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Smallville - Talking Smallville with Tess Mercer

Thanks to Susana for the heads up.

IGN: Can you talk about the changes in Tess since she first appeared?

Cassidy Freeman: Wow, a lot of changes. So Tess comes in first and foremost, under the rule of Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) which is a big change. I think she was a bit harder at first. A bit more guarded with her feelings, how she felt about things, because she didn't know anyone. She felt like the odd man out. When you feel like the odd man out, you can either put up a wall and pretend like it's supposed to be there, or you can kind of die down and be weak. She obviously had to choose the former.

But I think, since then, she's learned a lot, obviously. I think that she's taken her life and made it her own and seeing what that means to her. Learning about Clark's abilities and what that means to her. There's this man out there, a man that does the right thing every time. (laughs) That man did not exist and now he does. What was just a vault of information that she acquired has now started to affect her. And she gets to make her own decisions with it, which I think is really exciting.

IGN: Your relationship with Clark is really interesting. I had read that there was originally going to be a romantic relationship there...

Freeman: Mm-hmm. They had that idea. I think that they were playing with the whole Lex as a female thing. (laughs) Fans have always joked about that. But I think they made a wise choice in changing that, because I think that their relationship goes a bit deeper than a quick, for lack of better phrasing, a quickie. There's more to them. It's a bit deeper relationship than a sexual one or a romantic one right off the bat. I mean, how can they be romantic in Episode 3 if they don't even know each other?

I think it was really wise of them to take it back and kind of put that whole Oliver (Justin Hartley) twist into it. Actually, Oliver and I are much more alike, I think, as people, than Clark. You never know what could happen, but I think the whole season, people were wondering if that would happen. But I like where they took our relationship.

IGN: Can you tell us a bit about the season finale and what we're going to see?

Freeman: Part of the Justice League is coming back. That's pretty known. Clark has a big decision to make on how to challenge Doomsday. Everyone in his life is telling him that he has to s**t or get off the pot, and he has to make a decision about that, because frankly, people's lives are at risk. This is the culmination. This is the big showdown, which you're going to see. And the whole time you have Tess in there as a catalyst, trying to instigate and make sure that everything works as it's supposed to work.

And where's Chloe (Allison Mack) in all this? Obviously she's up for grabs right now. No one knows if she's safe or if she's not. I felt like that last episode was an explosion. (laughs) All these little pieces are out there and I think next week it's all going to be wrapped up to a certain degree.

IGN: I've heard that you have a big fight with Lois in the finale.

Freeman: I do. (laughs) Lois and I throw down.

IGN: How much fun was that to film?

Freeman: So much fun! Probably though, everyone else had more fun than we did. Everyone likes to make jokes about Lois and I because Erica and I get along really well, and we're friends. We joke around a lot on set. (laughs) It was pretty funny. You tell two women who are like, totally made up and in business outfits to get on a desk and roll around and kick the s**t out of each other...it's a pretty cool day at work. I'm like, this is my job?

IGN: I know that there are two deaths in the episode, and I know you can't tell us who dies, but what was your reaction when you saw the script?

Freeman: My first reaction is how can they do that? Literally how can they do that? That doesn't make sense! But it does make sense. It's such a cool twist. I can't even tell you. I mean, I'm not...yes, I'm a fan of Superman now, definitely. I wasn't though. The word 'fan,' I didn't even know the definition of before I started this job. I'm in awe of these people who know so much and are so passionate about it. I think that's so awesome. But, even me, I was shocked, and wowed and give a little nod to the cleverness of our writing staff.

IGN: What kind of fan reaction have you gotten to your character?

Freeman: I don't really know. I try not to read too much stuff. Not that it will affect me but because there is so much out there that if I started, I'm afraid I'd never stop. (laughs) But I think people like Tess. The few times that I've been recognized people have told me that they like my character. I think she's a bit of a surprise.

I think people expected to really dislike her. Which is totally understandable, because you can't really replace Michael Rosenbaum or Lex Luthor. I think once people realized that she's her own, that she's pretty cool. I hope, at least. (laughs)

IGN: What do you think makes this show so popular? I mean, it's going into its ninth season.

Freeman: I think it's a mixture of things. I think, A) the show is just beautiful. It's just very well done and it's fun to watch that. I think everyone likes watching characters that they think they know. You know what I mean? Or that they do know. It's different if you're watching a new show and you're like, it's Joe Schmo. I don't know Joe Schmo, but I know Clark Kent. Even if you agree or disagree with how someone did something or a storyline, you still have the ability to say whether you agree or disagree if you have that knowledge or familiarity with the character. Which is why I think there is such a strong fan base. And also I think Superman is one of those comics.

It's funny because the movies have never really worked that well. You know? They haven't (become) big franchises like Spider-Man or The X-Men, but there's something about Superman that is kind of a trump card. And I think everyone can relate to that, young and old. I tutor kids and when I got this audition, this guy who I tutor with, who...is probably in his late 40s, he was like, 'Smallville! I love that show!' And I was like, really? I was so surprised! Because I think of The CW as a really young network with young viewers, but it's not. Especially with something like Smallville.

IGN: I also want to ask you about your new film YellowBrickRoad. Your brother is in that with you?

Freeman: He is. My brother Clark. It's a horror thriller. Two friends of ours from college wrote it and they offered us the opportunity to play brother and sister, which is really great. I have two older brothers, Crispin and Clark, who are actors, and the opportunity to work with them, if I don't have to, I'll never pass up. And the script is really cool. And it's just going to be a really fun shoot. We start shooting on June 3rd in New Hampshire and it's going to be like camping trip/shoot a movie. I'm really excited. And a little scared. I'm not a huge fan of horror movies.

IGN: Tell me about the story. What I read was really interesting.

Freeman: Yeah, so it's kind of true. It happened in a tribe of Eskimos. The writers took it...to New Hampshire. In a town in New Hampshire in 1940 followed a trailhead into the forest. No one knows why. No one knows why the entire town had to go. No one returns. There's a little bit of excavation, and there are some bodies found, but no one is sure (what happened), but it kind of slips under the rug. It was a rough time in the economy and it was a rough time in the world, with WWII, and no one really wants to talk about it.

The town itself is a bit ashamed...so we fast forward to today. And you have this husband and wife team and their friend who write books on stuff like this. And they've always wanted the coordinates to this trailhead. They keep trying to get them, and for five years they've been denied...and finally they get them. So they assemble a team of eight people...to go into the forest and figure out why they went. And the whole tagline of the movie is 'They went to find the evil in the forest...and the forest found the evil in them.' Which is pretty cool and freaky. They go out and you never know if any of them are going to return.

IGN: And this actually happened...you said with Eskimos?

Freeman: Yeah, a tribe of Eskimos went out into the wilderness, although I don't know how much more 'wilderness' you can get than Eskimos, but they disappeared. A tribe of Eskimos disappeared and no one knows what happened to them.

Source: IGN

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