It’s hard to believe that Clark Kent’s story as Superman on Smallville was only just beginning a decade ago when the show came to an end and Tom Welling's Clark was ready to become the Man of Steel. Of course, Welling isn't the only actor ever to play Superman, but the Smallville executive producers have explained why Tom Welling was the perfect Clark Kent.
In an oral history for the June 2011 issue of CBS’ Watch! Magazine republished by TVLine, David Nutter, director of the pilot episode of Smallville, knew almost instantly that he had found his Clark Kent in Tom Welling after a screen test he did with the future Lana Lang, Kristin Kreuk. During the scene, which would become a memorable one for fans over the years, Nutter realized Welling was perfect:
I knew Tom was the perfect guy when Clark runs into Lana Lang for the first time. Lana had a kryptonite necklace on her neck, so Clark tumbled onto the ground, dropping his books. I said to myself, 'That’s him.'
Watching ten seasons of Smallville, it’s not hard to tell why Tom Welling was chosen to be Clark Kent, since he is Clark Kent. He’s got the charm, the honesty, sensitivity, kindness, and more, as well as the looks. Executive producer Kelly Souders could see that Clark was Welling and Welling was Clark. And while there were some differences, there were obvious similarities between the two as well:
Tom is very down-to-earth and straightforward, and a lot of that honesty you see in Clark is Tom. Tom was not somebody who got into this because he wanted to be famous, and that really adds to him being Clark Kent. There are obviously some real differences between them, but there are definitely similarities.
Although fans said goodbye to Clark Kent, Lois Lane and the remainder of Smallville a decade ago, the famous couple appeared in the Arrowverse's “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event in 2019, with Tom Welling and Erica Durance reprising their roles. While the cameo provided some much-needed closure with the fans and provided insight on what Clark’s been up to since he first donned the Superman suit in the final seconds of the finale, it was a treat for fans to finally see him back on their televisions again after so long, and reiterate why Welling was so perfect as Clark as he seamlessly stepped back into the role with no trouble.