Chloe Sullivan has come a long way from her days as a reporter at Smallville High's student newspaper, The Torch. In the past six years she has dealt with more freaks then you can shake a stick at, earned and subsequently lost a column at The Daily Planet, discovered Clark Kent's secret identity, tussled with the Luthors, and found out she had superpowers of her own. It seems Chloe my have found love as well, as the most recent season of "Smallville" ended with the-man-who-would-be-Superman's own pal Jimmy Olsen asking her to marry him, just before she was arrested by government officials.
The actress who has played Chloe Sullivan, Allison Mack, has come a long way as well. Acting for over twenty years, Mack is going to take the leap behind the camera this season and direct an episode of the hit CW series. CBR News got the chance to talk with Mack at last month's San Diego Comic-Con about the brand new season of "Smallville," which begins in September.
Even though Mack is returning for her eighth season on the show, she is still very excited about the series and part of the reason why is that she'll expand her repertoire by directing an episode. "I am directing this year so that's a totally new beast to tackle," Mack explained, "so I'm looking at the show in a very different way. Also, there's something so wonderful about the family that we've built so coming back just doesn't feel like I am coming back to work on 'Smallville,' it really feels like I am coming home in a lot of ways. It's really nice to come back and enjoy that kind of fall into the warm embrace of the family that's being built there."
Mack feels it's her job and responsibility to be excited about being back on "Smallville." "What I mean is [that] as an actor it's my job to make everything interesting and exciting and new and if I am not doing my job well then I am stealing," she said. "So coming back, I think it's important to keep it fresh and [it's] important to be excited because I think that's part of why I get paid."
As for the episode Mack will be directing, that is still not set in stone. "It's either [episode] thirteen or fifteen, I'm not sure," she said. "I don't have the script and I have no idea what it's going to look like other then it's not going to have a lot of Chloe in it." This wasn't the first time Mack was slated to direct an episode of the show, as she was scheduled to direct an episode last season before the writers strike. "I followed around a couple of directors and was there every day sitting in the chair just asking questions and writing things down," Mack said. "Now that it's been confirmed again, I come in and I have my directing homework and I go over it with James Marshall, Marizee Almas -- who's our First [Assistant Director] -- and Glen Winter, who's a director of photography. I'm trying to learn as much as I can, it's amazing. Making a TV show is incredible, the things that go into it and the amount of work oh my god it's amazing."
Wanting to move behind the camera came naturally for Mack, who saw directing as an evolution of her career. "I've been acting for twenty-two years," Mack said. "And I love film so much and I love the whole process of making film, this is just sort of the next step of understanding it on a deeper level. I always want to be telling stories in whatever fashion I can and directing is really just understanding learning a different element of that storytelling process."
Fans are curious if Chloe will make a return to The Daily Planet, where she used to write a column. "Well I visit the Daily Planet," Mack confirmed. "I don't know, she's really diving head first into the Isis and she's really taking on the job of being the mentor and the kind of place of solace for all the meteor-infected. So I think that that's really going to see her be focused and she's pretty angry at Lex Luthor so she's going to stay as far away from him and his cohorts as possible"
As Mack evolves, so does the character of Chloe Sullivan, and Mack is looking forward to explore some other aspects of the character this season, like cutting the apron strings with Clark. "It's time for him to grow up a little bit and not rely on Chloe so much so that Chloe can go off and forge her own path," Mark remarked. "She's been his shadow for a really long time and [while she] has been doing things of great importance I think it's really exciting to see her start to see her kind of forge her own way and figure out what she's passionate about separate and aside from Clark. You really start to see her do [that] at the Isis Foundation and she's really narrowing down her scope of what she wants to focus on, which is really to try and help that part of the population in the world and I think that's really cool."
One of those people Chloe will be helping is Bette, aka Plastique, another character from the DC Universe who will be making her explosive debut in episode two of the new season. "I think Chloe is really taking on the whole Mother Teresa kind of thing that's been looming around since she started her superpower of healing a couple of season ago," Mack said. "She's got such a huge heart and she is recognizing that there are more people that need her other than Clark Kent. Which is another reason I think she sort of starting to cut the apron strings and let Clark venture into his own sort of thing cause she is really seeing how many people need her help and Bette is just the first of I think many."
Between Jimmy Olsen proposal, the introduction of Davis Bloome " aka Doomsday -- and as always Clark Kent, Chloe has her hands full when it comes to the men in her life. "I know I have such a stable to choose from now, it's really so horrible." Mack joked. "Obviously, my relationship with Clark is still going strong and we're kind of always trying to find our footing and figure out if we're in love or just friends or what's going on. Then she's got Jimmy, who's just this beautiful, amazing, supportive, stable, realistic man who I think she really seeks to find solace in and kind of use this as a way to ground herself in some sort of sense of stability so she goes to him a lot when things feel kind of crazy. But now she has this new hero paramedic Davis guy who's pursuing her pretty actively, is incredibly attractive, and very kind and interesting and also a little dark. So she's really got three to choose from and you know there is [always] the Green Arrow and he's just fun to play with."
With Doomsday, having a potential suitor who ends up killing Superman just fuels the excitement Alison Mack feels for this coming season. "It's awesome," she said. "I'm learning more and more about the comics as we go, cause I don't know a lot about the Superman comics, so just finding out a couple of weeks ago that Doomsday actually kills Superman in the comics and being a part of the struggle between the dark and the light side again I think is really exciting. So I'm really looking forward to it and Sam [Witwer] is a wonderful actor and he's so charming so I'm having a lot of fun playing with him."
What Mack finds the most enjoyable about playing Chloe Sullivan is the fact that since she is not in the comic book universe, her character's future isn't set in stone. "My part as this character has not been anything secure," Mack explained, "so we've really been able to work in quite an equal partnership -- the writers, myself and the fans -- in shaping who this character is going to be and shaping the direction she is going to go. So I really like the fact that everything is new and that we're really molding a brand new character together."
Though DC did say they were gong to add Sullivan to the Superman comic books, apparently the time was not right, although Mack is still looking forward to the day that she can see the four-color version of herself. "What an amazing honor to have a character written after you," she said. "I think that it's so cool. So I am thrilled at that opportunity, and that possibility, and I hope to see it come to fruition. I mean, who gets to show their kids like this is me, this is a character I built and that's awesome?"
The new season of "Smallville" has found itself a few cast members short, as Michael Rosenbaum, who portrayed Lex Luthor, and Kristin Kreuk, who portrayed Lana Lane, have both left the show. "They are still very much part of our lives," Mack said. "We're like a train, we just keep going, forging ahead and we miss them dearly and we love them and we talk about them and think about them all the time, but you know we are making a show so we can't slow down." Though Mack did add one cryptic note, smiling as she said, "We'll see that bald head again, he's not gone for good."
As this may indeed end up being the final season of "Smallville," Mack turns her eyes toward the future. "John Glover said to me once that a good part is a good part no matter what the venue, and I go where the good parts are," Mack said. "I've always had so much respect for him and his career and his choices as an actor I think he's just amazing. So I would like to stay doing that and really listen to him and follow in his footsteps in that respect."
Mack added that she would love the opportunity to work in film and theater but that there was "so much amazing television" being done that she would hate to limit herself. But her passion for creating art doesn't stop there. "As far as behind the scenes I absolutely want to get into making my own films and producing my own things," Mack said. "I want to get into helping put together different venues for all artists so figuring out more what it means to put on art shows and film festivals and music festivals and things like that because I am passionate about any form of creative expression."