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Best Boy Wonder

Tom Welling

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AGE 24 MOMENT OF ARRIVAL Superman — in high school? Without the tights? No flying?! The success of The WB’s Smallville hinged on Welling’s ability to breathe new life (and teen angst) into Clark Kent. And would he be on this list if he didn’t pull it off? HOW HE GOT THE PART Minutes after his second screen test, Welling stopped at a gas station. ”I called my manager and he said, ‘Hold on a second.’ Great time to be put on hold, right? He got back on the line and told me I got it….I looked around and realized I was standing alone and screaming.” ON BEING A SEX SYMBOL ”Really? That’s something that’s obviously out of my control.” PREVIOUS JOB Modeling in NYC. What a surprise. WHAT FAME HAS BROUGHT ”You tend to get a few more party invitations and messages from people you don’t know, but up here in Vancouver, we’re kind of sheltered.” WHAT’S NEXT Welling’s preoccupied with 14-hour days on Smallville, but, he assures us, his managers are ”looking.”