What Happened To Kristin Kreuk After Smallville?

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The following article references sexual assault.

"Smallville" was easily one of the most successful series to come out of The CW (née The WB), and a lot of that success had to do with the show's ensemble. The cast featured Tom Welling as Clark Kent, real-life criminal Allison Mack, and, of course, Kristin Kreuk. 

After dominating the small screen for years, Kreuk departed the series in the eighth season, appearing in 154 of 217 episodes. If you weren't a "Smallville" fan but you watched TV in the '00s, you certainly saw her during commercial breaks: Kreuk landed a massive, years-long contract with Neutrogena.

She's definitely kept busy since her "Smallville" and Neutrogena ad days, but there is no denying that Kreuk has slipped off of a lot of fans' radars. What did she do when she left the show, and why did she step away from the hit series before it was done? Has she gone on to other things, or is she still acting? Let's get into what Kristin Kreuk has been up to since she left "Smallville" in 2008.

The start of Kristin Kreuk's career

Kristin Kreuk never planned on becoming an actor. Instead, she wanted to work in forensic science, per Don't Die Wondering. Her plans were changed when a casting director for CBC's "Edgemont" discovered her in high school, per The Globe and Mail. From that moment on, Kreuk was a working actor. She managed to land some early roles that helped her develop from performing in high school theater into becoming legitimate professional acting.

Kreuk explained in an interview with Titan Magazine that after working on "Edgemont," her agent sent an audition tape to The WB. Following a casting call at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, she landed the role of Lana Lang on "Smallville." After appearing in 70 episodes of "Edgemont," she went all in on the superhero show.

Kreuk remained one of the main characters of the series for seven seasons and returned as a guest star for five episodes to close out her storyline during the eighth season. While Kreuk worked on "Edgemont" for several years, "Smallville" became her primary focus for eight years. She started working on the series when she was still a teenager and was 26 when she departed. Kreuk discussed this in an interview with Metro, saying, "I've been doing "Smallville" since I was 18, so it's been my whole adult life." After eight years, it was time for her to do something new.

After Smallville, she pivoted to film

Kristin Kreuk left "Smallville" during the eighth season, which fundamentally changed the course of the series. Her departure made it possible for Clark Kent to move onto Lois Lane, which everyone knew would happen eventually, so it turned out to be good for the show. That said, Kreuk had a lot of opportunities when she left. "Smallville" may have made Kreuk a household name, but as she shared with Metro in 2008, she decided it was time to pursue other interests.

"Smallville" took up most of her time, making it difficult to act in other TV series and films. She did manage to appear in "EuroTrip," "Partition," and a TV miniseries called "Earthsea" while still playing Lana Lang, but that's about it.

A big break came her way during this period when she was cast to play the lead in "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li." Scoring the main role in a feature film was a step in the right direction for Kreuk... or so she thought. While she was fully capable of performing all of the martial arts work — as she told Metro, she practiced karate and gymnastics as a kid — the movie didn't do well (more on that later). Despite the setback, Kreuk continued acting but diversified her interests into other projects.

Kristin Kreuk launched a website

While still working on "Smallville," Kristen Kreuk launched a website. Kreuk created Girls By Design, or GBD for short, with Kendra Voth. It began in 2008 as a blog. Kreuk discussed the development of GBD in an interview with HuffPost, where she said that there wasn't much online for girls' interests outside of "beauty and makeup and fashion and boys." She wanted to address that by creating a site that catered to girls' creativity and other avenues.

"I think that women have so much to offer the world," she said in a 2008 ET interview, "and I want to catch them at that age, where they're just starting out, just building themselves." Chatting with Vancouver Magazine in 2011, she further opened up about why she launched the online community. "Being on the WB Network, I realized all the writing was geared toward one element of what a woman is," she shared. "I wanted to empower young women to build their self-esteem, follow their dreams, make a difference."

It looks like the site is no longer up and running. If you Girls by Design today, you'll find nothing but an "account suspended" splash page.

Kristin Kreuk's history with NXIVM

NXIVM was a multi-level marketing company that held seminars that catered to influential people. As Kristin Kreuk shared on Twitter, she joined when she was 23 to address her issues with "shyness." She left NXIVM in 2013, but her name has been attached to the organization for other nefarious reasons.

In truth, NXIVM wasn't just a multi-level marketing company — it was also a sex-trafficking cult. As recounted by Chatelaine, a small group of members formed a secret society within the organization called DOS. Many of the women in the group were literally branded by the cult's leadership, and they were forced into sexual slavery. Kreuk has said that her involvement never strayed anywhere near those horrors, but someone close to her did. As reported by the Associated Press, fellow "Smallville" star Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison for manipulating "women into becoming sex slaves for the group's spiritual leader." 

Mack played Chloe Sulivan on "Smallville," and according to The New York Times, Kreuk recruited her into the organization. Despite leaving the organization in 2012, the stink of what NXIVM has stuck with Kreuk.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Kristen Kreuk showed support for NXIVM's victims

Because she was previously involved with the group, Kristin Kreuk's name couldn't be kept out of the stories related to NXIVM. Rumors swirled about her involvement with the seedier aspects of the organization, which she was quick to dispel. In a statement released to Elle and posted on her Twitter account, Kreuk made it clear she played zero part in the criminal aspects of the organization.

After the horrors of NXIVM's inner circle surfaced, Kreuk showed a great deal of support for the women who were victimized. She wrote to those women in her statement, saying, "Thank you to all of the brave women who have come forward to share their stories and expose DOS; I can't imagine how difficult this has been for you."

Kreuk went on to say how "deeply disturbed and embarrassed" she was to be associated with NXIVM. She closed by saying she hoped the people affected receive justice for what they'd gone through. After the statement was issued, it was backed up by Sarah Edmondson, a friend of Kreuk's who was a member of NXIVM. She tweeted that Kreuk "was never in the inner circle of #NXIVM. She never recruited sex slaves and has been out since 2013 before s*** got weird."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

She's tried to distance herself from NXIVM

When news of NXIVM blew up in 2018, Kristin Kreuk released a statement via Twitter where she acknowledged her ties to the organization and maintained that she was never involved in "any illegal or nefarious activity" when she was a member. However, she was not exactly eager to talk about the subject in interviews. When The Daily Beast reached out to Kreuk in 2018, a publicist working for The CW responded with, "We are not answering any questions about Allison Mack or NXIVM, so I would need to make sure this is only about the series ['Burden of Truth']."

The Daily Beast further posited, "Of course, it makes sense that Kreuk, who again has not been implicated in any of the cult's crimes, doesn't want to spend the rest of her life talking about the accused sex traffickers she used to associate with. However, given the overlap between the real-life scandal Kreuk's become associated with and the central themes of her new series (the legal drama 'Burden of Truth'], those banned questions could have led to a fascinating conversation." Though she has attempted to separate herself from this horrific story as much as possible, doing so seems to be easier said than done.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

The small screen's been good to Kristin Kreuk

When Kristin Kreuk left "Smallville," she became involved in numerous projects outside of acting, but she never left her trade. In fact, she's continued acting regularly, even managing to score another high-profile series, playing Catherine Chandler on "Beauty & the Beast." She worked on that show from 2012 to 2016, but it's hardly all she's done since "Smallville."

Kreuk also made appearances on numerous television series, including "Chuck" and "Robot Chicken," where she reprised her role in "Beauty in the Beast." She also worked on "Burden of Truth" for four seasons and followed that with Amazon's "Reacher," which is set to premiere in early 2022. The series is based on the "Jack Reacher" books by Lee Child, and the online scuttlebutt suggests it may be another hit for Kreuk. Per Deadline, she plays Charlie on the show and will appear in the first season, which is set to contain eight episodes.

The actor told Collider in 2018 that while playing Joanna Chang on "Burden of Truth" had its "challenging" moments, she enjoyed taking on the role. "I love her because she's a person who is great at her job and she doesn't care what people think about her," she said. "It's something that I don't do well with, normally, in my own life, so it was such a liberating thing to play a character who's like that."

Her Street Fighter movie was a flop

From the beginning, few people who worked on "Smallville" thought it would last. Kristin Kreuk told Metro she believed the series would end in the fifth season, but it continued for a decade. The show was a hit, but the same cannot be said about some of the projects Kristin Kreuk has been involved with over the years. 

2009's "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" could have made her an action star, but the movie was critically panned. Rotten Tomatoes lists the film at 3% "Rotten," with the critic consensus describing it as "The combination of a shallow plot and miscast performers renders "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" a forgettable video game adaptation." A 3% is incredibly low and a relatively rare score for a feature film with a budget of $50 million.

The movie managed to rake in a little over $12.6 million at the worldwide box office. That kind of financial failure didn't open many doors for the film's main star, which may be why Kreuk's silver screen career effectively died after the movie's release. Granted, she's appeared in a handful of films since then, but none with the production budget or pre-existing audience like a "Street Fighter" film commanded. Unfortunately, even her independent film appearances scored poorly with the critics.

She continued to give movies a shot

After "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" failed to attract audiences, money, and critical acclaim, Kristin Kreuk returned to her roots. She continued working on various television series and has done incredibly well on the small screen. On the other hand, the silver screen has not been her friend. Two years after she played Chun-Li, she starred as Maria Lucas in "Vampire," and it did not go well.

The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2011, and as Kreuk told eTalk, some people walked out because of the violence. In the decade since it was released, "Vampire" has not found a distributor that would release it in theaters outside of Japan. Pony Canyon did ink a deal to release it on DVD, and it's since been released on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime. "Out of 10,000 films submitted for consideration in this year's Sundance, this is one of the 200 chosen," Deseret News noted in their 2011 review. "Please never make me watch the 9,800 it beat out." Ouch.

Unfortunately, "Vampire" wasn't Kreuk's only dud. Her film credits include 2011's "Ecstasy," which scored a 15% on RottenTomatoes, and "Partition," which she was able to film while working on "Smallville." That film is her highest-rated on Rotten Tomatoes with 38%. To be fair, the critics appear to hate Kreuk's movies while audiences don't. Her highest-rated film, "Space Milkshake," has no critic reviews but maintains an Audience Score of 96%.

She became a producer on Burden of Truth

Kristin Kreuk has landed several high-profile television roles throughout her career, closing out the 2010s with the Canadian legal drama series "Burden of Truth." Not only is she the main star of the show, but she's also one of the executive producers.

"Burden of Truth" features Kreuk as Joanna Chang, a prominent city attorney who travels to the small town of Millwood, Manitoba, Canada, to represent "Big Pharma" in a lawsuit involving a group of sick girls. As she gets into it, she realizes the girls need her help far more than the pharmaceutical company she represents. "I got this project when it was in pitch form, and I really loved that it was a story that was so topical," Kreuk told The TV Junkies. "It was about a small town where girls are affected by some mysterious thing, but it touched on environmentalism and patriarchy and abuses of power in communities and in families." It's an engrossing legal drama that gets into numerous weighty topics, including the presence of institutional racism in Canada and how it impacts indigenous people. 

Before the fourth and final season dropped, Kreuk chatted with Looper about how connected to the series she became. She expressed how she wanted people to recognize the series as "a hopeful show" that "really looks at trauma, internal trauma."

The many voiceover credits of Kristin Kreuk

Like many actors who got their start in front of the camera, Kristin Kreuk has diversified her portfolio by working in other facets of the entertainment industry. The "Smallville" star has lent her voice to several animated characters over the years and voiced characters in video games. Kreuk's first foray into the world of voice acting actually came quite early in her career. In 2001, which was the same year she appeared in "Edgemont" for the first time, Kreuk gave her voice to Gina in an episode of "The Weekenders" titled "My Punky Valentine." 

In 2015, she appeared on "Robot Chicken" in a segment called "Ants on a Hamburger," reprising her "Beauty & the Beast" role of Catherine Chandler for that episode. What's more, she's also breathed life into a couple of video game characters. In 2017, she voiced Shuyan in "Shuyan Saga," a graphic novel series set in ancient China with a heavy focus on martial arts. Then, in 2020, she voiced Kaitlin Lau for "Watch Dogs: Legion," which also afforded her the opportunity to do some motion capture work for the character's on-screen movements.

And it sounds like she's enjoyed these gigs. "It's really fun," she told ET Canada at Fan Expo Canada. "It's a weird environment where you have a bunch of weirdos in a room doing weird noises and you feel ridiculous."

She started her own production company

It's not uncommon for successful actors to begin their own production company after they "make it." Adam Sandler has Happy Madison Productions, Spike Lee has 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks, and Kristin Kreuk has one of her own as well.

In 2010, Kreuk and Rosena Bhura launched Parvati Creative Inc., a company that focuses on "human-centric films as seen through a female lens" (per The Georgia Straight). If Parvati Creative Inc. isn't a name that rings any entertainment industry bells, that's because the production company hasn't made any big-budget feature films. The company's first project was a short film called "Blink," which Kreuk executive produced. To date, Parvati Creative Inc. has only released two projects, and the second was a web series called "Queenie," featuring Olivia Cheng. Despite releasing little over the past decade, Parvati Creative Inc. has been making a documentary film about India's Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, called "Phoolan." The extent of Kreuk's involvement in the project isn't clear, though it's likely she will fill the role of executive producer, as she did for "Blink."

Working behind the camera seems to suit Kreuk. "I love finding stories, I love trying to understand people and experience and I love shining a light on things that people may not know about or giving people voices who don't often have them," she told the Calgary Herald. "Producing allows me to do that."

She spends most of her time in her native Canada

If you've been walking around Hollywood looking for Kristin Kreuk, you're going to be pretty disappointed. Kreuk is from Vancouver, and it's a place she never truly left. Most of her acting roles were shot in and around Canada, so she's been close to the Great White North for most of her career. "Smallville," for example, was filmed almost entirely in Vancouver, so Kreuk was able to keep close to home for many years.

In an interview with Vancouver Magazine, she was asked why she didn't move to Los Angeles, and she laid out her reasons for staying put. Acknowledging that it could be wiser to move to Hollywood, Kreuk said, "You get photographed more, you're in the press more, you build your career faster." Despite this, she feels uncomfortable in that kind of atmosphere, adding, "Shooting 'Smallville' in Vancouver afforded me the luxury of growing up without thinking about business."

In addition to Vancouver, she absolutely loves Toronto, though she had a tough time adjusting at first. Regarding relocating for "Beauty & the Beast," she told Beyond Fashion Magazine that she struggled when she initially arrived but came to love the city. She decided to remain in Toronto full-time to pursue her interests in production, as "Toronto is a bit better for that if you want to work in the Canadian end of production."

She made adjustments during the pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in late 2019, it upended everyone's lives — including the lives of stars who were filming various projects around the globe. The industry adapted as best it could, and actors like Kristin Kreuk managed to continue working. TV and movie sets were shut down for a time being, and when it was time to resume production on "Burden of Truth," safety measures were implemented. In a behind-the-scenes featurette, Kreuk touched on how vital those measures have been. "Everyone wants to do the best job that they can do and make sure that they keep themselves and their families safe, and the other people on set and their families safe," she said.

In 2020, she appeared on former co-star Michael Rosenbaum's (Lex Luthor on "Smallville") podcast, "Inside of You," and the two discussed how the pandemic affected their lives. "Most of the time, I'm able to just move forward," she said. "I just go, 'Okay, that's just the way it is right now,' and I can step back and not get completely invested." 

Kreuk also took to social media to get the word out about wearing face coverings early on during the pandemic. In July 2020, she posted on Instagram, "Please wear masks — it helps. Truly." Not a bad way to use a big platform.