Dallas is unequivocally one of the most iconic TV shows of all time. But star Linda Gray uses an allegory from one of film’s biggest franchises to explain how it feels to reunite with co-stars Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy: “We’re like the kids on Harry Potter,” Gray says gleefully, in reference to legendary trio Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. “We’re going back to Hogwarts!”
And truly, it’s not only this photo shoot that’s bringing Bobby, Sue Ellen, and J.R. back together: TNT is currently filming a reboot of the series, which stars the three actors in their original roles (as well as a slew of pretty, young things as the family’s next generation, including Jesse Metcalfe and Jordana Brewster). In celebration, Gray, Hagman, and Duffy slipped back into their boots and talked about the past and future of Southfork Ranch.
Here’s what the trio had to say about reuniting:
LARRY HAGMAN (J.R. Ewing)
The man behind the conniving oil tycoon has a theory about why his love-to-hate-him character J.R. is eternally relevant, even 20 years after the show’s original incarnation went off the air. “Everybody in the world’s got an a–hole like J.R. in the family,” quips the 80-year-old Hagman. “So everyone can relate to him, you know?” For the actor, who did an a short arc on Desperate Housewives as Felicity Huffman’s stepfather earlier this year, returning to play the villain after so long was mostly about wanting to work with his old Dallas pals, even if — in a moment of channeling J.R., perhaps? — he does lodge a complaint about his paycheck. “The money’s not as good as it used to be, of course,” Hagman says, “but how many times do you get a chance to work in a long-term thing? I like working, and I like working with my buddies.”
PATRICK DUFFY (Bobby Ewing)
He busied himself with Step By Step, various guest spots (Family Guy!), a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful, and even his own web series (Patrick Duffy & The Crab) after Dallas ended in 1991. But Duffy couldn’t be happier to head south again — and this time, he’s in charge. “This show picks up exactly where we would have been if we were in our 32nd year,” the 62-year-old Duffy explains. “So Bobby is now the patriarch of the Ewing family at Southfork because he was always the stable man. I’m sitting at the head of the table now, instead of Daddy, and all the young people are gathered around me.”
LINDA GRAY (Sue Ellen Ewing)
The 71-year-old actress most recently worked on a movie — 2009’s Expecting Mary with Della Reese, Cloris Leachman, and Lainie Kazan — that’s waiting for distribution. But she fondly remembers her time playing the former Miss Texas and sweetheart of the Ewing family, Sue Ellen. “I thought she was the most interesting female on television in the ’80s,” Gray says, “because you never knew what was going to happen to her, where she was going to go.” And Gray assures us that’s exactly the same kind of Sue Ellen you’ll get this time, even if she is 20 years older. “You can’t have her be bland this time, you can’t have her be a victim,” Gray says. “I went for long walks and I took Sue Ellen with me. I said, ‘Come on, girl. You’re going with me, girlfriend.’ We gotta figure out where you are 20 years later.” Gray won’t elaborate much, but she reveal that Sue Ellen 2.0 will be quite the match for ex-husband J.R.: “She’s powerful, she’s rich, she’s well connected, and she knows all the games that J.R. has ever played. She learned from the best, let’s put it that way.”
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky
TNT gives series order to ‘Dallas’ reboot — FIRST PHOTO
TNT’s ‘Dallas': New cast photos!
TNT’s first ‘Dallas’ trailer
TNT’s ‘Dallas’ preview during ‘The Closer’ and ‘Rizzoli and Isles': It looked pretty dang fun — VIDEO
Larry Hagman on board for ‘Dallas’ reboot