DALLAS, Texas - The following happens to every member of the media, eventually, and it is no fun. In the course of an interview, you screw up something big - like, you confuse the person you are interviewing with someone else.
When interviewing actor Tom Welling, who has a supporting role in the new movie Draft Day, which opens April, 11, I goofed. Complete innocent, and honest, error but ... This is whe Uncomfortable Questions goes wrong.
Did you like modeling? No. Not really. Like, I would do a shoot and then go travel around Europe for two weeks and call back (asking), 'OK. Can I work again?' But I really didn't like it because it's not very challenging.
Football fan? I grew up playing sports, not watching them, and because so many of my friends are football fans I watch. I actually watch a lot of Cowboys games because of my friends.
When you were called about the role were you hesistant at all? I was all in. It was Kevin Costner, Ivan Reitman. It was football, and it's cool to play a quarterback. When I saw the movie, I thought it jelled together.
Did you have any trepidation over playing a quarterback when you don't play football? One of my questions was, 'Do I have to throw the ball?' and, "Is anyone going to hit me?'
[ AT THIS POINT IN THE INTERVIEW I PROCEED TO CONFUSE TOM WELLING'S CHARACTER FOR JOSH PENCE'S CHARACTER, BOTH OF WHICH ARE QUARTERBACKS IN THE MOVIE. ]
But you throw the touchdown? Not really.
[ I CONTINUE DIGGING MY OWN GRAVE, BUT HE IS TRYING TO BE NICE ]
In the movie, I don't want to say you are the bad guy but kinda of (blank) bag. OK
[ THIS IS UNCOMFORTABLE TO TRANSCRIBE AND LISTEN TO AGAIN ]
You were convincing - I thought your teammates didn't like you. Uh-huh. ... I think you might have me confused with the younger quarterback. I play the older quarterback.
Oh my God - you were the Browns quarterback. How could I screw that up? You came in here with a full head of hair, like the kid in the movie, but in the movie you had a buzz cut.
I'm sorry. That's awful. I should be fired. No, no - that's fine. I did talk to guys about being a quarterback when you don't have measurables on paper. Kevin Costner and I talked about that. I loved the way it's written and how my character deals with it in the film. It is not easy, these guys have a younger, faster guy behind them at all times trying to take their job.
Similarities between acting and professional sports? Absolutely.
So you are not old. In football I am.
But in acting, where youth is worshipped, do you feel the pressure of a younger guy wanting your roles? Not so much for guys. I do think it's harder for women. For guys, if you look between 32 and 42, you can work the most.
So you are in your prime? I'd like to think so, but I'll probably say that when I am 50. The simarities are the gypsy lifestyle. Once you have a job you don't know if you are going to get the next one.
Would you tell an 18 or 20-year old to enter your business? It's tough for me because I never felt like I could do anything better. And someone feels that way, do it. I got really lucky quickly with Smallville.
Did you take it for granted? At the end of each season, the show is cancelled. They make you wait a month. For years we were the most successful show on the network. They still make you wait for six weeks.
Having had Smallville and now this, do you feel secure or is it an illusion? It's a complete illusion. It doesn't exit.
Being in a movie like this where there are so many established names is it intimidating? I love it. I think it's great. I wanted to be in a scene with Costner to see what it felt like. It was fantastic.
Having made the movie, are you more or less of a fan of the NFL? I'm more into it now. Some of the things we talked about in the film, some of the teams have different systems and the difference in those systems. So now I watch a game and look at those systems.
The guy you play - have you ever been that guy - where someone wants your job? Yeah. In my industry, there is always someone who wants your job.
As a model who entered acting, is it an obstable because people see just a pretty face? I think the way I looked helped me with Smallville; being similar to what they thought Clark Kent looked like. My height has never helped. I'm almost 6-3. People say, 'Oh, you're too tall.' Maybe it's a nice way of saying I'm no good.
In Smallville, I was new to the industry but I was fortunate enough to be cast as a character who was new to himself. So I as I learned, he learned.
Do you still find people know you as Smallville? I get that a lot. It's fun for me when people say, 'Charlie Baker', which is the role I played in Cheaper By the Dozen. I'm like, "Oh - hi!' That's fun.
I read a quote you said where you don't like doing any interviews? It's not hating interviews. It's talking about the project, or the work, it's when it goes into personal questions.
What's your favorite food? No, I've been in interviews where people ask questions that are none of their business. We did a Rolling Stone interview, in the first or second year of Smallville, and the guy said, 'When was the first time you had sex?'
How is that relevant? Exactly. Interviews, this, I'm having fun. Traveling the country or whatever.
That has to be the most awkward question you've ever been asked? I think it was more awkward for him. I asked, 'Does anyone ever answer that question?'
At least he knew what role you were in the movie. That's true. No, really, it's OK.
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