After I had my turn interviewing actor Dean Cain about Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and his other professional work, we called for audience questions, starting with one from a little boy dressed like Darth Vader.
Audience #1: What was your favorite episode of Lois & Clark you played in?
Dean: I wrote a couple episodes and I would like to say those were my favorites, but then I would be lying. I really did enjoy those very much, but I think my favorite episode, when I look back, was maybe the proposal. When Clark proposed to Lois, and it was sort of a cliffhanger at the end, and she says, “Who’s asking? Clark or Superman?”
Travis: It really was the best line in the whole series.
Dean: It really was. Thank you, Darth, for not choking me. [laughter] Robin? You have a question right, buddy? No?
Audience #2 (woman with boy dressed as Robin): He’s really shy. He’d like to know who’s your best friend superhero.
Dean: My best friend superhero? Well, it’s not Batman. I’ll tell you that right now. [laughter] Hard to say. I used to watch Super Friends when I was a kid. I thought Aquaman was pretty cool. But I don’t know who Superman’s best friend is. But right now? My best friend is Robin, okay?
Audience #3: I was wondering how hard it was to get into the mindset of Scott Peterson. Because it was creepy.
Dean: Scott Peterson. I played him in The Perfect Husband, which was an ironic title. You know, I actually turned that role down about three or four times, and they kept coming back to me. They kept handing me more each time, which was interesting but I really didn’t want to do it. I thought the role was good and I thought the film was well written, but I kept thinking, “Do I really want to be associated with this guy?” And it went on and went on and went on, and finally, I was talking to my father – he’s a director and a filmmaker – and I said, “Dad, they keep offering me this Scott Peterson thing. You know who that is? Scott Peterson?” He’s like, “Yeah, yeah. You kind of look like him.” Thanks, Dad. [laughter] And he goes, “Well, you’re an actor right?” “Yeah.” “Can you be good in it?” “Yeah, I think I can actually be really good in it.” “That’s your job, isn’t it?” “Yeah.” “Then go to work.” So I finally took it.
And to play the mindset of Scott Peterson? If you watch his interviews, he just was like a really bad actor. So it was really easy. It was simple: Just go be a bad actor. I do that every day. This is cake! [laughter] No, you have to be able to make fun of yourself in this business.
Audience #4: Did you enjoy your time on Vegas?
Dean: On Las Vegas, that was one of the easiest sets in the world to go to work on. The cast was so good looking, it was ridiculous. The guys and the girls! And they were all so nice. It was amazing! We had Josh Duhamel, James Lesure, who are fantastic guys… Jimmy Caan. I could just listen to James Caan tell stories about The Godfather or anything for hours. And then the girls? They were just gorgeous. It’s like, this is what I get to go do every day? Come here and hang out with these guys? And even the guys in the background? They were just this fantastic looking group. And then your costars would come on! “Oh, well, this week we’re doing something about the Arena Football League, so we have John Elway and Jon Bon Jovi coming.” And I’m like, “Are you kidding? This is like the greatest day ever! And that’s after the Pussycat Dolls dance? Great!”[laughter]
And that’s what the show was like. This is amazing and I get to be the owner, so that was a lot of fun. In fact, I was going to stay on the show but the creator of that show, he created another show and I went to work on [it]. Gary Scott Thompson. We tried to get another show on the air called Protect and Serve. It was a police officer thing. We shot the pilot…. It was right on the bubble but didn’t get picked up. So I was killed by a giant squid. That’s what they said.
Audience #5: There’s been a trend towards erasing the marriages of superheroes. They erased Lois and Clark’s marriage – and they say it makes characters more relatable to younger readers?
Travis: Did you actually marry Lois or was it just the frog-eating clone? Did you finally have a real wedding?
Dean: The frog-eating clone. [hangs his head] Where did that one come from? It was pretty gross. I took the little light and shined it in [the writer’s] eyes and asked, “Are you all there?” Yeah, we got married on the show…
Unrequited love is a big theme, and it’s tough for a superhero to find contented love because what do you do next? I think it’s just a way of keeping it alive. I don’t think it has anything to do with keeping it relatable to younger readers or not.
Audience #6: A lot of people don’t know about your charity work. Choosing between Emmy or Oscar, Super Bowl or Nobel Peace Prize, what would you go for?
Dean: Wow. Emmy or Oscar, Super Bowl – I was really close on that – or Nobel Peace Prize? I’d like to get them all. [laughs] Of course, I’d have to take Nobel Peace Prize because that’s a worldwide thing. I mean, you’re going to affect a lot of people. But fortunately, in the world of entertainment, you can really affect a lot of people by the stories you tell. And I think that’s a gift we have as actors and writers and producer…
Super Bowl. I wanted a Super Bowl really bad. I played for the Buffalo Bills for one season. I was a rookie with Thurman Thomas and that year, my rookie year, I got injured and I was done. We lost the AFC that year. But then the next four years, we went to the Super Bowl. Then we lost and we lost and we lost and then we lost, and that was it. One time, a reporter asked me, “If you had stayed and made the squad, after these four losses, would we have been okay? Would we have won one?” As an athlete, you love to believe that you could have made a difference…that maybe I would have been out of position and done something wrong and maybe the ball would have bounced my way, and I could have done something great and changed the tide. And we’d have won. So, in Buffalo, this guy writes the headline: “Cain thinks he could have brought a Super Bowl to Buffalo.” [laughter] And it’s…What’re you doing? I did not say that! You twisted my words! But yeah, I could have gotten them a Super Bowl for sure. [laughs]
Travis: What charity work have you been involved in?
Dean: I do a ton of different charity work. My father had cancer a few years back, so I do a lot of things with cancer. I do anything I can basically to help kids, and I will do anything I can to help our men and women in uniform. I’m a huge supporter of our military. I’ve been over to Iraq and visited the troops out there, thanked them for their service. I thank them anyplace I go. [A new project] starts Monday, a big thing dealing with the troops. It’ll air after the Olympics and it’s a fantastic piece that I’m really proud to be a part of. But you know, I travel the world and I get to see what it’s like to live in countries where you don’t have the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press. It’s amazing to be able to live here in the United States with the freedoms we have, and so much of that is attributable to the rule of law that we live under and the men and women who can make that happen so. Law enforcement and the military, I just have great respect for them.
Audience #7: Which actor or actress that has passed would you like to work with?
Dean: I would have really loved to have been able to work with Christopher Reeve obviously. I would have loved to have met him. It never came up but I wish I had created that opportunity because he was a pretty inspirational guy. [People talk about] “the Superman curse,” but the reality is Kirk Alyn, the first Superman, he died in 90-something and did just fine. George Reeves, obviously there were some issues going on there. Who knows what went down there. And with Christopher Reeve, it was tragic what happened to him but it was also an incredible story of triumph, and I would argue it was a much more inspirational story than it was a tragedy. So, maybe I’ll pick Christopher Reeve.
Audience #8: When you were acting as Superman or as Clark Kent, which mindsets did you go for? Clark Kent as Superman or Superman acting as Clark Kent?
Dean: Definitely Clark Kent acting as Superman. There’s no question. And that’s opposite from the way it used to be. Christopher Reeve played it as Superman acting as Clark Kent, and we did the opposite.
Audience #10: How was it filming my favorite scene in Rat Race where Amy Smart kind of kicked your…well, you know.
Dean: Kicked my…yeah. Filming Rat Race was a lot of fun. I’ve never really been pigeon-holed because I’ll try anything, and a small role like that in a funny film doing that kind of big comedy was fun. [Amy] zipped me and rolled the window up on me and sent me flying. That was really fun. I actually fell off the process trailer we were on. I fell and I injured myself but it was okay. Here’s a fifty million dollar movie with helicopters and big stunts and over the top funny stuff. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter if it’s that or a twenty dollar student movie. You end up with a couple actors and a camera and that’s the amazing thing.
Yes, sir. Darth Vader has a question.
Audience #1 (Darth Vader boy returns): On your Superman costume, why did you keep changing the S? He says you kept changing the S. [points to Robin]
Dean: They did change the S. That is completely beyond my control, Mr. Vader. They’ll experiment with a costume for different characters and different people. That was the producer’s choice.
Travis: Okay, questions began and ended with Darth Vader. [applause]