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).
I have added two large photos from the finale of Smallville featuring the return of Michael Rosenbaum as Lex, which airs its two-hour closer on Friday, May 13 click the pictures to see them fully
Lex Luthor fans, the wait is over! Well, sort of.
Every since the news that Michael Rosenbaum would be returning to Smallville for the series finale broke, fans have been eagerly anticipating a look at the final confrontation between a resurrected Lex Luthor, and (potentially) Superman. Anticipate no longer!
The CW offers up our first real look at Rosenbaum returning to the role in the below clip, in which the character appears tethered to the same breathing apparatus he was supposedly destroyed with in eighth season episode “Requiem.”
You’ll also hear his iconically chilling voice, oddly referring to Clark by his first name, which again raises questions that have loomed since the very first episode, namely why Lex Luthor wouldn’t remember Superman’s identity in their Metropolis years. Also be sure to note the seamless bald cap, and creepy reprisal of John Williams’ Superman score in the final moments!
The Smallville series finale airs May 13th on The CW
This Wednesday on Breaking In (Fox, 9:30 pm), Melanie’s beau finds himself putting aside the clean urine to join Oz’s team. How does Cameron, who’s been crushing on Melanie, react to this addition? And is Dutch as douchey as he seems? Michael Rosenbaum gave TVLine an inside look at he who dons Uggs and pilots a yellow Hummer, as well as shared a surprising fact about his encore as Lex Luthor for the Smallville series finale.
TVLINE | I’m glad to talk to you, since I was the one who broke the news about you getting booked for the full season of Breaking In.
I was just going to say, you’re the guy who’s been really kind to me! I like this guy! It’s nice to be doing comedy again, for sure.
TVLINE | Who is Contra Security’s client this week?
[NASCAR champ] Jimmie Johnson is having some security issues – someone on his pit crew has been interfering with the communication when he’s racing. He finishes second, and being a five-time champ he doesn’t like second place. He comes to Oz (played by Christian Slater), but the problem is that Cameron (Bret Harrison) doesn’t know a lot about cars – so he unfortunately he has to go to his arch nemesis, Dutch.
TVLINE | And that paves the way for Dutch to join Oz’s team.
Exactly. Obviously Cameron’s got a big crush on Melanie (Odette Annable), but he’s got to suck it up and do what’s right for the team. He’s not too happy.
TVLINE | This job seems a bit, um, “structured” for the likes of Dutch.
It is, and you’ll see that he doesn’t attend meetings, he’s not on time… He’s got things to do, like manis and pedis, Brazilian waxing…. He comes in shirtless – “Sorry, guys, I was just chuckin’ some nun!” He likes the idea of a job, but he doesn’t want to work.
TVLINE | That’s what cracks me up, that none of his quirks seem to go together. Nunchucks, Uggs, the Hummer, mani-pedis….
… He’s got a scarf with skulls on it…. I kept saying to Adam Goldberg, the creator of the show, “This guy is a big douche, no one is going to like me!” He’s like, “Yeah, but you have a good heart. You give [Melanie] massages….” He’s a good boyfriend, he doesn’t cheat, but on the outside he’s a big goof. Anyone in a yellow car cannot be cool.
TVLINE |Does Dutch have any sense that Cameron is sweet on Melanie?
He refers to him as his girlfriend’s “asexual bestie,” so…. He thinks he’s harmless. Dutch looks at him like, “Look at me, look at this guy. There’s just no way.” He doesn’t even have a good base tan.
TVLINE | Jimmie Johnson said the hardest part of doing the show was you cracking him up on set. What are you typically up to?
[Laughs] I always have to think of 10 different ways to say a line. Like when I see Jimmie for the first time, it’s, “Oh my god!” Well, “Oh my god” is just typical, so that turns into “Holy balls!” Who knows what they’ll end up using.
TVLINE | How do you suppose a Saturday night for Dutch differs from a Saturday night for Michael Rosenbaum?
I’m a lot more boring. I went to see The Bill Hicks Story the other day, by myself. I like to play a game called “Mafia” on the weekends. I have my friends come over and we barbecue. Dutch probably goes jumping out of airplanes, racing cars…. He likes to go to clubs and dance to Rick Astley. Now there’s a shirt I want to get, “Things Rick Astley Will Never Do.” 1) Never gonna give you up. 2) Never gonna let you down…..
TVLINE | Tell me about the overall deal you have with Fox.
They gave me a script deal, so I’m going to write a script for them, and there’s a holding deal, and I signed on for the first seven episodes of this show…. We’ll see what happens. I’m having a good time, so if this show comes back hopefully there’s a deal to be worked out.
TVLINE | Whatever came of Saved By Zeroes, the pilot you and Jonathan Silverman wrote about two sci-fi series alums who try to get their lives back on track?
That was a disconcerting experience. We sold it to Syfy, Happy Madison was producing it, and the president of Syfy was all in. But then it wasn’t his choice; it came to [someone else], and then it kind of fell through. We couldn’t believe it. But we’re getting it back and we’re going to try to go elsewhere. If I have to spend my own money, I’ll make it myself.
TVLINE | Turning to your Smallville encore: Tom Welling told me that it was if you had never left, that you both just jumped right back into the whole Clark-Lex thing.
I have to say, that was the most amazing time, going back. There were people who worked on that crew that aren’t even working on the show anymore that came to see me. It was like a family I hadn’t seen in a while. People don’t know this, but I got nervous. I was really nervous. To jump back into that role and start quoting Sun Tzu, and I’m looking at Tom…? It felt so surreal. I was going, “Can I do this?” And finally you just do it! And believe it or not I’m actually glad I shaved my head all those years, because the bald cap [used in the series finale] is a bitch! It took like 2-1/2 hours to get on, and it is not the most comfortable thing.
“Smallville” will be ending its 10-year run in a matter of weeks, completing Clark Kent’s (Tom Welling) transformation into Superman.
So, with almost a decade of mythology needing wrapped up before he finally takes to the skies there is now a question of how many threads will come together for the epic conclusion. Well, according to producer Brian Peterson, “Finale” will be a standalone adventure.
Now long-time fans who have stuck with the show for any length of time needn’t fret, there will be plenty of payoffs for them as well.
“What we really tried to do is create a finale that pretty much stands on its own for anybody who has ever watched any episode of ‘Smallville’ to tune in and watch the finale,” he said.
Before the series leaves the screen forever, fans can look forward to seeing the return of Martha and Jonathan Kent (Annette O’Toole and Jonathan Schnieder), Supergirl (Laura Vandervoort) Chloe (Allison Mack) and Gen. Zod (Callum Blue). Not to mention the introduction of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.
And with pulling in so many characters from the shows history the series will have a final episode that the loyal fanbase will be satisfied with.
“And for the hardcore fans that have seen every episode, there are a lot of little nuggets and little payoffs all along the way,” Peterson said. “That’s been our goal for the finale.”
Of course, the biggest highlight for many viewers will be the return of Michael Rosenbaum, who will once again portray the diabolical Lex Luthor.
The plot of “Finale” have been kept tightly under wraps and no one is quite sure yet if Rosenbaum will be playing the real Lex Luthor (who was believed killed during season eight) or a cloned version of the villain like the ones that were popping up earlier this season. Given Lionel’s (John Glover) surprise rendezvous with Lord Darkseid at the end of “Scion” it looks like the series may actually include a resurrection.
“Smallville” airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Zap2it caught up with Clark Kent’s ex-nemesis at the “American Idol” Top 12 party on Thursday night. Rosenbaum was fresh off of his first day on the set of “Breaking In.”
“Don’t you really want to ask the big question: Why are you at an ‘American Idol’ party? When I’m 38 years old?” he asks immediately. “My answer is it’s a FOX party. I didn’t even know it was for ‘American Idol.’ I just showed up, and there’s J.Lo pinching my butt cheeks.”
Once he answered that one, we got to the real big question. Why did he hold out so long before agreeing to come back to “Smallville”? It was a rough wait not only for the fans, but for the producers and his long-time friend Tom Welling.
“I always wanted to make it work,” he says, “but I was really busy. Adam [F. Goldberg], the creator of ‘Breaking In’ — he and I were creating a show that I created, that we sold to SyFy, so we’re still developing it. We also wrote a horror movie together. So we were just working a lot and I was doing a movie here or there.”
He sighs. “It’s so funny how the fans can get so intense.” He deepens his voice to an angry tone. “‘What is he doing that he can’t come back? George Clooney came back to ER, and he can’t? How big is he?’ I’m like, ‘Guys, God, relax.’ It’s not about that. So one day, I called the producers up, and I just said ‘Hey, I’m doing this new show, but I’d love to come back and finish what I started.'” He pauses and laughs. “Which I thought I finished three years ago, by the way, but, let’s do this. And they made it happen.”
Rosenbaum went to Vancouver about two weeks ago to shoot his final scenes, and he had a great time getting into character… with the help of a new accessory. “I had a bald cap that looked amazing,” he says. “I couldn’t shave my head because I was on ‘Breaking In.'”
He confesses that he did initially have a few reservations about going back to the “Smallville” set. “There were personal reasons why I quit ‘Smallville’ that no one really knows about, that I never really talk about. It was just personal things, that I just never talked about. It was nobody else’s business. But I never heard the end of it,” he says, chuckling. “Look, I always said I never thought it would last 10 seasons. I can barely have a relationship lasts 10 days. Ten years on a TV show? That’s a long time. But then they started calling me out. I finally said, ‘You know what guys? I want to do this. Let’s just do this.’ I want to do it the right way, I want to do it for the fans. I swear to God I did it for the fans. I never want to hear ‘Why didn’t you go back?’ I wanted it to end the way it should have.”
Now that all is said and done, Rosenbaum says he thinks that the final scenes between Clark and Lex are “excellent.” He was warmly welcomed back on the set by old friends. “It was so great. I went up there and guys that weren’t even working on the show anymore came to set to hang out. One guy brought me a joint,” he jokes. “I mean, it’s a real family.”
Rosenbaum and Welling had a great time working together again. “Tom and I had a wonderful time together,” he tells us. “We laughed a lot. I shot a couple of scenes with him.”
It wasn’t all laughter, though. Fans are going to have a very emotional finale experience come May — and they’re not the only ones. “I shot for 19 hours, and honestly, I had a tear in my eye at the end. I was like, ‘Man, this is really it,'” Rosenbaum says wistfully.
He did it for you, “Smallville” fans, and when “Breaking In” premieres on April 6 at 9:30 p.m., you’ll have the chance to repay the favor. “Hey, I came back, so now all I ask is I hope that my fans and everyone will tune into the new show,” Rosenbaum says. “I think ‘Breaking In’ is a lot of fun. I think it’s a really funny show. I love a good caper.”
After seven years and 160 episodes, Michael Rosenbaum thought he was finished portraying diabolical villain Lex Luthor on “Smallville.” Even though that was three years ago, the fans had been clamoring for his return ever since.
Rosenbaum finally relented, agreeing to appear in the two-hour CW series finale on May 13.
“I just felt like it was the right thing to do,” said Rosenbaum, a Castle High School and Western Kentucky University graduate.
“I felt the fans created the show and they followed me at such a level that I couldn’t say no. I was starting to hear voices. I felt after 160 episodes, that was it. But the fans didn’t think so. I’m doing it for them. I’ve got to make the fans happy. Lex is an integral part of the show. No one expects a show to last 10 years. I gave them seven years and I thought it was pretty commendable. Now it’s been on three more years. Clark is starting to look like he’s in his 30s.”
Lex and Clark Kent, portrayed by Tom Welling, are expected to meet in a final showdown.
“Obviously there’s unfinished business between Clark and Lex that have got to get resolved,” said Rosenbaum, who left the show three years ago for personal reasons. “Our future is depending on it.”
Unlike his earlier appearances, he plans to wear a bald cap.
“There are other projects that I am working on that require hair,” Rosenbaum said, laughing. “It takes four months to grow back.”
The small-screen Superman mythos just breathed an enormous sigh of relief.
After nearly a year of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, Michael Rosenbaum has inked a deal to reprise his role as Smallville‘s Lex Luthor in the two-hour season finale airing May 13, TVLine has learned.
“I’m delighted to return for the series finale,” Rosenbaum tells TVLine exclusively. “I’m simply doing it for all of the fans out there who made Smallville the great success it is. I appreciate all of their passion, their relentlessness, and even their threats. Ha ha.”
The actor continues, “I can’t wait to hug the old crew back in Vancouver one last time and see all of my old friends once again. Oh, and for Lex to become the bad-ass he’s destined to be.”
Executive producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson say of Rosenbaum’s encore, “It feels like the stars are aligning, literally. We couldn’t be more excited. And as far as the way he returns… there’ll be no doubt about how Lex becomes the great rival in Clark Kent’s life. He is the villain of the story.”
Rosenbaum’s return was considered by many to be the missing piece of the show’s 10th final run, which has welcomed back alums such as John Schneider and Annette O’Toole (as Jonathan and Martha Kent) and John Glover (Lionel Luthor), and later this season Laura Vandervoort (Kara/Supergirl) and Callum Blue (Zod).
But having Lex back in the flesh — given the series’ wrap-up and a season-long storyline strongly hinting at the supervillain’s return — seemed almost imperative. At the time that Smallville‘s final season was announced, series star/exec producer Tom Welling expressed that he would “definitely” like to have Rosenbaum back, saying, “With Clark propelled into being Superman, how do you do it without a Lex Luthor? That just doesn’t make sense to me.”
Rosenbaum last appeared on Smallville in May 2008, for the Season 7 finale. Prior to his encore as Lex, he next can be seen in a recurring role on the Fox comedy Breaking In, which premieres April 6.