As Smallville continues its tenth, and final, season, Lois Lane (Erica Durance), the feisty Daily Planet reporter, must redefine her place in Metropolis, now that she’s aware of Clark Kent’s (Tom Welling) secret persona, which will eventually be known to the world, and all comic book fans, as Superman.
Erica Durance spoke with us about her iconic role, and the end of a cult favorite.
It’s midseason – can you give us a brief idea of what’s coming up for your character?
Because it is in its tenth season and we are getting into the back half, we only have seven episodes left, so my character is very instrumental in propelling the mythology and bringing about, hopefully, seeing Superman do what everybody wants him to do. That’s pretty much all I can say; but he looks good doing it!
Now that you’re engaged to Clark, will Lois still kick-ass? How do you play Lois differently now that you’ve also got this love aspect to your character?
Well, I think given an opportunity, she would still kick-ass, but she usually kicks his a little bit more, which is kind of nice. But, other than that they are changing her character a little bit more to be a support to him and lift him up so he is the one that is doing all of the ass-kicking. So it has shifted a little bit, but she still has opportunities to get in and get dirty.
What are the pressures of being considered a kick-ass woman?
When I grew up I was not a physical person. I knew nothing about going up and actually smacking someone or expressing that part of myself. And when you’re shooting these scenes and going out and doing that, you are surrounded by this whole plethora of amazing people. Our stunt people work it through with you and you have a lot of fun. It’s all about that trust factor, and you just rehearse. I would tell myself. ‘Breathe, Erica. Have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously and go for it.’
Can you talk about shooting the action sequences?
When you are doing a sequence that is action-orientated, it’s being able to compartmentalize. You are in a situation where you are emotionally revved incredibly high, and yet you have to be cool enough to tactically do all of these things without actually causing someone else harm.
The stunt people that you are working with, sometimes you are within inches of hitting them in the face. And they are there for you, and they are your rock, and yet they are able to create this situation that makes you look incredibly strong and incredibly powerful.
Those were some of the tough moments [on the show] where I’d have to walk away, take a breath, and go, ‘Whoa. Okay. Now I’m emotionally into it. Now how do I put that into check, and not end up hurting somebody?’ And that’s really a fine wire. I found for myself that was difficult to do. It doesn’t always work out, but they are very forgiving.
Is it hard to balance your character, showing her flaws but still being likable to the audience?
My writers have created situations that made it easy for me to feel that I needed to defend myself or defend someone else so that it came from a very noble place. And they create other situations where you see where she comes from; you see where she’s flawed.
I like playing Lois because she’s flawed, she’s a little bit of everything, and maybe she does the wrong thing but she turns around and gets up. She dusts her boots off, and she keeps going.
Do you have a favorite superhero?
Lucy Lawless, Xena, Warrior Princess. She was fantastic and she embodied a little bit of everything and that’s what I like. We women can kick-ass, we can cry, we can be the femme fatale. We can do it all, and at the end of the day, we still get the guy.
Can you talk about working on a show when you know it’s the end?
It’s pretty bittersweet. I think that there’s so much work to do that to look forward towards the end, you miss doing justice to the scenes that you’re working on. Because you have people that have been watching it for ten years, you want to do justice to that and work as hard as you can. But there are certainly moments that you think, ‘My gosh. This is the last time I’m going to work with you?’
I just worked with Allison Mack, and I thought, ‘’Is this going to be the last time that I see you?’ I did a scene with her and we hugged and I was like, ‘Oh, dear. I’m going to start crying. This is supposed to be a funny scene.’ So yeah, it’s kind of had its moments, but you learn to appreciate every scene that you get to do and appreciate working on the show where people really love each other and they care about what they’re doing. It’s been a lot of fun.