Allison Mack was tired of fighting bad guys. She was tired of super-human intelligence and magical abilities. She wanted to be a regular person, to work less, to stop kicking so much ass. She wanted to move to Brooklyn.
Mack had spent almost all of her twenties portraying Chloe Sullivan in Smallville, the TV series about a young Superman. She had taken the gig at 18, when Clinton was president and the Internet was new, and left it ten years and eleven seasons later, the Bush era having come and the ubiquity of the Internet almost fully taken for granted.
Without a steady job for the first time in her adult life, Mack moved back to LA to continue her career, but soon found herself wondering what many twenty-somethings will eventually wonder: Should she move to New York?
“I had always wanted to live in New York,” she says now, recalling the decision to come to move east, but a trip to the city when she was 25 that coincided with a “quarter-life crisis,” fueled her decision years later to leave Hollywood behind for a brownstone apartment in Cobble Hill packed with art and books and a suspicious amount of throw pillows.
Mack walks through the brightly lit and colored apartment, tidying as she goes, explaining how she came across each piece of art. The water colors beside her bed are by Kate Parr. The Klimt-like painting of the woman in the blue dress is by Jordan Bent. She has a few portraits by her ex-boyfriend Chad Krowchuk. Her friend Adam Kurtzman made the gnarled, metal foot sculpture and the orange glass lamps.
Her friends describe the apartment as a “museum where you can touch everything,” and Mack likes to keep it that way. Last year she even opened her home to a recurring Shakespeare Salon, a night that actors and Bard-lovers gathered to read a chosen play start to finish, sharing in their geekiness and a few bottles of wine. It was this feeling of spontaneity and art-for-arts-sake that Mack was missing in her show business life.
But it was more than just needing a change of pace that led Mack away, for the time being, from acting. She also wanted to think more seriously about the impact that actresses in television and film have on women everywhere; she’s using her time off to think about what she can do to be a positive influence rather than just an actress who’s love life and body are constantly scrutinized. Of course, that’s the big picture. For the more immediate future, Mack has her sights set on North Williamsburg, where she’ll soon be moving, swapping her neighbors with kids and strollers for neighbors with art studios and house parties (and, well, also strollers).