Smallville - Tom Welling

Smallville - Allison Mack







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MONDAY, JANUARY 1, 2007

SMALLVILLE'S ALLISON MACK -- PART 1

BURNABY, British Columbia -- It might be the most excruciating moment of Chloe Sullivan's young life. Clark Kent, amped up on Red Kryptonite, crashes a party hosted by Lex Luthor and begins to belittle Chloe's never-realized feelings for him in front of everyone.

Clark's comments are piercing, and Chloe can do nothing but stare straight-forward. Even if she understands Clark isn't himself, Chloe's face reflects humiliation.

But the feeling is short-lived. As this take of a scene from "Crimson," an upcoming episode of The CW series Smallville, is cut, Allison Mack, who plays Chloe, quickly does a 180 emotionally and joins her castmates for some laughs.

Temporarily not needed on the Luthor party set, Mack then joins The Continuum for a short walk to the interior set of the Kent house, where she can talk out of range of the production.

Following is part one of a two-part interview with Mack, which will conclude on Tuesday. It is also the first of several stories from The Continuum's visit to the Smallville set last month.

The Continuum: Before we get into Smallville, you did a voice for The Batman...

Mack: Yeah! I did, with Andrea Romano, the director, who is a friend of mine. Isn't she fabulous?

The Continuum: There's a reason those shows get all that talent. How was that, working on The Batman?

Mack: It was really fun. I did a voice for Ant Bully, a cartoon feature, and then I've done a lot of commercials and stuff like that, but I've never done any episodic television for cartoons. And it's really different. It's almost like a play. Everybody sits in a circle around a microphone and acts it out.

The Continuum: Were you in the same room with Brandon Routh (who did the voice of Everywhere Man)?

Mack: No, but Brandon and I know each other from a few years ago. We met through a mutual friend at a party. So he was on his way out of the studio and I was on my way in doing Batman and he was like, "Allison!" And I was like, "Oh my God, what are you doing here?"

Way too many comic-book characters. Way too many coincidences. (laughs)

The Continuum: Are you interested in doing more voices?

Mack: I'd love to. Like I said, Andrea is a friend of mine, so whenever we can work together, we'd love to. But it's hard because we're here. I'd love to, though.

The Continuum: Moving to Smallville, this season's been different for you, hasn't it?

Mack: This season's been crazy for me. I'm usually in the "B" or "C" storyline, I'm not usually involved in the "A" storyline, so this season almost every episode I'm a huge part of the "A" storyline and I have my own separate "B" storyline.

I mean, it's just been outrageous. They gave me Jimmy Olsen, and Aaron Ashmore as my boyfriend has been so fabulous and I'm grateful to the writers for doing that, and to the producers for casting Aaron, because he's fantastic. It's really just allowed my character to be flushed out in so many different angles. And it's so nice to have a storyline that's wrapped up in just me and has nothing to do with Clark.

The Continuum: The pining is over...

Mack: The pining is over! He can pine for me for a little while now. (laughs)

The Continuum: This is kind of unique today. There's a lot of the core cast in one room.

Mack: I know. It's so rare that we all get to work together and we love each so much, so it's so much fun.

The Continuum: You can tell by watching.

Mack: We're kind of crazy about each other. It's kind of nice to have everybody in the same room. I think it kind of drives the director crazy because we have a little too much fun and we don't always get the work done as fast as we should.

I think the love we have for each other really translates on camera, and I think that's part of the reason why the show is such a success. I think it's really obvious there's a lot beautiful energy on the show.

The Continuum: As an actor, what's it like doing the same character for...

Mack: Six years? There are pros and cons, as there are with everything.

A pro is that I just know her so well. I've really been able to see and watch her grow, and grow alongside of her. And see how my growth personally has been reflected in her growth as a character. So all of those things are really exciting and interesting.

And it's fun to have such control of the character because the writers and myself, we have such a fabulous symbiotic relationship in that it's very much give and take. So, I come up with ideas, and to see them flush it out, it's really fun. And I think that that trust has been built over time. So the fact that I've been working on it for six years with the same people has really allowed us to have a nice, cohesive relationship.

The cons, obviously... as an actor, we're nomadic creatures by nature. So the fact we've been sort of stuck in one spot for a very long time, emotionally and physically, makes it a little bit difficult to keep everything as exciting as you can. But, I mean, therein lies the challenge, so all-around it's been great.

The Continuum: It seems every year the show doesn't get stagnant, though.

Mack: A new progression, absolutely. And I didn't mean stagnant in that I'm doing the same thing all the time. I meant stagnant in that I'm always playing Chloe Sullivan, the reporter. I'm used to playing Chloe Sullivan the reporter, but then in three hours for my next audition, I could be playing Al, the next-door neighbor who's the daughter of someone in the Mafia. Or in the next three hours, I could be playing Laura, the floozy up the street.

I'm so used to such a wide range of characters, whereas for the last six years, I've really just played one. There's been a huge evolution in her, so it's been different sides of her, but she's essentially the same core person. In that, that's what I meant by stagnant.

The Continuum: Is it difficult with the Chloe-speak, and the machine-gun way she sometimes talks?

Mack: Yes. Yes! I think that's been my biggest challenge on the show.

Emotionally, she's been fabulous. She's allowed to be so flawed and to fall down and make mistakes, and to stand up and brush herself off again. So I think I haven't really found a challenge in keeping her alive emotionally.

But I've had a really hard time in making the exposition lifelike. Because a lot of my job on the show is really moving the storyline along and being the brains behind it and allowing the audience in on exactly what is going on technically. That's really an important part of the show. So I know how important those Daily Planet scenes, those debriefing scenes, are.

But I still want to make them exciting and interesting and lifelike and fun to watch. That can be very difficult at times.

And also, the tongue-twisters. It's like, "Blehhhh!" My jaw gets tired. But it's great because at the end of the day after a huge, complex scene like that, I think to myself, "My, God! I could play a doctor. I could play a lawyer. I could play a physicist." And have no problems spitting all that jargon out after this, you know?

It's gotten really easy for me to remember complex things.

The Continuum: I'm sure you've been interviewed dozens of times, but have you ever been to a newspaper office?

Mack: I haven't, but my father's family are all journalists. His brother's a journalist and his father was a journalist. So, it's sort of in my blood. But I definitely will have to admit, I have a very romanticized version of what a newspaper office is in my head.

The Continuum: I don't think Clark would get in as easily to my old office in Detroit as he does The Daily Planet.

Mack: He's in there a lot. I pretty much live in there. I don't think I go home very much any more. (laughs) And I sort of screwed school, it seems like.

COMING TUESDAY: In part two of the interview with Allison Mack, she talks about Jimmy Olsen, the Smallville fan base and what's ahead for Chloe.

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