John Glover Back From the Dead As SMALLVILLE's "Luthor"
John Glover Back From the Dead
Yes my Smallville friends. It's true! Lionel Luthor himself, John Glover is back! Sort of. Clark (Tom Welling) finds himself in a parallel universe where Lionel is his father. His real son Evil Clark (comic fans will recognize the U on his chest) is back on the normal Earth, wreaking havoc. Lois (Erica Durance) is dating Oliver (Justin Hartley) and can't stand the sight of him. I got a chance to chat with the incredibly charming Glover (I mean, seriously charming) this week, and got some info for you on this Friday's episode. He is indeed coming back for three more episodes after this one, but no matter how much he begged writers/producers Brian (Peterson) and Kelly Souders for details on how a dead guy is going to continue to reappear, he got no answers. He did give us some great info on this one, including his even more impressive fencing prowess. He joked about how people tend to think he's really like Lionel and said wonderful things about co-star Annette O'Toole. And yes, it's true. They are going to have scenes together. He also shares his thoughts about the end of the series.
Smallville airs Fridays at 8/7c on the CW.
Newsarama: How did it feel to be back on set?
John Glover: It was bizarrely wonderful. I've been away for three years and I was very dead! [laughs] I was pushed out a 40 story window! There was not much left of Lionel Luthor. That's a pretty unsurvivable thing, so I was very surprised when Brian (Peterson) and Kelly (Souders) the writers/producers called me and said, 'Would you like to come back?' I could not fathom how that could happen. But it is Smallville after all.
Nrama: That's true. And no one really dies in a comic book.
Glover: [laughs] That's true!
Nrama: So we know a little about the parallel universe in this week's episode. We know that Clark is Luthor's son. What else can you tell us?
Glover: It's a lot rougher than our world. Or at least around the Smallville/Metropolis area, and I think that's because of Lionel. He's a much darker creature.
Nrama: Are we only going to see his dark side this time? I know you worked hard to make him a real person and not just a villain.
Glover: Yes I did. But I don't know about this guy. It's very strange...it's a different person I'm playing, but the same body and everything. It's very confusing for Clark. [laughs] But it's quite fascinating to work on it that way...but he finds disappointments in the episode. But it's just a different kind of guy.
Nrama: I was wondering about his part in the Darkseid arc. I know you're back for four episodes...
Glover: The Darkseid arc? I don't know what that means.
Nrama: I guess that would be a no then?
Glover: [laughs] You know, they don't tell us a lot of what's coming up. I ask, but they go, 'Oh, we'll let you be surprised.
Nrama: That's the same thing they tell us.
Glover: [laughs] What I've been trying to get it out of them is how the season is going to end. Or the series is going to end. But they won't tell me anything of that. It's all very mysterious. But intriguing. It's all very intriguing. I don't think they expected this show to go ten years. It's gone all over the place. And I've been away from it for three [years] and because I've been doing theater, I haven't been able to watch it. So surprise, surprise! I have an illegitimate daughter! (Tess, played by Cassidy Freeman.)
Nrama: Did you actually know that in the show?
Glover: No, I didn't find out I had a daughter until I came back...[laughs] Lionel is really only interested in male heirs.
Nrama: He has issues.
Glover: Huge issues! That's what makes him so fascinating. Bloodline. Very important to Lionel.
Nrama: I know Annette (O'Toole-Martha Kent) said on Twitter that she's had some scenes with you. What was it like to work with her again?
Glover: Oh, we're going to do that Friday. So I'll tell you later. [laughs] Annette and I have stayed very close, so we've been longing for a chance to play together again. She's been doing a lot of theater herself, which I see all of, and she comes to see me in everything. Did you happen to see that Lie to Me she just did a couple of weeks ago?
Glover: She was brilliant in that! She played a woman with early Alzheimer’s. Stunning performance!
Nrama: Well, you should know, people have been tweeting me about how much they love the two of you in scenes together.
Glover: We had a grand time three or four years ago. When she left...she wasn't in Season 7 and it was very lonely for poor Lionel. He fell hard for Martha. And I think, in spite of who he is, or was, I think Martha saw his goodness. So we'll see what happens on Friday. [laughs]
Nrama: Is there anything else you can tell us about the other episodes you're in?
Glover: I keep trying to find out but they won't tell me anything.
Nrama: Oh! You really don't know anything!
Glover: [laughs] No, I really don't know! But if I did, I don't think I'd tell you. [laughs] But I don't know. I had lunch with Kelly and Brian yesterday and I tried to get stuff out of them, but they wouldn't tell me anything.
Nrama: Use a few Lionel techniques.
Glover: [laughs] Oh no! The makeup artist in the makeup trailer was very strange to me when I came. It's all new people. They were very strange to me when I came back. Until they got to know me a little. They said, 'Oh my god, you're nothing like Lionel. We thought...we didn't know what was going to come into our trailer.' I don't normally behave that way myself. [laughs] That's funny to you, isn't it, Jenna?
Nrama: [laughs] It's very funny!
Glover: Yes! [laughs] You expected me to be the...yeah, I understand.
Nrama: What was it like having Kelly direct?
Glover: Kelly? She's a wonderful director. She went for very specific, seemingly small things and would focus on, 'I need to see you thinking here. Where are you going with this?' She was doing that with everybody. There were very specific things she needed to tell the story she was trying to tell. She's a really good storyteller. She's a wonderful director. And you never can tell. When one of the writers says, 'I'm directing an episode,' you think, oh dear. What's going to happen now? She's wonderful. She's a great director.
Nrama: Do you really think Lionel had redeemed himself when he died?
Glover: Well, I thought...redeemed himself? You talk like he was a terrible villain! [laughs] No, no. I mean, there was a logical reason why he gave Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) shock treatments.
Nrama: Of course!
Glover: It was only to strengthen the poor boy. Give him a spine.
Nrama: You were just helping.
Glover: Redeem himself. Please. That's so insulting. [laughs]
Nrama: Is there anything else that you're allowed to tell us about the parallel universe?
Glover: Just that Lionel is an even better fencer than he was on real Earth. Earth 2 is a very dark place. A lot of red kryptonite around. And you remember what red kryptonite does to Clark. He keeps it on his bedside table.
Nrama: I have to ask you about how you feel about the series coming to an end and what it's meant to you.
Glover: You know, I've been acting for a long, long time and it's the longest I've ever been with a group of people. In anything. In school...I guess not a relationship, but it was quite an amazing family that I spent seven years with. And then when I came back, when I really thought that there was really no way I could come back, and to see a lot of those same people still on the crew and up in the production office and things, it's been a very positive experience for me, to see all those people again. And they really let me know how much they missed me too, so that felt great.
Nrama: Is there something that you really want to see happen towards the end of the series? Something you'd really like to see happen with Lionel?
Glover: With Lionel? No, I did know before...when I died, I told the writers that if I did die...I was sure I was going to die...but if I died, it had to be at Lex's hand, because I knew that that would push him to becoming who he became. So that happened, but I can imagine what they're going to do with Lionel. So I'm just trusting in, as Tennessee Williams used to say, the kindness of strangers. I'm sure they'll come up with something that's stunning for Lionel. For everyone, I think. But no pressure though, for the writers writing the last episode.