Superman actor Christopher Reeve refused to leave Smallville set

When Christopher Reeve made his inevitable cameo in Smallville, he was supposed to have been on-set for a few hours for health reasons, but didn't want to leave

Christopher Reeve in Smallville

Superman has had many iterations over the years – originating in the classic comics, of course and then there’s been movies and TV shows (both live-action and animated). Following on from the 1990s TV series starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher as Lois & Clark, the 2000s saw another take on the material – with a young, teenaged Clark (played by Tom Welling) in Smallville. And the most iconic of all Supermen – Christopher Reeve – had to have a cameo on the show.

Now, Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum (who played Lex Luthor) have started a podcast called Talkville, where they recap episodes of Smallville. And Welling recounted to Entertainment Weekly what happened when Reeve came to set.

According to Welling, Reeve — who played Dr. Virgil Swann, the scientist who first tells Clark that he hails from the planet Krypton — defied his personal nurse in order to spend as much time as he could on set. “He was only supposed to be there for three hours, but I think he stayed for like six and a half. He was like, ‘I don’t want to leave,'” Welling recalled.

Welling continued; “The idea was he would shoot all his coverage, then he was going to leave and I would shoot all my stuff with someone else. But he wanted to stay with me! It got to the point where his nurse said to him, ‘I’m going to call the police.’ He’s like, ‘on who?’ She’s like, ‘On you! You’re done, you can’t be here anymore!’ He just wanted to be there. It turned out great, and the story was fantastic.”

Superman has gone through even more changes since Smallville started airing, with Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill taking stabs at the role on the big screen. It looks as though the next big-screen iteration will be Black Superman, and there will be also be an unrelated HBO Max series. And there’s yet another TV series – Superman & Lois starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch.

While we wait to find out more about where the world of Supes is heading, check out our guide to the best Batman actors.