Interview with Erica Durance (Lois, ‘Smallville’)

by Rachel Thomas (Sep 2008 –

For more than 50 years, the Lois Lane character in the Superman mythology has been in the forefront as the woman who ultimately steals the man of steel’s heart. As the character came alive on the big and small screens, many talented women have taken on this complex role and each made it their own. When Smallville premiered 8 years ago, we knew that once Lois Lane eventually arrived, the teenage Clark Kent would soon make that transformation from boy to man and the real fun would begin. Many fans wondered who would ultimately land this highly coveted role, and when Erica Durance debuted as Lois Lane, it didn’t take us long to realize that the tradition of finding the perfect woman for this role had continued with this beautiful and extremely talented actress. I had the pleasure of chatting with Erica and found this lovely actress to be just as funny and confident as the role she plays each week on Smallville….


Q: I’ve read that you were a big fan of the Lois Lane character long before this role came along, what makes her so special to you?
Erica: What I originally loved about the Lois Lane character is her intellect and her independence. She is so fiercely independent that she doesn’t see herself as a victim. One of the things I love about the character that I’m playing is she’s human and she admits it. She’s flawed, she does a lot of things that people roll their eyes at, she makes a lot of mistakes, but she says yeah, that’s me, I’m sorry. She picks herself up and keeps going. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself.

Q: You got to work with Margot Kidder, did you ask her for any tips?
Erica: I personally didn’t work with her, but I was at a convention and we did a whole question and answer panel together. What I learned from just being around her was that she is so confidant in who she is that she knows who she is and she doesn’t apologize for it. On a personal level, I found that incredibly inspiring and you could see how that flowed into what she did as an actress as well. I found her to be a dynamic, lovely woman and so rounded in herself. I use some of that to bring to myself as Erica, who always wants to be perfect, and to the character.

Q: What’s ahead for your character this season on Smallville?
Erica: Well, what I love about this season is because it’s becoming more like the Superman mythology, I get to be involved in all sorts of things. I get to spread apart and do the comedy, push Clark’s buttons to the point where he’s really uncomfortable. They do a whole episode where they have to pretend to be a couple to find the bad guy. She really enjoys putting him in that position and has a lot of fun with it. Yet, because I’m in constant investigative mode, she’s constantly getting herself in trouble. The thing I love about this Lois Lane character is that she constantly has the truth staring at her in the face and yet she still doesn’t see him. They’re (TPTB) creating a lot of those opportunities. There’s an episode coming out that I think will be exciting towards the mythology is that she has now declared her intention to get the first worldwide exclusive interview with this Superman. People will be very excited about that! The whole way it comes to fruition is quite good and Clark gets a lot of that plight too and realizes this is Lois, she’s a pistol, she’s going to go after this like crazy. And the irony is that she’s going to expect him to be running along after her, investigating with her.

Q: In general, what sort of tone is the show taking this year?
Erica: It’s got more of that edge, but I think each character comes into their own. There’s that duality of Clark and Clark as Superman. He begins to come into his own and realizes that he needs to step up and do this. You’ve got Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. I’m even recognizing there’s a little bit of the duality in Lois. She’s got her confidence as a journalist and on the inside, she’s going oh my god I’m truly in love with this person, more in love than I’ve ever been with anyone. Everybody has a secret.

Q: Will Lana Lang return at all this season?
Erica: We’re going to have Lana come back a little this season, much to Lois’s chagrin I’m sure. I think Lana’s making her way back a little.

Q: Are the new guys in charge of the show going to stick to the “no tights, no flights” rule?
Erica: Oh, I’m not sure! They’re busting all sorts of things out this season, but that I’m not sure. I hope so, but it all depends on that actual future of the show and how long it goes. That’s one of those things you build up for the actual ending, right? We’ll see what they actually allow him to do.

Q: Do you think this will be the last season?
Erica: Every year that I’m on, I just assume that this is what I’m doing because otherwise you could count your chickens before they’re hatched. I always say never say never, but also don’t assume that you’re going to be there forever.

Q: Is the cast supportive of doing another season?
Erica: The one thing I can say about all of us, I can’t speak about the specifics of how they all feel, we all have a very good working relationship and enjoy what we’re doing. It’s a lot of fun to make a show like this. I certainly would love to continue on.

Q: Anything to say to the fans?
Erica: I just want to give a big shout out to them to say hello and thank them for their support. The fact that they hung on, we’ve been here for eight years. Thanks for being so supportive of my version of Lois Lane. It’s a nerve wracking thing to do and people have been really positive.

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