Friday, March 14, 2008

New Erica Interview - Geek Monthly 11/07

Smallville’s Lois Lane demands her superpowers.

Geek Monthly (11/28/2007)

In the pages of Action Comics, Lois Lane has – albeit sporadically – donned the blue tights and red cape to protect the skies of Metropolis as Superwoman. And although the transfiguration has been induced by everything from a blood transfusion to Mister Mxyzptlk, the concept, in and of itself, is fanboy fantasy at its finest.

Unfortunately, the brainiac-trust at Smallville has yet to play along.

But that’s not to say that Erica Durance hasn’t let the idea of Lois gaining superpowers – at least for an episode – cross her mind.

“I’ve actually thought about it a lot,” laughs Durance, who originally joined the cast of the CW series for its fourth season in 2004-05. “It changes all the time and it depends on my mood but I would love to have super-speed. I would be able to get a lot more done in a day.

“And I would love to have super-strength. Occasionally, there are a couple of people you come across that you really, really visualize chucking across the room. I’d like that but I would probably have to be taught to center myself so I am not just throwing people hinter and yond.”

Growing up in Calgary, Alberta – the Canadian city whose farmlands were cinematically transformed by Richard Donner into Smallville for Superman: The Movie – Durance says she was no stranger to the character when she signed on for the role as the future Mrs. Clark Kent.

“I was a fan of comics and fantasy and all that growing up,” claims Durance. “I had a big brother who was into all of that stuff, as well. He commandeered the television and all of his books were around, so I definitely did read it.

“And of all the female counterparts in all the different superhero mythos, I loved Lois Lane the most. She had complete independence. She seemed to lead a life that was hers. And she was more than just a foil for the male hero.”

“Most importantly, Lois was really saucy. I really liked that aspect. I grew up watching Margot Kidder. And when I was older, I watched the Teri Hatcher version with Dean Cain, as well, which I quite enjoyed.”

Even though she only had two days to prepare for the role between being cast and the start of filming, Durance admits she probably wouldn’t have done too much research into the character for fear of not bringing enough of her own secret identity to the iconic Daily Planet reporter.

“I had to be careful not to watch too much of how the other ladies had done it, knowing that I am a different person, I would never be able to emulate it. And I don’t want to emulate it anyways because then it isn’t as real. I want to make it as real as possible. And we are looking at a Lois Lane at an earlier time in her life. She is trying to find herself, so I also needed to hone that side of her, the younger side where she is meandering about and trying to find herself. With all due respect, I didn’t really analyze how the other ladies had done it although I still try to stay in the general framework that is the Lois Lane character.”

The convention-friendly Durance says despite her efforts to stay true to Lois, there are always those who disagree.

“I had someone at Comic Con come up to me and say, ‘What are you doing on Smallville because technically, the way it is playing out, didn’t really happen.’ And I said, ‘Well you know what, sweetheart, it didn’t but DC gave them license and they are just playing with this idea.’

“What’s most fun about Smallville is getting to play out the journey. Getting to that culmination of Clark and Lois’ relationship and see that whole agree-to-disagree situation develop, that irritated love/hate relationship. As an actress, that is much more interesting to play then just being all ga-ga over somebody.”

Durance says she has no idea what the creative team behind Smallville – Miles Millar and Alfred Gough – have in mind for Lois and Clark as the show begins to wind itself down but she knows what the fans are dying to see.

“I know very little. They don’t let me know a whole lot,” explains Durance. “For me, the whole charm of Smallville is that it happens before the actual event. And you are seeing all of these people and how they develop and the journey on how they get there. I know the fans would love to see them get together. Actually I have heard from a few, who wish me gone because they love Lana but that’s fine, as well.

“But seriously, I think the writers will tease more about the Lois and Clark relationship but to be honest I am not sure exactly where they are going to end up. I think it’s cool to have a little hint of foreshadowing, then to be like da-da-da-da, you are in love [laughs]. You know what I mean. I think it’s more fun to keep it in that grey area. Maybe foreshadow it. Hint at it a bit. Those are the kind of films I always like to go to. Where I get to the end and go, it meant that, but it could have meant that. That’s what keeps you thinking about it.”

OK. So that’s one half of the message forum satisfied but what about the other half, the one filled with thousands and thousands of posts speculating on Smallville’s apparent dirtiest secret – the Chlois theory.

For those trapped in the Phantom Zone the last seven sun cycles, the Chlois theory is the idea that the Smallville original character Chloe Sullivan (played by Allison Mack) is actually a pastiche of Lois Lane and before the show ends its run, it will be revealed that Chloe is, in fact, the Lois of traditional Superman continuity.

The theory was fuelled further in Season 3, Episode 11 when Chloe used her cousin’s name – Lois Lane – as a byline for a story in the Daily Planet.

Durance admitted she had not heard of the Chlois theory but as a neophyte, shared her thoughts on the doomsday doctrine nonetheless.

“That’s the first I have heard of the Chlois theory. And theories are very, very fun for people to think about. But I do know this, when a writer or a creator sits in that room, they look at the series and they have their beginning, their middle and their end,” explains Durance. “Each season, they know pretty much what’s happening with everybody and it trickles down. So I don’t think they would have made the mistake to go, we brought Lois in but, whoops, sorry, the other girl is in.”

Despite the effects of some lingering red Kryptonite tape, Durance says Lois really starts to come into her own in Season 7.

“Lois is definitely moving towards that journalistic mind-set. She has more opportunity to start working and become that reporter that everybody is waiting for.

“But it’s difficult because I am only in 13 episodes a season. Lois is in the series, she is not in the series and part of that is because they only have certain amount of license of what they can do with the Lois character. Some of the characters, like Chloe, the writers can do whatever they want with them and therefore, her character can weave in and out of the story and do all sorts of crazy stuff. Basically, with Lois, it’s she can do this, she can do this, but she can’t do this. It’s like the Superman character.”

And although she is yet to read the script where Lois is blessed with super-strength for an episode, Durance says that won’t stop her from kicking a little Bizarro-butt this season.

”They [the creators] seem to be opening up to the idea that Lois should become a little bit more a part of the mythology this year. We get to see more of that Lois that everybody else knows. And I look forward to chewing on that and getting to a part of that. I guess that’s the other thing, as an actor, I love about Lois is that one week, I am kicking someone, the next one, I am being kicked and then the next one, I am fighting with someone verbally. I am just always doing something different.”

Or not so different, when you are the once and future Lois Lane.

//Words: Jeff Renaud

1 comment:

Jeane said...

Yay, you got it to work, Luke. Great job! Very nice article. Thanks for posting it here. Great find! :)

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