Champion of Truth: Elizabeth Tulloch on Lois Lane’s Pursuit of Justice

Comic News

Lois Lane may not have super-strength, heat vision or the ability to fly, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have powers. She can’t stop bullets with the palm of her hand or freeze a raging river with her breath, but she can change dangerous perspectives, bring wrongdoing to light or topple governments with the stroke of a keyboard. She can root out corruption, hold truth to power and ensure unheard or silenced voices get their moment behind the microphone. When all things are considered, Lois Lane may just be one of DC’s most powerful characters—and certainly one of our most important.

There’s a reason the iconic reporter shares title billing in The CW’s Superman & Lois, the recently debuted new superhero series that offers a new vision of the two Golden Age characters. While the series gives fans plenty of large-scale action featuring the Man of Steel, Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane gets just as much screen time and arguably shakes up the comic book status quo even more than Clark does—going so far as to quit her longtime job at the Daily Planet in favor of staying independent with a new gig at Smallville’s local paper.

Why would she do that? Turns out it’s all in pursuit of the truth—something that Lois has devoted her very life to and that’s under deep assault today in the real world. In a nod to that, following the truth on Superman & Lois is about to make Lois unpopular among some of her new neighbors, but as actress Elizabeth Tulloch made clear when we recently spoke with her about the series, pursuing anything else just isn’t an option with the beloved reporter.

For the past few years, I’ve been telling people that I think Lois Lane may be DC’s single most important character. How do you see her in light of everything that’s happened with regards to the truth and media these past few years?

I think she’s hugely important. This is somebody who makes every decision in her life based on the pursuit of truth and justice. As we all know, the profession of journalism itself has been under siege for the past two years. The media’s been under siege—in some areas rightly so. But Lois is all about truth and using her words to save the world. She very much embodies the aphorism of “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I think that’s part of why Lois has been such a compelling character for decades. She is unapologetic and uncompromising about her pursuit of truth. She’s not doing this for glory or more Pulitzers. She’s doing it because she believes this is how you achieve justice.

We’re just starting to see Lois put her investigative skills to work. Can we expect to see more of that going forward?

I think that’s the idea, but part of what will be different about this show is you’re seeing Lois having to work without the resources or the platform of the Daily Planet. Because her archnemesis is this billionaire corporate figure who’s literally rewriting and redacting her words, she quits. So now you’re going to see her trying to do investigations on her own. Not only on her own, but she’s not in Metropolis anymore either. She’s a little bit isolated being based out of Smallville.

Do you think all that makes her even more driven and determined to expose the truth?

She’s always going to be determined to expose the truth, even if it’s a truth that she might not have been looking for. For example, I think Lois has a bit of a wakeup call, and there’s certainly a bit of a learning curve for her throughout this season, with coming to terms with the fact that she’s an outsider in Smallville and that these people don’t trust her. She’s used to people trusting her because she’s a respected journalist, so she comes to Smallville assuming that the residents of this town, who she is fighting for, will see what she is doing is right and has their best interests in mind. But really, they’re viewing her as an outsider who doesn’t understand them. From their point of view, she doesn’t understand why they’ve been struggling so much. We’re not exactly seeing a very bright, lively, thriving version of Smallville. We’re seeing a Smallville that’s a bit of a ghost town. Jobs have dried up and businesses have shuttered.

I think that’s part of why the show looks so beautiful. The colors are very muted. We shoot widescreen—that’s the aspect ratio we shoot in and it sort of feels a little more cinematic. I like that you’re seeing this sort of crusty town.

Lois may be the person whose life is shaken up the most by her family’s move to Smallville. How do you think she feels about that?

I think that Lois and Clark are both at the point where they’re realizing that they need to make some changes. They’re realizing that they’ve both been prioritizing their respective careers and the kids have been suffering as a result. The boys need more attention than they’ve necessarily been getting. Once Lois and Clark start to piece together that one of their sons has powers, they start thinking that it also might just be safer for him. He can hurt fewer people out in Smallville than in Metropolis, and it might be easier for him to hone his skills or figure out what his skills even are in a more isolated area.

Lois is fast paced. She’s a city girl, so she is going to feel a bit like a fish out of water. She has something of a wakeup call too where she realizes that she does need to get to know these people better. She can’t be making assumptions about them. It’s arrogant of her to assume that what she thinks they need is what they need.

I was thinking that General Lane’s view of his son-in-law is almost completely opposite than that of most fathers. Typically, if they have a daughter, they want her husband to always put her first, but the general seems to want Clark to prioritize his responsibilities as Superman. What does that do to Lois’s relationship with her father?

Independent of Superman, Lois has some resentment for General Lane period because she herself was neglected by him. He was absent. This is who he is. He puts his career first. So, he wants Superman to put his career first, even above family. So, that is a huge source of tension that you’ll see between Lois and General Lane throughout the season. There’s certainly a lot of direct allusions to her feeling like he just wasn’t there for her, and he’s trying to pop up now whenever he needs something from them Superman-related.

There are absolutely some juicy, dramatic scenes with Lois and Clark involving General Lane, and it ends up feeling like they’re really at odds.

I found it really interesting, and probably true to life, that when Jordan and Jonathan find out that their dad is Superman, Jordan gets angry at Lois. I have to wonder, do you think co-parenting with one of the world’s greatest superheroes makes things more emotionally difficult for a regular person like Lois?

I feel like if anybody gets him, it’s her. So, in that respect, no. I think part of the conflict in the beginning of this season is that they parent differently and Lois trusts them more.

Maybe I shouldn’t say she trusts them more. She wants them to know (that Clark is Superman). Lois feels like it’s doing more damage than good keeping this secret from them because Jordan and Jonathan have this innate sense that something is being hidden from them. So, there’s a lot of conflict with Lois and Clark, which I think is cool. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to watch a picture-perfect couple. Where they have conflict is mainly in how they parent. She feels like they can be trusted with this information and he doesn’t, and we kind of get forced into making that decision because of what happens in the barn in the premiere.

And that’s not it.  I just read episode 7 and there’s further conflict down the road with this. I think that’s part of what’s so compelling about this storyline with one of the kids having powers and one of them not. What level of involvement do we get one or both of them in? How much are we going to involve them in the truth?

On a similar note, do you think the fact that Jonathan seems like he doesn’t have any superpowers could bring him closer to his mother? Episode 2 seemed to suggest this might be the case.

Of the four family members, Jonathan and Lois feel like they’re more of the city people. They miss Metropolis the most. There’s a small scene of recognition between the two of them about just how much they’re sacrificing, and they’re really doing it for Jordan. They gave up their lives for this because they love him. I think that’s part of why the boys’ relationship has been written in such an interesting way, and the actors, Alex Garfin and Jordan Elsass, have done a tremendous job with it. You’re not seeing the stereotypical relationship with siblings fighting all the time. They fight, for sure, and they’re very different, but they love each other and protect each other. I think it’s very beautiful to see on screen.

I asked Tyler this, but I’d love to get your thoughts as well. Do you think there is a Superman without Lois Lane?

Both of these characters are dynamic, interesting and compelling enough to stand on their own. Part of why I think they’ve remained such an iconic duo for as long as they have is their relationship, which is really built on a foundation of respect, admiration and understanding. I feel like she gets him more than anybody else in the world does, and vice versa. Even before she knew that Clark was Superman, she’s just intuitive enough to know that there was something about him that she just gets. That’s how Tyler and I have chosen to play them in this version. They really love each other and there’s a sort of unspoken connection between the two of them. We certainly hope that that’s communicated on screen.

I’m guessing a lot of fans don’t realize this, but your actual husband just voiced Batman in the most recent DC animated movie making you probably the only person in history who’s “married” to both Batman and Superman. What’s that like?

I feel very, very lucky. I do. I joke all the time that I’m married to Superman and Batman. I see comments asking how I got so lucky. People will be like, “Oh, David Giuntoli’s so hot. Tyler Hoechlin’s so hot.” And I’m just, “I don’t know. I’m just a lucky girl.”

It’s fun. Our show’s Instagram handle interviewed Tyler, me, Alex and Jordan about what other superheroes you want to see on the show, and I mentioned that I wanted to see Melissa Benoist come back in some capacity and Javicia Leslie, who’s playing Batwoman. But a lot of the guys were saying Batman, and so I commented on the page with something like, “Hint hint… David’s actually been voicing Batman. Just sayin’…”

Superman & Lois airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more on Smallville’s new power couple? Check out our official Superman & Lois show page for all the latest.

Do you think Lois should have left the Daily Planet? Which of the Kent boys is your personal favorite? And is your mind still blown from last week’s alternate Earth reveal?! Let us know all your Superman & Lois thoughts over in the DC Community!

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