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To celebrate the impending 20th anniversary of Smallville next fall, the cast of the Superman prequel series reunited at New York Comic Con's Metaverse to discuss the show's production and lasting impact. Back in October of 2001, however, the actors had no clue just how big the project (which originally aired on The WB — a network that eventually became The CW) would become. Some of them weren't even well versed in the DC source material.
Tom Welling, who reprised the role of Clark Kent in The CW's Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event last year, admitted that his lack of comic book knowledge growing up helped him prepare for the role of an inexperienced Man of Steel. "I didn't grow up in a comic book family, which, I've said before, helped me, I think. Because the whole idea of Clark is he didn't know who he was gonna be, so that made it easier for me," Welling said.
Michael Rosenbaum echoed that sentiment in regard to his portrayal of a young Lex Luthor: "I really didn't know anything about Superman ... we were lucky in a lot of ways. I loved Christopher Reeve, I loved [the 1978 Superman movie], but I wasn't die-hard, know everything about it. And so I couldn't be like Gene Hackman. He was way older, and he was all over the place in a great way. He is my favorite, so for me, it was like, 'Just frickin' do the role. Just read the lines and do what you're doing. Go with what your instinct is.'"
Watch the full panel below:
The virtual panel (hosted by Star Trek: Voyager's Garrett Wang) also featured appearances from Laura Vandervoort ("Kara Zor-El") and Sam Witwer ("Davis Bloome"). In particular, Witwer recounted how he almost died while shooting with a burst appendix (he thought it was just food poisoning) and the time he made a producer apologize to him in exchange for shaving his chest for a scene.
Vandervoort, on the other hand, voiced her disappointment that Kara didn't have a bigger role to play in the 10th and final season, which aired the series finale in May 2011.
"I wish Kara was in more of the finale at the wedding," she said. "She didn't really have closure, she just sort of flew off and we never saw her again. It would have been nice for myself personally, and I think for the character, to have goodbyes. I didn't have any proper goodbyes, and I think they could've explored more of her personal storyline. She was always, obviously as she should be ... involved with Clark's story and trying to help him, but we never really got to know her, except when she had amnesia, which was an opportunity to kind of explore who she was outside of that character, because she was a blank slate. But otherwise, it's the story of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, and I like how they peppered her in; it just would have been nice to see more about her personally."
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of New York Comic Con 2020.