I was speaking with Andrea and she was saying you were psyching yourself up to take on such an iconic role. What does Lois Lane mean to you?
It meant a lot to me. I really mean it when I say I grew up on Lois Lane.
When I was a kid in the 1950s, I would watch the Superman live-action series with my maid when I came home from elementary school. Somehow we became a Nielsen family and back then they used to give you a little booklet and you would write down what shows you watched every day. Every day I wrote about Superman because it's all I ever watched, so I hope I helped their ratings. [laughs
] I watched the original Lois, Phyllis Coates, and then Noel Neill -- whom I got to meet which was a thrill. Every Sunday, I went to church and the reward was we'd then go to the drugstore where I'd get an ice cream soda and take my dime to buy my Lois Lane comic book because she had her own comic back then. I read Superman and Batman too, but Lois was mine so I've been attached to her my whole life. Are you an artist that likes having a blank canvas when working with an established character or was there something from Lois' history that informed your performance while you also left your own mark on the character?
It was basically the writing. It was so classic 1940s -- quick patter and snappy dialogue. It was great writing and I immediately thought of Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday
and she was the ultimate girl reporter. I pretty much patterned her after Rosalind Russell. It seemed to work with it because of the way the series was drawn and written was very retro but modern at the same time. Rosalind Russell was both of those things, classic and modern, at the same time. In addition to doing group reads like radio, you guys had a whole murderers' row of fantastic guest stars. Was there any favorites you had that you got to play with in the booth?
Definitely Malcom McDowell. That was a huge thrill for me because I had watched A Clockwork Orange
. Olivia Hussey was great because I had grown up watching her in Romeo & Juliet
, I thought they were so cool. Shelley Fabares as Martha Kent, I also grew up watching Shelley on The Donna Reed Show
and listening to her song "Johnny Angel." With Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., I grew up watching him on The FBI
so it was all these people that I knew. Ed Asner
, may he rest in peace, was the greatest guy in the world and him playing Granny was hilarious.