When you think of Superman, chances are you conjure up a picture of masculine, youthful athleticism, with a sprinkle of vanilla good looks and an unwaveringly (boring) moral compass.
If you were born in the nineties, that picture is most likely a dashing portrait of Tom Welling, the long-running Smallville Superman, probably saving a child from a burning building or lifting a car off a trapped dog.
But since the Smallville finale of CW’s popular television show in 2011, Welling – and his own clean-cut brand of heroism – has gone a little under-the-radar.
As with all mysteries of film and television, we look to Looper for the answer and this is what the YouTube channel came up with:
He’s picky – and his picker is off, apparently
Welling spent a decade on the set of Smallville and since has only appeared in three films: Parkland (2013), Draft Day and The Choice (2016).
To make matters worse, the films have been poorly received among critics and the public. The Choice, for example, earned a meagre 12 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes and Parkland lost nearly $9 million at the box office.
He’s got little acting experience
Welling was new to Hollywood when he was cast in a six-episode CW series, Judging Amy, which led to the relative youngster landing the role as Clarke Kent. After a decade playing the role, and little experience playing other diverse characters, it’s easy to see how Welling could get typecast by Hollywood.
Furthermore the innovative special effects on Smallville tied Welling to set, meaning he had little to no time to explore other projects during the long run of the show.
He deserved a break after Smallville
Welling took a six-month hiatus following Smallville‘s end.
The 39-year-old told Buzzfeed, ‘I needed a break I needed to figure out what was going on in my head a little bit. There was some adjusting that I needed to get back into real life and to make up for lost time as well.’
He is busy behind the scenes
Tom Welling Productions was launched towards the end of Smallville’s run, after the actor had executive produced some of the latest episodes.
The actor had decided he wanted to spend more time behind the scenes after Smallville’s gruelling film schedule in Vancouver had kept him isolated from his family. Welling had hoped a foray into directing would give him more freedom in his personal life.
In the meantime, since Welling’s Section 13 failed to go to pilot, the actor seems to be enjoying his time off.
I just hope the likes of Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter – who play Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in the self-titled Netflix series – don’t suffer the same fate and end up featuring in another Looper mystery in a decade.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.