Welcome Back, Chloe: Allison Mack Talks About Returning to Smallville One Last Time
Smallville's passionate fans aren't the only ones having a hard time saying goodbye to the series, which ends its 10-year run on Friday, May 13. Allison Mack, who plays Chloe Sullivan, Clark Kent's longtime-friend-turned-superhero-computer-whiz, decided she couldn't walk away without one final appearance. A series regular for the show's first nine years, Mack signed on for just five episodes this season and had wrapped up that commitment in February. Now in New York City, where she recently finished a run in the Off Broadway play Apple Cove, Mack talked to TV Guide Magazine about her decision to go back one last time, her fervent fans and the next chapter in her life.
TV Guide Magazine: Which of these final episodes are you appearing in?
Mack: I'm in the finale, which is a two-parter, so technically I'm in the last two.
TV Guide Magazine: What was it like filming your final scenes?
Mack: It was really amazing, it was emotional and loving and sweet and nostalgic. It's ending in a way that I think is very honorable given that we've been around for 10 years. So it was really sweet.
TV Guide Magazine: Why was it important for you to go back one last time? You'd already fulfilled the number of episodes you'd signed on for, right?
Mack: I had. It was important for me to pay homage to the character, the people I've worked with and the fans. I had a realization, while I was doing the middle five episodes, that this has been such a huge part of my life and I am so blessed and so lucky to have had the opportunity. I wanted to make sure that I was respectful of that. So coming back just seemed to make sense given all those thoughts and ideas that I had about the whole experience.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you feel about how Chloe ends up after 10 seasons?
Mack: I think it's great. I don't want to give anything away, but I think she ends in a very healthy and levelheaded way. I think that the writers have respected my character for such a long time, and she goes out with the same affection she came in with. I'm really proud of it.
TV Guide Magazine: What can you tell us about Chloe's role in the finale?
Mack: You're not getting anything out of me.
TV Guide Magazine: C'mon! Nothing? Will there be any reference to how married life is going with Chloe and Ollie?
Mack: There is some reference, yes.
TV Guide Magazine: Wow, you're not giving up anything. What about her quest to find and help budding heroes?
Mack: You have to watch.
TV Guide Magazine: OK, I see how this is going. Moving on, why do you think you have the most rabid fans of any character on the show?
Mack: I'm lucky. [laughs] I think it's a number of different things. A lot of it has to do with my character is very accessible and very relatable, because she's so real. She makes mistakes and tries to make up for them and she makes more mistakes and tries to make up for them. It's really easy to connect with her in a way that feels very genuine and authentic. And I think that's not a common thing that you see on television, especially not for young women. So the fact that she is a young woman who is strong and passionate and aggressive and makes mistakes and admits the mistakes and tries to grow through them, that makes her feel like someone you're close to, like a friend.
TV Guide Magazine: How do you feel about her friendship with Clark [Tom Welling]? They've gone through so much together, but there has definitely been a strain on their relationship the last couple of years.
Mack: They're best friends. And the longer you know someone, the more of their nasty parts and their beautiful parts you get to see. And I think you don't have a true friendship or a true relationship until you've survived some sort of a fight at some point. I think the fact that Chloe and Clark have been through so many ups and downs together — hated each other, but loved each other the whole way — just means that their relationship is incredibly strong and will withstand anything.
TV Guide Magazine: What's your take on the dynamic of Chloe's relationship with Ollie [Justin Hartley]?
Mack: They're both very headstrong and passionate and loyal and I think that they make a really good team in that way. I also think that they challenged each other intellectually. They're both really smart and really resourceful. They're both superheroes without having any superhero abilities, and I think that makes for a really dynamic, exciting and sexy team.
TV Guide Magazine: Chloe was one of the few Smallville characters who didn't come from DC Comics. On a show where so many characters — Lana, Lois, Lex — were sacred parts of the Superman mythology, was it ever a concern for you that without that legacy to "protect" her, Chloe could be killed off at any time?
Mack: It was a never a concern, I think it was always an excitement. What I do is incredibly creative and the more opportunities I have to create something fresh and new and dynamic that's never been done before, the more exciting it is for me. So the fact that I had the opportunity to determine my own destiny, as far as my character was concerned, and really work with the writers, and with DC, in developing all the different directions that I wanted to go was really an honor and very fulfilling.
TV Guide Magazine: What's next for you?
Mack: Right now I'm taking a little bit of a breather. I'm focusing on theater and spending a lot of time on developing myself and figuring out what I'm going to do with my life, because 10 years in one place is a really long time. But ultimately what I'd really like to do is to continue making projects that I believe in and that I'm passionate about.
For more on Smallville, pick up the April 11 issue of TV Guide Magazine, on newsstands Thursday.
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