WARNING: Stop reading if you have not watched the season finale of Smallville. I mean it. Everyone else, onward and downward.
Talk about dodging a tall loophole with a single bound. In tonight's season finale, Smallville managed to kill off an iconic Superman character without incurring the wrath of the evil mythos police. I'm referring, of course, to the death of Jimmy Olsen at the hands of a de-Doomsdayed Davis. The show later revealed (or strongly implied?) that the shutterbug's younger brother is, in fact, the real Jimmy. Problem solved! Of course, that's little consolation to Aaron Ashmore, whose three-year stint as faux Jimmy ended with a steel pipe through the chest. In this exclusive interview, Ashmore reveals why he was caught off guard by his dismissal, how he'd feel about a Chloe-Clark romance, and who he thinks really killed Jimmy Olsen.
When did you find out that Jimmy wasn't long for this world?
AARON ASHMORE: About six months ago, right around the time we finished shooting "Bride." I knew that Jimmy was going to get hurt in that episode and go on a little hiatus, so I talked to the producers and asked, "Guys, where is this storyline going?" And they said, "Well, we have an idea to send Jimmy on a bit of a downward spiral and, in the end, sacrifice himself for Chloe." That's what I originally heard. I didn't know that that was necessarily going to happen this season. It happened a little sooner than I had anticipated.
Were you disappointed?
ASHMORE: Of course. I really enjoyed working on the show; to be sent off kind of sucks. But, at the same time, it works great for the story. And all things run their course. I guess Jimmy on Smallville had run his course.
Any chance he's not really dead?
ASHMORE: I don't think so. Not that I've heard.
When word leaked that two major characters were dying, no one suspected Jimmy because of the whole mythos thing. Did you think you were safe because of that?
ASHMORE: Absolutely. That was my first reaction. That being said, Smallville has taken some little turns here and there from the comic books.
So, Jimmy's little brother is the real Jimmy, right?
ASHMORE: That's how I read it. There's always been a bit of a discrepancy in how old Jimmy is compared to Clark and Lois, so this is a way of clarifying things. Jimmy [is supposed to be] 10 years younger than them, so Jimmy's little brother showing up totally makes it stick to the mythos.
What reason did producers give you for killing him off?
ASHMORE: I know when [the idea of] Jimmy coming to Smallville first came up, DC Comics had a bit of a problem because of the age difference thing. But the producers really wanted to bring the character in because they thought they could do some interesting stuff with him. I believe [producers] had reassured DC that by the end of the series - or at some point - they would rectify that [by making it clear that he's] not the real Jimmy Olsen.
How do you think fans will react to Jimmy's death?
ASHMORE: It's a mixed bag. It depends if you like Jimmy or not. There are a lot of people that probably think he's a really annoying, bumbling kind of guy, which, you know, there's no doubt about that. He's not the hero; he's the everyman. And I always questioned why people got so annoyed by that. [On the other hand], I think people who are big Jimmy fans are going to be bummed. But I think it's a nice way for him to go. I think he redeems himself and [emerges as] a bit of a hero after being so self-conscious and jealous [this season]. He had a lot of good qualities as well, but he took a dark turn at the end. I'll be interested to see how people take it.
Are you a "Chlark" fan?
ASHMORE: Abso... well.... romantically, I don't know if it would work. That's yet to be seen. But there's a very strong bond between those two characters. And you can see it in the show. Their scenes together are always really great, and they're always played really well by Allison [Mack] and Tom [Welling]. The connection is really, really nice.
What's next for you?
ASHMORE: I'm headed to L.A. tomorrow to hit the job hunt. I'm in Toronto right now, where I just shot an episode of The Bridge. It's a Canadian-produced television show that CBS picked up. It's a procedural cop drama and I get to play a beat cop, which was really sweet. It's tough after being out of the audition game for three years. I'm going to try and see what the options are.
Michael Ausiello // The Ausiello Files