Actress Linda Gray, who plays Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas, opens up about working on the original series as well as the reboot, which is currently airing in South Africa.
Annette: You have spoken about having a lot of fun now with
Patrick (Duffy) and Larry (Hagman) on this series, was it fun back then or was it just a job?
Linda: There's a relaxed attitude but we are all much more
professional now, not that we weren't then, but we have been there, done that,
so there is a much more relaxed atmosphere.
There is now a lot more depth to
the characters, JR is deeper, Bobby is definitely deeper. It's maturity, there
is a sense of being grown-ups which didn't happen before.
Now there is a sense
that we have all been through some shocks and been down, it's life, life happens
and you deal with it and move on. It gives you a deeper character. How do you
deal with these things life throws at you and I think when you deal with it and
get out the other side, that is another layer to you. You become richer and
Annette: Do you
remember your feelings when the first Dallas show was shot and how different were
they to the pilot of this Dallas?
Linda: Oh boy - so different. I remember my first day on the set
in 1978 and there was snow on the ground. It was very cold, I had never been to
Texas before, I didn't have many lines to say and I was working with these
I had never been away from my family, I had two children, a
husband and a lot of an animals and I was in Dallas, Texas doing a TV show. I
wanted to go home, I didn't want to be there, I didn't know why I was there. It
was odd. Okay I have a job, I have made a lot of casseroles and frozen them,
but I wanted to home. I was a fish out of water as they say. I was happy to be
working, but I wasn't working enough to justify being there.
Then when they picked it up for series, I was like: 'Are
you kidding me?'. As a mother it was very challenging for me.
Now, it was so lovely, what they didn't tell you is they
took Cynthia and Mike Robin took the three of us (Linda, Patrick and Larry) to
dinner and one of the first questions they both asked was when would you like
to film in Texas. Now no actor in the history of acting has ever been asked 'when would you like to film' anywhere.
We were stunned and we had put in many
years filming in the horrible heat and we all said October (blurting it out) and
we got to start filming in October. That was such a respectful thing to do. So
I thought right off from day one, they showed us such respect, it was like a
Catch the first season of the new Dallas on M-Net (channel 101) every Tuesday at 21:00 and the repeat on Wednesdays at 16:00.
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South AfricaCity Press
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