James Denton Talks Up a Super-Funny Housewives Romp and His Super New Role

Consider James Denton (luckily!) dogged by Lois Lane. Not only does he call Lois & Clark‘s Teri Hatcher “wife” on ABC’s Desperate Housewives (Sundays at 9/8c), but he suits up as the Man of Steel himself in All-Star Superman, the latest in Warner Home Video’s series of DC Universe animated movies, on sale Tuesday.

TVLine spoke with Denton about his maiden flight as Supes and working with one of the series’ most vivacious Lois Lanes — Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks. He also shares a peek at a funny-slash-sexy Housewives twist, and previews how a surprise savior will keep Mike from losing Susan forever.

TVLINE | How does one properly prepare to head into a recording studio and voice Superman? Do you pound down protein powder, show up in spandex…?
Both, actually! [Laughs] No, Andrea [Romano], the [voice] director, told me to eat green apples, because it keeps your lips from smacking and you don’t have to go in and redo lines. But that’s a great question, because I haven’t done a lot of voice work and I wasn’t in great voice one day – because of allergies or whatever – and it’s frustrating because you’re Superman! I don’t get old-fashioned stage fright, but I was terrified. This was the most unnerving acting job I’ve ever had. Superman is so iconic, and there are people who are very excited about this coming out.

TVLINE | Which past Superman is most familiar to you? Christopher Reeve? George Reeves?
I know this dates me, but [TV’s Adventures Of Superman] was still running when I was a kid. So when people say Superman, I see George Reeves in black-and-white.

TVLINE | What sort of ridiculous scheme does Lex Luthor (voiced by Anthony LaPaglia) have in play this time? It sounds like he dupes Superman into flying too close to the sun.
There’s a mission to the sun where Superman gets saturated with radiation and his cells start degenerating. Luthor’s in jail, so Superman, explaining that he’s dying, tries to convince him to turn over a new leaf. But some of the coolest stuff is with Lois, when he takes her to the Fortress to show her all the armor and weapons people have tried to kill him with over the years. That section is really great.

TVLINE | In voice work you seldom record alongside your cast mates. But please tell me you got to work with Christina Hendricks in person.
Never met her. Matt, what a drag is that? They were nice working around my Housewives schedule, so I never met her, or Anthony, Frances Conroy as Ma Kent, Ed Asner as Perry White…. All these great talents, and I didn’t get to meet any of ’em.

TVLINE | Having once played Lois herself, did Teri Hatcher have advice for you?
Teri didn’t have any advice — we just laughed about the weird coincidence. I actually auditioned for Dean Cain’s role in Lois & Clark.

TVLINE | Have you followed the casting of the new Superman movie at all?
All I saw as this one story on the Internet: “Jon Hamm Too Old For Superman!”

TVLINE | Yeah, they ended up going with Henry Cavill, a British actor from The Tudors.
Well of course. It’s very in vogue with casting directors right now, hiring British and Australian actors right and left to play Americans. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that Superman is going to be a Brit!

TVLINE | Turning to Housewives: How do you size up this season? As of late, you’ve gotten to play some nice paternal moments with Cody Kasch’s Zach.
Yeah, it’s fun, because Cody is a really good actor. He’s really intense, and Zach is really strung out on drugs in one of the episodes. Normally – and I’m happy to do it – I kind of throw softballs to Teri and let her hit them, but when Mike and Susan have their own things going on, you get to be more of a protagonist. So to work with Cody and Mark [Moses as Paul].… It’s been a good season.

TVLINE | I understand that ailing Susan will “seize the day” in upcoming episodes.
Yeah, we have that conversation where the doctor says, “We’re trying to find you a kidney, but if there’s anything you really want to do, do it now. ” They try not to panic but make a little “bucket list” and live a little more, which is fun. You can only have so much of drug addictions, comas and hit-and-runs. [Laughs]

TVLINE | And this week they get caught having outdoor sex on a Civil War reenactment site?
Where’d you hear that?! Yeah, that is a funny, funny scene. It was funny on paper and that doesn’t always translate, but this one did. There’s this one [soldier] who’s supposed to be dead but keeps trying to peek under their blanket. That was a fun shoot.

TVLINE | I hear Susan’s salvation comes via an unexpected and perhaps grim series of events.
I thought they solved it very well. I’ve been wondering how they were going to find somebody interesting to donate the kidney, because clearly they’re not going to let Susan die. So yeah, they found a nice, dark, interesting way to come up with a kidney!