SMALLVILLE's Cassidy Freeman Talks Tess - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SMALLVILLE’s Cassidy Freeman Talks Tess

May 13, 2009 by  

Cassidy Freeman Interview

by Sarah

What’s up GMMRers? I had the honor of interviewing Cassidy Freeman, aka bad ass Tess Mercer. And I have to say she’s pretty bad ass herself! She was not only a pleasure to talk to but nice, genuine, and down to earth. At one point I forgot I was doing an interview and found myself talking about her brother, Clark, also an actor, and her supportive parents.

We also discussed her first time on set with Erica Durance, Lois Lane, in a French made costume! A little nervous (who wouldn’t be) Cassidy says after 20 minutes she was fine.

She enjoys working with a terrific crew that feels like family. She also explained that the best actors are those that can make a fool out of themselves. “Everyone messes up once and a while and you have to be able to laugh it off.”

Truly the opposite of her alter ego, Cassidy’s infectious laugh and carefree spirit only makes you appreciate her skills and talent as an actress even more. Check out the interview where Cassidy fills me in on her role as Tess and the Smallville season 8 finale as much as she can!

Coming on as Lex Luthor’s replacement is a difficult task that I think you did quite seamlessly. Going into this what was your mindset and goals?

First I want to say that I really appreciate you saying that. That’s awesome. And two my goal was to pay really great homage to this character. No one knows if Lex Luthor is going to show up again. I know it was kind of a blow to the series to have him gone and so I wanted to come in and really support that for him and not pretend that Lex is out and Tess is in. So I wanted to do that because Lex is a great character and Michael Rosenbaum is a great actor. And I wanted to make Tess her own because I think it’s important to be her, not necessarily as a replacement, but as someone who comes from the same place but is a different character but that has the same journey. So I hope that was done well.

What would you say are the differences between Lex and Tess?

I think they are really different. Lex has this destiny and he also has this very story driven life And he has this father that has this big influence on him and he has a lot of baggage as a child. I don’t think he was bad to begin with I think life kind of made him that way. Where Tess has also came from a rough background. But it was a very different one and is wasn’t quite as epic and has big and grandiose but she sort of found herself in that world and was wowed by it and then it betrayed her, Lex betrayed her. She realized that the only person she could count on was herself. I think she is starting to use that power but in a different way. I think Lex sort of always felt powerless even though he had everything at his fingertips, and he felt like that one thing he wanted he could never have. And I think Tess is willing to throw caution to the wind to get it

What do you enjoy most about playing Tess Mercer?

I love that she is a character driven by passion and I think she’s the most human character on the show. I think that’s funny because it’s a show about superheroes (laughs). I like the freedom I get when I play her. I love that you never know what she’s going to do. I know it frustrates some fans because is she good or is she bad?” I like that she’s driven by what she wants to do and she’s willing to do some pretty dark stuff to get it done, which is just badass to me.

Over the course of the season we have seen many sides of Tess including a softer side.

Yea, I think it was important to see those sides and the justification of why she does what she does. It would be really boring to watch her beating people up and wondering “but why?” Is she just some evil person, does she have a black heart? Showing those moments of vulnerability and not just talking about them allows viewers to identify with her and then they feel like they have something in common with her. We have all had crappy things happen to us and so how do we retaliate out of this?

So is Tess in your opinion good, bad or misunderstood?

I don’t think she’s misunderstood. Its funny I don’t think she’s any of them I think she’s human. She’s scared and she’s fearless in a lot of ways and that allows her to do some pretty fearful things. She wants what she wants and she is driven by that. She’ll do whatever needs to be done and she gets it done. I think she wants goodness and in the end that’s the reason why she wants Clark to come clean. She wants a throw down between Clark and Doomsday because she wants a better world.

What’s the best part about working on Smallville for you?

It’s so much fun. My favorite thing is probably the family atmosphere. Everybody is really laid back and where up in Vancouver so a lot of people live there. Tom has to live there and Allison has to live there. But when you’re there that’s what you’re doing. It kind of feels like a summer camp or a conservatory. There’s nothing to get in the way so you can really focus on what you are doing.

Who do you have the best on screen chemistry with?

I have fun working with everyone. Justin is a huge jokester, a lot of fun on set. He just makes jokes and he is really amicable with everyone. I get along with Tom actually, and I think part of that is our storyline. It interests me. A lot the scenes I get to play with him are the ones I get to dig a little deeper, he’s very easy to work with. He’s very supportive and present and there. It’s really great! He’s been doing it for eight years and his work ethic is amazing.

With the season 8 finale due to air on May 14th can you give us any clues on what will happen?

I think you know a lot of the things that are going to happen. The Justice League is coming back, obviously there is going to be a throw down between the two. It’s cool because everyone is in it. I was surprised when I read it but because the writers where down to the line and didn’t know if this was going to be a series finale or a season finale. So they had to make some choices. It was kind of like choose your own adventure and they had to choose which one it was going to be. I think they chose a really great launching pad for next year. I don’t think people are going to feel that “aaaagh.” It’s only going to open things up more.

How do you think fans will react to the episode?

I think they’ll be surprised and I don’t mean that in a generic sense. There is going to be a twist, a clever twist. Am I killing you right now with the taunting words?! I feel so bad but its only 4 days away.

How was the last day of shooting the episode on set like?

There really was no time for sadness. Everyone was really running full steam ahead. It was an effects heavy episode and that stuff takes time. We had already pushed our end date by a week; it’s a lot of money and a lot of time. Some actors were leaving to do other things, it’s was like being in the fourth quarter, clutch! Everyone is running full steam ahead. We did have a wrap party before the end and some of our people are leaving, like our makeup artist Natalie Cosco. She’s been on the show for eight years and I have only been on for one, but she has watched all these people grow up. It’s sad to see her leaving and its such a family.

What can we expect to see you in next?

I’m shooting a movie in June. I don’t know that you’ll see it to soon. It’s a horror/thriller movie that two of my friends from college wrote and are directing. I think its going to be really fun and my brother Clark is going to be in it with me, he’s also an actor. We get to play brother and sister in the movie which is also really fun. The basic idea is that a town in New Hampshire follows a trailhead into the forest in 1940 and they never come back. Because of the time and it was the beginning of the war, the economy was bad. They sweep it under the rug and they don’t want to talk about it. It fast forwards to today and a team of eight people want to write a book about it. So they find the coordinates of this road and they follow it to see what happened. The whole tag line is “they went to the forest to find the evil and the forest finds the evil”. I think it will be a lot if fun and scary as hell because we are actually filming it in New Hampshire.

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