Before shows like Arrow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. came around to give something comic book fans to be excited about on a weekly basis, Smallville took the world by storm.
Between 2001 and 2011, audiences were transfixed by the WB-turned-CW series about a young Clark Kent coming into his own as his powers developed. As Clark learns about his Kryptonian heritage and real strength, he traverses the awkward teenage years of high school and tries to figure out how to date while stopping bad guys. While Tom Welling's Clark was the center of the show, the series had a wide cast of characters that accompanied the young farm boy on his journey from farm boy to Superman.
Superman's adventures may be iconic, but these real life stories about the show's cast aren't as well known. Many of the performers have gone on to have promising careers and even appear on subsequent CW series, but some have gotten into legal trouble or have stepped away from things for a completely different reason. Regardless of where these performers are now, they can all rest knowing they appeared in the series that kicked off a renaissance era for superhero tv shows.
Put on a cape and come learn these 20 Crazy Secrets About The Cast Of Smallville!
20 Jensen Ackles Was The Second Choice For Clark
Every actor who has played Clark Kent on the silver or big screen brought something different to the role.
Christopher Reeves brought a degree of aplomb to his performance as both Kent and Superman that hasn't been matched while new-comer Henry Cavill has brought an intensity to the role that gives his version of the character an edge previous incarnations lacked.
Tom Welling, the actor who played the character in Smallville, has a simple charm that was perfect for the shy farm boy character. In hindsight, Welling may seem like the only choice, but there were actually countless actors trying out for what was one of the hottest TV roles available at the time.
Ultimately, the casting decision came down to Tom Welling and Jensen Ackles, the actor who went on to co-lead his own CW show with Supernatural.
He may have lost out on the starring role, but Ackles still had a big part to play on Smallville as Jason.
Ackles is a strong actor who definitely could have brought something special to the role of Clark Kent, but Tom Welling was the perfect choice to bring a teenaged Kent to life as he deals with the pressures associated with developing superpowers.
19 19.The Cast Saved Tom Welling from a car accident
Clark Kent may be super, but that doesn't mean the actors who bring the iconic character to life are. As part of arrangements with the network, the performers on Smallville were required to drive themselves to set every day instead of relying on a driver service.
Tom Welling, Superman himself, worked the longest days of the entire cast since he was in the most scenes and was constantly forced to drive more than an hour to set or home after working extremely long hours or getting essentially no sleep.
Michael Rosenbaum, the actor who played Lex Luthor on the show, and other members of the cast joined forces and wrote a letter to the network demanding they provide Welling with a driver.
On his podcast, Rosenbaum explained that they feared the network was "going to [end] Superman" since the actor was perpetually exhausted. To ensure Welling received a driver, the rest of the cast all signed away their rights to receive similar services and went about their days a bit easier knowing their leading man was safer.
After Riverdale star K.J. Apa's late-night car crash last September, his castmates are currently pushing the CW to provide drivers for their stars just like the Smallville cast did years ago to ensure no more accidents occur.
18 Allison Mack's Arrest
Allison Mack's acting career didn't extend much further than a few small roles after Smallville left the air, but that doesn't mean she simply faded away.
Instead of accepting her place as a new B-actress and simply bowing out of the spotlight, Mack found a new community where she could feel powerful and special. Mack became a member of an organization called Jness, founded and led by Keith Raniere, and quickly rose in the ranks. While the group labels itself as a support group for modern women, it is allegedly closer to a controlling cult where new members are blackmailed and forced into performing acts with Raniere.
Allegedly, Mack played a key role in the group and would bring new, unsuspecting women to Raniere and try to persuade them to join the group.
Additionally, she would take pictures of the people and obtain information to use as collateral in case the women tried leaving the group or speaking out about the illegal activities that defined the group. At the moment, Mack is filing a "not guilty" plea in the courts and is maintaining that she is innocent. In the past, she called working for Jness as "humbling and wonderful."
17 Kristen Kreuk's Experience With The Cult
Literally, just a day after Keith Raniere was arrested and charged with human trafficking through his organization, allegations came out that Kristen Kreuk was also associated with the shady group.
Allison Mack's connections to the group have already been established and she's been charged with trafficking as well, The group, which is considered cultish by the press, has been around since 1999 and acts as a self-help group to target vulnerable women into viewing themselves as slaves to so-called masters in the organization.
Different women played different roles in Raniere's organization, and Kreuk was allegedly a recruited who would bring young women into the group. The actress has since denied the claims but admits to having been in the group for many years. She said she understood it to be a "personal growth course that helped [her] handle [her] previous shyness."
Since leaving, she says she has had little contact with people who are still associated with the group and says that any claims she was in the group's inner circle are "blatantly false."
Furthermore, she also says she never "experienced any illegal or nefarious activity" despite the serious charges being brought against the group. As of now, the actress hasn't been charged with any crimes associated with her time in the organization.
16 Sam Jones III's Legal Trouble
Sam Jones III may play Clark's good boy friend Pete Ross in Smallville, but he doesn't have the same wholesome reputation in the real world.
Back in 2009, Jones was arrested on federal charges at his home in Canoga Park, California. He was formally charged with conspiring and planning to sell nearly 10,000 pills. The actor, who was just 26 when he was charged, met with an undercover agent who was pretending to be a supplier looking to discuss a possible buy.
In the middle of all this, an intimate tape was leaked of him then-girlfriend Karissa Shannon, making an already complicated time for the actor even more stressful. To tie in with the eventual DVD release of the video they had previously tried blocking from being released, the couple released a song called "Juice and Vodka" that didn't do much to boost either one of their careers or the DVD sales.
Ultimately, Jones plead guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to just over a year in federal prison and three years probation. He was released from Lompoc Correctional Complex in October, 2012 and has appeared in the movies Blue Mountain State and All Light Will End since then.
15 Tom Welling turned down the role due to the Superman curse
A young generation of fans fell in love with Superman watching Tom Welling grow into his own over Smallville's ten-season run. While many people may expect that Welling himself was a fan of the hero as a kid, he reportedly wasn't too into comics. In fact, he hadn't even auditioned for the role of Clark Kent initially while actors like Brandon Routh, who eventually got the role in Superman Returns, auditioned.
Alfred Gough, one of the show's producers, picked up Welling's headshot from a large pile of photos and wondered why the actor wasn't throwing himself into the race for the iconic role. Welling was uncomfortable with the idea of the so-called "Superman Curse" holding his career back if he landed the role, so he decided to steer clear from the production all together.
Once the actor learned the show was going to focus on the character before Clark became a superhero, the show's tagline was even "no tights, no flights," he was more willing to come in and test for the role. Gough has since called Welling, who went on to direct a few episodes of the series, "a leader" on set and joked that he's "somehow is more good-looking in person, if that's possible."
14 Mack May Have Tried To Recruit Emma Watson
As if it's not bad enough being associated with a cult, Allison Mack has been accused of trying to recruit other famous women into the organization. While the group has since been labeled a manipulative organization that categorizes people as slaves and masters, Mack and the group's followers label it as a self-help group for women.
In 2016, Mack started sending tweets directly to Emma Watson, the actress who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, about the organization. Labeling herself a "fellow actress," Mack's first tweet came on January 23rd and she said the two should chat about the organization if Watson was open to it.
A few weeks later, on February 19th, Mack once again tweeted to Watson hoping to talk about what she described as a "unique human development and women's movement" and said that the two of them have a similar world vision.
While it's unclear whether or not Watson ever engaged in direct contact with Mack, it semes like the organization was also targeting actresses who were more established in their careers. After Smallville, Mack didn't have many options, but the world was Emma Watson's oyster after Harry Potter and she ultimately went on to score the lead role in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast adaptation.
13 Justin Hartley's Failed Aquaman Pilot
Now that Jason Momoa has graced the big-screen as Aquaman, the King of Atlantis, in Justice League and is set to star in his own film coming out this December, it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the character.
Even though Aquaman had already appeared on the CW network through Smallville, played by Alan Ritchinson, the network decided to cast someone else for a potential Atlantis themed pilot. Ritchinson is now set to play Hawk on the upcoming live-action Titans show for the still unnamed DC Streaming Service.
In this version of the show, Arthur Curry is essentially a beach bum who runs a little shop and avoids admitting how special he truly is. Out of all numerous actors who auditioned for the part, Justin Hartley, who had been on the Fox series Passions, landed the lead role.
Despite the show not being picked up for a full-series, the experience wasn't a total loss for Hartley. Currently a star on NBC's This is Us, Hartley ultimately landed the role of Oliver Queen on Smallville and helped Clark establish a preliminary version of the Justice League.
Anyone who is interested in watching the Aquaman-centric pilot in all its goofy glory can purchase the episode on iTunes.
12 Michael Rosenbaum's Bald Cap
Lex Luthor is one of the most notoriously bald characters in all of fiction, but that doesn't mean all of the actors who play him are. In fact, even Gene Hackman's version of the character in Richard Donner's Superman wasn't bald. Similarly, in Smallville's pilot episode, fans are introduced to a young Lex Luthor who still has a full head of red, curly hair. It's only after a tragic helicopter crash does the character start losing his hair and eventually grow into his signature look.
Michael Rosenbaum, the actor who brilliantly played the iconic villain for seven seasons on the show, had no problem shaving his head to get into character. He played the character in 160 episodes and guided him on his journey from confused individual to full-on supervillain.
While he originally wasn't going to return for the series finale, he admitted that it "just felt like the right thing to do," and he wanted to make the fans happy. Unlike before though, he was unwilling to shave his head and wore a bald cap when he stepped back into the role.
While he is happy that he received the chance to return to the program, he joked that it had been on the air for too long: "Clark is starting to look like he's in his thirties."
11 Virgil Swan's fate
>In addition to chronicling Clark Kent's journey from childhood to adulthood, Smallville went out of its way to incorporate real life people who have made a big impact on the character. Chief among them all is actor Christopher Reeve.Reeve, who played the actor in the Richard Donner-helmed Superman films back in the seventies and eighties, went on to have a relatively successful career in Hollywood after donning the spandex, but he was never to break out of Superman's shadow. Even after the actor fell off a horse and paralyzed himself from the neck down, Reeve was still associated with the character and went out of his way to become a real life hero. In 1999, his private foundation and the American Paralysis Association joined forces to become the Christopher Reeve Foundation. After the passing of Dana Reeve in 2006, her name was added to the foundation.
Reeve joined the world of Smallville by playing Dr. Virgil Swan, an astrophysicist with an intense amount of knowledge about Krypton.
Clark and Virgil become very close, but ultimately the character's time on the show is cut short. Due to Reeve's untimely passing in 2004, the writers decided to write him out of the show. In season seven, it was ultimately revealed that Lionel Luthor poisoned Dr. Swan because they had conflicting interests in what to do with the mysterious red and blue blur.
10 Margot Kidder Leaves Over Disrespect
Smallville may focus on a young Clark Kent, but the show really is a celebration and a study of the entire Superman mythos.
While Clark is certainly at the center of the show's universe, there are a lot of other key characters whose history in the comic books are just as significant. Chief among them is Lois Lane herself - Clark's journalistic acquaintance-turned-friend-turned-love, who was played by Erica Durance in the show. This new iteration of the character stayed true to the comic books and even had her mingle with other iconic comic book characters like Oliver Queen.
Margot Kidder, the actress who played Lois Lane in Donner's film series, was even brought on to play Doctor Bridgette Crosby in Smallville. An assistant and former love of Dr. Swan's, Crosby also cares deeply about the presence of alien life on Earth and tries her best to preserve it.
After Reeve's passing and the subsequent removal of his character from the program, Kidder decided to walk away from the series even though they had offered to extend her part.
In her opinion, the way they handled Reeve's death was "a little tacky" and she went on to call the whole endeavor a bit "exploitative" in an interview with Superman Homepage back in 2005.
9 Welling almost played Superman in a movie
Before Bryan Singer's Superman Returns was announced, it was originally a completely different movie.
Brett Ratner, the director behind the third film in Bryan Singer's X-Men trilogy, was going to direct his own Superman film. When news broke that a new Superman film was in the works, the first since Christopher Reeves had left the role in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, people started speculating about who would land the title role.
Since Smallville was already on the air, certain portions of the fan community wanted him to be cast for the role. Tom Welling told Carson Daily that he actually went to Los Angeles and sat down in Brett's house to talk about the role, but he didn't want to take things further because it would mean the show had to stop. Welling revealed that they both "knew scheduling would always be an issue" but went forward with the talks just for fun. Ultimately, Matt Bomer was cast as Superman in the project, but the actor's good fortune went away when the film was transformed and subsequently recast.
Among other things, Welling also told Daily that he thought he rated his modeling skills at a four and a half out of ten because he "can't stand still when [he's] told to."
8 Lionel Luthor takes over
Lionel Luthor - Lex's ruthless, often selfish father - is one of Smallville's most fascinating characters. Lionel, a character who didn't have much of a backstory in the comics, went on to become a central character in the show. Instead of just being presented as Lex's father, Lionel was presented as a multifaceted man who always has a trick up his sleeve.
While fans may guess that the villain turned hero was always supposed to be a major part of the show, it turns out Glover was originally only brought onto the show to appear in a few episodes.
Glover did such a good job that the showrunners expanded the role and kept him on for a majority of the series.
Outside Smallville, the actor has made a splash in the acting world. In 2009, he was nominated for the leading actor Tony award for his performance in Waiting For Godot, an award he won in 1995 for his work in Love! Valor! Compassion! Additionally, Glover went on to play the father of another menacing, silver-screen villain. In 2009, Glover appeared in one episode of Heroes as Sylar's father.
What many people forget is that way back in 1997, four years before Smallville hit the air, Glover appeared in a different major DC Comics-related franchise. The actor played Jason Woodrue, a character who becomes the villainous Plant Master in the comics, the head scientist in Pamela Isley's laboratory in Batman & Robin.
7 Michael Rosenbaum also played the Flash
Lex Luthor may be somewhat of a hero in the current DC Rebirth timeline, but the character's primary reputation will always be that of a villain. Instead of using his genius for good, he obsesses over Superman's presence on the Earth and wastes a tremendous amount of resources fighting the Kyrptonian instead of making the world a better place.
Michael Rosenbaum did a great job bring the complex, serious character to the big screen, but that doesn't mean he's been type-cast playing villains.
On the Bruce Timm animated Justice League and Jutsice League Unlimited, Rosenbaum voiced the Flash, one of the seven core members of the team and the show's comedic relief.
In addition to voicing the Flash in JLU, he also played the speedster in a few DC games and animated movies. To make things even weirder, he played a younger version of Wally West when the character appeared on Teen Titans as Kid Flash. He also lent his voice to Batman: Arkham Knight and even appeared in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the motion-capture character Martinex, one of the Ravagers.
Ultimately, Rosenbaum left Smallville to pursue on more comedic roles. Though he never landed another live-action role as iconic as Lex Luthor, he did appear in shows like It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Impastor, and currently has his own podcast.
6 Kreuk's Marine Dreams
Some kids fantasize about growing up to become superheroes while others want to be actors or scientists. Kristen Kreuk, who ultimately captured the hearts of Clark Kent and the audience as Lana Lang on Smallville, didn't always want to be an actress. In fact, when she was younger she had academically inclined goals that would have kept her far away from the world of acting.
While in the 12th grade, a young Kreuk was randomly selected from her drama class to audition for the Canadian drama series Edgemont. Ultimately, that show was picked up to series and all of the goals she had previously set for her self faded away.
Originally, she wanted to go to college and earn degrees in marine biology and environmental science, but with the success of Edgemont she figured she should keep acting. Instead of getting an agent, she auditioned for projects that were being produced near her in Canada and Smallville happened to fall on her lap, keeping her even further away from her dreams of becoming a marine biologist.
Since her time on Smallville came to a close, she has had a few appearances in tv shows like Chuck and even landed the titular role in the CW's television adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
5 Jonathan Schneider doesn't approve of Clark and Lana
In the third episode of Smallville's fifth season, Clark Kent and Lana Lang finally take their relationship to the next level. Instead of focusing on what teenagers do after dark, the show decides to hint at their relationship through their clothing.
John Schneider, the actor who played Jonathan Kent, Clark's father, was supposed to see the couple coming downstairs and say a line, but he told an audience that he wasn't too fond it. The line was "At least tell me you were safe" and Schneider felt that was an unlikely reaction from such a strict, traditional father. He told the producers that he thought Jonathan would think "not in this house, that's not gonna happen, I'm gonna take him to the shed and beat the snot out of him."
The producers disagreed with him but ultimately it led to a compromise where Martha Kent notices the two young adults coming down the stairs and leaps between the two of them so Jonathan can't get to them in time. Instead of Jonathan asking if they were safe, Martha asks instead, so it's still just as awkward for Clark either way.
Despite the fact that the passing of Pa Kent is even an established part of the show, Schneider even jokes that this reaction could have been why the character lost his life.
4 Only Two Characters Appear In Every Season
Over ten seasons, there were 217 episodes of Smallville to keep fans entertained and showcase Clark Kent's journey from childhood to superhero stardom. As Clark grows up, the world around him expands and more and more characters are introduced into his inner circle.
Despite the show's wide reach, only Chloe Sullivan and Clark himself appear in every season of the show.
To make it all even more impressive, Tom Welling appears in every episode of the show and sometimes he even plays more than one character in an episode. As if that's not enough, Welling also got behind the camera from time-to-time and directed a few episodes of the show that kickstarted the actor's career.
Even though Lex Luthor remains an important force on the show and sometimes appears vaguely from the back, Michael Rosenbaum left Smallville after season seven and returned for the finale. Lois Lane, played wonderfully by Erica Durance, doesn't appear in the show until season four - complicating the Clark Kent and Lana Lang narrative the show had spent years setting up.
The show has had some big-name performers appear on the show over its ten-year course. Amy Adams appeared in the first season as a girl who starts using a kryptonite-laced protein shake and Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, appears in one episode as Pauline Kahn.
3 Michael Rosenbaum pranked Tom Welling during the CPR scene
Superman and Lex Luthor may be rivals, but Clark Kent and Lex are friends at the beginning of Smallville. While there is some tension between the two of them in later seasons, Clark's decision to use his abilities and save Lex's life after his car crashes into the river starts a friendship between the two young adults who come from starkly different backgrounds.
If it wasn't for Clark's incessant need to keep a secret from Lex about his alien heritage, there's a chance the two could have grown to become best friends, but the mistrust ultimately pulled the two iconic characters apart.
In the pilot episode, Clark has to perform mouth to mouth on Lex after he pulls him from the water. While it could have been an awkward moment because it was the first day of shooting and the actors hadn't worked together much yet, Michael Rosenbaum thought of the perfect way to break the tension.
Instead of just lying there and waiting for Welling to embrace him, he told YahooTV in an interview that he started whispering things like "yeah baby" and "lay it on me" to make the actor break and take things a little less seriously.
2 "Superman Curse"
Superman is the first superhero and one of the most popular fictionalized characters in the world. One would think that whoever is lucky enough to fill the red underwear would go on to have a promising career in Hollywood, but that's not always the case.
The so-called "Superman Curse" points out that most people who have donned the S have extremely bad luck.
Christopher Reeves fell off a horse, paralyzing himself from the neck down, and George Reeves mysteriously lost his life to a gun shot wound in his own home. Instead of meeting an untimely end, Tom Welling falls into the lesser category of the curse where the iconic role outshines his status as an actor.
Outside of bit roles like Cheaper By The Dozen, Welling didn't appear in many movies or TV shows despite his new found status as a hot commodity. Brandon Routh and Dean Cain, two other actors who played Superman, went on to have similarly mundane careers after their time playing Superman.
Ironically, both Welling and Routh are back in the spotlight thanks to two separate DC adapted television shows. Routh plays the Atom in Legends of Tomorrow while Welling is Marcus Pierce on Lucifer.
1 Welling Didn't Like The Super Suit
While the show may be called Smallville, that doesn't mean the entire series took place in the small Kansas town. As Clark Kent grows up, the show follows him as he grows from an insecure high school student into a college graduate who works at the Daily Planet in Metropolis.
The series slowly established key components of the Superman mythos, like the villains Brainiac and Doomsday, and even expanded to include other heroes from the DC Universe.
Despite how much material from the comics the series adapted, Tom Welling didn't want the finale to focus on him becoming Superman.
The network initially wanted the final episode to begin with Clark donning his costume and saving Lois from a plane, like an iconic Superman moment, but Welling pushed back against that because he thought it cheapened the series overall.
The series finale, and the last season in general divided fans but it makes sense for the coming of age show to end with Clark wearing the costume. Thanks to a compromise Welling struck with the network, they decided to end the episode with Clark revealing the El sigil as he begins his new chapter as a full-on superhero instead of completely focus on it.
Do you have any other trivia to share about the cast of Smallville? Let us know in the comments!