The Stars of DALLAS Tease Their 'New' Series - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The Stars of DALLAS Tease Their ‘New’ Series

June 13, 2012 by  

After 20 years off the air, DALLAS returns to television tonight on TNT and I’d bet a few of you are nervous about it.

If you’re a newbie like I was, you might be hesitant to give it a try given everything that went down during its original run, but I promise you, I was able to jump in immediately with no problems. And if you’re a fan of the original series, you may be hesitant that the TNT version will dilute the show’s legacy.

And if you are a little wary, you aren’t the only one who was initially dubious about it.

“They called and approached me about a year ago I guess and I said, ‘Well…’ and I wasn’t sure,” Larry Hagman (J.R.) admitted to reporters last month. “But then they said, ‘[Original series stars] Patrick Duffy (Bobby) and Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) are going to be on it’ and I said, ‘Oh, well, okay.’ And then Linda called up and she said, ‘You’re going to do it,’ and I said, ‘Okay.'”

If you you were worried J.R. might have lost a bit of his edge over the years, think again. “I know the character; he hasn’t changed any,” Hagman retorted.

“Nothing’s changed,” Duffy echoed. “Nothing’s changed a bit. Not withstanding that we do recognize we are older, obviously, but it’s still exactly the same amount of fun…I love working with [Larry] and Linda more than anything on the planet. And part of the reason is we’re such good friends that 90 percent of the scenes we have, we’re grabbing each other and threatening to kill each other, and that’s so much fun with your best friend. It’s just the most fun in the world.”

However, not all of the original DALLAS characters have stayed the same.

“[She’s a] whole new Sue Ellen, because she had been gone for 20 years, she had taken John Ross with her to London with [the character played by] Ian McShane — smart — so I had to do a lot of homework for Sue Ellen,” Gray said. “Who would she be [now]? Who would she be with? What are her values now? How has she changed? Is it solid change or is it just surface change? And what would she be and what would she be doing with her new life? So I did a lot of homework.”

There’s a whole other kind of pressure for the “new” generation of DALLAS stars, whose characters appeared in the original series as children.

“It was definitely intimidating,” said Josh Henderson (John Ross), who scoured YouTube for clips of the original series after he got involved with the TNT series. “When I got cast with the role, I was very excited, it was a very surreal moment for me and then it was like, now I actually have to show up and do the work. I knew how much expectation there was, just with the return of the show and in general from the anticipation from the original fans, but I knew there was going to be a lot of curiosity about who did John Ross become considering he had such great parents? Who is he now? Is he going to be like his father, or is he going to be the complete opposite of his father? I knew there was going to be a lot of weight on my shoulders, but I was actually very excited for the opportunity to bring John Ross back.”

“There were so many emotions coming in to the project,” Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher) agreed. “The first one was nervousness and hesitation and history-making of such an iconic, successful show in the first place. Those fears were quelled after reading the script. I thought the script was substantial, I thought the characters were really well-defined, I thought things moved well. So I went, I can see myself being a part of this project and I can see myself giving a good performance with what’s on the page. But yeah, there’s a lot of expectation from the original viewers of the show because they were such fervent fans and we know that they’re going to be very critical. But I think we’re all confident in what we created and it all starts with the script. And the pilot script was a very seamless transition 20, 21 years later, from the original series to the new series. And all the major themes of the original series are strongly in place and I think it was our job as the new cast to come in and really breathe life into these characters and meet what was already created by Larry, Linda and Patrick. And also Brenda [Strong (Ann)] is playing a new character. We all came wanting to do the show justice, wanting to impress Larry, Linda and Patrick…I think that marriage has been amazing. I think we all have great chemistry and I think the expectations of the original fans of the show will be met, if not exceeded.”

But the actors are aware some fans may still have emotional attachments to characters who are not currently a part of the canvas.

“To step into those very big shoes [as Bobby’s wife, and as a ‘replacement’ for Pam] was very intimidating,” Strong noted. “And I’m not naive to think [I don’t] have to win the audience over; I do. At the same time, I just have to do my job and do it to the best of my ability and let the chips fall where they may…but at the same time, I felt so welcome and included that that put aside any of my concerns right away.”

As for the interest in the show, the cast doesn’t seem to worried about people tuning in after all these years.

“I think we have a global following, a very deep DALLAS following, globally,” Gray noted. “And I feel like those great followers who we’re very proud that we have will follow in and be so seamlessly engulfed with the new cast that it will be as if nothing had happened, it will be as if 20 years hadn’t passed.”

And for people who have never seen an episode? Jordana Brewster (Elena) thinks the show has what it takes to lure them in as well.

“And for people who didn’t watch the original, there are so many twists and turns and so many cliffhangers with every episode that you watch,” Brewster explained. “And there are so many storylines to follow, you can kind of pick and choose your favorite characters and I think it’s just a really fun show.”

Will you be watching the series debut of TNT’s DALLAS, tonight at 9 PM?

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