'Smallville's' Bald Ambition

One day, "Smallville" star Michael Rosenbaum, who plays the bad, bald Lex Luthor, wants to direct comedies. In preparation, he decided to start close to home.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, Rosenbaum makes his directing debut with a new episode of the young-Superman series.

"Truth be said, it's a good episode," Rosenbaum says. "I'm so happy. I'm proud. I had a lot of great people working with me. I said, 'If I can't direct these actors, I'll never direct again.' I was pleasantly surprised."

The episode is called "Freak."

"Hence me," Rosenbaum quips. "Without giving too much away, it's not a freak-of-the-week episode. It's a really great twist."

The storyline focuses on a young man, blinded in the second meteor shower to hit Smallville (the first having been the one that deposited the infant Superman, soon to be named Clark Kent, on Earth). Although he has lost his conventional sight, he has acquired the ability to detect those affected by the Kryptonite meteors.

By the end of the episode, Clark (Tom Welling) learns a shocking secret about someone close to him.

Welling has directed "Smallville" before, so he gave Rosenbaum some tips.

"You have 10 days to shoot a movie," Rosenbaum says. "It's intense. Welling told me, 'Listen, man, eat as much as you can, because I lost five pounds due to stress.' I'm like, 'I'm skinny. I can't lose five pounds, Welling.' Sure enough, I lost five or six pounds. It was the stress.

"I'm a perfectionist. I'm insatiable. It's never good enough. If I didn't believe something, you'd have to keep going until I believed it. I'm not an easy sell."

Rosenbaum even flew in a cousin from Florida to help him out, saying, "He really saved me. It was nice to have somebody there to say, 'Get me this movie, I want to use this idea.' And he did. It was cool.

"It's funny, because when you're a director, everybody comes at you, with, 'This shirt or that shirt?' 'This shirt.' 'This prop or that prop?' That prop.' I love making decisions. I made very quick decisions. I've never been that decisive in my life."

"This was the biggest challenge yet from 'Smallville.' It was the biggest challenge I've probably ever had in my career. How often do you get a chance to have three-and-a-half million dollars handed to you to direct a show, and be in charge, and get that kind of experience, in film school?

"I wanted to get my DGA card, and I want to do comedy."

Also this season, Lex has been romancing Clark's ex, Lana Lang (Kristen Kreuk). It looks like they're having a wedding in the next episode (Lex did deliver an invitation to Clark).

Although the show is in its sixth season, Rosenbaum and Kreuk haven't had a huge amount of scenes together prior to this storyline.

"We never got to work together that much," Rosenbaum says. "This season happened, and we started having some chemistry. I'd say that [in the past], we weren't fond of each other. We're complete opposites. She's very reserved; I'm kind of out there, a little eccentric. We never really connected.

"This year, I don't know what happened, but one day she said, 'I really like working with you.' And I said, 'I like working with you.' When we go in there, we have a lot of chemistry. We're starting to get each other."

But it took a bit of work. "Those first few kisses," Rosenbaum says, "she wasn't the one who was nervous. It was me. And everybody was laughing.

"She's a pretty good kisser. You didn't ask me, but it's nice, I'll tell you that. It's not bad kissing her. It's not like, 'Uh, great, let's get it over with, but you owe me.' It's good."

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