Welling said veteran actor John Glover was a key influence. "As an actor, there's really nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. The way he was able to come in with Lionel Luthor -- who was, literally, not supposed to stay around long -- and create so much, it was amazing. Whenever I was going to work with him, it really got me going. I knew it was always going to be interesting and great. I learned a great deal from him. He does a lot of homework before he gets to the set." (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
The complicated on-screen relationship between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent spilled over to the set. "Michael Rosenbaum playing Lex was huge," Welling says. "A fan favorite in every way, of course. He taught me a lot about what to do but he also taught me a lot about what not to do. He's such a dynamic actor and has these great comedic sensibilities. He's a very different person than his character and his ability to jump in and out -- literally at the snap of a finger -- amazed me. It taught me that I don't work that way and it did it in a good way. I learned about what I needed to do." (Jack Rowand/The CW)Link
Annette O'Toole and John Schneider played Martha and Jonathan Kent, the adoptive parents of the last son of Krypton -- and on the set they were also key figures for Welling as he learned to handle fame, stress and craft challenges. "Jonathan and Martha Kent were huge, not as an influence only on Clark's life but on the set and being mentors to me and being someone for me to learn from." (Jack Rowand/The CW; The WB)Link
In 2003, Christopher Reeve, the man who starred as Superman on the silver screen, created a ratings sensation when he appeared on "Smallville." Welling still gets emotional when he reflects on the encounter with the star, who had been paralyzed in a horse-riding accident. "At the top of the list is Christopher who came on the show as the Dr. Swann character. Beyond the show, it was such a phenomenal experience for me and for all of us. I'll never forget that." Reeve died in 2004. (Ken Regan/The WB)Link
In May, after 10 seasons, Tom Welling said goodbye to “Smallville” (and Metropolis) but loyal fans can revisit the world of Clark Kent, his friends, foes and lovers with the massive new collector’s DVD set that hits stores on Nov. 29. And we do mean massive — the super-sized collection costs $340 but has all 218 episodes and more than five hours of special features, all spread out over 62 discs. That’s right, 62 discs.
For Welling, now 34, the decade as the Man of Steel has defined his career and adult life.
“Even in the early days of the show, I approached it like I was in school and I was always going to be learning,” Welling said. “Luckily, we got people through the door who were creative and highly talented and the environment on the set was always very collective and open and warm. And I learned a lot, more than I can even say, really.”
We asked Welling to name the co-stars who taught him the most and he came up with five names right away. His answer are above in the photo gallery, be sure to click “CAPTIONS ON.”
— Geoff Boucher
RECENT AND RELATED
PHOTOS: The ultimate Tom Welling gallery