“Towards the end of that, I ended up getting Smallville and that was it,” Welling told Buzz Feed News one recent Saturday afternoon at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. “From an emotional standpoint, I was basically cut off from everyone.” In order to emotionally endure and professionally thrive, he said, “I just put my head in a hole and I basically blocked everybody and everything out.”It was a coping mechanism that served him well during his years spent playing high school sports.“Then I was in Vancouver for 10 years.” The reality of carrying a show on his (admittedly inexperienced) shoulders was much more than Welling ever could have anticipated. But what worked on the field, in retrospect, was exactly the wrong way to go about protecting himself on Smallville, Welling realized in retrospect.And now Welling is stepping into the real, albeit melodramatic, lives of the characters in The Choice, adapted from a novel by Nicholas Sparks, who wrote The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, and more than 20 other romantic tearjerkers.
“There's just so many unknowns.”If Section 13 does go to series, the Tom Welling who would return to television is a much different Tom Welling than the one who first met viewers in September 2001. When filming wrapped on Smallville, he retreated to his beach house on the East Coast where he spent his annual summer hiatuses, in an effort to recalibrate. “I needed to figure out what was going on in my head a little bit.There was some adjusting that I needed to get back into real life and to make up for lost time as well.But that mistake ended up informing his performance in an unexpected way.“There was a lot of growing up I needed to do on that show. D., Heroes Reborn, Gotham, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil currently dominating the landscape.“It's a compliment,” Welling said, thinking about the extensive superhero offerings on TV now.“I felt like I was basically retired and it sort of woke me up.