Greg Beeman has written a really nice blog entry about his time filming Smallville’s finale with Michael I have added the parts where he talks about Michael below be aware there are spoilers you can read the full entry at Beaming Beeman as well as other behind the scenes photos of all the cast:
Of course, the most exciting thing was to have Lex return after all this time. Michael really wanted to come back, but he was on a new show (FOX’s “Breaking In” – which had completed the pilot and was just about to begin filming episodes.) I hope I tipped the scales a bit when I called him and told him that I was directing and how pumped I was. Anyway – he soon committed to doing the finale’ and I’m sure you are all as glad as I was.
Of course, because of his new show he couldn’t shave his head as he had in the past – so a bald cap was in order. We were nervous about it, but it was very well done and I think looked good in the end.
Because of Michael’s shooting schedule on his FOX show he could only shoot for one day – A Saturday, about a week before we started filming the rest of the episode. Lex’s character wasn’t in those first red pages I read – but I know Kelly and Brian had plan “B” just in case. Nevertheless, Kelly and Brian rushed to polish the scenes and Michael showed up on a Friday to test the bald cap and get oriented. We filmed all his scenes in one day – a Saturday. (My favorite cool idea of these scenes was when we pull away from the window and the Luthorcorp logo crashes down revealing the “X” in the support structure)
I have to say – that day with Michael was probably the funniest day I’ve had in my career. Michael and I feel the same way about the SMALLVILLE crew – they are our family and we love them! Michael – over the years had learned to mimic and imitate almost everyone on the crew. We were all in a production meeting when he first arrived to much applause and hugs – and it wasn’t two minutes later before he was doing his famous imitation and the room exploded in laughter.
The scenes were no different. Tom and Michael fell right back into their on screen relationship. Even though the Lex/Clark scene and the Lex/Tess scene are very intense and Michael came up with his usual genius subtle performance – Michael and I are both notorious cutups and together we’re twice as bad – between takes was non-stop, sidesplitting, raucous laughter, including us serenading each other with “Oh Sherry” from opposite sides of a massive soundstage. At one point -Michael in his white “President Lex” suit and black glove was standing in front of a green screen telling off-color jokes. I’m off camera yelling, “We’re rolling Michael…” “We’re rolling Michael.” But he still does, like, a five-minute standup act… Oh my God what a day!!!!
By the way my hat is off to Cassidy Freeman for her scene with Michael. They had never worked together, or even met (as far as I know.) She stepped up and crushed the scene – I think her work in that scene is subtle and intense. A long long time ago I read a quote from Robert DeNiro that, in life people put a lot more energy into hiding their emotions from each other than showing them – and that most actors get this wrong. I agree and I always try to direct performance with this intention – Feel the emotion, but then disguise it or re-direct it. The more layers an actors performance can have the better. Cassidy and I worked on the idea that there was an ongoing relationship with Lex and a great love and gratitude to him from her. But also all the pain and betrayal that she has gone though to get here. We talked about how she was entering the scene knowing she would probably never leave the room alive and that she had to disguise her true intentions throughout. Also, that even in the final moment of her death she still loves Lex. That’s a lot of complex stuff in a short scene. What always interests me most is not the dialogue but the moments between the lines – it’s in the pauses that you can read truth.
I finally got to see the Smallville finale today and all I can say is wow! In the word sof Dutch Holy Balls it’s good! I have screencapped Michael’s last time as Lex and have uploaded them to the gallery click the picture to see them:
Michael Rosenbaum back on set
Smallville title lettersIn the latest clip (below), Rosenbaum talks about being back amidst some amusing clips of filming that look like they will be perfect for the bloopers of the DVD set. There’s a clip of Clark saying to Lex, “You’re alive.” Rosenbaum said that though he hasn’t been on the show for a few years (his last episode was the season 7 finale, “Arctic”), “you put on the baldness, however you do that, and you just jump right back into it… and you feel like Lex again.” (This time, he opted for the bald cap instead of shaving his head like he did when he was on the show full-time.) He said it was good to be back and see the cast and crew, including director Greg Beeman, again and that he saw them more than he saw his family. He said, “The show needed the villain. I’m the villain.” That’s certainly the truth.
Smallville couldn’t have ended without him returning, and it’s going to be bittersweet to watch the series finale tomorrow night for many fans. The video ends with a message from him to the fans: “Thanks for watching us.”
Michael did a really funny and entertaining interview with Attack of the show where he talks about Smallville and Breaking in
Source: g4tv.com video interview
I have also uploaded screencaps from this interview to the gallery click the picture to see them:
For seven years, Michael Rosenbaum played TV’s evil genius du jour as Lex Luthor on “Smallville,” but after 150 plus episodes and countless Bic razors, Michael retired his villain cackle for good. Well, almost. Lex rises again in this Friday’s two-part series finale since the fans, and Michael, wouldn’t rest until Clark his lifelong nemesis were reunited.
In the years between Metropolis trips, Michael filled his time — and resume — with a smattering of indies and a scenestealing role on Fox’s just (sadly) canceled “Breaking In.” I caught up with Michael prior to the show’s untimely demise to talk about his long overdue return to comedy and penchant for on-air stripping, before talk turned to pre-fame Michael.
That’s when I truly got a sense of what a fantastically complex and dynamic guy he is — something Michael owes in part to his mother.
PopWrap: After playing Lex Luthor for so long it has to be nice to try out a 180 degree different character.
Michael Rosenbaum: Oh my god, it’s such a treat. With Lex, it was Armani suits every day. Now I can just frost my tips and tuck my jeans into my Uggs and go to work. I like mixing it up, which is what was so hard playing a character for so long. I was itching to do something else – that’s why I got into this business: to be anyone but me.
PW: Plus it doesn’t hurt that you have to constantly manhandle Odette [Annable].
Michael: It’s so difficult, man. To have to kiss her takes a lot of preparation. I just have to imagine that it’s someone else [laughs]. Honestly though, she’s not only stunning, but like the coolest chick. She’s just like a cool sister.
PW: That you make out with.
Michael: Well, I am from Indiana. So … it’s not unheard of.
PW: Dutch not only has an awesome girlfriend, but one of the coolest wardrobes on television. One that’s unrivaled in its absurdity.
Michael: I actually get excited when I find out what’s going to be in my closet every day. Same with the costume designers – they’ll come up to me and say, “wait till you see the winner we have for you today!” One day it’s a onesie jumpsuit with fireballs on it, other days I’m shirtless and they oil me up…
PW: Or covered in sushi.
Michael [laughs] Oh god. From here on out, I’m naked three or four more times.
PW: Which might be the best promotion possible for your fans.
Michael: [laughs] I don’t know about that, we might lose fans if you put it out there too much. It’s fun. I keep reading scripts and I’m always shirtless … sometimes with nunchucks. My buddy Adam Goldberg created the show and is like, “isn’t that funny?” and all it means to me is I have to go to the gym. Comedy is just not worrying what you look like – take it from the lubed up guy covered in sushi. If people laugh, then it’s worth it.
PW: The “Breaking In” season finale is a “21 Jump Street” homage, if we were to meet Michael in High School, who would he be?
Michael: I was the shortest kid out of almost 400 kids in high school. No joke. I was five feet tall, under 100 pounds as a senior. I couldn’t get nailed in woodshop [laughs]. I only grew six inches after graduation. It was grueling. You look back and I remember thinking “I’m gonna get out of here, I’m going to do something” and I was fortunate enough that the hard work paid off. I was pretty lost in high school, didn’t know what I wanted to do,
PW: When did the acting bug bite you?
Michael: I did “Grease” senior year where I played Vince Fontaine. I’ll never forget it, I was so nervous, but it got me out of my shell. I remember the next day this popular kid goes, “hey, you were pretty funny.” Now that was a big deal because I was nerd. It was my “ah ha” moment. When I realized, if I’m not myself, that’s better [laughs]. It took that to really catapult me to the next level where I knew I wanted to do it. So I went to college and focused on that. It definitely resonated and made me feel accepted at something. It gave me enough confidence to do it again. And again. And again.
PW: A lot of funny people say that painful childhoods made them funnier — would you agree?
Michael: I remember always knowing there was something odd about me, and in fifth grade we had a talent show. If you did it, you could get three A’s in any subject. And I wasn’t very good in school. My dad was really smart. 1420 SAT’s and I wanted to take music 10 times. So my mother dressed me up as Pat Benatar for the talent show, and I sang “Shadows of the Night.” She put lipstick on me and fake boobs — now remember, I’m a Jew in Indiana. The class just sat there, mouths agape, while I sang. They just didn’t know what to think of me. I thought it was funny, no one else did. But come one – it was fifth grade and I just sang “Shadows of the Night” in full drag.
PW: So we have your mother to thank for “Sorority Boys” and “Sweet November?”
Michael: [laughs] Right! She contributed for sure. I was always a bit of an extravert and for a long time people didn’t get it, but eventually – thank god, they did.
PW: Oh, I think people more than “get it” — especially after eight years on “Smallville.” Did the endurance of that show surprise you?
Michael: I never would have expected it in a million years. If you looked up irony in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of 100 pound me in high school next to the name Lex Luthor. I think anyone who knew me, thought it was a joke. I remember shaving my head and learning the lines and thinking, “they’re going to fire me. No one will believe me as Lex Luthor. No way! This evil genius? Come on. There’s no way.” I was nervous also because fans of the genre stuff are so fiercely loyal. They don’t like when you mess with history. But I was fortunate that they created this character so well for so long. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’re at the end of it now. But it’s great because thanks to “Smallville,” I’ll never just be “the funny guy.” I think if I did it backwards, it wouldn’t have worked. Had I done all this comedy and then tried to play Lex, people might not have bought it.
PW: There was some question as to whether you’d come back for the finale — did you finally say yes for the fans or because you wanted to be involved?
Michael: Both. Partly because I didn’t want to let them down. I never wanted to hear “why didn’t you go back?” At the same time, a big part of me just wanted to go back, wrap it up and say good-bye. For a long time, I didn’t know when the show would end — I kinda thought I’d be getting Medicare by the time “Smallville” actually ended [laughs]. But once it hit me that this was the series finale, I had to be a part of it. This show started with Lex and Clark, it had to end with Lex and Clark. I always thought deep down it would work out so I could return. And that was one of the best days of my life. Emotional & nerve-wracking — it felt like day one again.
PW: Are you happy with how the show ends?
Michael: Very. But at the end of the day, it’s amazing that we get paid to do this – acting is such a gift. The fact people want to see me play a mythological evil superhero genius is incredible. I feel very lucky.
“Breaking In” airs tonight at 9:30 on Fox, while the two-hour “Smallville” series finale airs Friday at 8pm on The CW
Comedy showrunners, you’re on notice: You need to hire this guy ASAP Rosenbaum was long the best thing about ‘Smallville,’ but he demonstrated some serious comedy chops as a sweetly obnoxious douchenozzle in this slight comedy. He killed in every scene he was in, so much so that I’d watch a show that was just about that fauxhawked doofus. But seriously, someone needs to take full advantage of Rosenbaum’s comedic and dramatic skills. Now.
The CW have released an interview with Michael discussing his time playing Lex Luthor over the years:
After 10 super seasons, Smallville flies off into the sunset next Friday (May 13, 8/7c, The CW). To make the two-hour event even more epic, fan fave — and Breaking In scene stealer — Michael Rosenbaum is back as Lex Luthor to mess with Clark one last time and to give fans what they’ve been asking since he left the show three years ago. In this exclusive interview, he runs down what we should expect from Lex… and the show’s very last episode.
TV Guide Magazine: OK, what took so damn long?
Rosenbaum: It just never quite clicked, and I felt like I had accomplished what I needed to. I’m so flattered that the fans wanted me back, but I was busy. I was doing other things, working on me, growing my hair. [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: How did that go for ya?
Rosenbaum: [Laughs] I got a new agent about a year ago and I said that I wanted to take a general meeting with every executive in town, because if you just tell them my name, they will associate me with Smallville. Let me go in there and charm them. And that’s what I’ve been doing, trying to reestablish who I am.
TV Guide Magazine: So why come back now?
Rosenbaum: I was about to do [Breaking In] and realized that if I don’t do this now, it’s never gonna happen. And the fans will never forgive me. I owed them. And you know, I wanted to do it.
TV Guide Magazine: And how was it?
Rosenbaum: I am so thankful that I did this. It was probably one of the best days of filming I have ever had. I didn’t want it to end.
TV Guide Magazine: Like old home week, huh?
Rosenbaum: People, former crew members — who weren’t even working on the show anymore — came to see me. It was like a big family, their arms were open wide and welcoming. And I was so nervous. I’ve said this before, but I was like “Oh my God, can I do this? It’s been three years. I have hair now…is the bald cap gonna work?” Everything came together, the bald cap worked, the scenes I did were really fun and good and layered, and Tom was great. It was like I never left. And that is true…I know people sugarcoat things, but I would tell you if someone was an a–hole.
TV Guide Magazine: Sounds awesome.
Rosenbaum: This was actually one of the best experiences. I wish it had worked out earlier, but this was clearly the right time. I left, then I came back for one last time. And I think fans will really like the episode. And I will never have to hear, “Why didn’t you go back?” I think that would haunt me.
TV Guide Magazine: What does Lex do?
Rosenbaum: Hmmm…his plan of cloning spare parts worked, only there’s a big twist. And there is a first-time ever scene with my sister Tess [Cassidy Freeman]. I also have a great scene with Clark [Tom Welling] that will launch them each into their destinies as adversaries.
TV Guide Magazine: This was your first time meeting Cassidy? We love her.
Rosenbaum: Yeah. And she is great! I was like, attracted to her! We were working on a scene and firing back-and-forth, and people were saying how it was like we’d been working together for years! I remember three years ago, her agent, who was my old agent, called and said, “Hey would you talk to Cassidy? She’s replacing you.” And I said, “First of all, nobody replaces me.” [Laughs] I said, “She’s not a replacement, she’s a new character…and yes, I will talk to her.” And when she asked for advice, I just told her to go up there, they’re all amazing and that she was gonna love it. Three years later, we’re finally meeting face-to-face.
TV Guide Magazine: This scene with Tom…is this the roots of President Lex Luthor?
Rosenbaum: You know, I’m not gonna answer that. [Laughs] You’re just gonna have to wait.
TV Guide Magazine: Hey, had to try. Congrats on Breaking In, by the way.
Rosenbaum: Aww, thanks. You’re too kind. I adore this freaking cast. Talk about support! They always make fun of me, because when we’re in a take, sometimes I’ll say, “Hey guys, I’m gonna do a series,” which means I’m gonna do a line three times in a row, in different ways, change it up a little. So now a lot of the cast will be like, “I’m gonna do a Rosenbaum!” [Laughs]
TV Guide Magazine: Bret Harrison says you’re amazing at improvising.
Rosenbaum: You know, that is very nice. Bill Murray is amazing at improv. I am just…that is very nice. I’m working at it. Bret Harrison and my grandmother are very great.
TV Guide Magazine: Well, you’re killing it as Dutch on the show. Are you more comfortable doing comedy?
Rosenbaum: I have to say yeah. You know, I’m quirky…I like to mix it up. I love playing this douchey character with frosted tips and Uggs.
TV Guide Magazine: What episode do you remember most fondly from your years on Smallville?
Rosenbaum: The one with the old lady, I think it was in “Hourglass” where I become the president in the future. The one with the foreshadowing, I touch the daisies and they turn into skeletons and blood rains from the sky. I always liked that, I remember it vividly, working with [director] Greg Beeman, who is one of my closest friends.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you have a favorite moment?
Rosenbaum: Wow, there’s so many. I think one of my favorites was the finale, being with the crew again, working with Tom one last time. It was certainly emotional.
Like her co-stars, “Smallville’s” Cassidy Freeman did her fair share of campaigning (and crossing her fingers) for Michael Rosenbaum’s return to the show as Lex Luthor. It’s something we spoke with her about before Season 10 had even aired, and we knew that like the fans, she was invested in Lex’s return.
Our hopes for a scene between Lex and Tess only increased when we learned that they’re half-siblings – and luckily, we’ll get to see that in the two-hour series finale on May 13. Freeman, who learned of Rosenbaum’s return from KryptonSite, says in this behind the scenes video that she’d never met Rosenbaum before his arrival on set.
“I hadn’t met Michael before yesterday,” she confirms. “And as soon as I read that [he was returning], this weird wave of relief came over me. It was like something that I know so many people wanted was going to happen, and a sigh of relief happened. I hoped and I prayed that I would be able to have a scene with him and to work with him. It wouldn’t really feel right if I didn’t, so I’m glad that I am.”
Watch the video below for a sneak peek at the scene (and at Rosenbaum’s flawless bald cap).