Allison Mack, <EM>Smallville</EM> Allison Mack, Smallville

A few weeks ago, a TVGuide.com freelancer ran into Smallville's Erica Durance at the TCA Fall Press Tour, and subsequently submitted an Insider teasing Lois' upcoming "thing" with Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow). Immediately our e-mail inbox began overflowing with, no, not fan mail for Lois' portrayer, but missives from steadfast supporters of original cast member Allison Mack, asking that Chloe's portrayer be given her due. Well, Mack Attackers, you're not getting a Q&A with your fave. You're getting two, the first of which looks at the rivalry among the women in Clark Kent's life, the mind-bending "Chlois" theory, and Ms. Mack's inexcusable absence from the CW network's fall ad campaign.

TVGuide.com: Allison, I need you to help me out with my e-mail!
Allison Mack: OK....

TVGuide.com: After posting a story about Erica, my inbox was inundated with fans asking that I give Allison Mack her due.
Mack: Awww....

TVGuide.com: So I told your groupies that my No. 1 priority for this new Smallville season (premiering Sept. 28) was to Q&A you.
Mack: My "groupies... " [Laughs] I think because Chloe is such a computer nerd, I attract fans who are very computer-savvy.

TVGuide.com: That would make sense. Does this whole "Chloe vs. Lois vs. Lana" rivalry thing translate into any on-set tension among the actresses?
Mack: Not at all. In fact, I don't see it as being any sort of rivalry on the show, even. The three characters are so different and they all want such different things. I mean, there is a friendly competition now that Lois has started writing for "The Inquisitor," but it's really very slight.

TVGuide.com: This is where you tell me that you, Erica and Kristin Kreuk are "the bestest of friends...."
Mack: We are. I'm sorry to disappoint you! [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: And you three go out for manicures every week.
Mack: Well, we do things with a little more depth than going out for manicures, but yeah, we spend a lot of time together.

TVGuide.com: I've always been curious about this: Obviously Chloe is not represented in the original Superman mythology, and lore tells us that Clark ends up with Lois, so how do you delve into your character? How do you commit yourself to "driving it home" week after week?
Mack: Well, I've been playing Chloe for six years now, so she's sort of second nature to me, for sure. [Smallville creators] Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar] and the writing staff are incredibly open to my ideas about the development of the character and how she can grow, things like that, so it's a team effort in building her. We all collaborate at the beginning of each season, and then work on her growth as the show goes on.

TVGuide.com: Do Al and Miles ever need to reassure you, "Don't give up the fight"? "We'll always play Chloe-Clark," that sort of thing?
Mack: They don't need to, because it's obvious that the character is imperative to the show, especially now that she knows Clark's secret. It's really not about reassuring me so much as it is about being creatively excited about making her evolve.

TVGuide.com: Besides, what are you supposed to do, fly around the Earth so fast it turns time back to a point where Jerry Siegel can include Chloe from the get-go?
Mack: Yeah, exactly!

TVGuide.com: Let's talk about "Chlois" that is, the theory held by some fans that somehow, some way, Chloe will turn out to be the real Lois. Are you familiar with the concept?
Mack: Yeah, that's been the theory since the very beginning of the show, because before Lois showed up, Chloe sort of did everything Lois did except have the love of Clark. And she still does, this season especially, since she has the affection of Jimmy Olsen [to be played by Aaron Ashmore], which was another attribute Lois had in the comic book. It's an interesting theory, but we do have a Lois. I hate to disappoint anyone, but I don't think I will end up being Lois....

TVGuide.com: What's the best theory you've heard on how to "make" Chloe Lois?
Mack: I don't know, I haven't actually heard story-line theories. I've just heard it tossed around that somehow Lois is gotten rid of and Chloe steps into her shoes... something like that. But I would hate for that to happen, because I think Erica does a wonderful job.

TVGuide.com: What are your hopes and dreams for Chloe this coming season?
Mack: That she can have a little bit of her own life outside of being Clark's sidekick, now that she's met [Jimmy] and has this sweet relationship with him.

TVGuide.com: Is "sweet" the word we're using to describe the dynamic between Chloe and Jimmy?
Mack: It's lovely. It's innocent and sweet and lovely, yeah.

TVGuide.com: Flipping through some gorgeous galleries of you from the network, I have to ask, why are you and Chloe missing from CW's fall promos?
Mack: I don't know. I just wasn't asked to do them this year. I think they have a very specific idea as to what they want and the people they want involved, and they decided that Chloe wasn't necessary. So I got to stay home while everyone else had to do a photo shoot. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Is a small part of you a little bit bummed?
Mack: No, not at all. I don't mind. I'm an actress, not a model. Photo shoots make me nervous. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Suppose there were a CW promo poster for Chloe. What would it say? "Free to be...."
Mack: "Free to be inquisitive." No, make that nosy!

Coming up in Part 2 of TVGuide.com's Insider Q&A with Allison Mack: Season 6 teases that you won't want to miss, including the fallout from Chloe and Clark's season-finale kiss (hint: someone feels "awkward" about it) and a look at what Clark did during his "summer vacation" in the Phantom Zone. Plus: Allison tells us who she thinks is cool.

Sci-fi fans, be sure to pick up the new TV Guide for a Lost episode guide and scoop on the eerie ABC series' new season.

Send your comments nice ones, I hope! on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.