'Smallville': Tom Welling, Erica Durance, and castmates move past the finale

smallville-200-320.jpgIf it's hard for us to imagine Tom Welling not returning to the Vancouver set of "Smallville" this summer, we're sure that Welling himself is having quite a time making plans that don't involve Clark Kent. We're sure that after tonight's two-hour series finale, you're wondering what's next for your favorite "Smallville" actors - so here are your answers.

As of right now, Cassidy Freeman is the only "Smallville" regular who has booked a potential TV gig for the upcoming season, in A&E's "Longmire" alongside "Battlestar Galactica's" Katee Sackhoff.

"It's about a Sheriff in Wyoming, and I play the Sheriff's daughter," Freeman tells us. "She's very different from Tess. She's a bit younger, which is really fun, because I always felt like I was much younger than Tess in real life. I had to put on the heels with Tess, the mommy shoes. That Tess Mercer was very mature, with her makeup and her high heels. This is much more relaxed. The core of my character on the show is her relationship with her father, which I'm excited about, because it's a very different father/daughter relationship than what we saw with Tess and Lionel."

Meanwhile, co-star Justin Hartley is enjoying a little time off... kind of. Hartley has a film project in the works and has a few spec scripts out with writing partner Walter Wong, some of which have generated relatively significant interest. He told USA Weekend that he's interested in pursuing directing after directing a "Smallville" episode, "Dominion," this season. Until then, though, he's taking a well-deserved rest after the grueling pace of the last few episodes of the series... and he's getting acquainted with Twitter, as well. Yes, @HartleyJustin is really him.

We'll certainly miss Erica Durance as Lois Lane, but we're looking forward to following the rest of her career as she leaves the intrepid reporter behind. First up, Durance stars as a circus performer named Natalia in the upcoming family film, "Sophie," about a teen ballerina looking to rescue her pet elephant from the grueling circus life. She's also working on the Funny or Die helmed "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" alongside big names like Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and John C. Reilly, from the creators of " Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!"

Fan favorite Allison Mack recently finished her Off-Broadway run in "Apple Cove" before returning to Vancouver to shoot the final "Smallville" episode. Now based in New York, Mack tells TV Guide that she hopes to continue with theater work for a while before looking at on-screen projects. "I'm focusing on theater and spending a lot of time on developing myself and figuring out what I'm going to do with my life, because 10 years in one place is a really long time," she says. "But ultimately what I'd really like to do is to continue making projects that I believe in and that I'm passionate about."

Last but not least, of course, is our hero - in more ways than one. Welling's wife Jamie threw him an impressive surprise party to celebrate his unemployment when he returned home to LA after driving back from Vancouver, but unemployment may not exactly be the best word for it.

Currently, Welling is awaiting news about "Hellcats," the freshman series he executive produces for The CW, which is a bubble show that may or may not return next season. (We'll find out for sure at the May 19 Upfront presentation in NYC.) If it returns for the 2011-2012 season, Welling hopes to direct episodes.

Despite uncertainty, Welling has his fingers crossed for a pickup. "I think that would be the best idea in the world," he tells us. "They don't necessarily tell you before they pick you up, but as of right now, everything is looking as if it's going to go another season ... which is great. That show, to me, is so special. There's such an energy from the cast and from Kevin Murphy, who writes it [and created it]. When I go there, I just feel so proud."

Don't worry, though - he's not planning on staying behind the camera forever. "I hope to play many different characters in what I'd like to think would be a career in this business," he recently told a friend in a radio interview. We haven't got any doubts about that.


Photo/Video credit: WB