When do clark and lana start dating

— the WB's new series about Superman's early, formative years — don't get out much.

Mostly they're stuck where they are, up in chilly, drizzly Vancouver, where the show is shot on a schedule that runs almost nonstop. "We hear it from agents and managers and publicists," says Tom Welling, who plays young Clark Kent.

After graduating, he had no idea what he was going to do with his life.

He didn't want to go to college, so he got a job as a construction worker, lived at home (until retiring, his father was an executive for General Motors) and basically just hung out. In that spirit, one spring day he and ten pals hopped on a plane and flew to Nantucket for a vacation.

Of course, he's got a bad guy to battle every week.

It took only five months for him to land his first big gig, a three-episode run on CBS' producers rang him up. After auditioning several hundred other young men for the part, they called once more, and this time Welling relented. "It was focused more on Clark trying to be a human, rather than a superhero," he says.

"I don't mean to be rude, but I'm trying to respect her privacy. I mean, literally, I've been asked what the names of my dogs are, and I haven't told, just because, you know, let's talk about the show.""OK, fair enough. ""Well, I can't have my fingernails clipped or filed," he says deftly. So when they get long, I'll bite them and spit them out."Over time, however, he loosens up a little. "He himself lost his virginity at the age of seventeen, and he has no intention of guessing whether Kreuk, who recently turned nineteen, still has hers or not. The best thing to do is just sit back and let him take you on a ride. Fly free to Vegas for a radio interview, then party for three days.' I mean, really, in a lot of ways that's what it's all about, isn't it? One girl says to the other, ' Like, is that bald guy talking to me? "This is a pretty savvy guy," recalls executive producer Mike Tollin.

Pretty soon he's able to reveal that he's both a huge Christopher Walken fan and an equally great admirer of Bob Saget ("He's rude, he's crude, he's funny! Regarding his nose, he will blow it in the shower but only picks it "recreationally." His favorite cuss word is "Damn! " Yesterday, he had the song "Somebody's Baby" stuck in his head. "I have no idea," he says loftily, "but I'll tell you this much: She's a unique soul." If he's in the mood, he'll also tell you this: The kind of girls he tends to attract are "none lately, but I've had experiences with wholesome and not so wholesome."All of which is good to know about the guy who is playing one of the greatest, most enduring of all iconic figures. ' I mean, dude, man, Gene Hackman — how do you top that? I'm just working, man."That noted, he slaps a home-burned CD into the player, sings a few lines from an old song ("You're so vain, you probably ..."), extols the musical talents of David Soul ("Remember him? He says, "I said to one of my friends, ' This is good. ' It was awful."Finally, slowing down to pull into a parking lot, he says, "I think I lost a filter a long time ago. "He walks into the room with that swagger of his, sits down and says, ' OK, obviously you guys aren't finding what you're looking for. '" Says Al Gough, another of the show's executive producers, "What we wanted was somebody like a young Michael Keaton who has energy and a charisma and humor but also a certain amount of danger, and who'd be willing to shave his head.

He fires up the vehicle and bumps through potholes into a dark night, bald pate gleaming. '" Then he went to Western Kentucky University, where he roomed with one of the coolest, most popular guys around, which, in turn, made him cool and popular; acted in numerous plays; graduated and moved to New York; acted in several more plays (including a run of "way the fuck off-Broad-way"); earned money as a hard-driving telemarketing phone wrangler; got some commercial voice-over work ("Trojan condoms — get real"); smoked a bit of weed ("Always in moderation, always; no Dionysus"); shaved his balls one time; and got a gig performing skits on "You know what? But don't say that I want to know." He thinks about this, then starts talking about his late grandma, and how much he loved her, and how she once smoked some of his dope — "She must have smoked half the joint in one hit! And on he goes, of course, great, very insatiable fellow that he is. Oh, I'm amazingly boring."You have to wonder about somebody who is so insistent of a single point. ""Actually, I haven't been in a serious relationship. I mean, it's just guys being guys, how they follow you around and chase you and try to kiss you all the time. When you're a kid."This is interesting stuff, and Kreuk is proving herself to be a bundle, both cold and reserved and warm and revealing. And, really, she can't fathom in the least why having a boyfriend might do her some good. But, she says, if she had to pick one character from the show to go out with, it'd probably be Lex Luthor: "Lex is really sexy. "The WB's anal about it," she says, making an unhappy face.

" he says later inside a Vancouver restaurant, huddled over a nice ribeye steak. No matter what anybody tells you, that's what it's all about." He leans forward. As far on the opposite side of her as I am in terms of personality, she respects that. And that's important." He chews his steak, waggles his fork in the air and says, "You know, most girls Kristin's age don't like bald guys. Kristin Kreuk is wearing tight flare jeans and a white shawl-collar sweater, her long, dark hair pinned up with shoots and tendrils dropping; being half Dutch and half Chinese, she is totally dewy to look at. Especially when others have such a different take on her. It's got to be interesting to have lived at all on this earth looking like she looks."Kreuk isn't so sure about that. I couldn't wear makeup or date until I was sixteen, and I've had bad experiences with guys ever since I was a kid. Plus, she is wonderful to look at, with a clear, prominent forehead and facial expressions that change from pixieish to kittenlike to exasperated to fed up in a flash."What makes you weak in the knees? I think I got weak in the knees once, out of fear of this guy. He's got all that depth and darkness." She pauses; somewhere Michael Rosenbaum must be smiling. "You really don't want to date anyone you're working with," she says a little later. "It's because of the whole Keri Russell hair incident. Like whenever I do a TV interview, I'm not even allowed to wear it up.

""I have a very special woman in my life, yes."He sips his iced tea. You looked a hell of a lot better then.'"He says, "Sometimes the ass needs a shaving. I'm on Sunset, in a car with my friend Dave, and these two girls are in a jeep next to us. But I guess I'm very insatiable in that regard."When Rosenbaum first read for the Lex Luthor role, the producers didn't think he was quite right.

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