Between 2001 and 2011, fans tuned in to watch Clark Kent become Superman. Tom Welling’s Clark was the focus of the show, of course, but there was a whole cast who brought their own talents and even trouble to the set.
The characters on their own are a good enough reason to watch the show but knowing more about the cast might just make you want to rewatch the whole series. Let’s get into Smallville and explore the cast – what happened to them and where they are now, the behind-the-scenes secrets, and some juicy scandals.
The Cast Made Sure Tom Willing Stayed Alive
Of the cast, Tom Welling worked the longest days. It only makes sense since he was in most of the scenes. He also had to drive over an hour to and from the set, each and every day. He was basically getting no sleep.
Michael Rosenbaum, who played Lex Luthor, and other cast members joined forces to write a letter to the network. They demanded that Welling get a driver to prevent a possible car accident. Rosenbaum explained how they were worried the network was “going to end Superman” since the actor was extremely exhausted. It worked.
Michael Rosenbaum Wore a Bald Cap
Rosenbaum reportedly had no problem shaving his head to get into character for the main chunk of the series. Initially, the actor wasn’t going to return for the series finale, but he later admitted that it “just felt like the right thing to do.” He also said he wanted to make the fans happy.
At that point, though, he was no longer willing to shave his head. So, he wore a bald cap when reprising his role. He was glad to come back on the show, but he joked that it was on the air for too long: “Clark is starting to look like he’s in his thirties.”
Jensen Ackles as Clark?
Welling has a certain charm that made him perfect for playing a shy farm boy. We know now that Welling was the right choice, but when casting the part, there were tons of actors trying out for one of the biggest TV roles available at the time.
It ultimately came down to Welling and Jensen Ackles, who went on to co-lead his own show on Supernatural. He was no Superman, but Ackles played a big part on Smallville as Jason. As great as Ackles is, Welling is just what the character of Clark needed.
Allison Mack Got Arrested for Cult Involvement
Hollywood just wasn’t enough of a community for Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan. She preferred to find a different kind of community to feel accepted – the organization (or cult) called Jness. In the group, founded and led by Keith Raniere, Mack quickly rose up the ranks.
Jness calls itself a support group for modern women, but in reality, it’s a cult where new members – mostly women – are blackmailed and forced into performing certain acts with Raniere. Mack had a key role in the group and brought new, unsuspecting women to the cult leader.
Allison Mack Is in Prison for Three Years
Mack would take pictures of the new recruits and obtain information to use against them as collateral in case these women ever tried to leave the group or speak publicly about its illegal activities. Mack pled not guilty and has maintained her innocence throughout the trial.
She was facing 14 to 17.5 years behind bars, but days before the sentencing, she released a statement saying that her involvement in the cult was “the biggest mistake and greatest regret of [her] life.” In 2021, she was sentenced to three years in prison. She’s currently in a Dublin, California prison.
Kristen Kreuk’s Co-Starred in the Cult Too
Kristen Kreuk, aka Lana Lang, was the first one cast on Smallville. But she left her role as Clark’s high school crush after the seventh season. She did, however, come back for five episodes in Season Eight as a guest star. As it turns out, she was busy doing other stuff.
Literally one day after Keith Raniere (of Jness) was arrested and charged with human trafficking – and sentenced to 120 years in prison – allegations came out about our dear Kristen Kreuk. The claim was that she was also associated with the cult, alongside her Smallville costar.
Kristen Kreuk Was in the Cult for Years
As different women played different roles in the group, Kreuk’s part was allegedly recruiting young women into the group. The actress has denied the claims, but she admitted to having been in the group for several years. She said she saw it as a “personal growth course that helped [her] handle [her] previous shyness.”
She eventually left and kept little contact with those who are still associated with the group. She also claims that she never “experienced any illegal or nefarious activity” despite all the charges against the group. In the end, Kreuk was never charged with anything.
Did Allison Mack Try to Recruit Emma Watson?
In 2016, Mack began sending direct tweets to Emma Watson about Jness. She referred to herself as a “fellow actress.” Mack’s first tweet was on January 23rd of that year, and she said the two should chat about the organization.
A few weeks later, Mack tweeted Watson once again, hoping to talk about the “unique human development and women’s movement” and how they both have a similar world vision. It’s unlikely that Watson ever replied to her, but Mack apparently was trying to recruit other known actresses as well.
Sam Jones III Got Into Legal Trouble of His Own
Sam Jones III played Clark’s friend Pete Ross in Smallville, but he’s not as wholesome in real life, unfortunately. In 2009, Jones was arrested at his home in Canoga Park, California, and formally charged with conspiring and planning to sell drugs.
Specifically, 10,000 pills. The actor, then 26, met with an undercover agent pretending to be a supplier. To add insult to injury, an “intimate” tape with his then-girlfriend Karissa Shannon was leaked to the internet. The video was even made and released on DVD, but both Shannon and Jones tried to block the release.
He Released a Song With His Ex
So, if that wasn’t enough to make Jones look like a shady kind of guy, he and Shannon decided to sing about their lives. Yup. They released a song called “Juice and Vodka,” but – surprise, surprise – it didn’t do much to boost either one of their careers.
Jones pled guilty to the drug conspiracy charges and was sentenced to over a year in federal prison followed by three years probation. He was released in October 2012 and has managed to make appearances on TV and film, like the movies Blue Mountain State and All Light Will End.
Kristen Kreuk Wanted to Be a Marine Biologist
“I had many dreams, but I was definitely in drama since I was a little kid,” Kreuk said in an interview once. “I wanted to be a marine biologist. But I ended up pursuing this.” She explained how she got the Smallville role within a year of working professionally.
In the 12th grade, young Kreuk was selected from her drama class to audition for a Canadian series called Edgemont. With the success of Edgemont, she decided to keep acting. Without an agent, she started auditioning for projects that were being produced in Canada. Smallville fell into her lap.
Tom Welling Feared the Superman Curse
One of Smallville’s producers, Alfred Gough, noticed Welling’s headshot from a large pile of headshots and wondered why the handsome young man wasn’t auditioning for the iconic role. Well, Welling was uncomfortable with what he knew as the “Superman Curse.”
He steered clear of the role until he learned that the show was going to focus on Clark before he became a superhero. Besides, the tagline was “no tights, no flights.” Gough has called Welling, who also directed a few episodes of the series, “a leader” on set.
The Superman Curse
The Superman Curse points to all those who have donned the S and have gone on to experience bad luck. The most obvious case is Christopher Reeves, who fell off a horse and paralyzed himself from the neck down. There was also George Reeves who lost his life in his own home.
Some might say that Welling falls into the less tragic side of the curse, because he just never surpassed his iconic role. Welling didn’t appear in big movies or TV shows, like Brandon Routh and Dean Cain, who also played Superman.
Margot Kidder Left Out of Disrespect
Lois Lane, the journalistic-turned-friend-turned-lover of Clark’s, was played by Erica Durance in the show. But Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the film series, was cast to play Doctor Bridgette Crosby in Smallville.
After Reeve’s passing in 2004, Kidder decided to walk away from the show, even though they offered to extend her part. She believed that the way they handled Reeve’s death was “a little tacky.” She called the whole thing a bit “exploitative” in 2005.
Tom Welling Nearly Became Superman in a Movie
Before Superman Returns came to be, it was originally a different movie altogether. The Superman film – the first since Christopher Reeves left the role in Superman IV – was a new opportunity and people started speculating about who would be the one and only.
Smallville was on the air at the time, so fans wanted him cast for the role. Welling told Carson Daly that he went to Los Angeles to talk about the role, but he didn’t want it to end the show he was already on. Matt Bomer was cast in the end.
Michael Rosenbaum Played The Flash Too
Rosenbaum wasn’t one to be type-cast as a villain. On the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Rosenbaum was the voice of the Flash, one of the seven core team members. Rosenbaum also played the character in some DC games and animated movies.
In the end, Rosenbaum left Smallville to go after more comedic roles. He never got another live-action role like Lex Luthor but did appear in shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Impostor. He’s also joined the wave of podcasting to become a host of his own podcast.
Only Two Characters Are in Every Season
As Clark grew up, more and more characters were introduced into his inner circle. But only Chloe and Clark appear in every season of the show. Impressively, Welling appears in every single episode and sometimes plays more than one character.
Welling was nominated for and handed awards for his role as Clark in Smallville. He also directed and produced some of the episodes.
Fun fact: Welling worked in construction before his modeling career started in 1998. In 2000, he started his TV career with a recurring role as Rob “Karate Rob” Meltzer on Judging Amy.
Michael Rosenbaum’s Prank on Tom Welling
Superman and Lex Luthor are rivals, but Clark and Lex were friends at the beginning of Smallville. In the pilot, Clark had to perform CPR on Lex after pulling him out of the water. It could have been awkward as it was the first day of shooting and the cast didn’t really know each other.
So, Rosenbaum thought of a way to break the tension. Instead of lying there and waiting for Welling to give him mouth to mouth, he started whispering things like “yeah baby” and “lay it on me” to Welling to make the actor break character and take things a little less seriously.
Welling Wasn’t Into the Super Suit
Welling didn’t want the finale of the show to focus on him becoming Superman. At first, the network wanted the last episode to begin with Clark wearing his costume and saving Lois from a plane – a typical Superman moment – but Welling pushed back.
He said it would cheapen the series overall. The last season – and the series finale – happened to divide fans. Welling and the network compromised and decided to end the episode as Clark revealed the El sigil. He was to begin his new chapter as a superhero.
Erica Durance Was Scared Off by Comic Book Fans
Erica Durance showed up in Season Four. Fans expected that Lana would eventually marry her childhood friend Pete (Sam Jones III) in the comic books, and that Clark would woo Lois. Although the addition of Durance added a key component of the story, the actress admitted to being frightened.
She wasn’t scared of the role but rather of comic book fans. “There have been the occasional ones [fans] that have frightened me that – you know – come up when I’ve been at conventions. And they come up and they’re dressed up as Superman,” Durance said.
All of Chloe’s Possible Dates
Chloe was Clark’s best friend and sidekick. She was one of the show’s most adored characters, and her popularity made Allison Mack a fan-favorite at all the comic book conventions. At Washington’s Awesome Con, someone asked Mack who she would date: Clark Kent, Davis Bloome (played by Sam Witwer) or Jimmy Olsen (played by Aaron Ashmore).
“Embarrassing,” Mack first responded with. “I’d take them all home for different reasons. Sam Witwer – he’s great. I truly don’t know how to answer that. They were all delicious for different reasons. Can I take all of them?”
A Batman Easter Egg
Many fans of the show felt that one of the saddest things about Smallville was the lack of two of DC’s biggest characters: Batman and Wonder Woman. Other Justice League characters were in the series, like Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Justin Hartley), but not Bruce Wayne or Diana Prince.
But Chloe mentions both “a billionaire with high-tech toys” and “a wondrous woman,” in Season Ten (Episode “Fortune” in 2011). There was also a subtle Batman Easter egg in Season One’s “Hourglass” episode. In Cassandra Carver’s (Jackie Burroughs) visions of the future, the Dark Knight’s cape can be seen directly behind Mr. Luthor.
The No Tanning Rumor
There was a rumor that Smallville showrunners didn’t allow Welling to tan while shooting the show. When asked about it, Welling said, “I haven’t heard about that. My question would be ‘Are they waiting for a phone call from Krypton to find that out?’”
Carson Daly asked Welling if there was any truth to the rumor: “Not that I’m aware of… But I think maybe there’s some secret meeting down in Los Angeles about that. I haven’t heard that yet.” Welling added, “I know there’s some things that they ask you: ‘Please don’t do anything but walk from your trailer to set, don’t ride bikes, don’t run, don’t do anything’ – I ignore that, of course.”
A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow
During the filming of Season One’s episode “Hothead” in 2001, 9/11 transpired. As airports were on high alert, planes were grounded. So, Annette O’Toole’s husband, Michael McKean, who played Perry White, drove to Vancouver to pick her up.
During the ride, the couple wrote the songs that would later appear in A Mighty Wind (2003). The song A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow was nominated for an Academy Award in 2004. “It’s more of an affectionate pastiche,” McKean said. “We looked at it as an experiment to write something that could have been 150 years old that could have been written by Stephen Foster or one of his contemporaries.”
Inspired by Adventure Comics #271
When Superman Returns finally hit theaters in 2006, the Man of Steel had been away from the Silver Screen for 19 years. Fans were longing for more Clark Kent adventures, but Smallville was carrying on his legacy on TV. Creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar created a unique look at Clark’s formative years, and it was inspired by Adventure Comics #271 (1960), which featured the title “How Luthor Met Superboy.”
Gough said, “When we set out to do Superboy, we didn’t want to have the suit.” Millar explained: “At that point in time, superheroes were sort of still not cool.” Gough added, “So, we came up with the idea of puberty and superpowers.”
Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex
In Season Five, Clark lost his superpowers and his virginity. He looked to his friend Chloe for advice (in the Episode “Fanatic” in 2006). Their conversation revolved around whether Clark could safely engage in you-know-what with Lana.
It had to do with an essay written by sci-fi author Larry Niven in 1969, called Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. Niven wrote, “Remember also that we are dealing with Kryptonian muscles. Superman would literally crush LL’s body in his arms, while simultaneously ripping her open from crotch to sternum, gutting her like a trout. Lastly, he’d blow off the top of her head.”
They Pitched a Lois Lane Prequel Series
Gough and Millar, who made the movies Lethal Weapon 4 and Shanghai Noon) had an initial idea: to center on Superman’s iconic love interest, Lois Lane. The showrunners revealed this idea in a featurette of the making of Smallville’s first season.
The idea was a series that followed the would-be journalist throughout her college years. They were thinking of a mix between Ally McBeal and Nancy Drew. Clark would have been an unseen character, known only as her pen pal “CK.” But, of course, the idea never came to fruition.
Brandon Routh Auditioned for Clark Kent
Brandon Routh, who now is a staple in the DC Universe, reflected on his audition for the role of Clark in Smallville while at a Comic Con in 2019. He got a callback, but it went nowhere. “I was pretty crushed,” he admitted.
But Routh eventually found his way to the iconic role when he got cast as the lead in Superman Returns. Routh is now known to many as Ray Palmer/The Atom in the Arrowverse. And he got to don his cape again during the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
Three Sets Were in a Meat-Packing Building
Journalist Andi Peters explored the making of Smallville and checked out the building and the sets. Smallville made heavy use of sets, especially in the later seasons. The crystal-clad Fortress of Solitude was introduced in Season Five as well as the Daily Planet set that lasted the rest of the show.
These were actually filmed in an unusual location. The interior sets for the Kent household, the family barn, and the Luthor mansion were all filmed in a Vancouver building that was once a meat-packing operation.
The Luther Mansion Was Used for the X-Men Franchise
Smallville also featured visually striking exterior locations, including the Luthor household. The location was at the Hatley Park National Historic Site in British Columbia. Gough and Miles said they wanted the Luthors to live in a place that look like a castle.
The X-Men franchise liked it, too, and used it for the exterior shots in the Marvel movies, starting with X2: X-Men United, and later in X-Men: The Last Stand. Deadpool and its sequel also used the location. The place clearly has deep ties to comic book lore.
John Schneider Drew From His Own Father-Son Relationship
The stern but loving Jonathan Kent was played well by John Schneider, who explained in a Season Two featurette that he actually drew on his relationship with his own son for the role. “My son, Chasen, has a thing called Asperger’s Syndrome,” Schneider revealed.
“It’s pretty much unrecognizable,” he said, but “when he was seven/eight years old, there was a lot of working with him. Having a special needs child made me realize that Clark Kent was a special needs child.” He worked with Chasen to get the relationship between Clark and Jonathan right.
Lois’s Introduction Shot Down a Theory About Chloe
Fans were excited when it was announced that Lois Lane would be entering Clark’s life in Season Four, and Erica Durance hit it on the nail. According to Gough, the idea was shot down that budding journalist Chloe would ever become Lois.
He explained: “People kept going, ‘Oh, she’s going to turn into Lois Lane.’ We’re like, ‘No, she’s Lois’ cousin.’ They’re like, ‘No, she’s going to turn into Lois Lane, and you’re tricking me.’ We’re like, ‘No. Dude, seriously, she’s Lois’ cousin.’”
Supergirl Was Going to Be Like Paris Hilton
Fans were treated to the real Kara of Krypton in Season Seven. Laura Vandervoort’s Girl of Steel became a fan favorite and received some real heroic moments. However, the producers didn’t go with their original plans.
Craig Byrne, the author of the Smallville books, revealed that the show’s version of Kara was going to be quite shallow. The team saw her as a “Paris Hilton type,” who was interested in pop culture. Ultimately, Vandervoort’s acting encouraged them to change their minds. Let’s all be thankful for that.
A Season Three Character Was Originally Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne never popped up on the show, but one “urban legend” of the show says that Adam Knight, played by Ian Somerhalder in Season Three, was meant to be Bruce Wayne before the plans changed at the last minute.
Showrunners never confirmed this, but a few elements of the character imply that he was a tribute to Bruce at the very least. Wayne, like Adam, was an orphan and he was also fluent in martial arts as well as a computer hacker. Somerhalder stated that his character’s arc was changed right before filming.
Jonathan Schneider Wasn’t a Fan of Clark and Lana
In the fifth season, Clark and Lana finally take their relationship to the next level… through their clothing. John Schneider, who played Clark’s father, was supposed to say a line in the scene, but he told the audience that he wasn’t too fond it.
The line: “At least tell me you were safe.” Schneider felt it was unrealistic for such a strict, traditional father to say. The producers disagreed but made a compromise: Martha Kent notices the two teens and leaps between them so her husband can’t get to them in time.
Where Is Sam Jones III Now?
Pete Ross was played by Sam Jones III, who was eventually written off to protect Clark’s identity. After leaving in the third season, Jones returned for one episode in the seventh. His time after Smallville included starring in a handful of TV shows, including The Practice, 7th Heaven, Bones, and Blue Mountain State.
His last role on TV was as Mason on The Defenders in 2010. And after taking six years off, Jones reprised his role on Blue Mountain State for the movie Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland.
Where Is Justin Hartley Now?
Smallville’s billionaire, Oliver Queen, played by Justin Hartley, impressed the showrunners. So much so that they cast him as the Green Arrow on their Superman series. Instead of Hartley being in the leading role, the network opted to cast Stephen Amell.
After Smallville ended, Hartley guest starred in several shows, like Chuck, Castle, and Heart of Dixie, Emily Owens, M.D., Revenge, and Mistresses. He made a full-time return to television as a series regular on The Young and the Restless. He’s now on This Is Us.
Where Is John Schneider Now?
John Schneider’s career extends to acting and singing. Schneider, who was killed in the 100th episode from a heart attack, is known to older audiences as Bo Duke from the iconic The Dukes of Hazzard from the ’70s and ’80s.
Schneider still appeared throughout the rest of Smallville’s run, like at Clark’s wedding in the finale. Since Smallville, Schneider has been in multiple shows and movies, including 90210, Desperate Housewives, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and he now has a main role as James Cryer on the soap opera The Haves and the Have Nots.
Where Is Annette O’Toole Now?
Annette O’Toole was in the original Superman movie series. In Superman III, she played Lana Lang. Nearly two decades later, O’Toole returned to the world of Superman to portray Kal-El’s adoptive mother, Martha Kent.
O’Toole appeared throughout Smallville’s run, though her character wasn’t around in the later seasons, returning in the final season. Although she remained out of the spotlight after Smallville, she got a recurring role on Halt and Catch Fire, a guest starring role on Grey’s Anatomy, The Finder, and 11.22.63.
Where Is Erica Durance Now?
Erica Durance made her debut as Lois Lane in the fourth season. She became a series regular for the rest of the show. Unlike most of the actors on this list, Durance stayed with television acting after Smallville ended.
She joined Michael Shanks, her former Stargate: SG-1 and Smallville co-star, in the Canadian showSaving Hope. Durance was also credited with being a producer on the series and made her directorial debut by directing one of the episodes. She’s got quite a resume, but she’ll forever be best known as Lois Lane.
Where Is John Glover Now?
John Glover has had a prolific career in Hollywood in both television and film, though one notable role is as Lionel Luthor on Smallville. Lex Luthor’s father was hardly mentioned in the comics, though. The success of Smallville prompted DC Comics to use the name Lionel as the official name of Lex’s father.
Since Smallville, Glover has appeared in only one or two projects a year. Glover then made the jump from DC Comics to Marvel in the second season of Agent Carter. Since playing Lex’s father, he has voiced Dyson in TRON: Uprising.
Where Is Kristin Kreuk Now?
Kristin Kreuk brought the character of Lana Lang to life. Kreuk left after seven seasons along with a bunch of other cast members (O’Toole and Rosenbaum). After leaving Smallville, she starred in the movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.
After that, she returned to television by starring in Ben-Hur and Chuck, before the leading role of Detective Catherine Chandler on Beauty and the Beast. The series was on for five seasons, wrapping up its run recently.