View Full Version : Rothery on "Smallville" Wed., May 5th

May 3rd, 2004, 05:39 PM
"Smallville" airs Wednesday, May 5th at 8pm on the WB Network.
From Zap2It:


(Photo of John Schneider at the site.)

TV Feature Story

Schneider Takes Over 'Smallville'
By Kate O'Hare

It's a chilly March day in Vancouver, British Columbia, and it's not much warmer on the set of The WB's "Smallville," except for the Talon coffeehouse, that is.

It's a blaze of hot lights and activity, presided over by the director of "Talisman," the episode airing Wednesday, May 5. He's series star John Schneider, who plays Jonathan Kent, adopted dad to teen Superman Clark Kent (Tom Welling).

Amid the casually clad crew, Schneider stands out in a natty dark sport coat, dark trousers and peach polo shirt, with his plan for the episode laid out meticulously in a thick leather portfolio.

"It makes me look nicer than I am," he says, pointing at the pastel shirt.

As for the business attire, it's all about looking the part.

"It makes them take me seriously," Schneider says. "It's so people know I'm the director. And, most important, it keeps them from complaining about the heat."

In this scene from "Talisman," the Talon's for sale, which comes as a big shock to its co-owner, high-schooler Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). For once dressed in bright blue, instead of her more customary pink, she's having a heated exchange with an officious real estate agent (Teryl Rothery, "Stargate SG-1").

A crew member gasps, "Oh my God, there's tension at the Talon."

"That realtor's wearing complete pink," Kreuk says, "and I'm thinking, 'Oh, that's Lana, in 20ish years, if she doesn't fix what she's doing now.'"

When the comment is made that Lana's having a bad day, Kreuk sighs and says, "Isn't she always?"

After several takes with Rothery, a camera angle comes up that requires her character to pass in front of the lens along a balcony not really suited for the purpose. The call goes out for, "Realtor-on-a-stick."

Immortalized in a Polaroid photo taped to Schneider's monitor, the real thing appears, consisting of Rothery's coat hung on a cross-member and hoisted up to camera level on a long pole. With the sleeves tucked in the pockets, several attempts are made to pass it in front of the camera without it looking entirely like an empty coat on a stick.

"She had attitude that time," Schneider comments after a take.

"She was stuck-up," chimes in a crew member.

For Allison Mack, who plays teen journalist Chloe Sullivan, Schneider's step into the director's chair has afforded her a rare opportunity to work with him, since their characters don't often interact.

"He always has an air of authority," she says. "He just has that dad thing. I see him occasionally, and I enjoy him, but when you walk on set, the dynamic changes, and work's work. It would be unprofessional of me to treat him any differently than I would treat any director.

"But it's nice having an actor direct you. It just makes a difference in the way they talk to you."

The scene changes, and Michael Rosenbaum, who plays troubled tycoon Lex Luthor, ambles onto the Talon set for rehearsal.

"Rosenclown," Schneider barks, then says to a crew member, "Take Rosenbaum's jacket outside and leave him in it."

Obediently, Rosenbaum exits the Talon and waits for his cue to enter.

"I've never believed in the whole Spielberg, baseball-cap thing," Schneider says. "You should be able to tell the director from everybody. That's why captains have bars. Is it militaristic? Yeah, it's militaristic, but the long and the short of television is, you make your day, or you don't make your day.

"How you make your day is, when it's fine and everybody's having a good time, but somebody says, 'OK, let's go. Rosenclown, get on your mark.' 'Yes, Mr. Schneider.'

"That's funny, and it's cute, but he meant it. He understood."

"Actor, director, stunt enthusiast -- it's great," Rosenbaum says. "I knew it would be. It's a treat for us. John is very ambitious, and he's directed a lot before. It's just the first time he's directed a 'Smallville' episode, so we were like, 'OK, John's directing, it's going to work out.'

"But you know what, he's such an honest -- and I say this from the bottom of my heart -- and genuinely kind and giving person, that you just have to give 150 percent no matter how you're feeling. You should do it anyway, but he's an actor's director. He wants you to do better. He gives you little things he knows as an actor, instead of just saying things technically."

Told Schneider's reasoning behind the sport coat, Rosenbaum grins. "Is that what he says? I think he does it because he wants to look sexy in front of the cast and crew. Guy's a walking sex magnet. Once he gets in the General Lee, there's no looking back."

Later in the day, John Glover, who plays Lex's megalomaniac father, Lionel Luthor, arrives for an emotional scene with Rosenbaum.

"Lex is very sincere in caring about his dad," Schneider says, "and his dad doesn't want him to see him weak, so every time Lex tries to open up to his father, his father either goes away or closes up in his face."

"Lionel's in trouble," Glover says. "He wants to be able to tell his son, and it's hard for him to be vulnerable. We are these two injured creatures."

Before rehearsal, Schneider pulls Glover aside and shows him a handwritten character analysis of Lionel that he composed. It's a sign of how important it is to him to get it right.

"I've been a member of the [Director's Guild of America] for 20 years," Schneider says, "but if I blow this, other than doing independent features, that'll be it. Word of what I'm doing here will spread through television-land like wildfire, because I've been very verbal about, 'Come on, give me a shot, let me do this.'"




May 6th, 2004, 07:54 PM
Yup Dr Fraiser is alive in Smallville.....and actually met the lovely Lana Lang.. :)

May 11th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Yeah quality!

May 11th, 2004, 01:59 PM
It seems that ever since Doc Frasier died, I've been seeing Teryl all over the place. She was in a tv movie a couple of weeks ago and now Smallville... good for her :D

May 12th, 2004, 10:46 AM
Nice to know she's following on her career in another sci-fi show, is her role permanent? :o

May 12th, 2004, 11:03 AM
Glad she's getting mroe work, just wish I hadn't missed this one. Hopefully they'll rerun it soon.