Tom Welling

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Tom Welling
Tom Welling Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Welling at the San Diego Comic-Con International in 2010.
Born Thomas John Patrick Welling
(1977-04-26) April 26, 1977 (age 36)[1]
Putnam Valley, New York, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, producer, model
Years active 2000–present
Spouse(s) Jamie A. White (m. 2002; div. 2013)[2]

Thomas John Patrick "Tom" Welling (born April 26, 1977), is an American actor, director, producer and model best known for his portrayal of Clark Kent in the WB/CW series Smallville.

A high-school athlete, Welling initially worked in construction and, in 1998, he successfully modeled men's clothing for several popular brands. In 2000, he made a successful transition to television. He has been nominated for and received several awards for his portrayal of Clark Kent. He also had a recurring role in Judging Amy. He has also been involved behind the camera as an executive producer and a director. His films include Cheaper by the Dozen, its sequel, the 2005 remake of The Fog, Parkland and Draft Day.

Early life[edit]

Welling was born in the lower Hudson Valley on April 26, 1977.[1][3] His family moved frequently, making stops in Wisconsin, Delaware, and Michigan.[3] Welling attended Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan, where he started acting in plays, but then switched into sports. Welling played baseball and soccer, but his favorite sport is basketball.[3] Welling is one of four children with two older sisters, Rebecca and Jamie.[4] His younger brother, Mark Welling, is also an actor.[1]

Career[edit]

Originally a construction worker, Welling was discovered in 1998 at a party in Nantucket by a catalog camera scout who suggested he try modeling.[1] Welling modeled for Louisa Modeling Agency until 2000,[3] when he relocated to Los Angeles. There he modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Calvin Klein while pursuing an acting career.[1] In 2000, Welling appeared in the video for Angela Via's single, "Picture Perfect", playing Vía's love interest. Welling has stated that he did not like modeling and that he was not good at it because it was all on the outside or from an external point of view. He pursued acting because he wanted to express a range of emotions.[4] Welling auditioned to play the character Tag Jones on Friends, but was not cast. In his first major acting role, Welling portrayed karate teacher Rob Meltzer, a.k.a. "Karate Rob", a younger love interest of Amy Brenneman's character on the CBS series Judging Amy, which aired in 2001. Welling was originally signed for three episodes; after receiving enthusiastic fan reviews, the producers kept him for three more.[3] Welling also had a small role in UPN's Special Unit 2, and he appeared in the pilot episode of the FOX sitcom Undeclared.[3]

Smallville[edit]

Welling with Allison Mack, Sam Jones III, and band Remy Zero in Smallville episode "Tempest".

Welling was cast in the television series Smallville after a nationwide search for an actor to play Clark Kent. In an interview with a teen magazine, Welling spoke about the day he auditioned for the role: "I was on my way back from the Warner Bros. studio, and I stopped in a gas station to call my manager and tell him how it went. I called and got him on the phone and he said, 'Can you hold on a second?' Next thing I know, there are literally seven people on the other line and almost in unison they say, 'Tom, you got it!'"[3] The pilot aired in October 2001 and became the highest-rated debut for The WB, with 8.4 million viewers.[5] Welling told TV Guide that he turned down the lead role twice, but after reading the script, decided to take the job. Like Christopher Reeve, he was not a Superman fan prior to being cast as Clark Kent. In fact, he said, he continues to not read Superman comics: "I made a conscious decision to stay away from that material. We're doing something different at a time before all that, I don't want that to affect what I'm doing, even subconsciously."[6] He did get the chance to meet two previous Superman actors: Christopher Reeve, who appeared in season 2: episode 17 titled "Rosetta", and Dean Cain, who appeared in season 7: episode 4 titled "Cure".[7]

Welling was named one of People magazine’s "Breakthrough Stars of 2001", and also won the Teen Choice Award as "Choice Breakout Star (Male)" in 2002 for his role as Clark Kent.[8] Following the third season, Welling was interviewed by Smallville Magazine and stated that if he could play one character on the show that was not Clark Kent, it would be Lex Luthor; "Lex Luthor! I wouldn’t mind having my head shaved – as an actor, [it is the ultimate,] getting to play the complete opposite of your character."[9]

In 2004 Welling was approached about starring in the big screen adaptation of Superman when director Brett Ratner was attached to project. Comic book artist Alex Ross even did two sketches of Welling as the "Man of Steel" to see what the actor would look like in the famous costume.[10] In August 2009, Welling won another Teen Choice Award as "Choice TV Actor (Action Adventure)" for Smallville.[11]

Film[edit]

In December 2003, Welling played Charlie Baker, the oldest son and second oldest in the Baker family which had 12 children in the film Cheaper by the Dozen opposite Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, which is a remake of the 1950 movie starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy, based on the 1948 book by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth.[8] Welling talked about why he was interested in the project in an interview with Paul Fischer: "The top three reasons I decided to do this film were, one, Steve Martin, two, Steve Martin and three, Steve Martin. That was the number one draw for me. Then, after reading the script, I really liked this character, Charlie. I liked what he went through, what he had to go through, and I felt I understood where he was coming from. And I just wanted to be a part of it."[4] Welling had always been a fan of Steve Martin's and stated that he "absolutely loved" working with him.[4]

In 2005, Welling appeared in The Fog, a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 film of the same name, as Nick Castle (a character originally played by Tom Atkins).[12] At the same time The Fog was in production, Welling was still working on the last few episodes of the fourth season of Smallville. The same year, he reprised his role as Charlie Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

In 2013, Welling joined the all-star cast of Peter Landesman's film Parkland, based on the book Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by author Vincent Bugliosi. The story centers on the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.[13]

Welling has also joined Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella and Denis Leary in Ivan Reitman's new film, Draft Day which has started production. In the movie, the general manager (Costner) of a football team tries to trade for the first pick in the annual draft organized by the NFL for choosing promising college players. Welling will play a veteran quarterback whose career is at a crossroads.

Production[edit]

For Smallville's ninth season, Welling served as a co-executive producer.[8] He returned as Clark Kent for the show's tenth and final season in Fall 2010 and has become a full executive producer, as credited in a May 20, 2010 press release by the CW.[14]

Welling still models occasionally and appeared in the May 2008 issue of Vogue, the so-called Superhero Issue.[15]

Welling served as an executive producer on Hellcats, a television series based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick.[16][17] The series first aired on The CW beginning in Fall 2010,[14] and was canceled on May 17, 2011.

Welling is expected to star in a production by Rob Thomas Productions, in association with Warner Horizon Television, called Blanco County. He will serve as executive producer for this project. Currently, this project is not picked up for series and is rather in development stages.

Directing[edit]

Welling made his directorial debut in 2006, with Smallville, season 5: episode 18 titled "Fragile". He also directed season 6: episode 10 titled "Hydro", the show's 150th episode which was season 7: episode 18 titled "Apocalypse", season 8: episode 21 titled "Injustice", and the second part of the TV movie Absolute Justice season 9: episode 11 titled "Legends". Later, he directed two episodes of Smallville's tenth and final season, episode 9 titled "Patriot" and episode 18 titled "Booster".

Personal life[edit]

On July 5, 2002, Welling married model Jamie White[1] in Martha's Vineyard with Welling's friends and then-current Smallville co-stars Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum in attendance.[18] Welling and White resided in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,[4] but returned to Los Angeles in March 2011. On October 17, 2013, White filed for divorce from Welling, citing "irreconcilable differences".[19]

Welling has stated in YM that he dislikes interviews. He said, "I don't want to be a celebrity for the sake of being a celebrity. I want to work and then go home and live in private."[20]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Cheaper by the Dozen Charlie Baker Nominated – Teen Choice Award Choice Breakout Movie Star, Male
2005 Fog, TheThe Fog Nicholas "Nick" Castle
2005 Cheaper by the Dozen 2 Charlie Baker
2013 Parkland Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman
2014 Draft Day Brian Drew
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Judging Amy Rob Meltzer Recurring (Season 2); 6 episodes
2001 Special Unit 2 Male victim Episode: "The Depths"
2001 Undeclared Tom Episode: "Prototype"
2001–2011 Smallville Clark Kent / Bizarro / Superman Lead role, 218 episodes
Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actor: Action Adventure (2009)
Teen Choice Award TV Choice Breakout Star, Male (2002)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actor: Fantasy/Sci-Fi (2010-2011)
Nominated – Scream Awards Best Superhero (2010-2011)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award Choice TV Actor: Action Adventure (2003-2008)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award TV Choice Chemistry (shared w/Kristin Kreuk) (2006)
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television (2002-2006)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award TV Choice Actor, Drama (2002, 2005)
List of director and producer credits
Year Title Notes
2006–2011 Smallville Director (7 episodes; "Fragile", "Hydro", "Apocalypse", "Injustice", "Absolute Justice", "Patriot", "Booster")
2009–2010 Smallville Co-executive producer (22 episodes; Season 9)
2010–2011 Smallville Executive producer (22 episodes; Season 10)
2010–2011 Hellcats Executive producer (18 episodes; Season 1)
Music video
Year Title Artist Role
2000 "Picture Perfect" Angela Via Vía's love interest

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Tom Welling Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  2. ^ Tomwelling.Org - Tom Welling Fansource - About Tom - Biography
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Interview with Smallville's Tom Welling". Teen Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Paul Fischer Interviews Tom Welling". Filmmonthly.com. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  5. ^ "The WB Orders More 'Smallville'". tv.zap2it.com. 2001-10-24. Retrieved 2006-10-19. 
  6. ^ "Tom Welling Interview – Cheaper by the Dozen Movie and Smallville". Movies.about.com. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  7. ^ "Tom Welling Interview from SV Yearbook". KryptonSite. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  8. ^ a b c "Shows – Smallville – Cast – Tom Welling". The CW. Retrieved 2007-01-25. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Tom Welling Interview". Supermantv.net. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  10. ^ "Alex Ross Draws Tom Welling as Superman!". Alex Ross Art. 2004-04-16. Retrieved 2010-05-10. 
  11. ^ "Teen Choice Awards winners". USA Today. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  12. ^ Exclusive Interview: Tom Welling Talks About "The Fog" and "Smallville"
  13. ^ Coming Soon (Tom Welling Heads to Parkland)
  14. ^ a b "The CW Announces 2010–2011 Schedule". CWtv.com. May 20, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Tom Welling In Vogue Magazine Photoshoot". The Insider. April 30, 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-04. [dead link]
  16. ^ Michael Ausiello (February 2, 2010). "Pilot intel: CW orders Tom Welling-produced drama". Entertainment Weekly. 
  17. ^ "Hellcats (a.a.a. Cheer) (The CW)". The Futon Critic. February 2, 2010. 
  18. ^ Barron, James; Medina, Jennifer (2002-07-12). "Super Event for Superman". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  19. ^ "Smallville star Tom Welling and wife Jamie to divorce after ten years of marriage | Mail Online". London: Dailymail.co.uk. 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  20. ^ "Young Superman hates interviews". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 2003-12-26. Retrieved 2010-04-22. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dean Cain
Actor to portray Clark Kent
2001–2011
Succeeded by
Brandon Routh (2006)