With Supergirl taking flight on CBS as the latest fresh-faced superhero series, perhaps there was some speculation that the star of the progenitor of the genre, Smallville, would be interested in reprising his role as Clark Kent/Superman as a guest star. From a quote cut from a recent Buzzfeed feature on Tom Welling, it sounds like the actor could probably do without it.
After the piece on Welling ran, reporter Jarett Wieselman of BuzzFeed tweeted a quote from Welling about the possibility of him making an appearance on Supergirl, reprising the role he played for 10 seasons. It was the quote equivalent of a shrug — Welling said “There’s people who would like it…there’s people who don’t like it, but I will tell you that no one has ever actually asked me to do it. So, I don’t know. It would be kind of odd. I don’t know who he is at that point. He would obviously be Superman…”
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) January 27, 2016
It’s not a no, but it might as well be. He raises a good point, though — Smallville was all about Clark Kent, and it’s not clear that he’d be well suited for a guest spot that would, in all likelihood, require him to be Superman first and foremost. But, the quote makes a lot more sense when you read the BuzzFeed feature, where it becomes really clear why Welling would not be in a hurry to play Superman or Clark Kent again.
You should read the piece in its entirety, but suffice it to say that while Welling doesn’t have anything explicitly negative to say about Smallville, it is some wonder that he managed to get out of that show with his sanity at least somewhat intact. Apparently Smallville wasn’t the easiest show to make, and Welling was naturally a part of every single episode of the show’s 10-year run. Part of the feature goes like this:
“I spent 10 years where my life was 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. on set,” he said. That set felt a world away from his friends and family, scattered across America, and Welling had no idea how to handle it. “From an emotional standpoint, I was basically cut off from everyone.” In order to emotionally endure and professionally thrive, he said, “I just put my head in a hole and I basically blocked everybody and everything out.”
It hurts me to read that. The piece goes on to talk about how Welling was a relative newcomer who had arrived in Los Angeles to do commercials and modeling. Not too long after getting there, he ended up with a six-episode part on Judging Amy before getting Smallville, going in an instant from unknown to spending the vast majority of 10 years of his life as Superman, with only two months off per year as a respite from that brutal schedule.
I don’t know Welling, but after reading that piece, I really hope he doesn’t ever end up on Supergirl for the sake of the man’s sanity.