The first thing that occurs to you is that Allison Mack looks the same. It’s been nearly three years since the end of Smallville, and the actress best know to millions of fans as the first and only Chloe Sullivan of the Superman multiverse is still every inch the perky blonde quipster that had Clark Kent’s back for 10 years of the show. For her appearance at Toronto ComiCon, a first for the actress I believe, the fans had about a decade’s worth of queries about life in Smallville.
“We were so isolated in Vancouver,” Mack recalls, “We didn’t know everyone liked us except that we kept coming back every season. […] We were shooting two episodes at a time. It was taxing, so we didn’t have a lot of time to revel in the show until now.”
When Mack made the Smallville pilot in 2001, she was playing the only regular character on the show to not have a comic book counterpart. That would soon change when Chloe was added to regular DC Comics continuity a few years later, but as young actress there was some anxiety about her status on the show for a while. “For the first five years I was hoping they wouldn’t kill me,” she said. The flip side though was the opportunities as an actor. “I could be anything, and that was exciting.”
Indeed, Chloe’s role kept evolving on the show, from Clark’s school friend and secret admirer to sidekick to the woman who basically administers and co-ordinates the Justice League. “I saw Chloe as being like M in the Bond films,” she says of the character’s turn in later seasons. “She’s the woman who masterminds everything. She had to distance herself [from Clark] because concerns were more global, her priorities shifted.”
Favorite episode? Unfortunately, the Smallville experience was kind of blur for Mack, not that she doesn’t ever revisit her work though. “I was watching some YouTube clips, and we were babies,” she said with a laugh. “It was like watching home movies.”
“I’m proud of what we did and I think we told a good story,” she said. When asked if the show might go on in some way, Mack was emphatic, “It was a great run, but we’re done.”
Since Smallville wrapped, Mack took a break from acting after what was not just 10 years on the show, but about 25 years in the business. She’s done some theater and appeared on the FX series Wilfred, but her time on Smallville cultivated other talents, like directing. In season 8 she was invited to direct an episode of the series, and since then has become a full member in the Director’s Guild of America. She said that directing suited her skills. “I’m opinionated and loud and I like to tell the boys what’s up even if I don’t.” As for directing in the future, Mack said she’d love to, “if the project is right.”
Although she spent 10 years in Superman’s company, it was much to the chagrin of fans that Mack herself was never a big comic book fan. She does however enjoy cartoons, and regaled the crowd with a bit of music from The Little Mermaid. It turns out Chloe Sullivan doesn’t have bad singing voice, and that’s the kind of news that would have surely made the front page of the Smallville Torch.
Toronto ComiCon runs all weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Downtown Toronto. Look for ongoing coverage on Nerd Bastards.