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Justin Hartley on Smallville’s 300-Flavored Fight to the Death

Justin Hartley shared with TV Line how he got several super assists in his debut behind the camera and IDs the choice keepsake he wasn’t able to grab after shooting the series finale.

What surprised you most about your directing experience?

Tom was really great in letting me do a couple of things with him, and as a result there are moments where Smallville fans are going to go, “Whoa!” I was like, “Hey, dude, will you wear this? Can I get you to do this?” And he did everything. I owe him a lot. But that’s just how all those people are – the grips, the prop guys making sure the blood was perfect, everyone making sure that I would be seen in the best light I could be seen in. It was touching, really.

The promos suggest a 300-style look to the action sequences. Was that something you had in mind, or did it come from the producers?

I’m glad that you saw that because it is something I had in mind. We had this unbelievable DP with a really great eye, so I knew I was in good hands there, but because of the budget we came up short on the whole weapons thing. I’m sitting there going, “We have a gladiator episode, what are we supposed to do, step into the arena and argue with each other? ” So one of the guys had this brilliant idea. [The 2006 Zack Snyder film] 300 was a Warner Bros. production, and we got aton of stuff from them to use — the masks, the armor…. And then our wardrobe lady built this other stuff out of, like, hockey gear. It turned into something a lot bigger than it was originally.

What keepsake did you grab before leaving Smallville for good?

You mean, did I steal anything?

“Steal” is a strong word. Thought maybe you’d grab the random bow, arrow….

No, no…. What I wanted was to take the one Green Arrow suit that I wore and auction it off for charity, but I think that’s been put in an archive. I took a bunch of production stills, and I got a really great gift from the producers after directing “Dominion” – it’s like a movie slate in a frame. But no, I didn’t really take much.

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