, that I really wanted to give myself some time to regroup. That is why I took the year off and did theater, and really focused on building myself as a person and as an actress. As I was coming out of that “cave,” I decided that I wanted to continue to do work that I felt proud of. So as of late, I’ve been looking for projects that are challenging, exciting and inspiring, projects that I think are deep, projects that are something I would watch…. It was really cool for me when I got Wilfred, because I literally was cast in this a year from when Smallville ended.

TVLINE | So why Wilfred and the role of Ryan’s “borderline hot” — as Amanda herself jokingly puts it — coworker for your return to TV?
Yes, obviously I am “borderline hot.” [Laughs] The idea of working with Elijah Wood was really appealing to me. He’s done amazing things, and he’s also been in this business forever, so I felt close to him even though I didn’t know him. And in my ideal career, I’d love to continue to work on a show that is 13 episodes-a-season, is somewhat off-color and pushes boundaries, and then do theater and film the rest of the year. So when this opportunity came along to have a recurring role on a very edgy, very smart cable show, it was exactly what I had seen for myself. On top of that, there aren’t a whole lot of female characters that are written in a way that is intelligent and independent, and honest and humble. A lot of the characters out there for my age group are a little less “full.” Amanda is unique in that she wasn’t a slut, even though she jokes about it. She’s smart and quirky and avant-garde. I like that. I like playing smart women.

TVLINE | Is she the pursuer here? Is Ryan ever going to succumb to her?
Well, you’ll have to wait and see, wont you? [Laughs]

TVLINE | Because he does have some baggage with Wilfred’s owner Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann).
He does, yeah. But the great thing about the Ryan character that Elijah plays so well is his endless innocence and optimism. We continue to see that throughout the season.

RELATED | FX Sets Dates for Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management and Other Summer Comedy Fare

TVLINE | You have a lot of scenes with Wilfred. Is Amanda a dog person?
She’s not, no — and you see that, which is fun.

TVLINE | Talk about acting in a scene with Jason Gann in the dog costume.
[Laughs] You just have to believe it. It’s easier, believe it or not, when he’s in the dog suit, because it doesn’t feel as strange to scratch a man behind his fake dogs ears than it does to scratch a man behind his real ears. And you know what, I did 10 years of pretending little green tennis balls were monsters coming at me [on Smallville], so I’m pretty good at using my imagination.

TVLINE | Her inclination to “have sex with whomever is in the men’s room” aside, is Amanda’s quirky demeanor closer to your own than Chloe’s ever was?
Very much so. I mean, Amanda and Chloe are similar in that they’re both very smart, which I like. But Amanda is definitely more uncomfortable in the relationships she has with the people around her. I can definitely relate to her in that way. It’s funny, when we were filming the [“sex in the men’s room”] scene you’re talking about, Randall Einhorn, our fantastic director, kept saying, “Not so cool, Allison. Not so flirty. Not so cool. Be a little less together.” And I was like, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?! I feel like a spaz! What am I doing that’s ‘cool’?”

TVLINE | So with a 13-episode cable series, you’d be game for another regular TV gig?
Absolutely. The thing about Smallville and the reason I left early wasn’t because I didn’t like the show; I think it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given as an actress, and it’s something I will forever be grateful for. But one of the great things about being an actor is it serves a short attention span, which is something I have. To do the same character for 9-1/2 months [out of the year] or for 10 years is fulfilling in a different way than having the opportunity to play multiple characters in one year. I like the consistency of a TV show, but I like it for three months out of my year, not nine.

RELATED | The CW Plans a Beauty-ful Smallville Reunion

TVLINE | It hit me as I was prepping to talk to you, that you now have a show on Thursdays, Erica Durance’s Saving Hope airs on Thursdays, and Kristen Kreuk’s Beauty and the Beast will air Thursdays – though they’ll never all be on at the same time.
Oh, really? [Laughs] That’s awesome. We’re taking over Thursday nights!

Wilfred Season 2 continues next Thursday at 10/9c with the “official” season premiere.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joseph says:

    Oh man this sounds like a horrible show but I’m happy for Allison if she’s happy. Maybe she can guest-star on Nikita after this stint, that’d be a dream come true for this dude right here.

  2. M says:

    Fiona Gubelmann’s character’s name is Jenna, not Sarah.

  3. Clara says:

    I caught “Smallville” late in its run so I remember Allison from it. Not sure how I feel about this new show “Wilfred” which is another show I guess I wasn’t aware of from its start. It sounds kind of strange and not really my thing. Elijah Wood, though? I was wondering what he was up to. The last I saw him he was on “The Colbert Report” and talked about “The Hobbit” briefly. I’m glad Allison likes what she’s doing and I get the preference for “smart” characters. However, it makes me a little sad that “smart” characters are worshiped so much as the ideal. Intelligence is linked so much to heredity and building one’s smarts through education is often so limited by environmental circumstances that I hate that there is this message that a person–a character–is inferior or less worthy if they aren’t smart. Some of the bravest and most inspiring people in everyday life aren’t super smart and I wish actresses and entertainment people in general could show more depth by welcoming a broader and more realistic definition of an awesome or strong character.

    • Sean Conkel says:

      it seems like a lot of the actors/actresses from Smallville don’t talk to talk about or try to “run away” from being questioned about Smallville. maybe they got so bored that it lasted 10 years but come on…the show made them rich…all of them. 10 years…the first year or two the show was on the “bubble” not knowing if it was coming back. but after season 2-3 they KNEW they were coming back and therefore the contracts got a lot better and the money got alot BIGGER. i love Allison and all her work, same with Tom Welling. but they both like turned their back on the fans and the Smallville/Superman community once the finale was over with. Justin Hartley & Phil Morris along with Michael Rosenbaum/Cassidy Freeman are STILL out there talking about the show and what it means/meant for them. the community…the family and the FANS, hell they all even went to the Superman Festival thing every year just so they could stay in touch with us. something Tom didn’t do but allison did. she however didn’t like it very much. you can watch the panels of her at the superman festival thing on youtube.

      • Emily says:

        What are you, delusional? She gave a decade of her life to Smallville, and she hasn’t spoken ill of it. What more do you need from her? She has a right to move on, and if she doesn’t appear enthusiastic enough compared to other actors (none of whom, I might add, did it for as long as she and Welling did. And Rosenbaum practically had to be dragged back for the finale), try to remember that she doesn’t owe you anything more than she’s already given. I mean, seriously. I can’t believe you’re complaining about the fact that she isn’t actively catering to the fanbase of a show that is no longer on the air. That’s like the definition of non-issue.

      • Elle says:

        Tom Welling is a married man who has chosen to take some time off to be with his family. He openly gave an interview last year where both he and his wife talked about wanting to have children and start a family and just spend some time together.

        Tom is a shy, private person but he was always kind and gracious and repeated over and over again how grateful he felt to Smallville and how it had changed his life.

        Erica Durance has said several times over during her interviews for her new show Saving hope that being Lois Lane will always be a part of her and that she will always be forever grateful to the show. A fan recently met Erica Durance on the set of Saving hope and gave her a Superman comic book that another fan had drawn for her and it was reported that Erica was beyond touched by it.

        I really don’t understand what you want from these people. They have to live their lives. It wouldn’t be healthy for ANY of them to not move on from Smallville. It doesn’t mean they aren’t grateful or that they didn’t love the show.

  4. Mayra says:

    Wilfred seems awful, haha
    But I love Allison Mack, and my heart instantly melted when I read ‘Exclusive: Allison Mack…’
    I guess I’ll have to check it.

  5. Carrie says:

    Love her! She was awesome as Chloe and I’m sure she’ll be awesome on this show as well.

  6. Bryan says:

    I loved this show all throughout last season. It’s a quirky, dark comedy and right up my alley with the writing style and pacing of the show. Wilfred is hands down the scene stealer. Will be interesting to see how he interacts with Allison’s character. Loving her new look. Emphasis on her eyes are killer.

  7. emmilly says:

    allison!! smallville was the greatest. such a pleasure! loved the pictures, thank you!

  8. sml says:

    I miss smallville:/

  9. Turtle says:

    I love that Allison joined a show that I already watch. Wilfred is so weird and sad, yet it’s funny too. I hope that she branches out to networks like HBO or AMC.

  10. JDHetherington says:

    Aw. Kristen, Alison and Erica…… Smallville’s leading ladies….. How I miss that show…

  11. April Walsh says:

    This show is a lot better than the premise makes it sound. It’s a very smartly written dark comedy. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but it’s got this surreal sort of energy. It’s like Tom Stoppard decided to write a modern buddy comedy.

  12. Angie says:

    Thanks for the article. I definitely have to check this out.

  13. Autumn says:

    Thanks for the interview. I love both Elijah Wood and Allison Mack so maybe I’ll check the show out. It just seems to me that they would have good chemistry.

  14. Elle says:

    Hmm…I’m not sure that this show is of interest to me but I certainly wish Allison luck with it.

    I have certainly been trying to give the new shows a chance for the Smallville cast because I love all of them and wish them well.

    I do have to say….I prefer Allison with Blond hair. She looks very cute here but I just personally think I prefer her as a Blond.

    Ironically, I think that Erica Durance–who was forced to dye her hair blond by the producers for half of Smallvile’s run—is more beautiful with her natural brunette hair.

    And I think Cassidy Freeman–who is a natural blond—was more striking as a redhead.

    I wish all of these ladies luck. Not sure I will check out this show but I hope it works out for her.

  15. peaches says:

    Thanks for the great interview, Matt! I would certainly watch the show.

  16. wanda says:

    I dated someone who loved Wilfred so am very familiar with the show; I find it to be fake quirky/trying too hard to be zany. And as a result really tedious. Two thumbs down.

  17. Silvia says:

    Looking forward to watching more of Allison on Wilfred. I’m especially looking forward to Wilfred’s reaction to Amanda being in Ryan’s life. Should be interesting. Best of luck to Allison on this and all future projects.

  18. Mari says:

    OMG her hari!! I’ll give this show a try just for Allison.

  19. I'mnotwritingmyrealnamehere says:

    I can’t wait for the new season! I adore the show and I used to be a huge smallville fan so Allison Mack joining the cast is just awesome for me! I can’t wait to see Allison and Elijah’s scenes together, they’re two of my absolute favourite actors, I’m so excited!

  20. Caroline says:

    Love the show. Love Allison. For me it’s win-win. To see all three Erica,Kristen and Allison doing well is really nice. I’m just grateful that Wilfred comes on after Saving Hope. Now if Kristin’s new show(that really does look good)Beauty and the Beast doesn’t conflict I’ll have all my ducks in a row.

  21. christain says:

    Allison\chloe spend much smallville

  22. janmar says:

    I love Smallville and have all the seasons on DVD so I can relive the series any time I want. 10 years was an amazing run for this show and the cast need to move on. I know Tom deserves some well earned family time but I do miss him not being on our screens. I do hope he does more movies and maybe star in a thriller or a romantic comedy because he does both so well. All the best to the Smallville cast and glad to see that Allison and Erica and Kristen are pursuing other projects.

  23. Jackson daniels says:

    I love all the cast in smallville. They were great. Best wishes.

  24. Chiwendu confidence azubuike says:

    Actually,allison i rili felt 4 u wen u actd smallvile d tins u went tru in d film wen i ws watchn d film jst dat it happed real it ws reality it z painful d person u luv luv’s sum1 else hmmmmm dat z viceversa i luv u allison! Tank God u finally met d person who luv’s u adore u cherish u care u nd i knw u luv him 2.kkk take care i ve to stp here.

  25. Elená says:

    I love allison on smallville she looked better with blonde hair,did you know she is the lead character in the tv show (2014) out of this world which is the story of pandiá the greek moom goddess who finds herself on earth.she tires to act human its very funny aires in october what channel is fx on sky newzealand

  26. Avá says:

    I dont know? But out of this world is very çool! Smallville is still my fave show! Go to hell who think it sux! It doesnt so stick it.

  27. Elená says:

    Yeah the hottest tv show ever should be named smallville

    – thanks for listening avá

    -lená xoxo

  28. Avá says:

    Offically a smallvillelover -A