Erica Durance is Smallville‘s snappy, sexy Lois Lane. She hails from both Canada and the United States, although currently resides in Vancouver. With the latest season of Smallville already well underway, Erica finds some time to chat with ACED about what some of her favorite characters and episodes are for Smallville, and what her thoughts are on the upcoming US Presidential Election.
What are some of her favorite aspects of this season? “I think it is just that everything is starting to move towards the Superman mythology. Lois is doing a lot more investigative work and she is a legitimate reporter now so she has something in the story arc that is legitimate and grounded. Also, the interplay she has with Clark, and building that from all the different levels … We want to be careful about how we reveal that and make sure it does the whole Superman mythology justice,” she says.
Durance talks more about the Lois and Clark dynamic. “This year you get to see Lois realize this [the tension between her and Clark], which I think she knew all along, but really did not want to admit to herself. He is different from anybody she has ever known, and she does love him. How people come to realize that is the real journey and that is what we are working on.”
Even though they are just past episode eight, Erica already has a preference from the list shows airing this season. “Each one has been really good. I think my favorite one so far is called “Committed”. It has tons of the Lois and Clark stuff in it and it’s in the premise that they are investigating to find this bad guy who kidnaps couples. So Lois decides to drag him around and pretend to be engaged to him to try and snag the bad guy. It was fantastic and really fun and it has some great twists in it. It goes from real comedy to real drama, and I loved it.”
While Durance enjoys filming the Superman mythology, she does not necessarily like watching it. “I have to be honest. I don’t watch it myself because I get really nervous watching myself. Sometimes I am strong enough and mature enough to deal with it, and other times I just go and work from the inside out. I think it is better to do that. That is how I am with it.”
When asked who her favorite character is she quickly retorted, “Me!” Of course, I shot back that she was not allowed to pick herself! She humbly offered, “Actually I think the writers have done a great job in making each one so different, but of course who doesn’t love Clark. A close second runner up to Clark would be Lionel Luthor. He is so good at being bad.”
We touched briefly on the absence of Lionel’s son Lex Luthor in this year’s season, as he has always been a fan-favorite villain. “I know that people were upset and disappointed, and I get that because Michael does a fabulous job on Lex, but I think if they give it some time and really get to know the new characters they will get to see they all have a charm of their own. It is a really fun, fun season.”
Well okay then, who is her favorite new baddie this season? “Right now I really like Tess Mercer because I’m a girl and lets support the women. She is very good at it, and is just establishing herself and her story arc. I think people will discover as well that she can be very good at being bad. Women know how to do that on a whole different level.”
Speaking of feminine-powered roles, Erica talks a bit about her character. “As an actress, they have written her [Lois] to be so well rounded, but there is always something that she is doing. Whether it is dealing with an aggressive issue in an in-your-face kind of manner, or that she gets to be vulnerable, or use her defense mechanisms with comedy. She is very, very complicated and I have enjoyed trying to discover her as she evolves over the years.
“The thing that I as a person have taken from playing her is that she allows herself to be human. She allows herself to say ‘I made a mistake but we all do,’ and ‘I am a perfectionist, as most people are,’ and she is much more forgiving of mistakes and dusts herself off and goes back out. That is a quality that I wish was more part of me.”
What does Erica do when she isn’t in front of the camera? “I go where the wind blows. It all depends on what’s happening and if I am going to be working on another scene, talking with the directors, or something as simple as going back to my trailer and watching movies. You just wait or go over lines. In this business you are paid to wait. What you choose to do during that time, and how productive you are, is just about doing a little bit of everything.”
Because she plays a reporter with strong opinions, I inquired what her thoughts were on the US Presidential race taking place this year. With her being a dual citizen, she has a unique take on things — or maybe not so much? “I was so very interested in having a part in what was going on because I am American as well, that I applied to be part of that voting process myself. I am so excited that there are options for the country. I think, at least for this year, people are trying to bring in the young and the new voters and get them involved because they are going to be the ones who will vote year after year.
“I am educating myself on what is important to the economy and to the people. I think people are looking for change and they are looking for genuine honesty from the person who is going to be leading them; someone who will follow through on what their promises are, and what their platforms are. I think people are tired of hearing that something will change, and then it doesn’t happen.
“It is a pretty desperate situation for the economy right now with people losing their homes and things going on with the war. There are some huge issues, and we’re looking for honesty. People want their voices heard and that is why I am excited about this process because you are getting a good demographic of people who are voting and demanding that there is change. I have been following this along like a CNN junkie.”
Politics and work aside, Erica does what any other normal person does on their days off. “I am a mother to a nine year-old son who is fantastic! I am actually his step-mother, but I have been around for a very long time, so I do a lot of mom stuff.”