"A lot of tears" is what Kristin Kreuk promises when Lana Lang bids the CW's Smallville (if not Smallville, Kansas) a final farewell. As the original cast member's final three episodes unspool, TVGuide.com welcomed the chance to chat with Kreuk about Lana's super secrets, her big-screen butt-kicking, and the change that she hopes to bring to the world — one small step at a time. (Smallville airs Thursdays at 8 pm/ET.)
TVGuide.com: Word has it that Lana might have left town last spring under rather different circumstances than she led us to believe. True?
Kristin Kreuk: Very true. There's a lot of stuff going on with Lana that nobody knows except for her. The audience will slowly begin to understand as my remaining episodes air. You'll find out why she returned ... and why she was gone in the first place.
TVGuide.com: On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the shock factor?
Kreuk: It's Smallville, so I'd say a 7.5. Considering there are always weird creatures on the show.... [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: I saw an interview where you said that Lana will get "a beautiful sendoff." Why does that sound like a teary deathbed scene to me?
Kreuk: I don't know what I'm allowed to say about anything, but ... there are a lot of tears. But I don't know if there was a bed involved in any way!
TVGuide.com: What was it like reuniting with Tom Welling for this arc? Did your old shorthand just pick up right away?
Kreuk: Yeah, pretty much. Tom and I have been working together for a long time and I adore him. We had a really great time.
TVGuide.com: How was it being directed in the episode airing Jan. 29 by Allison [Mack, who plays Chloe]?
Kreuk: It was great. Allison is one of my dearest friends in the world, so I was really excited for her. She was wonderful and able to handle what is generally a very stressful situation for most directors with a lot of grace. I really respected her for that. She has never directed anything like Smallville before and she is only 26 years old and a female. That's really commendable in this industry.
TVGuide.com: Lana's slightly different look — is that because Kristin has a different look, Kristin wanted a different look, or the producers wanted a different look?
Kreuk: I wanted to cut my hair after I left the show, so I called up the producers and said, "Is that OK?" They were like, "Yeah, totally — it will fit great." But I cut my hair quite short and everyone liked it except for one individual who has control over most things, so I had to put in extensions which don't look as good as the short hair or the long hair. They're somewhere in the middle. It's fine, though.
TVGuide.com: Before Lana leaves us, will there be any sort of "passing of the baton" with Lois? Will she, like, give Lois her endorsement in pursuing something with Clark?
Kreuk: No, Erica [Durance, Lois] and I never really get the opportunity to work together, and Lois is not in any of the episodes that Lana's in. They don't have any interaction. Lana doesn't discuss her.... It just doesn't happen.
TVGuide.com: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, starring Kristin Kreuk as Chun-Li — are you excited to see that hit theaters on Feb. 27?
Kreuk: I am! I haven't seen a cut yet, so I'm interested to see how it all turned out. It was a really great experience.
TVGuide.com: I know you had some martial arts training going in, but was there a cool, new trick you learned? A flying roundhouse perhaps?
Kreuk: Nothing that I could whip out on the street, but all of my wire work skills are much better than they ever used to be! And my ability to learn any martial arts moves has increased a lot.
TVGuide.com: Any nasty bruises to show for it all?
Kreuk: Yeah, I got a lot of bruises, and I hit my head a few times, but nothing too serious.
TVGuide.com: Lastly, tell me about this retreat/contest you're organizing through Girls by Design. I was inspired just reading about it.
Kreuk: My company with my business partner, Girls by Design, will be a social network for teen girls, and it will be centered on self esteem-building and project creation. And my friend Tami has Time Out Retreat, which she started just before her mother passed away from cancer, and is about empowering people to understand that they can heal themselves in many ways. We meshed her concept with Girls by Design and created something that would encourage girls to intersect and look at their lives in a holistic way. It'll be fun, bringing girls from different backgrounds and all over the Los Angeles area to a beautiful location, and have speakers to inspire them.
TVGuide.com: As part of the contest, girls have to answer the question, "How do you hope to see the world change in your lifetime?" Not to get all Barbara Walters on you, but how do you hope to see the world change in your lifetime?
Kreuk: For me, it's about building more compassion, and that starts with individuals. We can be really mean, even in little ways. But it all starts with us, how we are with ourselves and then how we treat each other based on that. I know it all sounds really small, but I'm not a politician and I'm not able to create policy. So I really do think one of the most powerful things we can do as individuals is be kind with ourselves and kind with each other.
TVGuide.com: Do you believe that Barack Obama entering the office of president will bring about some sort of this type of change you're talking about?
Kreuk: I really hope so. I'm Canadian, but I have been surprisingly emotional about the whole thing. I was like, "What's this?!" I don't normally feel this involved. But it's amazing. Even if it's simply having an African-American man in power, that's a beautiful thing for young people to see and experience. It's amazing.
Crave TV scoop? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at email@example.com.