Monday, June 14, 2010

Superman Celebration 2010 - Metropolis, IL - Q&A Session Recap Of Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer - June 13, 2010


Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer were in attendance at the 2010 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL. On Smallville, Laura plays the role of Kara Kent (Supergirl) and Sam plays the role of Doomsday. On Saturday, we were treated to a fun Q&A session with them. I thought I'd recap some of it. First, the session started with them being asked if they could let us know any information on whether they would be included in any of season ten of Smallville. They took time to talk among themselves talking it over with their response. LOL. Then, they came back and said "no comment" at the same time which got a big laugh from the audience.
Question for Laura:


What was it like to play the cousin and get to see Tom at work everyday?
"I didn't mind going into work. (laughs). When I first met Tom, we had this scene together in the kitchen that we had to do and he just meets me for the first time. I think there was a line where he says "oh, that makes you my cousin" and in rehearsal he was joking around cause we were standing very close and then when he said "that makes you my cousin" he took a step back backwards like I can't be this close to you. We were just having fun with the fact that it was a little awkward. It's too bad that he was my cousin."
Question For Sam and Laura:
How do you feel your characters have contributed to the Smallville series?
Laura: "They definitely wanted to have Supergirl on the show. I think she brought a sense of humor in Tom and to Superman. She was his quirky little cousin who was causing trouble and he was willing to take care of her. I don't know how I contributed but I know the fans really enjoyed Kara and I really enjoyed her (applause from the crowd). I just hope that you guys were happy with what I did."
Sam: "Michael Rosenbaum wasn't there. They needed someone to provide a threat. Hopefully, it was interesting. My whole take on the character was that this was a really good guy. He was a very good person who was in a really, really bad situation and therefore was threatening to Superboy."
Laura: "With Kara, they needed someone from his family and from his home planet to kind of teach him about his past and his family. No one had done that yet. It also allowed Helen Slater to come on the show as his mother. (applause from the crowd on Helen's mention). I think both of our characters allowed for a lot more doors to be opened in storylines."
Questions for Sam:


What was it like to play Tom's enemy?
Sam: "Well, Tom's about 7'2". (laughs). I'm used to going on to sets and being one of the taller guys and I'm 6'1". So, I'm not a giant but I'm pretty tall I guess. (Turns to Laura) Have you noticed that everyone is a giant on that set? Justin Hartley is like 6"3". Tom Welling is like 6"5'. The girls are tall. (Laura says "Tom wears heels." (Laughs) I'm kidding". Sam: "There was one point where I'm trying to grab Tom and choke him or something and they made some comment when they were shooting on one side. 'It just looked a little bit like you're trying to reach up like this'. I'm like 'he ate his wheaties man, there is nothing that I can do'. For that shot, I stood on my toes (reaches up yelling arrghh). When I met him, I walked on the set and said are you the super guy? Yeah, I kill you. He (Tom) says, 'oh, well, someone has to'. (laughs).

Were you in the Doomsday suit?
Sam: "Ha ha. No, I wasn't. The cool thing about the Doomsday suit is that I can be sitting around playing video games and my presence is still felt around the set. There was a big Doomsday episode and I showed up for all of four hours of that episode in terms of work. The first time that you see the creature and I transform. And I play the "I'm turning" and the rest of the episode, he's in it. I get so many people coming up to me and saying that was great, that was such a great episode and I'm like thank you. (laughs). I appreciate that. The answer to that is that Doomsday in the comic book is 8 foot wide and 10 foot tall and I'm only 6"1' and short."

Can you tell us anything about the Star Wars game?
Sam: "Go to gametrailers.com or lucasarts.com, it's kind of all over the web. There was a new trailer that we put out yesterday. It's really cool. The story and the characters are a little more ragged this time and the combat is a little more over the top. The story is fantastic. You learn a little bit more about Vader and all of that cool stuff. I haven't consulted with Lucas Arts on what I'm allowed to say and not, so I'll just leave it at that. It's awesome."

Is being a part of the Star Wars experience everything that you hoped it would be?
Sam: "Big time. Yeah. The trailer that we just put out is generally what we would do a lot of video reference and they would put a videocamera on me and I would do so some stuff and that's how we'd figure out how the character moves. For the facial stuff, we do motion capture but for the recent trailer that we put out, I motion captured the whole thing. I got to do light saber stuff. It was really fun. The coolest thing is that you're working at Lucas Film and so we're shooting this. I was waving a microphone around to be my light saber cause they're going to put it all in later. At one point, the director goes, awww, no, go downtown stairs and get you a light saber and I'm, like, what? Ok, sure. It's Lucas Film. I guess they have these around. (laughs)."


Questions For Laura and Sam:
How did you both prepare for your Smallville roles?
Laura: "I just did some harness training at the very beginning of the show. I couldn't really prepare to be Supergirl. I read the comic books. When I first got the role, they had to do green screen and just learning how to be in a harness and fly. I did most of my own flying in the show cause I loved doing it. The stunt girl hated me for it but not much to prepare, just kind of thrown into it when I was cast. It was about a week turnaround to when I was on camera with Tom, googley eyed. I just learned as I went. Kara slowly became my own. Originally, the producers had a very specific feel for Kara. The short shorts. A very specific look. Then, eventually she developed more into of who I think I was with a mixture of Supergirl. She was strong and independent. She started wearing more clothes. (laughs). I really enjoyed playing her and I appreciate you guys watching. With the training, it was just the physical training and the acting just kind of came from the show as we went along."
Sam: "For me, I read the comic books. As soon as the scripts showed up, I realized that there wasn't much use cause we were doing something completely different which was scary cause it was like what if you guys don't like it? In fact, the reaction to the 'they're doing a human side of Doomsday' was very negative until we started airing. When it started airing and people saw what we were doing, they liked it right away but before that, we were getting some pretty nasty messages. As an actor, they pitched Davis to me as a good guy who was in a terrible situation so I play him as nice of a person under those awful circumstances."

Do you think Clark will fly in season ten?
Laura: "If I have anything to do with it, he will. (gets a big cheer and laughs from the crowd). There was a scene in season seven in the loft where I was teaching him to fly. When we were rehearsing it, it was basically a scene where I was standing behind him telling him how to do it. During the rehearsal, Tom and I were joking and I kind of pushed him and the director loved that. So, there was a shot of me pushing his elbows and it's always fun cause we get to add our own little humor to it. I know how much everyone wants him to fly. I'm telling you that I'm trying. If I'm ever back on the show, I will try."

Any interest in working behind the scenes?
Sam: "Eventually, yeah. Need a bit more experience in tailing directors."
Laura: "I would love to be a writer or producer. I love being behind the camera almost more than in front sometimes. It's a little easier. I've always enjoyed writing. I have a few films that I would like to write and one that I've written and that people are looking at. So, fingers crossed for that."

Thoughts on other roles that you've played outside of Smallville?
Sam: "Battlestar was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. I learned some really bad habits on Battlestar cause there was a lot of ad libbing on that show. The executive producer said to me 'ok, here's the rule, one is written and then say whatever you want'. So, about everytime that you see Crashdown, he's saying whatever he wants. But it was really great and those actors are incredible. I keep up with them. I just saw Eddie a few months ago and got dinner with him a few times. Really great people and really fun people. The work was just outstanding. Because we had such creative control of our characters given to us, I always try to bring a little bit of that to each role that I do to the dismay of the producers or director. Even on Smallville, they had to get used to the idea that I was going to change things every now and then but I just can't help it. Battlestar really taught me to take responsibility for those things. Until such time when someone fires me for that, I'll keep doing it. You can't do it as much as you did in Battlestar and it is fun to say that this is my role and I have something to contribute here. So, I'm going to give it a shot. Provided that they don't tell me to completely not do it, I'm going to do it and I have Battlestar to thank for that."
Laura: (With V). "I love being on the show and we just finished our first season. It's completely aired. I play Lisa who is the daughter of the queen V, Anna. It's based on the 1983 or 1984 minseries. It's such a great miniseries that they knew they wanted to bring it back. It's a reincarnation or reimagining of the show. Completely different characters but very similar to the originals at the same time. My character Lisa was, actually very similar to Smallville, I don't know if you know this but I was only a guest star and was only supposed to do three episodes and it turned into the season and the same thing happened with V. Lisa ended up being a great character. She might rebel against her own people. I really enjoy playing it and being on ABC is great. Smallville was a great learning pad for me. Hopefully, I'll get to return but V is great too. We start the second season in August. Be sure to check that out and Lisa is going to be in it a lot more."

A Smallville scene that challenged you?
Sam: "There was one scene where it was me, Justin Hartley, and Aaron Ashmore. I have them captive and basically I know that if Chloe doesn't get to me soon that I'm going to have to kill one of them or take out a city block. The choice is to take out one of those guys or I wolf out as Doomsday and destroy five city blocks and hundreds of people are going to die. So, I don't want to and I don't want to hurt these guys but I've got them captive and if she doesn't get to me soon, I'm going to have to do something. It was a cool group of scenes. It was tough because you're like, wow, he's doing all this stuff and he punches Jimmy, and does all these awful things but how do you play it where you feel bad for the guy whose about to do awful things?"
Laura: "My very first scene on Smallville was like seven pages with Tom which was nerve wrecking enough. I was so nervous cause there was so much dialogue and it was expositional and it was me talking about suspended animation and it went on and on. This was my first day and I wanted to do a good job. I didn't know if I could handle it. You have marks when you are doing scenes and they put tape on the floor to tell you which mark is next. The floor was covered in marks and I walked around this whole room talking to the ceiling, the door, and he's behind me listening. That was the scene that really challenged me. I got through it and I felt fairly good about it but never completely satisfied. It made me realize that I could handle things that I didn't think that I could."

Where can we find you online?
Sam: "www.cdbaby.com/crashtones. I'm working on a new (personal) website right now"
Laura: "I don't have Facebook, My Space, or Twitter. There are impersonators so if I've been talking to you and I'm rude, I'm sorry. What is scary is a friend of mine texts me and says that I heard you don't have Facebook, I've been talking to you for a year. My friends! They obviously don't know me well or you just have to be careful. I do have a website: lauravandervoort.org. Other than that, just be careful cause there are a lot of impersonators. Great fan spaces."

Anyway, that is some of the highlights of the Q&A from the 2010 Superman Celebration. A big thanks to Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer for being at the Celebration as they were great guests. I got to meet both of them and they were really nice. The fans were definitely having fun meeting them. That is it for the Superman Celebration recap. Take care and God bless!!

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