Superman & Lois’s Clark Kent has a lot on his plate. He’s saving the world as Superman while trying to manage two teenage boys, take time out for his wife, and help out his new barnmates John and Nat. As if that wasn’t enough, something powerful and destructive has been lurking in the Smallville mines, and whatever it is seems to have a seriously painful tie to the Man of Steel. In short, a lot has been going down on the latest season of the smash DCTV series…and we’re only two episodes in! To help us make sense of all the chaos happening in the supposedly sleepy town of Smallville, we talked to series co-lead Tyler Hoechlin about how Clark is dealing with it all.
In the past year, Superman has gone through a lot as a father. What do you think is his biggest regret as a parent?
I think we hit on that pretty early in the show—the amount of time that he wasn’t spending with them. It’s a thing that we wanted to touch on from day one with the show. There’s a lot of demand. It’s not easy being a parent. I was really blessed to have great parents. They were around a lot. As I’ve gotten older, it’s been a realization that that’s not a given. That’s not something that you’re entitled to. I was really lucky to have that.
I think with Clark, there’s a lot on his plate. It’s something that he feels is his calling and his purpose, and so he has to do it, but finding that balance is something that I think he realized was out of balance. And I think that there needs to be a more concentrated effort to be there for his kids during these years that are really forming who they’re going to become when he’s no longer around and they’re making their place in the world.
Last season we learned that early on in their marriage, Lois miscarried a baby that they would’ve named “Nat.” It’s been hard for Lois to come to terms with those feelings, and now this other-Earth doppelganger of Nat is living in the farm. How is Clark coping with all of this?
It’s obviously a very different experience for them. I think with Natalie coming in, there’s an attachment to Lois because she was her mother where she’s from, and so there’s that attachment. Whereas with Clark, Superman was basically a monster on their planet, and so obviously, there is not going to be the same response to him. And I think, as far as Clark is concerned, there needs to be some space in the beginning. There’s just a lot for Lois to figure out, and he’s obviously distracted with all the other things that are going on this season with him. Maybe it’s not addressed up front, but that might rear its head later on in the season.
I’m very excited about Jenna Dewan returning as Lucy Lane this season. We’ve never seen Clark interact with his sister-in-law before. What kind of a relationship can we expect them to have?
I would say as much of one as Lois will allow for! (laughs)
I think he’s definitely taking his cue from Lois—he’s there to support her. And Lois and Lucy have, obviously, in our world, been a troubled relationship. And so, I think it’s something where Clark is going to be there to support his wife in whatever way he can. And I think importantly for Superman and for Clark, there’s that idea that no one’s really ever beyond the point of redemption. And so, we’ll have to see how far that goes.
Superman went through a lot last season. He learned that his cousin Kara wasn’t the only surviving member of his family, and more of Krypton’s culture survived than he originally thought. How did these experiences change him?
I think there’s that idea of not feeling as alone. But I think more than anything, the idea of having a half-brother who is Kryptonian, and just this idea of family, has really cemented who he is on this planet with the family that he’s created here. I think everybody has that idea that there’s a family you’re born into, and there’s a family that you choose, and the family that you have later. And I think it’s really just kind of deepened his connection even more so to Lois and the boys.
The events of last week’s episode (“The Ties That Bind”) weren’t easy for Clark. Tal-Rho betrayed Clark, a move which really stung him. Is there a part of Clark that is still hoping that his brother could be redeemed?
I would say Tal-Rho is definitely making it difficult. He’s not making it easy for Superman to continue on saying, “Everybody can always come back.”
Tal-Rho’s definitely challenging that thought, but I do think there are certain things about Superman that make him who he is. He has certain constants. There’s a patience and there’s a hope that go beyond what I think most of us can really even aspire to. So, it’s hard to say that it’s ever gone, but I would say Tal-Rho is definitely challenging that opinion.
Lois and Clark need to sit down one day and compare difficult sibling stories.
It is almost turning into a competition at this point. (laughs)
Do you think Clark misses journalism at all?
Honestly, I don’t think he has time to right now. There was always that “in”—where he could be in the know of what was going on. I think now that he’s in Smallville, he’s spending time with the family, where he’s really trying to make up for letting that time go. So, I think between that and all of the things that are introduced this year for him to deal with as Superman, I honestly don’t know if he’s had time to think about it.
We’ve talked about how Clark has changed as a hero and as a father, but I’d also like to ask about Smallville. Smallville might be a town, but it feels like one of the most important characters of the show. Last year the community was put through a wringer. How has Smallville changed?
I think they’ve gone from being a small town that no one really knows about, to a town that people are aware of. There has obviously been this incredible event that had global implications. There’s a bit more of a spotlight on the town than there used to be, which I think changes things. It’s just kind of bringing to light things in the town that really need to be addressed, things that maybe have been ignored for a while that now need attention. We have some characters in the show this year who are addressing those things and trying to make their mark, and I think it’s a really fun thing for the show. And like you said, the town itself is a character and so it’s an interesting growing pains situation. I think we’re going to have to watch the town.
Tonight’s episode is called “The Thing in the Mines” which is pretty foreboding. We’ve seen hints of this creature in the past two episodes, and it doesn’t look like good news for Superman. How worried should fans be?
Extremely! I’m going with extremely. I think it is one notch below full-scale “just lose your mind.” But it’s definitely a troublesome thing that’s coming.
Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW, or catch up on season one now on HBO Max! Looking for more on the Family of Steel? Visit our official Superman & Lois show page.