SMALLVILLE's Tess Talks ZOD, JUSTICE SOCIETY, More
Cassidy Freeman plays Tess on the hit show Smallville. When she first appeared as the big bad after Michael Rosenbaum's departure, she was referred to as the “female Lex”. No one's calling her that anymore. Tess has come into her own, and from what we hear, she's a huge part of the much-talked-about episodes involving the Justice Society. We're guessing you've heard about them? We got a chance to catch up with Freeman in an exclusive interview today. She gave us some info on where her relationship with Zod (Callum Blue) may be going, why she's going to be kidnapping Lois (Erica Durance), and what she would like to see happen to Tess when the show wraps for good.
Newsarama: I have to start with the upcoming episodes “Society” and “Legends” that involve the Justice Society. They've been huge news lately. What can you tell us about your involvement in those?
Cassidy Freeman: I'm actually not in the one they're shooting right now. (“Society”) But I'm in the next one, “Legends” . Tess...it's funny, I actually kind of enjoy...I love working but I actually sometimes enjoy being able to take a step back and look at what the season is doing without me. And I just really like this whole new Justice League coming in. They've always kind of teased it with Aquaman (Alan Ritchson) and Black Canary (Alaina Huffman), so it's nice to see all these different characters coming back in. My connection to it is pretty involved, but you find that out in kind of a very secret little switch at the end of Legend”.
Nrama: Oh! So we're not going to find out the secret until the end of the second episode.
Freeman: Yeah. It's a two parter. It's kind of like...it's a continuation.
Nrama: Did you get to work with any of the guest stars?
Freeman: I actually haven't worked with a lot of the guest stars. The guest star that I worked with most recently would have to be Jor-El (Julian Sands). And he was fabulous! [laughs] All the British-speaking actors are startling to the American actors. But he was wonderful to work with as Jor-El, but I haven't really worked with any other guest stars.
Nrama: How do you feel about where Tess is going this season?
Freeman: That's a pretty tough question. I think she's different this season than she was last season. I feel like last season she was all obsessed with Lex and she was all obsessed with Clark (Tom Welling). And this season, I'm glad that she's kind of finding her own stride. And not to say that she's not so interested in what Clark is, or how Clark is going to use his powers, but she kind of took action at the end of last season and now it 's up to her to figure out if that action is going to benefit her or if it's going to be another hurdle for her to overcome. This season is all about Zod for her...so far. [laughs] You never know what's going to happen. We're only given the script like three days before we start shooting. But it's interesting for me that she's kind of taken on this role of figuring things out on her own, without the help of Clark and without the help of Lex.
Nrama: So where do you think the interaction between you and Zod is leading?
Freeman: That's a really good question. I think that our relationship in the beginning was one of distrust. We're really interested in each other. Our interest has really peaked with one another. [laughs] But we're not very trusting. I think what's going to be interesting this season is seeing if they're going to become allies, or whether they become enemies. And I think the more interesting choice would be to become allies, but I don't think we're sure what's going to happen yet.
Nrama: Do you see Tess as a villain?
Freeman: I see Tess as a human, which is a funny response, I know. But she is really the only person who doesn't have abilities of some sort. Who hasn't been tainted by kryptonite or Brainiac or something else. I see her as someone who is run by her emotions, even though she puts up this really strong front of being stern and steel-faced, and not into her emotions. I think that is what she's actually really driven by. I think she does things because of what she's gone through in her life and what it means to her. With her own dad, with Lex and Oliver (Justin Hartley). And I think that sometimes her morals aren't great, so in that sense, I do see her as a villain...she's not all for doing good. Sometimes for what she thinks is good, she'll do something really bad....but I don't think she's the text book Snidely Whiplash, the mustache-twirling villain.
Nrama: I've been told that you have a big role in the upcoming episode, “Pandora” and that you'll be kidnapping Lois. What can you tell us about that?
Freeman: Yeah! You know, Lois has been having these flashes ever since the beginning of the season and I figure that out. And I really want to know what they mean and what they're from and how to decipher them. So that's why I kidnap her. To try to figure that out. I think that it has something to do with the Kryptonians, and I think it has something to do with the Kandorians, and I think it has something to do with all these questions that I have. And if I can figure that out, maybe I can put the puzzle together.
Nrama: Any chance for any more romance with Oliver Queen?
Freeman: I don't know! I think that Oliver will always hold a place in Tess' heart that's very different than any other man, but not that I've read so far. There are more interactions between them but none that are romantic.
Nrama: What would happen if Lex were to return?
Freeman: Oh man, I would not be happy! I don't think Tess would be very happy if Lex returned. I think she would...well...that's an interesting question. One of two things would happen. Either Tess wouldn't be able to see past her own rage at his betrayal, or she would make it her duty to put him behind bars or put him in some incapacitated state. Ooor, she would have gotten over the fact that he LoJacked her eyeball and she would try and use him and manipulate him into being on her side, and use his power. I don't know! That's a good question. I wish it happens!
Nrama: Everyone wants to know if you and Lois will have another fight scene.
Freeman: Erica and I are always up for giant fight scenes. [laughs] There hasn't been one written, but we're both in prime physical shape, so we're ready. We're ready if that happens to grace the page.
Nrama: Obviously we don't know if this will be the last season or not. If it is, where do you want to see Tess end up?
Freeman: Well, I want to see what she's done not be for nothing. I want to see some hope at the end, and I want to see her have actually succeeded in helping the world by opening the orb and listening to what it said. [laughs] I don't know! That's a good question. I'm hoping it's not the last season.
Nrama: We're all hoping that! Have you heard anything?
Freeman: As usual, they have to do a kind of “choose your own adventure”. They have to prepare for a season finale and a series finale. I have a feeling in the writers' room, they're kind of going with two trains. And they're going to stay with one train until they have to deviate. They don't know yet whether we've been picked up yet. That's the network's decision and the studio's decision. And I think they find out in the new year. The beginning of the new year.
Nrama: If Smallville fans are to be believed, it will be. Smallville fans are loyal. They love the show. In fact, they wanted me to ask you about the zombie makeup you had to wear a few episodes ago.
Freeman: I have to say, I did that scene with Lois and Clark in the hospital, and we did the first take, and I had to be all zombi-rific...I really just had to decide to go for it. There is really no half way to do a zombie. And you kind of pull from your knowledge of all the zombie movies and whatnot. And I did the first take and after Jordan Hawley yelled, 'cut' Tom looked at me and said, 'I don't want to do this scene anymore!' He was really scared. [laughs] He's a wuss.
Smallville airs Friday at 8/7c on the CW.