Home Drama Dallas – Patrick Duffy on getting back into character

Dallas – Patrick Duffy on getting back into character

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Dallas (2012), 1.01 - Patrick Duffy
Episode 1.01 "Changing of the Guard" - Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) ©2012 Turner Entertainment

No, you didn’t just wake up from a weird dream, like Bobby Ewing did after being ‘dead’ for a season on the iconic TV series Dallas. The show is back, and so is JR (Larry Hagman), Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) and of course, Bobby, once again played by Patrick Duffy.

Twenty years later, Bobby is married to Anne (Brenda Strong), and is the current proprietor of SouthFork, determined to protect the promise he made to his late mother Miss Ellie to not let anyone drill for oil on the land. But JR’s son, John Ross (Josh Henderson), with the help of his father, is determined to undermine his grandmother’s legacy by drilling for oil on Ewing land. Let the battle begin!

I spoke with Patrick about coming back to the legendary show Dallas.

What was it like getting back into character on the first day of shooting this?

Dallas (2012), 1.01 - Brenda Strong, Patrick Duffy and Julie Gonzalo
Episode 1.01 "Changing of the Guard" - Ann Ewing (Brenda Strong), Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and Rebecca Sutter (Julie Gonzalo) ©2012 Turner Entertainment

We [on Dallas] are like those people in a Las Vegas hypnotizing act, where they hypnotize somebody, and they say, ‘You’re are going to be a chicken every time I snap my fingers.’

When I got on the set for the first day to do the pilot of Dallas (2012), it was like somebody did this (he snaps his fingers) and I started clucking like Bobby. There was no space between the last time I was a chicken and [being] a chicken now!

By the end of the pilot the viewers are back into the same struggle for SouthFork.

Absolutely. It’s like 20 years hasn’t gone by.

Dallas (2012), 1.01 - Patrick Duffy and Josh Henderson
Episode 1.01 "Changing of the Guard" - Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and John Ross Ewing (Josh Henderson) ©2012 Turner Entertainment

When we saw the pilot, I was not weeping, but tears were running down my cheek from the moment the theme music started.  The minute that theme builds up, I said, ‘It’s back,’ and it’s as exciting, and I’m as thrilled to do it as I was then. And I wouldn’t be if I knew I was going to be in a turkey.

In the first scene it’s disclosed that Bobby has cancer and he’s probably dying. Did you only want to do one season on the show?

When I got the script, it came with Cynthia’s note, ‘Don’t worry about the cancer!’ Cancer is a very curable thing. It’s the bogyman of all diseases and we all deal with that. I’m sure there’s not a family in the country that doesn’t have some firsthand knowledge. And not to play on people’s tragedies, but to hook a character that has the sympathetic genealogy of Bobby with a premature possibility of dying is a great hook in a drama like Dallas. That’s brilliant, in my opinion.

Patrick Duffy on Dallas (2012) continues on page 2 (click below)

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