What if you suddenly discovered your husband or wife of many years is no longer the same person?
There are plenty of people who have wrestled with that question at one point or another, but usually the change isn’t quite as literal as its been for Superman & Lois’s Lana Lang-Cushing. Clark Kent’s childhood crush and best friend recently discovered that a malevolent Kryptonian had taken control of her husband Kyle’s body and mind, instilling the out-of-work firefighter with super strength, heat vision and all the other abilities that come with living under a yellow sun. Making things even worse, she discovered it after Kyle tried killing Lois Lane and her son Jonathan…which you just know is going to be a source of awkwardness at cocktail parties and game nights between the Kents and Cushings for years to come.
To get serious, though, it’s hard to imagine a more dangerous turn of events. Discovering Morgan Edge had enlisted Kyle into his top-secret “betterment” program is pretty bad news for Superman…but it’s even worse for Lana and her daughters, Sarah and Sophie, especially since Edge has plenty of reasons to hate Lana after discovering that she’d been secretly working to expose his real intentions. We were curious how bad things might get, as well as what it’s like to now have the single most awkward marriage in the Arrowverse, so we sat down with Lana Lang herself, Emmanuelle Chriqui, to discuss superheroes and their secrets, what Lana really thinks of Lois and whether marriage to a Kryptonian is all it’s cracked up to be. (In short, the next time your husband or wife forgets your birthday or misplaces the car keys, you might just want to kiss them and be grateful they’re human!)
Last week we learned that Kyle underwent Morgan Edge’s procedure. How can we expect that to impact the Cushing family going forward?
That’s going to impact the Cushing family in dramatic ways in the next episode. We’re going to really be dealing with that on a very personal level.
Does having Kyle as one of Edge’s Kryptonian agents put Lana and Sarah in danger?
1000%. Yeah, it really puts anybody who’s close to him in danger.
How much longer can Lana continue working for Morgan Edge? It seems like he’s already on to her. Is this working relationship going to continue?
Oh, definitely not. I think at this point it’s reached its tipping point. He’s onto her and things are just exploding in Smallville. There will be a point of no return, certainly after this next episode.
What kind of research did you have to do to play Lana? Comics? Past live action takes? How did that affect your own performance?
It’s a great question and probably a very surprising answer. I did not do that kind of research. I didn’t watch anything. I’ve never watched previous Lana Langs. I didn’t read comic books. I never saw Smallville. I think the most that I’ve ever seen was the Richard Donner Superman movie. For me, that helped. The thing that is sort of tricky is that you never want to imitate somebody. That’s just dangerous territory. I didn’t want to box myself in with any preconceived notions of what other people thought of Lana or how she is. So, I was able to go deep on just who she was as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend in this world. When I needed any mythology, I asked (showrunner and executive producer) Todd Helbing to fill me in. But otherwise, I think a lot of it was in the writing. There’s just so much meat on the bone that I was able to really delve into it purely from a character-driven place.
So far, Lana’s had lots of scenes with Lois, but not so many with Clark. Considering the close relationship they’ve traditionally had, would you like to see more moments between them?
I would love to see more moments with Lana and Clark, for sure. I don’t know what they have in mind, but I could definitely see that happening, just to keep exploring that friendship a little bit because yeah, they’re best friends. They talk about how close they are, so it would be really nice to see more of that. But I also think it was a really good move to focus on Lois and Lana getting to know each other and becoming close because I think in their closeness, we’ll inevitably get to then see the closeness between Lana and Clark since there’s no threat. I think we needed to establish that—that they’re on the same team and not against each other.
How would you want to find out that Clark is Superman and how do you think your character would react?
Great question! Yes, as an actor I can’t wait for the moment—I don’t know when it will be—where Lana finds out that Clark is Superman. I think it’s going to be pretty intense when she does. I think there’s going to be a real big sense of betrayal. Again, I have no idea what they’re planning, but I’d imagine feeling incredibly betrayed. You know, just being like, “Okay, so you’re the person that I’ve known the longest in my life, we’ve been the best of friends, I was so close to your mom and family, and you did not tell me this? Wow!”
I feel like they wouldn’t be shy about exploring that because that’s what we do on our show. We really go into the emotional heart of situations.
After perhaps his mother, Lana and Lois are the two most important women in Clark Kent’s life. Recently on the show, they’ve compared their similarities, but what do you see as the main differences between them?
I think the main difference is just how they move through life. They have far more in common than they don’t, but how they move through life is different. Lois is just so ballsy. She says what’s on her mind and goes all in, whereas Lana is not like that. She’s not confrontational. She’s far more even-keeled. She’s not excitable in the same way. Even if Lana and Lois have the same things at hand, I think they would go about it differently.
We know where Lana lands on this question, but what about Emmanuelle? Would you rather live in Smallville or Metropolis? Why?
I’d rather live in Metropolis because I’m just a city gal. (laughs) I love to go to the country for a vacation. I love cottage country. I love going to the beach. But I’m a city girl. I need restaurants. I just need the vibrance of city life.
For the time being at least, it seems like Lana’s now married to a Kryptonian. Do you think having a Kryptonian spouse would be helpful, or would it just be a headache?
It would just be a headache! (laughs) I suppose, if the Kryptonians weren’t so evil it could be helpful, but as it stands, it’s a headache.
I feel like it’s even a headache for Lois and she’s married to Superman.
That’s it! He’s a good Kryptonian and look at all the challenges that are presented! Yeah, that would be a really tough life to have to deal with. Whew! My god, I can’t imagine.
Special thanks to moro, DickGrayson_TheBoyFriendWonder and HubCityQuestion in the DC Community for contributing questions to this interview.
Superman & Lois airs at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more news, interviews and videos on Smallville’s newest residents? Check out our Superman & Lois series page!