TNT's reboot of the iconic nighttime soap Dallas
became one of the surprise smashes of this past television
season. The new series was a savvy mix of alumni from the original
1980s series Ė including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray in
regular roles and recurring appearances by Ken Kercheval, Charlene
Tilton and Steve Kanaly Ė with a new generation of Ewings set to do
anything to wrest command of the family energy business.
That striking new generation was made up of the
Ewing sons John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Christopher (Jesse
Metcalfe) and the women who were vying for their hearts and beds
Elana Ramos (Jordana Brewster) and Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gonzalo).
These young and beautiful new oil prospectors brought the series a
whole new audience, on top of the series' built in following. After
a season of posturing, backstabbing and subterfuge, Dallas
became one of the biggest hits of the new cable series.
Unfortunately, in the middle of the filming of the
triumphant second season, tragedy struck Southfork Ranch. Larry
Hagman, who had played the iconic role of super-baddie JR Ewing
succumbed to a long battle with cancer in the middle of filming
episodes for season two. This led to an on-the-fly rethink of the
second half of the season.
The second season is about to kick off and we were
able to sit in on conference calls with all four members of
Southfork's next generation: Jesse Metcalfe, Jordana Brewster, Josh
Henderson and Julie Gonzalo. Here is what they had to say about the
was very saddened to hear about that Larry Hagman's passing away.
With him being such a huge part of the
legacy, what has it been like to move forward with the show without
him there? What are you guys doing to make sure that heís proud of
the legacy that you guys continue with?
JR was a magical character and he was a huge reason why the world
really was captivated by Dallas originally. We were so
blessed to have him back in this new Dallas. We never know,
you donít have a glass ball to ever foresee what is coming and this
was something that was very surprising to us. There were some really
cool things happening. You'll see. Larry is in the first seven
episodes of the season two. So youíre going to see a lot of what was
happening leading up to [his death]. Itís tough because he was such
an amazing person and I had so much fun working with him. But this
has happened and weíre in a situation so the writers have geniusly
went back into the lab over the holidays and they had to really
rewrite the entire second half of the season. We donít even know
really except day by day what is happening. They donít want us as
characters to know the future, so theyíre not even telling us. We
want to make sure at the end of the day that they respect Larry and
hopefully the fans will really accept the way that Larry exits.
Thatís a really big deal for us. Weíre going to continue on because
I know thatís what he would have wanted. Dallas was a huge
part of his life. He really loved us and loved the show and loved
being a part of it. I was just fortunate enough to be able to work
with this amazing man. So itís going to be tough but weíre going to
keep on trucking.
Our writers had to urgently get together over the Christmas hiatus
and basically rewrite the entire second half of the season. So
definitely some changes certainly transpired. I think in a lot of
ways for the better. The passing of JR within the story really sets
in motion some very exciting storylines. That affects a lot of
different characters and brings a lot of different characters from
the past and present together. It might have even changed the
trajectory of my character of Christopher a little bit as well in
that he has to step up even more and assume the Bobby role. Really
selflessly serve his family and protect his family because his
father's grieving and John Ross is also grieving as well and acting
increasingly more erratic. So Christopher has to assume that role
even more so. It's been a really wild ride. An unexpected tragedy
for all of us and it's been an unexpected turn with the storyline on
Well, you know, it's sad. It's still sad. We still talk about him on
a daily basis. The first few weeks, months of his passing, it was
very somber on set. But I think in a strange way it really united us
and it really made us all close. By us I mean the crew, the cast and
everybody involved in the production. It just made everybody more
eager to work. There's this level of wanting to do the best we
possibly can for him. Our motto became "let's do it for Larry." It's
a beautiful thing that we get to unite and really honor such a
legendary icon on and off screen. I was blessed to be in his
presence. To have spoken to him. To have had so many encounters with
him. To have traveled with him. We cherish those moments. It's still
sad. It's still a little weird at times. But, he would have wanted
to continue. He would have wanted us to have a smile on our faces
and to continue on and to make the show what he made the show. I
mean obviously not anywhere near what he had done with the show but
at least to just put our best job, our best efforts forward. He
always spoke about doing the show for another 14 years. We should
only be as lucky.
I think the best way to honor Larry would be to make this show a
huge success and to keep this show going for at least a few more
years to come. Anything less than that I think Larry would see as a
failure. This tragedy has really kind of set up another monumental
television event. Our writers, our producers and obviously us as
actors have all come together to try to honor Larry and honor the
character of JR Ewing in the best way that we know how. It's going
to make for some very compelling television. There's no doubt about
that. I mean episode eight is really the episode where the mystery
of JR's death begins to unravel. It's entitled "JR's Masterpiece." A
lot of very intriguing storylines have set in motion because of his
death. I think they're really going to fuel the second half of the
season and possibly seasons to come.
Larry was such a fun person to be around. He said he believed that
the reason Dallas was so successful was that he, Linda and
Patrick not only were best friends but they just enjoyed what they
did. If the actors are having fun and just [are] personable and
enjoying work every day, that trickles through to the crew, to the
writers, to the directors, everyone on set. It makes it an enjoyable
work environment. Not only that but you can settle into the season,
into your character, and really just get deep and create a lot of
layers because thereís no walls. Itís just relax and enjoy it and
have fun. Thatís really what he had told me season one was, "As JR
Ewing I just have a blast whether Iím blackmailing someone, whether
Iím destroying a manís life." He did it with a smile on his face and
he enjoyed it. That always bled through. I think thatís why people
loved JR or loved to hate JR. It was just kind of inevitable. So I
took that and he also appreciated work and loved work. He was 81 and
continuing to get to go to work every day and just have a smile on
his face and really be a positive part of someone elseís day. For
me, I just took that as I have a big responsibility playing his son
in general but now that heís gone hopefully I can really exude that
spirit of Larry and JR through my character John Ross and keep it
living. At the end of the day whether itís this season, season
three, or down the road however far we go, Iím always going to hear
JRís voice in the back of my head telling me Iím doing it right or
Iím doing it wrong or Iím proud of you or fix this. So Iím really
going to never let him go. And it was a blessing for me to be able
to learn from a man like that.
is such great chemistry between the cast. How do you all continue to
We are all just having a lot of fun. In the cast, everything is kept
fresh by the fact that there are new members coming in which is
really fun. Every time someone new comes in we are all like "oh wow,
I hope this person is not a diva" or "I hope this guy is really easy
to deal with." And we have been really, really lucky because we just
have a really good group of people. I think Linda, Larry and Patrick
really set the bar last season because they are so close to each
other. They have such a great rapport with each other and I think
that is something we all aspire to.
surprised how well the public has received this? What do you think
about the second season for you? Do you see even bigger things for
yourself and the show?
Well, bringing a show back that was so well loved originally
worldwide, it can be a little nerve wracking. In the cast all of our
main goals was that the fans of the original were satisfied with how
the show is 20 years later. So there was a big weight on our
shoulders but I think that the writing and everyone on the cast...
we just take the show so seriously and know how important it is.
Weíre just really lucky to of have the writers. I was really proud
of the show so Iím so glad that for the most part Iíve seen nothing
but positive feedback from the fans. This new season, obviously
weíre going through a lot. Itís going to be a big year for the show.
Everything the first season had this season I feel like is on
steroids compared to the first season. Everything is just hardcore.
One thing happens and then another thing happens and then all of the
sudden it literally... it keeps you guessing which is a good thing.
This is an incredible opportunity for me, my first ever lead part on
a series where I really feel a responsibility to make sure that
every episode is everything it can be. It's interesting. I bring a
lot of myself to the characters I play. But I think that playing any
character serve a cathartic experience too. It's almost like you
learn things from your character or you become more like you
character the longer that you play him. Christopher's a very noble
character. He's really at the moral center of the show. He's
incredibly ethical and oftentimes heroic. He's really the guy that
selflessly tries to serve and protect his family. It's been a great
acting turn for me. It's really stretched me as an actor because
there's a lot of high drama, a lot of really emotional scenes.
On the one hand I feel that with just the ambience on set because I
think season one we felt like we had something to prove. We were a
little bit nervous. We didn't all know each other. But now the crew
and the cast we all know each other really well. We are like a big
family and I think that relaxed atmosphere also really just helps us
do better work. The writing has just gotten more... I mean the
stakes are raised, there is more drama. There are more crazy
relationships and really fun characters that are coming out of the
woodwork. So it is a really exciting show to be a part of.
We last left
off Rebecca... or we thought it was Rebecca... was in quite a sticky
situation. Can you tell us or tease us a little bit about what to
expect this season for your character?
Yeah. Well you
can expect the truth from her this time around. It's revealed that
her name is Pamela Rebecca Barnes. She is Cliff Barnes' daughter. So
I think that right off the bat - right off the gate on season two
she's coming clean. She's coming clean to everyone. This is who
she's going to be. So you finally get to really get to know this
character for who she truly is and not the mystery that it was last
season. There's a lot of things happening. I think that the beauty
of her being honest and the audience seeing the honesty in the
character is that there's many different levels to her, There's
vulnerability, there's revenge. There's a lot of things that I get
to play with this year.
the end of last season John Ross was pretty angry and he had given
up on taking the high road. He asked JR to help him take the low
road. Where does John Ross stand as the season opens?
Season two takes place about a month after we last saw the Ewings at
the end of season one. John Ross went to this very angry vengeful
place right after Elena's mother brings him the ring back. Now heís
all alone and if anybody gets in his way heís going to take them
down. That was his attitude at the end of season one. Season two
picks up a month later. He has chilled out a little bit and he has a
different approach. I think that he still wants to take over Ewing
Energies, thatís his goal, but he knows that he canít just be guns
blazing angry all the time. So he has a different tactic. He has
chilled out a little bit. He wants to kind of fly under the radar a
little more. But heís definitely working on a big plan.
couple of episodes you see Elena really want to make her spot in the
company. Is that a sign of things to come this whole season? Is
Elena going to kind of step up and want to kind of make her own
little spot in this world?
I think so. Elena is very ambitious. She definitely wants to prove
herself. Last season a lot of her time was spent being torn between
two guys and not knowing exactly what to do. Now that everything is
okay on the home front for a little while at least she now can focus
on her business career. What is really fun about playing Elena is
she is one of the only characters on Southfork that has a moral code
and isn't willing to sacrifice it to get ahead. It is really fun to
play her navigating, wanting to succeed and wanting to thrive and
wanting to make money and yet not wanting to sacrifice her values to
So much about
the show is with the strife between Christopher and John Ross. I'm
curious in the second season if we're going to see any complications
with Christopher and Bobby because they always seem to be on the
same side. I'd be curious where their relationship is going.
Well their relationship... they were a bit at odds in the first
season. But they're pretty much on the same side here in the second
season, at least thus far. It becomes a very tricky situation with
the running of Ewing Energies because some other players become
involved. Also Sue Ellen becomes more involved with Ewing Energies.
We also end up bringing Jordana -- Elena -- on in a bigger capacity.
We need to stay on the same page and stay a tight knit group more
has your life has changed both professionally and with the fans
since you've been starring on
Oh well, I definitely have a lot more fans. (laughs) It's
really great. It's just nice. It's just really nice when you put
your work out there and people really respond to it. You get the
Twitter followers or the Facebook people or just emails and fan
letters. It's really nice when it's very positive and wanting to see
more of your work. To be honest with you, it doesn't really change
my personal life. I'm still the same person I was, you know, 20
years ago, 10 years ago. I don't really change whether I'm on a hit
movie or a hit show or a hit something. But, even in industry world
my peers get to see my work on a weekly basis. As an actor the goal
is to just keep working. As long as I have a job, I feel blessed.
It's been a really great run to have such an amazing show to work
Well, Dallas has definitely changed my life. So many people
around the world obviously knew Dallas before we even brought
it back. Being a part of it has really I guess put me and my name
out there worldwide, which is great. I was born in Dallas so I just
feel so lucky to be a part of the Dallas television show and
getting to come home and shoot the show here. It has definitely
changed my life, my outreach to people. Theyíre very passionate.
Fans of the show are very passionate, especially the fans of the
original. So it kind of puts you in almost more of like an intimate
place with these people that you have never met because theyíre so
attached and there is such a nostalgic aspect to Dallas for
them. What was always great about Dallas is it has brought it
to a new generation with the four younger members of the cast
reaching into our fan bases.
Honestly life hasn't changed that much. It's just nice to be on a
show that people are watching and to be working with such an
exceptional group of people. I feel very lucky. This is my first
opportunity to be a true lead on a series and in part carry a
series. I take this job very seriously. I consider it one of the
biggest jobs I've ever had. I've been enjoying every minute of it.
But not a whole lot has changed for me personally.
sounds like you guys all have a really great rapport. What is going
on behind the scenes? Who is hanging out? Are we listening to music?
Is there anything that you guys do to chill?
Well we are kind of forced to hang out because we all live in Dallas
so it is like our little family home away from home. Julie and I
hang out a lot and I go shopping with the costume designer who I
adore. I have lunch with Linda at her favorite restaurants and shops
in Dallas. Jesse loves going... he is a really great music guy and
he knows exactly what shows are playing all the time and like what
cool bands to go see. So I do that with him. When my husband is in
town and his girlfriend is in town we will go out to dinner. And we
also kind of dorky. We will all get together and watch shows like
the Golden Globes together. So it is really nice being able
to be on location because you just end up relying on each other.
Okay so when
you are all there do you all stay in the same place around each
other? Or I mean do you take an apartment for six months a year?
Yes well that is one of the challenges of being on a TV show is you
have to find a lease for only six months and that is really, really
tough to find. I have lived in different place for each season and
that kind of keeps it fresh and it is fun because you get to
discover a different part of Dallas. We are all spread out. We are
not all living under one... it is not like Melrose Place,
Dallas on Melrose Place. It is not like that at all.
You get to
butt heads with Christopher this season. That must be fun. But you
also get to have a different kind of a connection with John Ross, a
more passionate connection obviously. How fun was that?
Well without revealing too much... I love Josh. Josh and I get along
really well. It's fun to work with him. I do butt heads with
Christopher. Obviously this year we're in the middle of a custody
battle and all this stuff that's being revealed this year that he
didn't necessarily know last. What's fun about working with Josh and
his character is the fact that they very much operate on the same
level. They do see eye to eye in a lot of the goals that they want
to reach. So it's been fun as a character to play with somebody
that's your same level. As an actor, I love both. I think Jesse and
Josh are really great talents and they're just fun to be around on
set. We're all very, very lucky. So we all really genuinely really
enjoy each other's company.
Dallas was one of the original water cooler shows where everyone
made sure to see it every week. I was wondering just growing up what
series did you follow religiously?
When I was a teenager it was still appointment television. There was
no DVR or TiVo so I had to be home on I think it was Wednesdays
night to watch 90210 and Melrose Place. I loved My
So Called Life. That was always one of the shows I really loved.
When I was younger, when I was like ten, I remember watching TGIF
every Friday night. It was Step by Step, which oddly enough
is Patrick, so I know Patrick more from Step by Step than
Dallas. And I think Boy Meets World was also part of TGIF.
That was definitely appointment television as well.
Do you have
any fan stories different from other projects youíve done?
fans, how are they different?
Leading up to this I always played a teenager for the most part. I
had a film called The Jerk Theory and Step Up and
90210 and Desperate. I was always playing a teenager, so
my fan base was very young. Now it has broadened to this kind of
monster that is the Dallas fan base. So it has definitely
changed my life. No matter where I go Iíve got to be ready for a
picture. And you know what, I think itís great. At the end of the
day people are really happy with the show and Iím having a blast. It
has changed my life for the better and I hope I can continue to do
this for a long time.
really young when the original series was on. Were you familiar with
the original series when you were cast for the role? And now what is
it like as an actress to be part of such an iconic series?
I was definitely aware of it. I was excited when my manager called
and said they are rebooting Dallas and it is a continuation.
I was very excited because of just the built-in anticipation. I knew
it was a really fun show and tonally it was really fun. So I was
very excited to be a part of it. Even now, I watched about three or
four seasons on DVD [of the original series] and it is really fun to
be watching. I have to be really vague about this because this is
plot point I absolutely cannot give away. I am watching a character
do something that alludes to the original Dallas. I get
really excited in the role of participant. I am an actor on the
series but I am also watching as a fan. And I get really excited
about the fact that they can call back certain characters and call
back certain storylines from the past. I think that is a really fun
thing to be a part of.
briefly to Christopher feeling abandoned by his mother. Will we
learn any more this season about what happened with Pam in the last
20 years, where she's been and what happened with her and
Yes. Yes we will. Unfortunately I can't tell you much more than
that. I'm sorry.
is it for you to live tweet during the episodes and interact with
fans based on this new season?
We've all made a very concerted effort to be part of social
networking in supporting this show. I wasn't even on Twitter before
the first season or maybe I had one established but I had never used
it. I really love it. I really love getting that instant feedback
from the fans letting us know what they like and what they didn't
like. It really plays a large part in the publicity strategy for our
show. A lot of tweeting during episodes has been great. I think the
fans really enjoy it.
How will JRís
death affect John Rossís plans for Ewing Energies?
John Ross and JR, [when] they left off season one John Ross was
threatening him saying "if you screw me over, Iíll put you back in
that retirement home where you belong" because he was so angry. Now,
he realizes that heís not ready to do it on his own. He still needs
his father. His father JR is still the man and John Ross is still
learning really. As John Ross wants to take over everything on his
own, he is still smart enough to be able to utilize people around
him whether itís JR or itís Sue Ellen. Like season one, he likes to
try and use everybody as chess pieces. He keeps them in his pocket
for when he needs them. With JR, they were really kind of ready to
lock hands and go at Ewing Energies together. So obviously John Ross
as well as JR, he always had something in the back of his mind, a
plan ahead of this plan. But everything is brought to a halt. I
think heís going to feel very, very lost and unprepared with JRís
early exit. Itís something that is painful for him. He was not
expecting this. Itís going to cause some unbelievable emotions and
actions and stuff to come out of John Ross.
went through a lot of changes, a lot of events last season. I've
seen the first two episodes this season and she's very different.
Can you speak to the changes she went through and how it affects
Yeah. Absolutely. Rebecca, the character last season, was playing
parts. She's a con artist. I think that she was just trying to make
her father proud in many ways. This year that change is that is now
herself. She is now her true self. She is Cliff Barnes' daughter.
Her name is Pamela Barnes. She walks into a room and is now who she
needs to be. There's a lot of honesty behind the role this year.
That's the beauty of scenes such as the honesty in a role. There's
going to be a lot of revelations this season that are going explain
why things happened the way they did for her and why she did the
things she did last season.
Elena's decision to rekindle her romance with Christopher affect her
business deal with Sue Ellen?
It will definitely affect it. I don't know how much I can give away
but as we know, Sue Ellen is very territorial and she is definitely
a mama bear. She puts John Ross first. So the relationship between
Sue Ellen and Elena definitely changes. That was something I was a
little bummed about because I love Linda and I love working with
her. It is very difficult to have to be in scenes where we are not
[getting along]. I mean it is physical but it is fun at the same
time. It definitely changes the dynamic.
In terms of
the relationship with John Ross and JR, is John Ross going to be
elevated to become more of a threat, more of a villain in JRís
absence? Or are they going to bring in other heavies to fill that
Season one started John Ross on this path of really wanting to be
just like his father. Wanting to follow in his fatherís footsteps,
make his father proud and hopefully Ė if he could Ė outdo his
father. But he was really starting to develop a relationship which
he never really had growing up with JR. His reaction to when JR
leaves, itís such a painful and vengeful moment. Itís going to take
him probably to a very dark place. When it comes to villains on the
show, Harris Ryland is still around and obviously Cliff Barnes is
still around. Weíve got these guys that are kind of coming after the
Ewings. But really once JR is gone John Ross is really on a dark
mission. What that mission is I donít even know yet because weíre
still shooting that part of the season. Weíre basically in the
middle of shooting right now like episode 8. So I donít know where
heís going but I know that heís going to be in a dark place. Heís
definitely going to be vengeful and coming after you. Heís going to
be ready to take some heads. So weíll see when it comes to in
general the next big villain but heís definitely following in his
fatherís footsteps. He wanted to continue learning from his father
but now his father is gone so heís going to take what he has learned
As an actress
it must be really tough for you to play that character because
you're pulling off a con that everyone believed. I certainly
believed as a viewer that she was indeed in love with Christopher.
And I would think in some strange way she still is. But as an
actress how do you reconcile all that stuff in your own head? And
then how do you relate to it?
can relate into part of that, in the first season she really was in
love with Christopher. She really did fall for him. I think that as
a character, her true character's being revealed. You can sense that
there's a childlike behavior in her. I think that that, you know,
she really did fall in love. As an actor, I can relate to that. I
can relate to falling in love. I can relate to a lot of things.
Truly I don't have anything in common with Pamela this year to be
honest with you. I think that you get to find out a lot of why she
does what she does. She's coming from a very strange place. I don't
find her to be a mean-spirited person. I don't find her to be a
villain in any sense of the word. I think that she's trying to make
her father happy. It's a lot like John Ross and his character. Truly
trying to please his father. Yeah and do the things that you were
programmed to do in a way, since she was a little girl. Obviously I
had a very different upbringing than Pamela did. But as an actor
that's the fun part for me. I get to explore that and I get to go
into different levels that I've never been in. I'm like well this is
great. What I loved about playing last season and this year is the
fact that there is a level of vulnerability and there is a level of
a child inside of her. Yet she's still going along with the things
that she has to do. It's going to be fun to discover the real Pamela
At the end of
last season Elena had broken her engagement with John Ross and
became engaged to Christopher. As the season opens is she still torn
between these two guys? Where is her mind between these two men?
Does she still love both of them?
No. I think she really gave John Ross the benefit of the doubt
throughout season one and she was very torn because the love of her
life was married to someone else. But I think once John Ross crossed
her that's it. Elena deserves a little happiness, so after spending
so much time going back and forth between Christopher and John Ross
she is very, very happy to just settle in a little with Christopher.
Great I can't
wait to see whether or not that works out for her. Thanks.
I know me too. We are only on episode nine just so far it's been
smooth sailing, but who knows what's ahead.
a bit of a - I hate to use the term but a bit of a sex symbol. I was
on the Internet the other day and they have now like Team Josh and
Yes thatís pretty funny.
How do you
take all of that? I mean, itís got to be flattering in one part but
then do you take any of it really seriously?
Things are going to happen. Youíve got all these films out there
whether itís the Twilights with Team Edward or Team the other
guy... youíve got these. At the end of the day, if people are
talking about you and enjoying what youíre doing... or enjoying it
but hating you as a character... thatís really what we want to do as
artists and actors. We want to make people feel. Whether itís we
want to make them excited or we want to make them angry or we want
to make them emotional. Thatís our job. If weíre doing that I think
that hopefully weíre doing our job right. So I do get a lot of
responses and opinions and stuff from Twitter and Facebook and I
really appreciate it. I try to look at as much of it as I can just
to kind of know how people are feeling. But at the end of the day
you also canít always take it to heart because not everyone is going
to like what you do or not everyone is going to like your character,
especially if you do things like John Ross. But oddly enough I get a
lot of positive stuff and people enjoy watching the show and enjoy
trying to guess what John Ross is going to do next. So I love that.
I love the aspect of being able to keep everyone guessing and heís
so unpredictable. At the end of the day Iím very appreciative that
people are enjoying it and watching and I hope that it continues.
There are a
lot of fans out there on team Rebecca. They completely have loved
you the first season and they want to see Rebecca or Pamela reunite
with Christopher. Do you think there's any chance of that happening?
And is that even on her agenda this next season?
You know, to be honest with you, I don't know. Anything can happen.
We find her obviously revealing her true identity but also is
pregnant with Chris' baby. So there's a battle going on between the
two. But I think that true Dallas, anything can happen on the
show. You never know where they're going to take us really. At this
point you do find Christopher and Elena reconciling. So there's
different things. To be honest with you I have no idea where the
writers are going. I know that we're obviously stuck in a bit of a
custody battle. There are tense moments between Christopher and
Pamela at the beginning of the season but it's not always going to
be that way.
You kind of
have the most enviable role on TV today I think being able to bounce
back in love scenes with Jessie and Josh. I am curious how different
is the dynamic between you guys as actors when you are in those
Well I am not bouncing quite as much. I am not hopping beds. I am
staying put for a little while which is a nice change. But do you
means in terms of like just doing a regular scene versus doing a
love scene? We will all assume that is what it is. You know it is
nice to do those kinds of romantic scenes with someone you know on
one hand but it can be a little more awkward because at that point
the actor feels like your brother in some ways. On the other hand,
you keep it really professional and I have had a really good time
doing those kinds of scenes with Jesse and Josh because they are
both really respectful. It is a good part of my job. I am not
I know the
season opens only about a month after last season ended. How
dangerous is Rebecca right now? And is Christopher still vulnerable
to her being that she's the mother of his child?
Well she's dangerous. She's dangerous because she has the backing of
her family and of her father. Barnes Global certainly has a lot of
money and a lot of power. He's also still emotionally vulnerable to
her. After all she is the mother of his children. They're stuck in
this bitter custody battle over the unborn twins. It gets pretty
In season one
Elena and Rebecca were really kind of polite to each other but there
was always that tension sort of brewing underneath the surface. Now
that the relationships have changed what can we expect from Rebecca
or Pamela and Elena's relationship this season?
Well I was really hoping the gloves could come off. Maybe they still
can at some point, because if you think about it, Rebecca is the
reason that Christopher and Elena weren't together in the first
place. Her brother sent that email and now she is pregnant with her
fiance's baby. So it is just a really contentious relationship. But
because she is pregnant with his baby and because they will be a
part of Elena's life presumably she has to be civil to her, which is
so frustrating. I think it is really difficult. But most of
the animosity is below the surface for the time being anyway.
quest for revenge against Christopher and the Ewings more about
pleasing her father Cliff, hurt that Chris is still in love with
Elena or a little bit of both?
I think it's a little bit of both. Pamela has grown up hearing... I
mean obviously Cliff has never had any nice things to say about the
Ewing family. So I think that she grew up listening to that. She
grew up listening to her father have this huge feud with the Ewings.
In a way it's like she was programmed to please her father. She
wants nothing but to please her father and to have his approval. I
think that most of the reason why she went on a two year con to trap
Christopher into marrying her and all that stuff is because of her
father. Truly she did fall in love. I think she really did fall in
love with Christopher in the first season and, you know, it's one of
those things. She is hurt. She definitely is hurt with the fact that
Christopher never would have loved her as much as he loved Elena.
This season you do find a lot of that. But you can see the other
side of that - being torn. Being torn in doing what she needs to do
for herself or what she needs to do for her father. I get to play a
lot of that this year and which is really fun for me. There's a
little bit of everything when it comes to wanting to get back at
them. Not always going to be the case though. I do have to add that.
You talked a
little about Elena's relationship with Christopher. Is it difficult
to go from one extreme to the next? Show your affections to
Christopher and then like the next week you are all in love with
John Ross back and forth?
She is not ping ponging anymore. Last season the attraction towards
and the love for Christopher was always there it is just that she
couldnít be with him because now he was married to Rebecca.
Christopher being someone with integrity and values didn't want to
divorce Rebecca. So she kind of was between a rock and a hard spot.
That made the transition from John Ross to Christopher very easy for
her because that was always there regardless. It is not like she
ever stopped loving Christopher. They just weren't able to be
together because it was all circumstantial. So, no, I don't have
trouble ping ponging between the two or I didn't at least. But now
that is over and she is mainly with Christopher and she is very
happy for the time being.
At the end of
last season Christopher had a number of enemies, in addition to
Rebecca, the Barnes Family, John Ross is pretty mad, the Highland,
all sorts of people. By aligning herself with Christopher is Elena
going to be sort of the sights of the enemies and we will see her in
danger at all?
I think if you are in the mix, if you are living in Southfork and
working at Ewing Energies and in business with the Ewings you are in
danger regardless of who you are sleeping with. So I think yes, she
does have to watch her back. And I think she knows that. She is a
very smart woman. She knows that she has to be wary of whoever she
comes in contact with, with the exception of Christopher and Bobby.
It has been
announced that Elena's brother is going to come in during season
two. Can you talk about that and how that might change the dynamic?
Well what I love about Drew Ramos coming back is... well first I
really like the actor playing him. Kuno [Becker] is really fun to
work with. I love that it brings out a whole different side of
Elena. I mean everyone knows no one pushes your buttons like family.
Her older brother really pushes her buttons and forces her to be
very adversarial because he is a bit of a bad boy. He usually causes
trouble and that is how she views him initially. So it has been
really fun to be able to show that side of Elena.
Christopher tried his best to be on the side of right in order to
get ahead in business. This season will Christopher start to become
a little cutthroat when he goes up against his Uncle Cliff and
Pamela and JR and John Ross?
He definitely starts to consider compromising his ethics. He
certainly ultimately does dance on the dark side a little bit. He's
really forced to in order to compete with everyone around him being
so manipulative. So yes, you're definitely going to see a darker
side of Christopher come mid season.
Since the show
is like known for its bad guys do you wish you weren't such a goody
two shoes on the show?
Sometimes I kind of want I want to be like "Well I just feel like
she is so, so good which is, you know? I don't understand why she is
taking that but..." On the other hand I think it is also great to
play a character where she is incredibly ambitious and driven and
yet she is not willing to sacrifice her core morals. I feel like
with the exception of Bobby everyone else is willing to throw
someone else under the bus to get ahead. So it is kind of nice
playing that redeemable character and someone that other women can
look up to.
seems like the really good guy with the strong moral compass like
Bobby. But you can't be a character on
Dallas without having skeletons in your closet. When they appear
they can come out of left field. If it were up to you, what kind of
skeletons would you put in Christopher's closet?
I think it's obvious from the character that we've established in
the first season what he's grappling with. I still get into the
character in the same way. I think Christopher is really defined by
his need to prove himself as a Ewing and the baggage of being
abandoned by the only mother that he's ever known. I think that's
the fuel for his ambition. That's the source to his ambition. So,
anything can really come out of that. He could have a substance
problem. He could fly off the handle. I mean he's already proven
himself in the first season to be pretty temperamental at times and
very emotionally raw at times. I don't really know exactly what
skeletons are going to come out of Christopher's closet. I can't
imagine they'd be that earth shattering. But, he definitely has some
edge to his personality and certainly there's the propensity to go
to the dark side.
What is it
like playing such a bad guy?
If I had to describe it in one word it would be fun. Iím actually a
very laid back nice person in real life. I put everyone else before
myself which is how I was raised and who I have always been. Thatís
just who I am. Being able to step out of that and play a character
that is so conniving and scheming and willing to do whatever it
takes to get what he wants, itís something that Iíve grown to have
fun with. Thatís something that Larry taught me in the first season.
He said, "If I can tell you one thing about being not only a Ewing,
but John Ross or someone like his father, [it] is that everything he
does, he has fun in it. Larry had fun with everything he did. Not
just playing anger all the time. John Ross was always backed into a
corner season one. He was always like trying to backpedal and figure
things out so he was always frantically hoping to not screw up. Now
season two he has chilled out a little bit and he is taking his
fatherís advice. Iím having fun with it. I'm so fortunate to have
this role and to have been able to watch Larry in the role of JR.
Now that he is gone, I can hopefully have JRís spirit living through
me. Continuing to grow into what might be a new... basically not the
new JR, because no one is JR... but fearing that role of my father
is gone, Iím going to be my fatherís son and no one is going to stop
me. Iím having the time of my life and I feel very fortunate to be
able to be a part of the show.
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