Superman & Lois's Erik Valdez Opens Up About Tonight's Big Kyle Moment

Tonight's episode of Superman & Lois was a big one for several characters. One of them? Kyle Cushing (Erik Valdez), whose character took a hard right turn near the end of the show. After being drunk and disappointing his daughter in another recent episode, Kyle is taking proactive steps to be a happier and healthier person, and to be more present in Sarah's life. That's great, but as with nearly everything involving Smallville and Morgan Edge, it comes at a cost. It will also likely put him in Edge's crosshairs, while creating interesting conflicts between him, Lois, and Lana along the way. In's a big mess.

Of course, that is what things have been pointing toward all season long for Kyle. The big question is what happens for him next.

Valdez joined ComicBook to chat about the show's first season, what's next, and the big SPOILERS from tonight's episode, titled "Loyal Subjekts."

How early in the process did you know that they were going to make you a super villain?

Well, I first got a little hint of that probably when we were filming episode five or six, or something like that, but it hadn't then been fully fleshed out until literally right before we got the script for nine.

So I had conversations here and there, had an idea of what it was going to be like, but reading the script for the first time was really the first time I got an idea of how it was all going to go down. And I was like, "Oh, okay, this is going to be exciting." So it was a bit of a shock right off the bat, even though I knew it was coming. Not knowing how it's coming is still a bit shocking when you read it, you know?

When they do that slow dolly into the room, and you're like, "Oh, who's going to be on the other side of the camera?" That was a nice little misdirect.

Yeah. And the way they do it. I guess I've worked on it enough now, where I kind of have embedded in my mind how our show looks. So when I'll read a scene...early on, I would read it, and it played out a certain way in my head. And every now and then, I'm still completely blown away by how it plays out. But I have a good idea of how it's going to manifest itself on camera.

Sometimes I guess I don't have the same reaction that you guys would watching it, because I've read it. And I had that initial, like slack jawed reaction, just knowing how it was probably going to play out in my head. But I do, I'll sit there and watch the show with my wife. And she's got that reaction that, that I kind of had initially when I read it. And so, to me, when the audience gets what I was getting early on, or even a bigger reaction, then we've done our job basically.

Now, one of the things that I think has been really interesting about Kyle is that they have resisted the urge to make him the one-dimensional jerk that he easily could have been in the wrong hands. Do you worry as the powers story moves forward, that you might lose some of that nuance?

I think that's the appeal. I think they've done such a wonderful job, towing the line of making you think that it's one-dimensional and you're going one direction, and then pulling the rug out from underneath you at the very end. And you go, "Whoa, wait. Okay. I didn't quite expect that." And I think they have done such a good job of that, that you're going to continue to see, especially now where we're nine episodes in.

We're now filming 14. So we're far enough along, where any, any of that type of stuff would have manifested itself by now. I'm fully trust where our writers are going with things. And when they pitch ideas to me or whatnot, even if I don't know exactly how it's all going to play out, I know that they know what they're doing. So it's nice to see that.

So I don't worry too much about it. And I think that the way they do things is what keeps people tuning in week after week and getting so excited about what the next part of this roller coaster ride is going to look like. Because every time you think you've had every twist and turn imaginable, there's something else that comes up, or it changes direction or whatever. I'm excited for the audience to see how this plays out and where it goes from here.

As a character who's really only dealt with three or four other people for most of the season, is it exciting to see the world expanding for Kyle a little bit?

It is. I mean, on, on one hand, as an actor, the more people you get to interact with and the more storyline, it's always enticing to have that opportunity, and then see it play out and whatnot. But for Kyle, it's an interesting play, because he's so set in his ways. He's so comfortable in his kind of small town bubble, that whatever comes after this, however it manifests itself after, after these powers come into play, I think as a character, only adds to the un-comfortability that he's already dealt with on so many other levels.

Kyle seems to keep falling on his face, and he can't quite get a break. And to me, it's like we all go through that even in real life. Sometimes we fall on her face 12, 13 times before we get back up and start making headway. And I think that's where Kyle has gone.

And so, seeing where it goes after this, to me, it allows the storyline purposes, it allows a fresh start, so to speak, or a clean slate. Because once you go this dark, there's not a lot of darker places you can go. And so, getting to interact with some of these people in the midst of all of this is great.

Getting to see where it goes beyond that and who he gets to interact with after the fact, after it's all set in, and we go through this journey of powers with him, then that'll be exciting too. I'm stepping around this a little bit gently, because I don't want to give too much away of what's happening, but I think you get the idea.

This seems like it has the potential to really deepen the schism that Kyle already has with Lois. Because at some point, it's got to come up that she had a pretty good idea exactly what level of danger that she was putting Lana in and didn't say anything.

Yeah. Kyle and Lois' relationship has been really interesting thus far. And to see where it goes beyond this is going to be interesting too. Just because Kyle is one of these people, where he doesn't like to admit that he was wrong about certain things. He's pretty stubborn. He will give certain people the benefit of the doubt. But when their ideas don't necessarily align with his, he's not so open-minded to give them the benefit of the doubt, which is why him and Lois have had such kind of a trouble relationship thus far.

But to take it a step further, if he finds out about people really crossing or using or manipulating his loved ones, that's a whole other level of Kyle that I don't think we've fully seen yet. And so, just to see where it goes with that will be interesting for sure.

If they were to try and separate him form Kryptonian influence, do you think that it worries Kyle that he might also lose some of the positive changes, just the Kyle side of his personality has taken on in the last couple of episodes?

I don't know that. From a Kyle perspective, he is not at all aware of what's going on at this point in time. And I don't think that once you ... When you are this Kryptonian thing that's inside of these host's bodies, you have no idea of what's going on in the outside world and vice versa. When you slip back into Kyle versus this person that's been completely taken over, you're not aware everything.

So I don't think the two, at least at this point, really know much about one another. And so, I don't know that it's going to affect him one way or the other internally. How we see it play out as an audience is yet to be determined, in terms of what it's going to do for Kyle and where he goes and what happens to him after this next part of his journey.

Is it hard as things get darker to maintain that and to keep the character in a place where people don't want to shut off and just be like, "Okay, I'm done with this guy."?

I don't think so. I think it could be. I think on a, I don't want to use the term, a lesser show. But on a show with maybe writers and casts and producers and stuff that don't quite have as deep of a vision, it could fall into that category.

I don't worry about that at all, because I really think that we've got one of the best teams all around, out there. And so, the internal conversations too, are, everybody really likes everybody as human beings, outside of characters. And so, everybody wants to do the best for everybody else. And even when it comes to writers, writing for characters, et cetera, when you've got to go down a dark path or whatever, I don't ever think it would get to a point where it would be so one dimensional that it would just be, "Oh, Kyle's a jerk. I'm done with him."

I think there's always going to be these nuances in the writing, in my performance, I would hope, that will have people not really liking the way you approach some things or handling things, but still kind of rooting for him a little bit and being like, "All right, I want something better for this guy." And I think we're doing a good job of that so far. And I don't think we're going to lose that. I'm pretty confident in that.

One last thing. We haven't seen much of Sarah's younger sister since episode two. Is she going to pop back around as things get harder and harder for the family?


She's definitely there. We'll see her here and there. That's part of the tricky thing of dealing with a fictitious life in a real life. When you deal with younger actors, there's so many restrictions on their school and the hours they can work and their availability with parents, et cetera.

To me, that's a challenging thing for writers is to be able to work with the real life aspect of someone like Josie, who plays my younger daughter. She hasn't disappeared, and she's not going anywhere. It's having to find that balance of dealing with the real life version of her and the fictitious version of her.