So far, season eight of Smallville has seen Jimmy Olsen go from fiance to bridegroom to coma patient! Actor AARON ASHMORE talks to Bryan Cairns about playing the troubled photographer.
Jimmy Olsen is a character who's been a part of the Superman story since 1938, so when he was introduced to Smallville in season six's Zod, Aaron Ashmore became the latest in a long line of actors to play the role.
We caught up with Ashmore as filming got underway for the second half of season eight to find out more about where Jimmy's relationship with Chloe is going, how much rivalry he feels with Sam Witwer's Davis Bloome, and whether he'd like Jimmy to have superpowers of his own...
Smallville Magazine: How cool was it getting four generations of Jimmy Olsens together for the Smallville DVD last season, and what did you learn from sharing notes with them?
Aaron Ashmore: It was really cool to get all those guys together. I had met them previously at a Superman Returns party. We were all on the red carpet, though, so it was nice to sit down and have a conversation with them [for the DVD]. I haven't seen the featurette on the DVD yet, but it really sank in how long the character has been around and how many generations have been influenced. I'm obviously a fan of Superman and his world, which includes Jimmy Olsen. It really sunk in sitting there with Jack Larson [the first TV Jimmy Olsen], who's been around for a really long time. Even though Jimmy has changed in [his] different incarnations, at the root he's the same character. It was pretty humbling to realize you're a part of something that's been around so long.
Last season, there was a Jimmy/Chloe/Kara triangle. In what ways was being stuck in an elevator with a bomb a turning point for Jimmy and Chloe?
There were a lot of secrets Chloe was keeping from Jimmy. Even though some people will disagree and say it was because she was super-hot, the only reason he went after Kara was because Jimmy felt he was being withheld from Chloe's life [in regard to] the Clark situation. That was difficult for Jimmy to understand, and to some degree, is still a problem for him, but I think he's gotten over it. At that point, he couldn't understand why Chloe was lying to him, so this was an opportunity for them to be face to face in a situation where they might not make it, and for Chloe to be totally honest with him. Obviously, she didn't tell Jimmy about Clark, but Chloe did reveal she had meteor powers. This was really her opportunity to come clean with him and no consequences, since they thought they were going to die. In that situation, Jimmy was fine with it.
Two seasons ago, Jimmy stepped into the spotlight with Noir, so how did it feel becoming a super spy in Sleeper?
Noir was one of the coolest episodes we've ever done. I enjoyed filming Sleeper, and 'Jimmy Bond' fit very well with the character. He's a little goofy, and putting him in that circumstance of being the super spy was a little unrealistic, but a lot of fun. It was a great departure from what Jimmy normally is, and it seems every year they give him a bit of his own fantasy episode. I enjoyed putting on the tux, doing the tango, and making him a little smoother than what he would normally be.
Jimmy proved surprisingly light on his feet as he tangoed with Chloe.
To be honest, I don't think we did master the tango! For the amount of time required to do something like that, I thought we did a really good job, and I'm proud of myself and Allison. That's a dance people need years to master, and it looks so easy when they're doing it, but it's really not. It was a bit of a challenge, and I was worried we were going to look totally ridiculous. While I don't think either of us are going to be on Dancing With The Stars, it was enjoyable.
Even though Jimmy was more Get Smart than James Bond, was it tough going from a suave character back to the "Aw, shucks" version of Jimmy?
For me, I want the character to be a little cooler, because sometimes it feels like you're just playing the goofball or sidekick. In that sense, I'm always trying to smooth him out a little bit and make him a little less grating. Sometimes that real raw energy, and [the fact[ that he speaks his emotions without holding back, can come across as a little grating at times. But that's the character, so trying to steer him into becoming smoother doesn't make a lot of sense. It's fun to have those episodes where you have the opportunity to do something different, but to make Jimmy work, you always have to go [back] to him as a goofball.
What kind of reporting team did Jimmy and Lois make, and are you excited they are starting to establish that iconic friendship?
Absolutely! I think they made a pretty good team. They got themselves in trouble, which is part