In a three-part, three-show story, told across The CW’s The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) realize that they’ve inexplicably swapped bodies with each other and have to figure out exactly what caused the timeline shift. When they travel to Smallville on Earth-38 for help from Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), they also end up meeting Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch).
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Elizabeth Tulloch talked about joining the small group of actresses who have gotten to play Lois Lane, the responsibility of doing the iconic character justice, looking at the crossover as a three-hour epic adventure instead of as three separate episodes, who this version of Lois Lane is, getting to shoot on the Kent farm from Smallville, having superhero suit envy, her favorite scene from the crossover, shooting stunts while pregnant, and her hope that she’ll get to return to the character, at some point.
Collider: How does it feel to join the small group of actresses who have gotten to play Lois Lane? What does it mean to you, personally, to take on a character that’s so iconic and has so much history behind her?
ELIZABETH TULLOCH: It was a little bit overwhelming, but more than anything, it was an honor. My husband (actor David Giuntoli) said, “You know, this is a small group of actors who’ve played this character, and you’re one of them now. For the rest of time, you’re now one of them.” And I was like, “Oh, my god, it’s so much pressure!” I hadn’t really thought of it that way. The day that it was announced – and I obviously knew ahead of time, but they were waiting to announce it – I wrote something on Instagram because I really wanted to communicate to the fans that I understand why it’s so important, why she’s so important, why she’s so iconic, and why she has maintained popularity for 80 years now. It’s just a special character, and it has been since 1938, when she was introduced. She was a woman in the late ‘30s, who was so career-oriented, and a little aggressive, and always determined to get a story, and willing to throw herself in harm’s way. It wasn’t necessarily a typical depiction of women, at the time, unfortunately, so she was very inspiring. My good friend, Esther, who’s my age, said, “I’ve always looked up to Lois Lane. I wanted to be like Lois Lane.” So, I did just try to write something up quickly to communicate to the fans, from my perspective, that I get why this is so important, and just to let them know that I’m going to do my best to honor her.
At the same time, once you got on set and you had to make this character your own, were those other Lois Lanes on your mind, at all, or did you try to forget everything you previously knew about Superman and those stories?
TULLOCH: The truth is that I’m not aware with all of the portrayals. I haven’t seen a lot of the movies. I’ve seen the Margot Kidder movies, and that was pretty much it. But there’s two things that have happened with Margot Kidder in my life, in the past. One of them is that I’ve been told, since I was a little girl, that I look like her a bit, so I always just remembered, “Oh, this actress who I look like, Margot Kidder.” Then, when I started acting in my mid ‘20s, I had a teacher tell me to watch the screen tests of the actresses for Lois Lane, for that original Christopher Reeve Superman trilogy, because they’re all available online. I did, and I was really impressed with everyone, but it was always very obvious to me that Margot Kidder booked it over other people because she was so fun. She took the exact same material, and there was a joie de vivre, and she was just having fun with it. She also had the gravity that was necessary, and everything with Clark and the romance, but more than anything, her energy was so appealing. So, on some level, I went into it thinking, “Have fun.” She’s this sassy woman, and she’s great. Even in the ‘30s, she was very modern. I loved that she would always give Clark a hard time, and she teased him a lot. That’s a little bit like how I am, in real life. My husband always tells me that I’m very overly blunt and I put my foot in my mouth a lot, and Lois is the exact same way.
What was it like to not only come in and play this iconic character, but also bring to life an iconic relationship, with Lois Lane and Clark Kent, and do it all in a big, epic, three-show crossover? Was there a certain level of chaos to all of that?
TULLOCH: I don’t know that chaos is the right word. I really felt like, “Okay, I’ve gotta nail this for the fans,” because they haven’t seen this Lois. The writers made my job easy because it was really well written. The crossovers cam be a little chaotic, just because there’s so much going on, but if you look at them almost as one three-hour epic adventure, as opposed to three distinct episodes, it’s not that hard to keep it together and to keep the storylines straight.
Who is the Lois Lane of Earth-38? What’s her life like?
TULLOCH: It’s not that dissimilar from anyone else’s. That’s one of the things about the character that, from my understanding, has been maintained, over the years. She’s a woman who’s incredibly determined. Journalism is incredibly important to her, and she will do just about anything, including risking her life, to get the story.
As we’ve seen from the pictures of you, Tyler Hoechlin and Melissa Benoist, you got to shoot on the Kent farm from Smallville. What was it like to be able to be there and to get to pay tribute to that series?
TULLOCH: It was really fun. The farm is really spectacular. It’s very beautiful, and it was great to start off, as opposed to starting on a soundstage. My first scenes that I filmed as Lois Lane were all on location at the Smallville Kent farm, so that was fun. It’s always a little easier, on some level, to be shooting on a location like that, rather than on a soundstage, because you can really just throw yourself into it.
What was it like to do scenes with Superman and Supergirl? Did you ever feel like the human third wheel? Were you ever like, “Okay, where’s my superhero costume?!”?
TULLOCH: I definitely wanted a superhero costume! When they were all in costume and I wasn’t, I was so jealous because their costumes are so cool. But [Lois has] got her own heroic qualities, so I never really felt left out. She’s so very much a part of the equation, as far as adding to how the problem gets solved, so to speak. And in Supergirl, which is the last one in this three-parter, it’s quite grand in scope. There is a big fight that happens, that Lois is very much a part of.
Do you have a favorite scene or a moment from your time as this character, and are there any character interactions that you’re most looking forward to people seeing?
TULLOCH: Yeah, I would say that one of them was the fight. That was just really fun to shoot and everyone was in it, and it’s so epic. I was on set, and I was on video-ing it from my iPhone like, “This is so cool looking!” So, just as a fan, I was very aware of how great the scene is gonna look on screen. That was really fun. And then, there’s a scene, where I really can’t reveal any details to you, but that’s with Clark. It’s really, really great, and that I hope the fans like a lot.
You did some physical work when you were on Grimm, so how does the physicality for the crossover compare to the stuff you had done, previously? Did it feel like it had prepared you, at all, or was this just totally different?
TULLOCH: A tiny bit, but I was six months pregnant when I shot this. I wasn’t showing too much, at that point. Right now, there’s no way you could hide the baby bump, but we were mostly able to hide it with clothing, the whole time that I was filming. For safety reasons, there was a lot that production just did not want me to do, even though I tried. I definitely wanted to because I’ve always liked doing stunts. Stunt doubles are incredible, and we are nothing without them. If I try something, they do it 100 times better. But I like giving it a whirl, and I wasn’t able to do that as much, on this show. There were a couple of particularly bad-ass moments that reminded me a little bit of some of the stuff that Eve – because I really played two different characters on Grimm – got to do.
Taking on the role of Lois Lane and even doing some of the stunts while being six months pregnant makes you pretty bad-ass, yourself. That’s awesome! Lastly, is this a role that you’re hoping to return to, at some point? Are you hoping that we’ll get to see more of Lois Lane, in the future?
TULLOCH: I really am, and so is Tyler. We’ve talked about that a lot, just because we really did have great chemistry together and enjoyed spending time together. I’d love it, if they did do something else, or even brought us back. That relationship with Tyler is one of the most important things that we had to get right, and they got it right. That’s never a given, especially because we didn’t know each other prior, but we’re really fond of each other, so I think we’d both be really happy to come back.