Erica Durance: The “Smallville” Death Will Break Your Heart

by Jarett Wieselman (July 13, 2009 – Pop Wrap)

With only four episodes left this season on “Smallville” every moment counts — especially since it’s been revealed that at least two characters aren’t making it to year nine alive!
And to any fans who think the characters that were transplanted from the comics — Jimmy, Lois, Lex — live in an immunity bubble, think again! To hear Erica Durance tell it, every single actor has been left hanging over the season ending cliffhanger that’s so big, it makes The Fortress of Solitude look like a melted icicle.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus on tonight’s Lois-centric installment which sees the scrappy reporter slip back into another one of her miraculously materialized costumes. I got the scoop on Lois’ sewing skills, Erica’s future on “Smallville” and her habit of almost killing Tom Welling.

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PopWrap: When we talked at the start of the season you said year eight would blow our minds, and you have not been wrong!
Erica Durance: Oh good, I’m so glad to hear you say that because I am biased. I have been so excited by what they’ve given Lois to explore this season. And I had no idea about some of the little surprises that they’ve thrown in along the way. Like “Stiletto!” When I read that script, I had a good laugh.

PW: Yes, that’s tonight’s episode — and you play a superhero?
Erica: Yes, basically Lois gets in a fight to protect Chloe and she beats up this mugger while wearing spiked heels. And he gives her an idea by asking, “What are you a superhero?”

PW: And that gets her gears turning?
Erica: Well, Lois has hit a bit of a cold patch professionally, she’s not succeeding in the way she wants, so she hears this and thinks, “Great! I can get more stories this way!” But then it all starts to unravel and she gets caught in a tailspin trying to undo the damage she’s caused.

PW: And naturally we get a wacky Lois costume, right?
Erica: Of course! And Lois apparently has a side hobby because she’s quite adept at sewing together this pleather outfit!

PW: Well, if The Daily Planet doesn’t work out, there’s always “Project Runway.”
Erica: You never know! She seems to have all these hidden talents that come out of nowhere when she needs them the most. She’s got all these great accents and sewing skills, it’s hilarious.

PW: Does her stint as a crimefighter have long term importance for Lois and Clark?
Erica: Well, there is a really poignant moment where she’s put a friend in peril and has to be a superhero without the abilities. And she risks herself for them, which shows us all a different side to Lois. It’s one of those traits that on some level attracts Clark to Lois. She’s willing to go out there and be heroic with all her human frailty. It’s a lovely parallel.

PW: Earlier this season we saw Lois learn Clark’s secret and totally accept him for it — do you think she’d still react that way?
Erica: I think that showed to the audience that Lois is a lot stronger than people may want to give her credit for. She’ll certainly go in and throw around an eye roll but she’s also really strong. And when she found out his secret, it was like, “Yes, that’s it! That’s the thing I’ve sensed all along.”

PW: You also got to play Chloe playing Lois a few weeks ago — how much fun was that?
Erica: When you read an episode like that, part of you is so excited while the other part of you just sits back and thinks, “How am I going to do this justice?” Not only is Allison [Mack] a fantastic actress, but Chloe is a fan favorite.

PW: Would you say that taught you more about Allison or did Allison learn more about herself seeing someone play her?
Erica: It was funny, I would be doing a scene and play on one of her mannerisms and she’d go, “I don’t do that!” And the whole crew would be like, “Yes you do.” It was fun.

PW: When I interviewed Allison she said, “I think I’ve made myself too invaluable to the show at this point” in regards to Chloe being this season’s rumored death. Do you feel similarly since Lois Lane is steeped in the mythology?
Erica: Well, I think it is fairly certain that they can’t kill Lois off, but this is sci-fi, so who’s to say that the writers couldn’t make her disappear for a long time. And based on the past, there could be a crazy twist where she dies and Clark has to save her, but it takes time. The thing is, even if they got rid of Lois, they’d have to bring her back eventually.

PW: So, level with me, who dies in the finale?
Erica: Let me tell you … if I went into detail, Lois might be the one who doesn’t come out alive. [laughs]

PW: Were you surprised as to where the finale goes?
Erica: I was shocked. And I can be pretty cynical, but even I was like “wow.” The show gets taken to this heartbreaking place and that’s part of why you do it. It’s so fun to be on the ride but just like that, stories like this show you to never feel safe. And that’s what makes “Smallville” so enjoyable, the fans don’t know what’s going to happen to these characters, and these last few episodes take some majorly surprising turns!

PW: Should fans be worried?
Erica: Oh yea — I’m worried, and I’m on the show!

PW: Lots of cliffhangers, then?
Erica: Well, let’s just say that there are quite a few castmembers asking questions about the fates of their characters. I don’t know what journey lies ahead.

PW: That implies that there will definitely be a ninth season
Erica: I know that there will be a ninth year, I just don’t know how many of us are coming back for it. I do know that Tom [Welling] will be there!

PW: Well, that’s kind of a given considering he plays Superman!
Erica: Unless of course I back into him with my car again, that was so awkward.

PW: Seriously?
Erica: Yeah, it was like, “Uh, sorry Tom, not like we need you next year!” [laughs]

PW: I would have thought that he’s so valuable, producers would cover him in bubble wrap when not on set…
Erica: You think, especially with me on the set. I’m quite accident prone. I can’t count how many times I’ve almost run him over.

PW: Well, as long as you own up to it
Erica: I’m pretty klutzy and I’ve always been, so I have to own up to it. It’s part of my charm! Well, it’s charming until I hurt someone!

“Smallville” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW

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