Superman Celebration 2012 - Smallville Q&A Recap With John Glover and Cassidy Freeman - June 9, 2012
Saturday's Superman Celebration was headlined by Smallville. A packed Metro Tent welcomed Smallville's John Glover (Lionel Luthor) and Cassidy Freeman (Tess Mercer). This Q&A was a LOT of fun. Lots of laugh out loud moments at the comments and answers from them. The crowd absolutely loved them. This is the Luthor Celebration was what Cassidy Freeman declared at one point instead of the Superman Celebration. Loved that line. They had a lot of fun on stage answering questions and joking around. You'll be able to tell that just by reading this. Here are some of the highlights of the Q&A.
Question: Longmire just premiered and premiered big. Over 4 million viewers and the highest rated new drama and most watched original series in the history of A&E. How long have you been working on it now?
Cassidy: "We shot the pilot a year ago. We've been shooting the ten episodes of this season since the beginning of April. So, I'm still there."
Question: Michael Rosenbaum used to play a lot of jokes on Smallville. Has he gotten either one of you?
John: "I can't tell those stories. You'd understand if I were able to tell you why I couldn't tell you. But he likes to skinny dip. In hotel pools. Late, late at night." (lots of laughs)
Cassidy: "I didn't meet him until we shot the finale. I don't think I got the same amount of pranksterism from him that dear old dad here did but I also tried to get him a couple of times cause I heard what a prankster that he is."
John: "What he does by those kind of jokes and having fun is that it makes his performance very alive and wonderful. Working with him because of that sense of humor that he has and that devilish sense, he's a terrific actor. We had a great time playing together. And that's what we did, we played with each other." (laughs from the crowd)
Cassidy: "Umm, next question. Thank you Metropolis!"
John: "They have to wash their minds out with soap. You people are so filthy minded. Smallville was a family show. I'm very disappointed in all of you". (big laughs from the crowd).
Question: You did such a great job of bringing Lionel to life. You played Lionel from Earth 2. You had a different sense about you. Was there anything that you did to differentiate your Earth 2 Lionel from the original Lionel.
John: "I think what it was was my confusion on what I was supposed to be. You just saw confused actor up there. I didn't understand the logic of it. What you saw was....that. I'm glad I fooled you." (laughs)
Question: You were evil and you were good. Which was easier and which was more fun?
John: "I never saw myself as evil actually. Maybe that is what confused people so much. I tried to look at it as my son, Lex, was not as strong as he needed to be to carry on the lines. I was giving him tests to make him stronger which was why I gave him the shock treatment. To make him stronger. You understand, right? The one attempt that they made to right Lionel as a good person was when I was in prison. All of the sudden, they tried to write me good and it didn't work. It was one of those storylines that occasionally got dropped so it never got finished. It's because it wasn't working. It was better when they wrote me bad and I found ways to trick them and be good. Keep the writers confused. Confusion is good if you just give into it."
How much creative input did you have in the show?
John: "They came up with all of those wonderful things themselves. The one thing that I kept telling Miles is when they get rid of me, I think that really Lex should kill me. Then, he'd have to deal with that for the rest of his life. I don't know if they were planning that. That is what indeed they did. So, I always thought that was my idea. (laughing)."
Question: Both of your characters were separate characters from the Superman saga and you were free to create these characters. What was that like?
John: "I could do anything if I wanted. What upset was when they asked me to shade in my white here in my beard and make it darker. I thought now wait a minute, older men can be sexy. So, I did it. Not happily. When I came back for that tenth season, I said no. No more mascara on my beard."
Cassidy: "It was really freeing to play someone that wasn't in the comics or in the mythos. I think it made her more human and could change her mind more often. I feel like characters in stories and comics are written are either light or they are dark. They sort of have to follow that storyline where as Tess could be all over the map."
Question: Were you surprised with the direction of Tess at times?
Cassidy: "I think I was surprised at times but I was also excited about it."
John: "Did they tell you right away that you were my daughter?"
John: "When did you find that out?"
Cassidy: "Season Ten"
John: "Did that excite you?"
Cassidy: "Yes. They dyed my hair red though."
John: "Did that excite you?"
Cassidy: "Not as much."
John: "We had a very unhealthy father daughter relationship."
(That was a hilarious exchange)
(That was a hilarious exchange)
Question: Tess's story arc was one of my favorites especially with her redemption of season ten with helping Clark. What was your favorite angle that they took with Tess?
Cassidy: "Really great question. I loved in season eight when I got to go back and where you got to see me in the past with Justin Hartley. What I loved about season ten was little Lex. I loved being able to sort of be motherly. I thought that instinct in her brought out more of her redemption and more of her humanity. I loved getting to work with those little actors cause I wanted to squeeze their little faces cause they were so cute."
Question: Discussion about stunt work on Smallville. How much of your own stuff did you do?
Cassidy: "I did do a lot of it cause it is better if you can do it. The only thing where I had stunt doubles was things where I had to fly through the air and land at a desk that shatters. Like when Davis back hands me and I go flying across into the wall. It was fun and we had great stunt coordinators and they made sure everything was safe."
John: "Our stunt people were great. I watched myself get thrown from balconies. We had a couple of stunt men that were hurt. One was hurt very badly. The cable broke and he fell many stories down. That was very dangerous. Schinedy's double once did a thing in the kitchen and went into the end of a cabinet and cut his ear. Usually they get up, he just laid there."
Cassidy: "I had a stunt girl break her face on the camera on the mat box."
John: "Some of these things are very very dangerous. There is a lot of attention and they go through all the moves. When you see a stunt about to happen, it can get really tense on the set."
Question: Was it hard playing Clark in the episode where you traded places?
John: "Yes. It was. He did me great. It was hard for me to be pure and simple and do nothing. I kept wanting to do things all the time and they told me that Tom doesn't really do anything. (laughs) He doesn't have to. That is why he was so wonderful as Clark Kent. He was this still, wonderful thing. I was busy. I call myself a prop-aholic and always look for things to do. That was the problem that I had. I surprised myself with how hard it was. He found all sorts of mannerisms on me to do. He was great on that episode."
Question: Have you seen any of the other Superman series or comic books?
John: "When I was a kid, I used to watch the original Superman in prime time. I'm an old guy. I used to do plays with Chris Reeve up in Williamstown so those were wonderful. I didn't read the comic book."
Cassidy: "I have two brothers and one of them is actually named Clark. Isn't that weird? Yeah, he was really creeped out watching me on Smallville. Cause I'd be like 'Clark' and he'd be like 'blaaahhhh'. It was weird for me too. Tom really liked to make fun of me for that. My eldest brother, Crispin Freeman, is a voiceover actor for a lot of animation so I will sometimes get inspired by him. I watched the movies like anyone did but never got into the comic books."
Question: You mentioned your brother Clark. You guys acted in a movie together. What got you into wanting to produce?
Cassidy: "We kind of shared the producing thing. He was more the actor/producer post/producer and dealt with that and I was more the set producer. I'm sort of a mom in that way. I like to take care of people. I knew it was a low budget film. It was basically a horror film that a friend of ours from college wrote and we got our theatre friends from college together and made a movie in New Hampshire for three weeks named Yellow Brick Road. I produced so that I could be in control of making sure everyone was fed and safe and taken care of. It was a lot of fun."
Question: A kid asks if John liked being in Smallville or Gremlins 2 better cause he thought he did a great job in both.
John: "I had a great time doing both of them. I had to commute to Vancouver to do Smallville. We shot Gremlins 2 at Warner Brothers which was about 15 minutes from where I lived. That made a bit of a difference cause Smallville was seven years. My favorite scene in Gremlins 2 was when I put the gremlin down the paper shredder and got spewed with all that green gremlin gook. It was a fun movie and I had a fun time doing it."
Question: Asked about the movie Scrooged.
John: "Bill Murray was so generous to work with. He has a movie coming out soon where he plays Roosevelt so we should all go see that to support Bill Murray. My friend Elizabeth Wilson is in it and just turned 91 and we should go support Elizabeth Wilson too."
Question: Who was your favorite Smallville guest star to work with?
John: "When Chris Reeve did a couple of episodes when he was in the wheelchair. I worked with him before his accident and it was amazing to see how spiritual that he had gotten about work and life. it was quite an eye opening experience. So, I would say Chris Reeve."
Question: How did you prepare to play Tess in the episode Luthor? What was it like kissing Tom Welling?
Cassidy: "Yeah...yeah. Sorry, I'm just daydreaming about it. He's tall. Very gracious. It was great kissing Tom Welling. There is nothing wrong with kissing Tom Welling. I recommend it to all of you. I saw Earth 2 Tess as a brat. I saw her as a rich girl like gossip girl. Got everything that she wanted and didn't have a good relationship with her dad. She was a little younger and little less mature was how I tried to play her which is what I hope it came off as that."
Question: Kid asked whether it was better working with Lex or Clark saying every girl in this tent would rather work with Tom.
Cassidy: "That is probably a good bet right there. You'd make your money with that."
John: "You'd have more fun with Lex." (gets a lot of laughs from the crowd)
Cassidy: "That might be more true actually."
Question: Vampire Diaries question. What was it like kissing Damon?
Cassidy: "Ladies, I'm not going to lie. I've got a good job. (laughing). Ian is actually a friend of mine so it was very familiar and funny. The fact that we were in a shower is also interesting. He's a sweetheart and he's also very gracious. There is like 85 people watching yelling 'head to the left' and you're like 'I'm having a moment here'. So, just so you know it is not the most intimate thing in the world but it isn't a bad day at work."
Question: What are your thoughts on the bickering back and forth between you and Lex all through the series?
John: "Like I say, Michael's Michael and it was fun. We both realized that sometimes we would repeat ourselves and he found a way cause he is very inventive. When it was happening especially in the beginning, it could be very infuriating but then I realized, no wait, he knows exactly what he's doing. We found a way to play. We had a good time and I miss him."
Favorite Smallville episode:
John: "I was in a 145 episodes. You remember the one where I had to rescue Martha. Yeah, that was fun to do. I don't know if I watched it though. Was it any good when it was on? (laughing). That was a lot of fun."
Cassidy: "I liked being a zombie and I liked killing zombies with my samurai sword."
John: "When was this?"
Cassidy: "You weren't there."
John: "This started as a family drama."
Cassidy: "It was so fun. They were like you are going to be a zombie and your also going to kill zombies and you're going to have to do samurai sword training and I was like 'copy that'. There was a scene in the hospital when I was becoming a zombie. Erica and Tom came in and we didn't really talk before the scene and they came into me by the hospital bed. Erica was going to ask me questions and Tom was like 'just give her a second' and I turn all zombified. Freak out. Blackened out teeth. Screaming and gnashing. It was pretty narly. After they yelled cut, Tom was like 'I don't want to do that anymore'. I think I freaked him out a little bit. That and there was an episode where Chloe threw the needle in my heart. She killed me to save me and then saved me to save me. That was fun too. I like those episodes."
Some other notes from the Q&A. Both were presented with Superman of Metropolis awards. Cassidy Freeman had her phone out getting shots of the crowd under the tent and also did the same under the Superman statue. Lots of fun with them posing with the statue and just having a lot of fun with it. Moving all around making sure everyone got their picture.
Just a great time with them on Saturday and I know all of us in attendance thank Cassidy and John for being in Metropolis!