Q. What are some of the recent projects that you've been working on?
A. Shooting "Smallville" the last couple of years, it's a long shoot, it's basically like July through April which is a majority of the year. It's almost ten months I guess, or nine months even. This season when I had some time off I did a couple of films. I did one, I am not sure if it's going to be called Deep Cove or Dead End, I've kind of heard both names being thrown around. That's basically a thriller where every year five or six kids go to this cabin on this island and they have this huge party and they invite tons and tons of people. This year there is somebody who is on the island who is offing them. The premise kind of sounds like your everyday thriller but the interesting part of the film is that, when I read it, I kind of saw it as a mystery film too, not just a thriller. They don't show a lot of the gruesome stuff. It's really about these kids figuring out who is doing this, it's not really about them getting off'd, it's more the real intense idea of trying to figure out who this person is. It's also kind of a morality story too, that's what a lot of the aspects of the film are, usually somebody has done something to someone else and that's why there is the revenge. It really comes down to taking responsibility for your actions and taking accountability for your actions. That's kind of why these things are going down, these people have done something in the past. It's fun, it's interesting, and we'll see what the future holds for it.
Q. What can you tell us is new about the upcoming season of "Smallville" and about your character Jimmy?
A. The show this year, there have been some big changes from Allen Mile, one of the creators, has left the show. Michael Rosenbaum and Kristin Kreuk aren't really around. Two of the four really foundation actors who have been there from the start are gone as well. That being said, I think the scripts this year and the storylines so far have been the best that I've been involved in since season six. It definitely seems to be taking a darker turn a little bit, the show, which I like myself. I think that the new characters and actors that they have brought into the show have been amazing. It's great to have fresh energy, new people always bring new energy which can revitalize things and I think that's what it's kind of doing with these new storylines, and not a totally different direction with the show, but just a little bit of a different direction and it's making it interesting. For Jimmy, the big storyline that they've been developing are a couple. One is his engagement to Chloe which in the season finale last year where Jimmy proposed to Chloe and she kind of left him hanging, is she going to say yes or is she going to say no. She does say yes in the beginning of the season so there is a lot of stuff involved with throwing an engagement party and planning the wedding that Jimmy is involved with. There is a storyline that they've been developing where Jimmy kind of gets on to Clark, that Clark might be this savior of the city. He doesn't quite have a name for him or anything like that, he calls him The Good Samaritan. There is that where Jimmy starts to put the pieces together a little bit, I don't think that he's going to find out that Clark is Superman, I think they'll skew him away from that. Jimmy can be a goofball but he also has great instincts when it comes to Journalism. He knows that something is up but he's just putting stuff together. Those are the two storylines that Jimmy is involved with.
Q. Where do you continue to draw from for your portrayal of Jimmy?
A. Basically with this character and the show the writing is all there and you really have to play the writing because it is specific and they have really created these characters nicely. Obviously as actors we bring our energy, our personal energy to the characters and the ideals that we want the characters to have. It's really all in the writing and we're quite lucky in that respect because they give us interesting things to do and really have begun to flush out the characters, especially for me, for Jimmy. This year there seems to be a little more behind the scenes, you get to see a little bit more Jimmy. It's really all in the writing, what the producers and writers have given us to work with.
Q. There has been some mention on fansites and blogs that this might be the final season of "Smallville," any idea about if there will be a return?
A. I haven't heard anything yet, nobody is really saying anything, but I think that's a really hard thing to speculate because there are so many things involved. Actors contracts, ratings for the show, what the network wants to do, there are so many different factors that are involved in a decision like that. So no, we haven't heard anything. I think if it was the last season, it's going to be a great season, I know that they'll finish it off amazingly. If not, than great, we get more stories to tell. There is no lack of stories to tell about Clark Kent growing up, there are so many characters that they can bring in and there is so much history through the comic books so there are tons of stories that they could tell. Either way, depending on all of those factors, I think it will be fine one way or another soon. They are going to end it off great this season or there will be a whole other season of stories to tell, we'll have to see. I honestly haven't heard a thing about it so I'm as curious as everybody else is.
Q. Producer Darrin Swimmer has said that the focus this season will be a lot more on Clark's future. How do you feel about that direction of the storyline?
A. I think that is important, Clark Kent can't be a kid forever, so progressing him and moving him towards the future, that's the whole idea of the show, showing how he grows up. Without that progress, it's kind of like, okay, where are we going? I think that's a very, very important aspect of the show and Clark this year has gotten a job at The Daily Planet so that's beginning. I think with the idea of him meeting other people may be starting to catch on that there is this savior around Metropolis. I think that Clark's alter ego is going to be developed, the whole Clark Kent/Superman alter ego, and him realizing he's going to need that for his protection and I think that that's going to come into play. I think that Darrin is absolutely right and on to something when it's about progressing the character and making him Superman, slowly but surely, but taking those steps towards becoming Superman.
Q. There have been many portrayals of the role of Jimmy Olsen, when you first took on the character, did you have any reservations about playing such an iconic character?
A. No I didn't have any reservations, I was a little concerned about keeping it in the realm of everything else and making it a good character. I hadn't seen any of the scripts and I didn't know what they were going to write the character like, only that it was Jimmy Olsen. I know that "Smallville" in the past has gone, which is the great thing about doing all of these different versions of the same story, that you can go off of a little different path. So I knew that there may be a little different twist to the Jimmy character but I wasn't sure what he was going to be like. I wasn't worried, not really reservations, but I was just really hoping that they way that they wrote the character was going to be great. It was and I thought it was a little bit of a different take, maybe more modern in a sense but also stuck with those roots of him being a little bit of a goofball and totally the sidekick kind of guy, the every man. Once it got going it was great, it was good to just jump in. I was fully aware of all of the other history of the movies, the television shows and comic books as the history to this character and I was excited.
Q. Should this be the final season of the show, is there something for your character Jimmy that hasn't been touched on that you'd really like to see touched on should there be another season?
A. I think that the one thing, that I would really like to see because it's the defining quality of Jimmy Olsen, and that is Superman's best pal. They really haven't developed that much and I think with Clark being at The Daily Planet this year and their interaction not being as much through Chloe all the time, because that's how it has been in the past, they know each other through Chloe and Jimmy is insecure about their relationship because he knows that there is something there, some sort of secret, some sort of something, but he doesn't know and nobody will tell him. So I think with them solid and getting married and Jimmy not being so insecure about Clark, I think that that relationship is now going to blossom and hopefully they develop it. To me, that is the defining quality, when you say Jimmy Olsen you think Superman's best pal and that hasn't been the case so far. It's been Jimmy not really sure about Clark. That's what I hope that they develop, that really, really solid bond between those two guys because that to me is the history of those two characters.
Q. Is there anything that continues to challenge you about your role?
A. Yeah, the one thing that I find challenging is a goofball and is insecure and is not really that cool, especially in comparison to all of these other superheroes and people who are in the know. It's kind of hard because your ego gets in the way a little bit sometimes because I'm like, " I want to play it cooler, I want to play it a little smoother." That's not the character and sometimes I find myself saying, "What a dork, I can't believe he's doing all of this stuff" but that is the character. That's the one thing that I find challenging, I want this guy to be likable and I want this guy to be cool and smooth, but that's not the character. The difficult thing is going in there and really accepting that you're going to come off as a goofball and that's all there is to it and just enjoy it and have fun with it. This is the first time I've really done a character like that. It is fun, but sometimes you're just like, "Oh man, everybody else gets to do all of this cool stuff and I get kidnapped and I can't do anything about it." It's fun and in the long run when I look back and watch the stuff I think I've got Jimmy Olsen down, I'm doing him some justice.
Q. What would you like to say to all of your fans and supporters?
A. I would just like to say to continue to watch and thank you for your support because it is a huge part of all of our lives. Everybody in this business, we spend crazy long hours and we live in cities that we possibly wouldn't normally live in or away from our families. We do it because we love what we do and we hope that you enjoy what we do, whether you enjoy our characters or not, it's much more about the overall project. Thank you for your support and please continue watching because I think season eight is going to be kickass.
Lisa Steinberg // Starry Constellation Magazine