[PROFILE] Kristin Kreuk - Actress on "Smallville"
- Kristin Kreuk
Kristin was born on December 30, 1982 to a Dutch father, Peter, and
Chinese mother, Deanna. She grew up in Vancouver, Canada.
She was struggling with college applications when her high school
drama teacher sent her out on her first audition. She landed the
lead in a Fox Family Channel series called "Edgemont." Next came a
role as Snow White in an ABC television movie.
She became a household name when, on her first visit to Los Angeles,
she landed the part of Lana Lang, Clark Kent's high school crush in
the WB series "Smallville."
Selected TV Appearances:
Snow White (2002) - Snow White
Smallville (2001-present) - Lana Lang
Edgemont (2000-present) - Laurel Young
The Clark & Lana Files
by Gene Geter
The Vancouver-shot WB series, "Smallville" toyed with us all season
with one questionwill Clark Kent and Lana Lang hook up? With fans
itching for more, they might get their chance in this year's two-
part season finale. The shows will air Tuesday, May 13 and Tuesday,
May 20 at 9 p.m./ET on the WB.
But before the Vancouver-born-and-raised Kristin Kreuk reveals
whether that's a rumor or not, what is it about "Smallville" that
keeps audiences glued to their television every week? "I think that
the show appeals to so many different types of people," she
explains. "There are various elements to it. Heart and soul.
Romance. The show deals with family relationships that appeals to
all different ages and races."
On the show, Lana lost her parents, her boyfriend, her horse almost
and her childhood friend. Why does this keep happening to her? "A
lot of it is just bad luck on her part," says the 20-year-old, who
now owns a condo. "I feel so terribly for her. The poor girl. She
tries desperately hard to stop that from happening, but it doesn't
seem to stop at all. She's going to have to grow a lot."
It does show that Lana is strong. "Most people would have just
broken down," she says. "And she does that every once in a while,
but she tries not to. She's lucky that she has people like Clark
(Tom Welling) to help her carry that burden."
Lana must be stupid. She has to know Clark is an alien. "Lana is
suspicious about him," she reveals. "She isn't like Chloe Sullivan
in the sense that she doesn't think about all the weird stuff things
that go on in 'Smallville.' Lana wouldn't question whether or not he
was human. I think she just sees him as a sexy guy."
Will she learn of Clark's secret in the future? "Anything is a
possibility," she says. "He does have a heavy secret he can't share
with her. I don't know what the writers plans are for that, but
maybe a couple of seasons down the line, she'll learn."
People think Lana and Kreuk are major babes. She laughs. "Well, I
don't know. I can't think about it. It's flattery, I guess." She
In cyber world, "Smallville" fan sites are buzzing even more lately
on the message boards with rumors and spoilers. Kreuk talks about
show feedback. "I don't have the internet right now. I moved out
recently and I don't have it up and running yet. I don't have cable
either. So I'm kind of disconnected from the world. It's kind of
nice not to get feedback. It's important to get feedback, but it
should be from people you know and respect. People that care about
you." The show struggled in its first season, but now, it's the WB's
Check this out. She digs hip hop music. "I'm into all types of music
actually," she admits. "I go through phases, but I do enjoy The
Roots and A Tribe Called Quest. My music collection is very
Born to a Chinese mother and a Dutch father, Kreuk went to college
for forensic pathology. What? Why forensic pathology? "I wanted to
be a forensic scientist," she laughs. "I was interested in the
problem solving aspect to it. That you could go to a crime scene and
find out how someone got into a house. Or how someone was killed. I
thought it was an interesting field and I still do." Imagine Kreuk a
In her final year, her drama teacher told her to audition for Fox
channel's "Edgemont" in which she garnered the role of Laurel Yeung,
a Chinese Canadian high school student. Then, she
landed "Smallville" and a fresh new look at Snow White in the ABC's
The beauty with dimples and a simple smile charms magazine covers
worldwide. She's also in the Neutrogena club with notable veterans,
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Love Hewitt. Kreuk feels
commercials are a very different world. "There are long days of
feeling really giddy and hyper. They splash your face or something
and the water has to go in the right direction. I'm really bad at
What does the future hold for Kreuk? Professionally, she sees
herself growing and doing more work she's proud of. "Most actors
are, but I'm overly critical. Normally, I'm not that happy with the
work that I've done. There's this actor part of me that knows I can
do a great job." She plans to travel more and visit New York in the
Now the question we've all been waiting for. Kreuk laughs. Will
Clark and Lana hook up? "It's been two years of will they? Won't
they? Will they? Won't they? It must be a strain. The
show, 'Accelerate' really showed Lana as a character so her and
Clark are in a position where there's really nothing holding them
back anymore." What would Lois Lane say about this?
She won't say much about the finale except "Clark changes each
Most of us know that young Superman, Tom Welling is married in real
life. So what if he wasn't? Would Kristin date Tom if he was
interested? This is just a question to ponder among us.
Kristin Kreuk: Next Asian American Beauty?
It isn't a question of droolworthiness. Her looks are dazzling
enough to have locked up a lead role in each of her first three
auditions, including the title role in an upcoming TV movie. It's
more a question of whether most of us would identify hazel-eyed
Smallville heartthrob Lana Lang as a fellow Asian.
Kristin Laura Kreuk was born to a Chinese mother and a Dutch
father on December 30, 1982. She grew up in Vancouver, Canada.
Kreuk, 5-4, had decided to go to college to study forensic pathology
until, in her senior year, her drama teacher suggested she go to an
audition for a new Fox Family series called Edgement. She was
promptly plucked out of the open audition to play a Chinese Canadian
high school student named Laurel Yeung. Even as she won fans in the
role, she landed the Lana Lang role for WB's dramatization of
Superboy's life as Clark Kent, then the role of Snow White in the
ABC TV movie set for release in 2002. Kreuk's star-quality was
obvious to all who tuned in for Smallville's premiere last October.
Some even proclaimed her the show's main attraction.
But many Asian American viewers didn't even suspect Kreuk's
Asian ancestry. Even those who learned of her mother's nationality
questioned whether she can be claimed by Asian Americans. Without an
Asian surname or obvious Asian facial features, they argue, Kreuk's
success would do nothing for the image of Asians in the American
media. Others might argue that most African American stars are, in
fact, only fractionally of African descent.
Should we claim Kristin Kreuk and other hapas like her as Asian
American celebrities? Or should that designation be reserved for
those with a more obviously Asian identity?
'I am a shy person.'
Growing up in Canada, the last thing Kristin Kreuk expected to
become was famous. With a starring role on the new WB show
Smallville, all of that is about to change. Here, Kristin dishes
about what it feels like to be the new girl in town.
The WB: Give us the scoop on Smallville...
Kristin: Well, the story is inspired by Superman, but it's about
Clark Kent and what it's like for him growing up in this small town
and what happens to him when he starts to discover he has certain
The WB: And you're the lucky girl he chooses as his love interest?
Kristin: In a way. Clark really likes Lana (my character) but
they've never really had a chance to get to know one another, until
The WB: What's Lana like?
Kristin: When the show starts off, Lana is the popular girl at
school. She's smart and she's the cheerleader type. But, there's a
lot more to her than that. She lost her parents when she was really
young so there's a lot of loneliness to deal with too.
The WB: How does it feel to have your first really big acting job?
Kristin: I can't believe how lucky I am to have this opportunity.
I'm just so happy. I also think I'm still in shock. This whole thing
kind of fell into my lap.
The WB: So you're not the type who was born wanting to be an actress?
Kristin: I grew up in Canada and I took theater classes through out
high school. I enjoyed it, but my real plan was to attend
The WB: Were you discovered by accident?
Kristin: Kind of. One day some producers called my school. They were
looking to cast a teen soap and my teacher suggested I go to the
audition. I wound up getting the part and everything has just fallen
in to place since then.
The WB: Does that mean you're putting college on hold?
Kristin: For the time being yes. When I first started doing
professional acting I really didn't think I had the talent for it. I
was planning on using the money I made from the soap to pay for
The WB: What were you planning to study?
Kristin: I wanted to be a forensic scientist for a long time. I
thought it was the most interesting thing ever in the 6th and 7th
grade - just to be able to try and figure out how a crime happened.
It's like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. Solving mysteries
seemed like it would be fun, scary and exciting all at the same
The WB: And now?
Kristin: Obviously forensics will have to wait. I love this job. I
am working with the most talented group of people and I'm doing
things I never thought were possible. It's also scary because I am a
shy person and now all of a sudden I'm in this totally new place.
I'm not that great at meeting new people and having to, well, talk.
I'm not good at small talk, conversations with strangers. The most
amazing thing is that I never thought I could do this as a career
and here I am. So for now I'm just going to ride it out. When the
train stops... I'll get off and go to university.
Kristin Kreuk is best known for her role of Lana Lang, the love
interest of Clark Kent, on the WB's Smallville. She also had a
memorable scene with Matt Damon in Eurotrip. Kristin's latest
project is the SCI Fi Channel's Legend of Earthsea, in which she
plays the priestess, Tenar.
UGO: How did you prepare for this role?
KRISTIN KREUK: It was actually pretty simple and fun. The books are
fantastic. I never got a chance to read them all, but my sister
adores them. So I just took the script and developed her from there.
It was a lot of fun. I've heard that Tenar is very, very different
in the books. I might be wrong in all this, but I've heard that she
was darker and more self-centered in a lot of ways, but she didn't
seem that way in this story at all. I think developing an inner life
for a character is obviously the most important thing because,
without that, your character is shallow and empty. Tenar, being an
orphan, has clung to this faith, and that's what she believes in.
I'm pretty sure that she's never left this island. She's been stuck
in this little temple. All she's thought about was keeping Earthsea
safe and making sure that these Nameless Ones are never released.
That is her goal. Then, she has these visions about this boy who is
doing evil, or what she sees as evil, but she also feels that he is
good. I think that she has that struggle inside her throughout a lot
of the story, and finally it comes to a point where she can accept
that there is something else besides faith, and that both faith and
magic can exist in the same world. I think, in the end, it's about
yin and yang, man and woman, magic and faith, good and evil, all of
that coming together to form a whole that in the end saves the
UGO: Are you into science fiction and fantasy?
KRISTIN: My sister was actually more of the sci-fi/fantasy person. I
wasn't into it as much, although I think it allows you to tell
really great family stories and go into your childhood and access
your imagination. That's what's really great about sci-fi/fantasy.
UGO: Some people might be surprised you're doing Earthsea because
they'd expect you to do anything but a genre project during your
hiatus from Smallville. What made you say yes?
KRISTIN: Well, it is a question of what was available. It being shot
at home in Vancouver was a part of it. But the cast that they had
assembled was unreal. You had Danny Glover, Isabella Rossellini and
Shawn Ashmore all signed up, and they offered me this role. It was
really easy to say yes to it.
UGO: Did the production overlap with Smallville?
KRISTIN: It overlapped a little bit. I had a couple of months off,
actually, to do whatever I wanted. I shot [Earthsea] in June, and I
started Smallville in July, so it overlapped for a couple of weeks.
I don't work every day on Smallville, so it's easy to schedule
"We've got the horrible guest star list and the wonderful guest star
list, so Shawn is definitely one of Smallville's favorite guest
UGO: What intrigued you about Tenar?
KRISTIN: Her character arc is actually kind of interesting in that
she starts out a young girl who's learning the ways of a priestess.
She's been an orphan, and she's learning from Isabella's character
of Thar. Tenar is going to be the next high priestess and has to
rise to the occasion, especially once Thar dies. With Ged, Shawn's
character, she has to take control and save Earthsea.
UGO: Are you able at all to relate that to your own real life?
KRISTIN: I think that with everything that's sci-fi and fantasy, the
characters are still very much based in reality. I think the
situations that the characters go through are heightened reality.
The things that we go through as we grow up in our lives, trying to
find a way to separate good from evil, aren't as black and white,
but I think sci-fi and fantasy add other elements to symbolize or
heighten those realities.
"It was funny because I live in Vancouver, and we shot in Vancouver.
It was just on Marine Drive and at this old warehouse that they keep
UGO: What was it like being on those huge Earthsea sets?
KRISTIN: Being on the set was pretty incredible because they were
amazing sets, really well done, down to the littlest details, the
paint, the wood and the way it's been carved. It was just beautiful.
It was funny because I live in Vancouver, and we shot in Vancouver.
It was just on Marine Drive and at this old warehouse that they keep
cars in. They created this great world, and I think being a part of
something so epic [was exciting].
UGO: You've got comic book writers working on Smallville like Mark
Verheiden and Jeph Loeb. Do you have much contact with them?
KRISTIN: The thing with Smallville that kind of sucks is that we
shoot in Vancouver and everyone else is in LA. So we see the
producers, Al [Gough] and Miles [Millar], maybe like twice a year.
We never see the writers unless we're in LA, stopping by and
going, "Hey, everyone!" So there's a lack of that kind of direct
communication on a regular basis. So it's kind of like this weird,
other world that we live in, where we create the series and then the
people that are doing the writing and making a lot of the decisions
are in a completely different location. So it's kind of a strange
UGO: Do you keep up with the Superman comics at all?
KRISTIN: No, not really. I think the comic world seems to be pretty
separate from the TV world.
UGO: Smallville seems to be an entirely different show this year,
and Lana seems to be an entirely different character. Would you
KRISTIN: It's entirely different. That's actually quite fun for me.
I enjoy changing it up. The show has evolved a lot. They were going
darker last year, which I actually thought was quite interesting,
going more adult and a little darker. But it wasn't appealing to the
same audience anymore. So they brought it back to being more youth-
oriented and there's more sex, but I think the storylines are
starting to shift again. There were a lot of shuffles in the WB
itself this year, so powers were kind of shifting and I think the
direction of the show got kind of confused. But now it's coming
together, and all these really great storylines that we have are
being fleshed out a little more.
UGO: Such as?
KRISTIN: I'm just going to be selfish about this because I really
only know where I'm going, mostly. But we've got the storyline with
Lana's tattoo. Jane Seymour has come onto the show to play Jason's
[Jensen Teague] mother. Jason is Lana's boyfriend right at this
moment. Jane's character is quite evil and complex, and Lana has
dreamt of her in her past, from when she was a witch. It's all
convoluted, but they're going to flesh out that storyline and see
how it connects to the mythology and to Superman and to these
crystals. That will eventually lead to... well, that's the secret.
UGO: Are you pleased to see Lana with someone other than Clark?
KRISTIN: I have had so much fun. Jensen is wonderful. It's changed
now, but at the beginning of the season, it was great just to be
able to have fun, to be in your character and laugh and to enjoy
another person. It was so lovely because in all of our other
seasons, even with Clark, I don't think Lana and Clark have ever
really laughed together. They've had this intense, serious
relationship, and to have another level added is just so wonderful.
UGO: How did you get involved in Eurotrip?
KRISTIN: Eurotrip was just a two-second part with Matt Damon. All I
did was dance. I went out to Prague. I shot for two days, and I was
there for eight or ten more, just putzing around the city and
enjoying myself. Eurotrip was fun.
UGO: Any chance we'll see you in the Superman film?
KRISTIN: I'm not thinking so. I have no idea what's going on with
that, except that Shawn's involved, which is wonderful for him. I
think it'll be a great, great thing. Other than that, I don't think
UGO: We wait and wait to see you together with Shawn in Earthsea,
then it happens near the end. How was that moment to film?
KRISTIN: We shot that scene first, I think. The stuff in our little
cells was all shot first. So it wasn't like we had to build up to
that. It was really great working with him. He is such a wonderful
person and such a great guy, and he's a very good actor.
UGO: You two didn't work together at all when he guest starred on
Smallville, but did you at least meet on the set?
KRISTIN: I don't even know if we actually, officially met. I know
that I saw him around, but we never worked together. Our storylines
were about that far apart. They were hugely separately. So many
guest stars come through on Smallville. We've got the horrible guest
star list and the wonderful guest star list, so Shawn is definitely
one of Smallville's favorite guest stars. Everyone loves him.
"Vancouver is like a little bubble-land for me. It's really great,
especially since I was born there, raised there, my friends are
there and I've never really left there."
UGO: Who is on the horrible guest star list?
KRISTIN: [Laughs] Oh, we'll keep that a secret.
UGO: What was it like working with Isabella Rossellini?
KRISTIN: Oh God, she's so wonderful. The woman is a legend. You go
and talk to her and she is real, grounded and funny. She's so good
at what she does. You go on set, and she's constantly trying to make
things better and more interesting. She's definitely someone I look
up to in a lot of ways as a professional and as a person.
UGO: Do you want to do more movies?
KRISTIN: I would love to work on a feature, be it a big one or a
small one, just to be able to try something different. I've really
only, in the end, done Smallville for most of my career. It's been
Smallville, Edgemont and a couple of series, and you kind of fall
into this rhythm. I want to be able to do something that's smaller,
that's a little more compressed, where you have a character from
beginning to end. I want to be able to do that.
"I've just started to get DVDs. I wasn't really into it for a long
UGO: Do you ever check out your fan websites?
KRISTIN: From time to time, but it's kind of difficult to do that
sometimes. As nice as people, are they can be just as mean. You have
to be able to separate yourself from all of that and not let it
affect you. It's kind of hard for somebody to hear all that because
you're still a real person and it affects you.
UGO: How about the whole sex symbol aspect?
KRISTIN: I kind of ignore it. I kind of don't pay attention to it.
It's not me. That's that person and I'm this person.
UGO: Being in Vancouver, do you feel separated from the whole LA
KRISTIN: Vancouver is like a little bubble-land for me. It's really
great, especially since I was born there, raised there, my friends
are there and I've never really left there. I have my house and my
family. I think I've been to two premieres in my career, and I
haven't been to any Hollywood parties. I think New York is very
different from LA, so they're not really comparable at all. But
being in Vancouver definitely has a way of keeping you grounded.
UGO: At a certain point on a show, an actor becomes a caretaker for
his or her character, where you can say, "My character wouldn't do
this or that." Are you at that stage yet with Lana?
KRISTIN: I think yes, in some ways that's very much true. I think
that depends upon each individual actor. I, as a person, am not as
assertive, not as confident in what I do as some other people are.
So sometimes it's harder for me to do that personally. But
especially once you get to a point where you have created this
character and things are written, you can go, "That is so opposite
of what my character would do." It's kind of your responsibility in
most ways to keep continuity right and to keep the integrity of your
character. So I think there does come a point when your voice is
heard more than that it was in the beginning, but you still have to
kind of fight. The people who write our show are the creators of our
show, so they also know a lot about your character, because they
created them all. So it's this balance between the two.
UGO: What superpower would you like to have?
KRISTIN: I honestly would just love to fly. I really, really would.
I've wanted to since I was a kid.
UGO: What are your favorite DVDs in your collection?
KRISTIN: Wow. I've just started to get DVDs. I wasn't really into it
for a long time. But I have to say that my Princess Bride DVD is
really wonderful, and I've got Amelie, which is another one of my
favorites. Also, Being John Malkovich is another.
KK: "She's (Lana) really great this year. She's not like she was
before -- it's a drastic change. I'm really excited about playing
her. I always have been but this year she has a new direction in her
life. She's a more mature woman, and it's fun to play her."
Kreuk thinks that part of the attraction of Jason is that "he's
funny and warm. He makes Lana laugh, and they enjoy each other's
company." It's certainly far more of a traditional "teen"
relationship than Lana had with Clark, who, even when he knew that
he was about to lose her when she went to France, did not share his
secrets. "It's not as complicated a relationship with Jason. He's
not as intense or as burdened by his destiny as Clark is. She and
Jason have a lot of fun with each other, and she finds him really
Although she regularly points out that she doesn't know what the
producers and writers have in mind, Kreuk thinks that Clark will
always be someone special to Lana, "but I don't think they'll get
back into a relationship. I think the time for that has passed."
After all, Lana does have other things on her mind. "She's more
concerned about this mysterious tattoo that she's got on her back,
and that's why she's come back to Smallville!" she points out.
After three years where Lana was on the periphery of the 'arc'
portions of the Smallville stories, this season the investigations
she starts making into her tattoo put her right in the middle of the
ongoing portion of the story. "I haven't been asking the producers
for that," Kreuk admits, "but I think it will be really great this
season for me to be involved. I haven't yet had a chance to be in
the arc over the past three years, and I think it will be a lot of
fun. Lets see what happens when Lana's involved in the grander
scheme of things!"
Kreuk is looking forward to the opportunity to see Lana "trying to
figure everything out, and explore these new sides of herself. She's
been defined by her relationships [with Clark, Whitney and Adam
Knight] before," Kreuk explains, "but she's growing as an individual
now. I hope this season she will be able to continue to grow and be
seen as an individual, and that people don't just define her by how
she is with Clark."
Kreuk is delighted by the changes, because they alter the dynamic
for her as an actor, and give her far more to play with. "It gives
me the opportunity to have her be her own self," she
emphasizes. "She can be thinking about things other than how she is
with Clark, how she wants to make Clark happy, how can she be there
for him? How can she work with him? Her outlook is much greater than
Kreuk laughs out loud at the idea that she might know what the
future holds for Lana with regard to Clark's Kryptonian heritage. "I
have absolutely NO idea if Lana will learn the secret at all or
not," she admits. "I just don't know -- I think that depending on
what she learns during her investigations, she may know by the end
of the year."
In the comic books, Clark does share his secret with Lana
eventually, and given her increased maturity this year, maybe it
might now be appropriate for Smallville's Lana to learn the
secret. "I think that as the season goes on, she's going to find out
stuff about Clark," Kreuk agrees. "And I think that she's far more
likely to be able to accept it, and deal with it as she is now,
rather than as she was last year, where she was totally oblivious to
any odd goings-on, except for in Smallville, where there were odd
whackos who attacked her and tried to kill her. I think with that
extra awareness, that would make her much more understanding and
Kreuk also laughs at the idea that there might be some follow up to
the embrace shared by Lex and Lana at the airport during "Covenant".
She agrees that the relationship between the two is complicated,
partly because Lana doesn't always necessarily understand Lex's
motivations. "She really does care about him a lot," she points
out. "I think as things have gone along, there's been a bit of a
sexual chemistry between them, but I don't think we're going to see
that actualized in any way this season -- although you never know!"
One of the big shakeups this year has been the introduction of Erica
Durance as Clark's future wife, Lois Lane. Although there is
obviously the potential for conflict between the past and future
loves of Clark's life, Kreuk notes that at the moment, "I don't
think she really cares that much about Lois. They get along -- they
accept each other. But Lana's not really in scenes with her that
often -- she's not really involved that much with the high school
stuff this year."
With everything for the new season buzzing around in her head,
understandably the events of the third season are becoming ancient
history to Kreuk. But the one episode that springs to mind when she
thinks of hightlights was "Relic," in which she had the chance to
play not just Lana in the 21st century, but step back 40 years, don
a wig and makeup, and bring a very different character back to
life. "Relic was a lot of fun for me to do last year," she
recalls. "I had a great time -- it's always fun to get to play a
different character. Louise was awesome -- totally different and
rebellious. She was unabashedly after success, stardom and fame.
It's always fun to work on a sci-fi show because I like the
opportunity in episodes to play other characters. Hopefully, I'll
get a chance to play other characters again this season."
Hope you guys enjoyed reading these excerpts. The most exciting part
for me is that Kristin thinks Lana may know Clark's secret by the
end of this season!
Playing Lana Lang in Smallville, Kristin Kreuk gets into her fair-
share of scrapes. But, if Clark ever failed to show, kick-boxing
Kristin tells MKP she'd have no trouble holding her own
What attracted you to the part of Lana?
Actually I didn't particularly love the character at first. She was
the cheerleader and popular - she just didn't have that much. But
after reading the script and finding out more about her, she was
also someone who had overcome so much. She was strong, she didn't
put up with bulls**t, and that really came through. In our second
episode `Metamorphosis,' when she had her first scene with Lex
Luthor, she was so feisty. Over time those things have blossomed and
grown. She's not your typical cheerleader girl - she quit that
because she wanted to be something else. She has a business (the
coffee shop) and she's strong.
Your character seems to do a lot of butt-kicking. Do you do your own
I do most of my own stuff. But there's a scene in `Delete,' which is
with Chloe (Allison Mack). It's this huge, big action sequence so my
stunt double Kim did it. She's really great, a really good martial
What sort of training do you have to do?
Not a heck of a lot because it's pretty simple, basic stuff that
they just cut together. It's all a flash of the foot, a head
whipping here and there! So it doesn't have to look excellent from a
distance. I've got a dance background and a gymnastics background
and I've done a bit of karate. But because Tom (Welling) and Allison
(Mack) both train with this great kickboxer I started going. I used
to just go to the gym and bike and do my own thing because before I
couldn't bring myself to have a personal trainer. But I'm starting
to dance again - jazz and hip hop - so I do that to keep fit too.
How much has your life changed both personally and professionally
since working on this show for the last three years?
I've changed in certain ways as a person. I've been a lot more open
and secure and safe within myself but my life hasn't changed that
much. I love Vancouver where we film - it's where I grew up - so
luckily I feel at home. I have friends from my childhood and I've
made new ones. Professionally, I've got a lot of doors open to me
that I would never have had before. Everything's good.
Do you feel the same pressures that a lot of young actresses feel in
Hollywood - having to go to the right parties, be seen by the right
No, I don't feel like I'm one of them. I'm really happy that I'm not
expected to do that because I'm bad at it, really horrible at it.
Like being in schmoozey situations and having to pretend to be a
glamorous person. It's really good to be in Vancouver where I can
just be real and be myself and not have to pretend.
Both your parents are landscape architects, were they happy for you
to pursue the showbiz route?
Yeah, my family is very academic, so acting wasn't really ever
something that they pushed me to do. My mom wanted me to dance but
really it was all about getting a good job, a good education, making
enough money to get a degree and go to university. But they were
wonderful and supportive of me even when I decided I was going to do
this. They would have been happy no matter what I was doing, as long
as I was happy.
How has the show affected your private life?
I work less than I play so I have a lot of free time - I have more
of a life than I do a job, which is wonderful. But my private life
is so simple - just reading and talking, watching movies, walking
and drinking coffee. That's my life.
You got up close and personal with Matt Damon for your role in
Eurotrip. How was that?
Fun. He lipsank and I danced and we made out. That was it. We had to
do a fair amount of takes but it was just great. Luckily I didn't
get nervous, I'm pretty good at distancing myself. He was really
sweet: a really smart, funny guy.
What does the future hold?
I don't know what's going to happen when the show's over. I have no
burning ambitions toward anything except for finding new experiences
in my life and becoming a whole, full person that I really like to
be with. Because in the end, you're with yourself the most! My
ambitions really lie in travelling and seeing the world. And writing
a good story one day!
French teens keen on Kristin Kreuk
The star of Smallville is much better known to young French viewers
as Laurel Yeung on the Vancouver-shot Edgemont
Kristin Kreuk may be a big star in North America with her role as
Clark Kent's gal pal, Lana Lang, in the WB's hit Smallville, but in
France, she's revered as Laurel Yeung on the Vancouver-shot teen
In fact, 51 per cent of 18-to-24-year-olds in that country are
hooked (it beats Friends in the ratings) and spend copious hours on-
line speculating about the the lives and loves of Edgemont's
Edgemont is where it all started for Kreuk -- in the bowels of the
cavernous CBC studios in downtown Vancouver -- after she was chosen
from scores of teen girls recruited from local high schools by the
Now, five years later, Kreuk, 21, has been doing double duty in the
cast of Smallville for its first three seasons (with at least four
more to go).
But now Edgemont, in spite of success in Europe, half a million
viewers in English-speaking Canada and about to go on the air in
Quebec, is wrapping for good.
Just before the holidays last month, I met up with Kreuk in the
labyrinthine halls of the CBC as she shot her final scenes for the
She ushered me in to her dressing room (which, coincidentally, was
my dressing room in another era, when Terry David Mulligan and I
were hosts of a CBC TV nostalgia series; but that's another story)
to talk about her life, so far.
No wonder she's a Neutrogena girl -- what a complexion, what
gorgeous eyes, a pleasing combination of her heritage (a Chinese
mother and Dutch father, both local landscape architects).
Kreuk cringes, recalling the Edgemont tryout.
Producers had called several Vancouver high schools looking for
talented teens and although Kreuk had spent some time at Vancouver
Youth Theatre and Arts Umbrella and had done some musical theatre in
high school, it was her first formal audition.
"Ooh," she sighs at the memory, "I remember going for the audition
and I didn't tell very many people about it because I was like, 'I'm
not going to get it.' So, I went to the bathroom to change 'cause I
thought I should wear something nice to an audition, even though I
had no nice clothes, because I'm me and I don't -- or I didn't -- I
do now," she chuckles. "And my friend came in and she was
like, 'What are you doing, where are you going?', and I'm like, 'Un-
oh. I'm going to an audition.' "
Amazingly, Kreuk doesn't actually remember hearing that she had the
"That's really funny, you'd think I would. I remember everything
around it, but I don't remember that moment."
But she does recall meeting with executive Michael Chechik and
talking about the show.
"And I was like, 'Oh my god, this is so weird,' " she says, her
voice rising. "I didn't know what I was doing."
"My very first interview, sitting down and doing it, and I didn't
know what the hell was going on. Oh, and I was so, so closed off.
And I didn't talk to anybody and I was so scared," she
whispers, "and just over these past five years, I've found a way to
do this, and I'm hopefully a better actor than I used to be. It's
crazy. It blows me away."
Shooting starring roles in two shows at the same time could lead to
major fatigue but, luckily, while Smallville shoots weekdays from
mid-July to mid-April, Kreuk is able to film her role on Edgemont in
six 12-hour days (Sundays) each fall.
"You're out by 7:30 and you still have an evening," she says
cheerfully. "But you're working on the other show, and you just get
So, I tease, is she sad, or secretly relieved to be wrapping this
A deep laugh follows.
"I'm ready to move on, but I'm kind of torn. I love this character,
and I think that's where a lot of it comes from. I like her a lot --
she's been psychotic this year!"
And French teens are eating up the angst.
"I was in Monaco doing publicity at the television festival for
Smallville and everyone asked me about Edgemont, as well," Kruek
said. "It's just as big as a lot of the shows out there. It's pretty
amazing. I was totally shocked. I'm like, 'Wow!' "
In Europe people care a lot more about the characters, she says.
"It's really interesting to see. I think in North America we're a
lot more about, 'Blow things up!' " she hoots, smacking her fists
Originally, because of her Edgemont contract, it was doubtful that
she'd be able to take on the Smallville role.
"And then it all worked out. Thank goodness. That would have changed
my life," she laughs.
"I've changed so much," she shrugs, adding, "It's not that I've
changed necessarily, but I've found parts of myself that I didn't
really know were there. And the first year, when I think back, I'm
like 'Holy ----!' "
Often, finding the kind of professional and financial success that
Kreuk has experienced so early in life can be damaging.
"You have to keep grounded, and I think the fact that I'm in
Vancouver makes a huge difference. And I have great friends and a
great family. And I'm not surrounded by the business. That makes all
the difference in the world, 'cause it's so easy to get caught up in
it. If you were living in L.A., it'd be like 'Bull----, bull----,
bull---- ... you're this, you're that, you're wonderful, get caught
up in this tornado, get caught up, get caught up, get caught up,"
she chimes. "And the minute it's all gone, you fall and you've got
no one to catch you because you let yourself get swept away, when
it's all 'Pouff!' " she throws up her hands, "and it's all made up
and none of it's grounded or real."
Even in her short time in showbiz, Kreuk has seen the dark side of
"Kind of sad, in this business, when you think you have to not trust
anybody. You go into it, you meet people, and you can't trust them
until they prove themselves to you.
"And as long as you accept that ... The minute you're not hot
anymore, people are just going to go, 'Okay, bye!', and if you're
not ready for that, then you're going to get hurt and screwed up."
(Gary Coleman, Corey Feldman, Todd Bridges, are you listening?)
"Because you don't know who you are at 16 or 17. You still don't
know who you are at 20 years old," she giggles. (Her birthday,
another thing we share, is a few days later.)
In spite of stardom, Kreuk says, her personal life is pretty much
the same as it was. She still sees old friends from school, and
others she connected with in gymnastics.
"I've made some new friends that are actors, but not very many. I
try to keep my world as stable as I can. My friends are awesome --
they've done amazing things with their lives and they've come so far
and I'm so proud of them. And I can live through them," she jokes.
"I hear their stories and people are off in India, travelling, going
on spiritual journeys and people are working at the UN and I have
another friend who's gone to college. It's just so cool to watch
these people, so cool to watch these people grow.
"I look at my life sometimes and go, 'I live such a strange, odd,
LIFE!,' " she says, doubling over in laughter.