The PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS Team Reflects on Pulling Off the Franchise's Most Complex Sequence (So Far) - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

The PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS Team Reflects on Pulling Off the Franchise’s Most Complex Sequence (So Far)

December 21, 2021 by  

psych 3 birth scene

PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS — Pictured: (l-r) Dulé Hill as Burton, Jazmyn Simon as Selene — (Photo by: James Dittiger/Peacock)

After more than 100 episodes and a couple of films, PSYCH 3: THIS IS GUS delivered the most technically complex scene of the franchise: a birth/wedding combo.

Of course, it wasn’t just a marriage occurring while the bride-to-be (Jazmyn Simon‘s Selene) was in active labor that made it complicated. The groom-to-be, Gus (Dulé Hill), and his best friend/longtime partner in crime-solving, Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez), had just discovered that Selene’s MIA husband, Alan Decker (Allen Maldonado), wasn’t legally her husband…but he was kind of shady and still wanted Selene back.

Unfortunately for Selene, she was also trapped in a room with Shawn and Gus, while medical personnel—plus friends Juliet (Maggie Lawson) and Karen (Kirsten Nelson)—were outside, trying to get to her. And while it wasn’t the perfect wedding Gus envisioned, Father Westley (Ray Wise) performed the ceremony virtually, with musical guest Curt Smith also a (remote) part of the special day.

“We knew it needed to be effective on several levels,” Roday Rodriguez recalls in the video above. “10, 11 pages is a lot of page count. So if you’re not funny, you’re gonna be dead in the water. But it’s also a major moment in PSYCH history. So it needs to land emotionally, it needs to resonate, that this is a big deal.”

“But you’re also confined in one space, and there’s only so many ways you can shoot on a set with four walls,” he continues. “So I think the challenges were [to] go for it. And if it’s too much, we’ll worry about that later. We knew that we would be able to make some choices in editing and trim it down to the best version of itself. But I don’t think we were super worried about going too far while we were shooting it, because we wanted to have as many choices as possible. So as crazy and insane as that sequence is, it’s 34% crazier in terms of what it could have been and what we shot…I think we found a good balance of storytelling and nonsense and absurdity and reality in the end.”

And there were some doubters that it could get done. “[People were asking],  ‘Are you really gonna try to do this birth scene?'” PSYCH creator/director Steve Franks says. “I go, ‘This entire movie, it’s surrounding this scene. This is what I want to do.'”

But he understands the doubts. “It’s so complicated,” he allows. “The musical [was] less complicated than that scene. Just because so much was happening simultaneously. We can only see certain things and just the amount of visual effects we’re allowed to have…I wanted to take it as far as we can. Take us to the edge and try not to tip over the side. And the guys were up for it.”

For Simon, who had to fake active labor for two days, “it was exhausting and exhilarating and exciting. And it was well-choreographed and everybody was patient.” 

It also led to a quasi-unplanned moment between Simon and Hill, who are married in real life, during the filming of Selene’s labor.

“He like pops me [in the face] and we had rehearsed it, like, we’re gonna do this,” Simon says. “And [when we started], he slapped the shit out of me. And I said, ‘Hey! That hurt.’ And I completely broke character, but it was in character, still, and it was the funniest thing. And so every subsequent take that we did, we kind of had to do that, because it was just so good.”

And when Selene was on the verge of giving birth, Gus got to repeat one of the show’s catchphrases (“Come on, son”) in an entirely new context.

“Like anything with PSYCH, it was fun, it was a blast, and it was mind-boggling,” Hill admits. “Because when we first started doing it, and [then later when] we had Ed Lover on the show, saying, ‘Come on, son’ to us, we never in our wildest dreams thought that years later, we’d be filming a scene where Gus is actually saying, ‘Come on, son’ [to his actual child]. Never in our wildest dreams…We never thought that that would be happening and it happened. What comes next?”



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