It's hard to believe it's been a year since Smallville went off the air, but Allison Mack, who famously played Clark Kent's buddy Chloe Sullivan on the CW Superman drama, makes her triumphant return to TV this summer on FX's wacky series Wilfred.
After Smallville ended in May 2011, Mack was unsure of her future. Taking a break from television, she pursued theater roles while mulling over a possible return to Hollywood. "I took a year to kind of decide whether or not it was something I wanted to do anymore and kind of figure out what path I wanted to take and where I was going," she tells TVGuide.com.
Smallville's Allison Mack joins FX's Wilfred
A month into returning to the world of auditions, Mack landed a part on Wilfred, FX's hit series that follows the unusual friendship between Ryan (Elijah Wood) and his neighbor's dog Wilfred, whom he sees as an Australian man in a dog suit. "A lot of it had to do with working with Elijah," Mack explains about choosing her new role. "I think he's a wonderful actor and he's had an incredible career.
"Also, Wilfred is really smart and really dark and really different than anything I had done," Mack continues. "I want the next part of my career to be diverse and interesting and unique and so this seemed like a good first step into that part of my life."
In the FX comedy, Mack plays Ryan's quirky new love interest Amanda, a self-proclaimed "borderline hot" co-worker who isn't shy with her affections, something which really drew the actress to the role. "I thought that was really neat and something you don't necessarily see," Mack notes of Amanda's pursuit of Ryan.
While Amanda may share many qualities with Chloe (no one delivers charming wit quite like Mack), the actress separated herself from her past role with a dramatic makeover. The usually blonde actress is barely recognizable on Wilfred with cropped auburn hair. "When I came into the show I think they wanted me to be different than Fiona, who plays Jenna," Mack says. "And you know, I've been wanting to dye my hair brown for a long time and go dark for a while so this was just a perfect excuse."
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But will Amanda's quirky charm and dark 'do be enough to steal Ryan's affections away from Jenna (Fiona Gubelmann)? "He's pretty strongly attracted to the girl next door and she's pretty charming, so I don't know," Mack teases. "We'll just have to wait and see."
One thing's for sure, Amanda is definitely going to have a huge effect on Ryan this season. "She definitely inspires him to grow into himself in a way that's very different than the way that Wilfred's (Jason Gann) been able to inspire him in the last season, so she has a growth effect on him for sure," Mack says. "And I think it's like when you're getting to know somebody in a more intimate setting you start to reveal things about yourself that you didn't even know you were hiding. So I think we definitely see a lot of uncovering of secrets that Ryan didn't know he had this season, an effect of his relationship with Amanda."
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As to Amanda's relationship with Wilfred, Mack remains mum, but she does reveal her own theories on the series' mysteries, including the disappearing basement. "I think it's all metaphorical. I think David Zuckerman is brilliant as is Randall Einhorn and Jason, as well. And I think that they have come up with an incredible way to tell the story of what happens inside someone's brain."
And although Mack has moved on from playing Chloe -- who had eventually married Oliver Queen, aka The Green Arrow, on Smallville — she's open to reprising her role on CW's upcoming drama Arrow. "You know, no one's talked to me about that. I'm not sure," Mack says. "It would have to be a really great part and a really great storyline for me to do something like that, because at this point I'm looking forward and so the idea of revisiting a character that I've put to rest is not necessarily the thing that's most exciting in the front of my mind. But I never say never."
Wilfred airs Thursdays at 10/9c on FX.
What do you think of Mack as Amanda?