Last week, I took a trip up to Canada to visit the set of CW's Smallville
. The studio, located just outside of Vancouver, BC, was just about the coolest place I've ever been.
The studio was huge and I can't decide which is cooler: the outdoor Metropolis set or the very elaborate indoor sets, like the Ace of Clubs or the Daily Planet
newsroom. We haven't seen th e Talon coffeehouse very recently on the show, but the set is still there and just as eclectic as ever. (I did notice, however, that there was a spelling error on the chalkboard coffee menu. A "moccha" must be a Smallville special.)
Television sets are very interesting places. The outdoor set on the backlot was a set of the main street in Metropolis, with the Metro movie theater at one end. All the buildings look to be about seven-eighths the size of normal buildings. This definitely makes the actors look taller when they are walking down the street. The crown jewel of the outdoor set is the movie theater. There are advertisements for two fake movies playing at the Metro, one for Confidential Ultimatum
(with the tagline “She knew just enough to stop them”) and one for Stolen Intelligence
, starring the fictional Stipe Skaric and Sandra Smolski. The satire of these movies is so dead-on; you can totally imagine real movie studios churning out brainless action-espionage movies such as these.
The indoor sets are housed in a gigantic hangar-like building. I hung out in the Talon coffeeshop while Tom Welling
was filming a scene in an adjacent set with his new arch-nemesis Cassidy Freeman. The Daily Planet
newsroom was probably the most elaborate set. It has a very ‘30s retro look and the clutter on all the desks is very authentic. I have to give props (ha!) to Smallville
's set dressers for their astounding attention to detail is astounding.
I arrived at the Smallville
set on Friday afternoon while they were filming episode 8.7, "Identity." I got a chance to talk to Allison Mack
(who was nice enough to come in on her day off to talk to me – what a sweetheart!), Aaron Ashmore
, Erica Durance
and new cast member Cassidy Freeman, who'll be playing villainess Tess Mercer. Tom Welling was there as well, but unfortunately, he remains just as elusive as ever. Even though I didn't get a chance to talk to him, everyone in the crew seems to be quite taken with him and his boyish good looks, so he must be a stand-up kind of guy. I did get to see him film a scene in which he runs at super speed. Actually, Tom doesn't really have superpowers, but the magic of television can make his 60 percent speed (or is it 70 percent?) look like a super-speedy blur.
Keep checking back here in the coming days and weeks. We'll be posting all of the video interviews that we got during this visit. Also, mark your calendars for Thursday, September 18 for Smallville
's eighth season premiere.
Read more from our Smallville set visit:
Cassidy Freeman Talks About Tess Mercer
Allison Mack Discusses Season 8
Aaron Ashmore Discusses Playing Jimmy Olsen
Erica Durance Discusses Her Role on Smallville
Allison Mack Answers Fan Questions
Cassidy Freeman Answers Fan Questions
Erica Durance Answers Fan Questions
Aaron Ashmore Answers Fan Questions
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of the CW)