Michael Rosenbaum is back on television with the second season of Impastor, which premiered last week. However, the actor starred for seven seasons on Smallville. In a new interview with Empire, he revealed why he left the series.
Rosenbaum said the following to Empire:
“I remember sitting with Peter Roth, the president of Warner Brothers … I’ve never really told this story. Everybody has an ego and I think everybody likes to get their way. Peter took me to dinner, because he tried to get me to do two more seasons of Smallville. I was very polite and respectful. I said, “Peter, my grandma thinks I’m funny and I’ve always wanted to do comedy, and I started out in comedy, and I was doing tons of comedy, and then I was catapulted into this role that I love and it’s been great, but I was contracted for six years to play Lex Luthor, I did seven, and I’m just ready to move on and I’m just ready to take a new step.” He looked at me and says, “You know, Julianna Margulies, she turned down millions of dollars to stay with ER and look where she is now.” It wasn’t two or three years later where she just made a fortune with The Good Wife and all of that, and her career just took off. I said, ‘I’m going to bank on my talent. I’m just going to take a chance on me. I think I’ve done this long enough, I did this character for seven years and I just don’t feel like shaving my head for two more years.’ I came back for the finale, but at the time I just wanted to take a chance.”
The actor did return for the series finale, and he revealed why he decided to do that in his Empire interview as well. He said:
“I was working and getting my s**t together. But I finally called them up and said, ‘Hey, look, it’s the last episode ever. I’ll do it, you’ve got me for one day next week.’ When I got there I was, like, ‘What’s happened since I left?’ I had no idea what was going on. There were moments where I just didn’t know what the f**k I was doing. I liked my scenes with Tom Welling, but I felt like the show was, for me, done when I left in season seven. Then I sort of did it for the fans and did it for me for closure and to say, ‘Hey, I did come back.’ I did do it, and that’s ultimately why.”
Do you watch Michael Rosenbaum on Impastor? Were you surprised that he left Smallville at the end of seven seasons? Tell us what you think.