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The Boston Herald

Swept Away: Kreuk and Ashmore Make a Magical Pair of Lovers
- Amy Amatangelo

Lana Lang and the Iceman are in love.

OK, not really, but this is pretty darn close. Kristin Kreuk, who plays Clark Kent's star-crossed sweetie on WB's "Smallville," and Shawn Ashmore, best known as one of the mutant superheroes in "X-Men 2," star as fated lovers in the Sci Fi Channel's "Earthsea" (Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.).

Based on two novels by Ursula K. Le Guin, the four-hour miniseries follows Ged (Ashmore), a young wizard who must save his native Earthsea from the evil Nameless Ones.

Kreuk, who plays young priestess Tenar, said she was drawn to the project because "my sister adored these books." Her sibling has yet to see the finished product.

"I think she was excited," Kreuk said during a recent phone interview. "But also, like a lot of fans are right now, she was kind of concerned about how it will all turn out and what liberties people will take with the story."

Ashmore knows he's going to have to satisfy many of the novel's devoted readers.

"I think when you are adapting something, some people are going to be so excited, and some people are going to be upset because you're altering someone's famous work and putting it into another medium," Ashmore said. "But from what I've heard, people are really excited about seeing the story that they love turned into a really cool, visual, fun, entertaining event."

The project gave both young stars the chance to work with industry legends. Isabella Rossellini stars as High Priestess Thar.

"When they offered it to me, Isabella was signed on, and it just seemed like a really wonderful project to be a part of," Kreuk said. "She's a legend, and she's unbelievably beautiful, and she's so real - really kind and wonderful and funny and graceful, and she's just really good at what she does, and I really respect her as an actress and as a person. Her passion is still so rich and full, which is really wonderful to see. She is constantly working to make things better and more realistic. The woman's pretty incredible."

Danny Glover plays Ogion, Ged's sage teacher.

"His character is really wise, knowledgeable, quiet and soft-spoken," Ashmore said. "His character only speaks when he really needs to or when it's really important, and I got the same vibe from Danny. He's like a very educated, established, smart actor, and it was really cool just to work with him and see his process. And he's just a really nice guy as well, so it was actually really fun."

Next up for Ashmore are two independent films ("Dot" and "3 Needles") and "X-Men 3," which probably will start shooting in the summer. He'd also love to have another opportunity to work with his twin brother, Aaron Ashmore, who also is an actor.

"We're always looking for something to do together. I really think Aaron is an amazing actor and my best friend as well, so to get to work together would be amazing. It's sort of hard to find projects with twins - a lot of times twins (are) used as a gimmick as opposed to an interesting relationship. It's really difficult to find material."

Kreuk is busy shooting the fourth season of "Smallville."

"She's grown up a lot," she said of her character, Lana. "More and more every year she's kind of following her own dreams, and it was really great for me to see this passion for something in Lana. It was really great for me to have a drive for her and fill in some of the blanks."

This year, Lana has stopped pining for the perpetually vexing superhero-in-training and found herself a boyfriend in football coach Jason (Jensen Ackles).

"Working this year with Jensen has been a lot of fun for me because it's given me the opportunity to laugh as Lana and have fun and just be happy," Kreuk said. "It's something that I wanted for a long time. It's hard to just be a character based on somebody else. Lana in Clark's eyes is what was written for a long time, and I think now she's sort of coming into her own and is her own person apart from him, and I really like that. It's really important for women and girls to be seen that way - as individual people as opposed to somebody connected to another person."

The Boston Herald