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SAN DIEGO -- The Continuum continues a series of roundtable interviews with the Smallville cast and producers from Comic-Con International last weekend with Erica Durance, who returns in Season 9 as Lois Lane.

Question: With 18 episode do you feel there will be more continuity with your character and there won't be many months without Lois?

Durance: Given that there's the 18, then you're only out of four, so the likelihood you'll have those big packages of the time where Lois disappears is unlikely. So right now I've been really, really busy and working a lot, and am very much enjoying the bits of the story line and the arc that they've given me to play with this year, and I'm really looking forward to the rest.

Question: Lois can take her of herself. Are there parts of the season when you are owning it?

Durance: I start out in the first episode owning it. I'm basically fighting for my life. Some big hot chick comes to try to take me out, and I have to take care of myself because there's nobody else there. Or so I think, and then, of course, I'm saved, and that's great. That's what I love about her. She doesn't just sit back and wait for someone to help her out; she just automatically, knee-jerk reaction says "I've got to take care of this myself, and I am capable of it." And then she goes head-to-head with Tess Mercer a few times, as she does with most of the characters.

Question: Last year Lois tried Stilletto to get attention. Wlll she try another plan?

Durance: She just doesn't give up. She's not the type of gal to give up. Not that she would force herself on someone, but she does have this absolute obsession with Superman, and what he represents, and just holds all of those things that are dear to her heart, and he's this amazing entity, and she will go after him. You do see times where she's totally frustrated because he stops calling her and she's waiting for him, and that sort of thing.

But also, running parallel to that is that she still has her life. She still has her stories that she's going after. Of course, that's part of the faculty of Lois and what she represents to it, but on the other side of things I still want to keep it balanced and show the kind of modern-day woman who could totally be in love with someone, and still have her thing going on as well, and not be incredible desperate or anything like that.

Question: What is Lois's interaction with Oliver going to be this season?

Durance: The relationship with Oliver that I love is that it's the first mature relationship she's actually had, and she really did love him, and what you're going to see more of this season is that she's going back as a friend that loves him. I know that she has moved on, with her love for Superman, and I think what's interesting about this year for Lois is this magnet that keeps pulling her back to Clark Kent. She can't quite put her finger on what it is. Maybe on some level, does she think they might be the same person? There is that constant chemistry and that constant attention. As for what she is with the relationship with Oliver, she sees that Oliver is spiraling down, and she's saying hey, I love you as a friend, but he, I think, has come around to seeing how awesome she is, so there's a whole different kind of triangle going. What I love about it, is it's not two girls fighting for one guy; it's two guys fighting for one girl. I think it's time for that.

Question: Is Clark going to get in the way of your love for Superman, and vice versa?

Durance: I think they're going to play with all sorts of different scenarios to keep it interesting, to keep it fun. The coolest thing is, of course Lois is on a conscious level totally unaware of that. She'll go on and kind of diss Clark to his face and be talking about how great the Blur is, and then he gets to have that frustration, of "This is me, I can't tell her, but she thinks I'm an idiot, though I'm also that other side." And yet I think there's still, like I said, that undercurrent of this magnet that keeps coming back to Clark.

Question: Did you look back at the previous incarnations of Lois, draw a little from hear and a little from there?

Durance: You know what? I got the part so quickly, I've been trying to catch up, to be honest. The way I work is, I will totally appreciate what the other girls do, but for me to research, I could never be Margot Kidder; I could never be Teri Hatcher, and I would fall into the trap of trying to be them instead of seeing it through my eyes. So if it makes sense, I try to see Lois as a brand-new person, and even though she is a much-beloved character, I try to look at it as this brand=new girl, who's never been played before by anyone, and kind of go with it. Of course, I also have the luxury of having a really great creative team that would go okay, but this is the way she is, so all of those points of the character were still there, but I was allowed to kind of reinvent it.

I had a chance to meet a few of the Loises. I met Noel Neill a few times and t Margot Kidder. I was at a convention and this lady comes from behind me and whispers in my ear, and she goes, "You hit it out of the ball park," and I looked, and it was Margot Kidder. So, for me that was one of the most incredible moments, and I look up to her, so if anyone were to come up to me and say that, I would want it to be Margot Kidder.

Question: What do you want to see most for Lois this season?

Durance: I just want her to grow. I want her to become that journalist. I want her to embody that mythos. I want her to go after Superman. I want her to tear everything back, and grow, and become more of a well-rounded woman, and takes no prisoners. And if she has to go undercover, I like doing all of that stuff. The cool thing with my character is I'm always doing something so different, I just wait for the script to comein and go "What am I doing now?" and it's different every single time.

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