Interview with Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalfe of "Dallas" on TNT - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalfe of "Dallas" on TNT 5/4/12

Moderator: Kristina Stafford
May 4, 2012
11:30 am CT

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Turner Entertainment and Associates Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalf conference call. As a reminder, todayís conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Kristina Stafford. Please go ahead, maíam.

Kristina Stafford: Hello everyone. Thank you for joining the Patrick Duffy and Jesse Metcalf conference call. Dallas premieres Wednesday June 13 at 9:00 pm Eastern on TNT.

The conference call is now open for questions. Please press star one to ask a question. Thank you.

Operator: And again, that is star one to ask a question. Please limit yourself to one question. Weíll go first to Jay Jacobs with

Jay Jacobs: Hi. Nice talking to you.

Patrick Duffy: Hey, Jay; how are you?

Jesse Metcalf: How you doing?

Jay Jacobs: Good. Big fan of the show. First of all, like the new version of Dallas is different than any version and what ((inaudible))?

Patrick Duffy: Wow, you cut in and out a little bit. But itís...

Jesse Metcalf: How is the new version different and how is it similar?

Patrick Duffy: And howís it similar, okay. You ((inaudible)).

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Jesse Metcalf: Okay. Well, you know, Iíd say itís a more contemporary version of the original show. You know, I donít think weíve changed what made the original series great. You know, I mean, the show still centers around these, you know, major themes of, you know, family dynamics, and greed, and loyalty, and love, and betrayal.

But weíve just updated it. You know, and, you know, we made it modern and definitely, you know, socially relevant to the times. And in addition to that, you know, we added some new characters.

You know, obviously, Christopher and John Ross were established in the original series. But, you know, you now get to see the type of man that these two children have grown up to be.

And, you know, we also introduced the character of Elena Ramos, you know, who is, you know, the one side of the love triangle, you know, between, you know, me, Josh Henderson, and Jordana and sheís the daughter of, you know, of our...

Patrick Duffy: The Ewing housekeeper for, you know.

Jesse Metcalf: Yeah, the Ewing housekeeper. And, you know, she definitely wasnít a part of the original series. You know, and then we also have my fiancť, Rebecca Sutter played by Julie Gonzalo so.

Itís a great marriage of, you know, the original show and the original cast and some new cast members.

Patrick Duffy: Yeah. The difference also is just technologically speaking television is done so differently now that if we tried to duplicate the old school Dallas I think it would be slow in appearance and in substance for a modern audience.

So with the technology that we have with high def cameras and the new way of directing television, which is so dynamic and so intense in terms of the pacing. And the scripts reflect that also. Theyíre much more condensed.

We get maybe four or five episodes of an old Dallas in one episode of the new Dallas. So all of these things I think contemporize the old show. But we maintain the honor that Cynthia Cidre and Mike Robin feel towards the show. So that hasnít changed.

And I think thatís what will impress old viewers as they look at the new Dallas is itís so much similar to what they were used to. But itís done for a contemporary audience.

So we think we got the best of both worlds. And weíre hoping that everybody out there is going to agree with us.

Operator: And weíll go next to Christine Hinton with

Christine Hinton: Hi, gentlemen. Itís lovely to talk to you today.

Patrick Duffy: Thank you. Itís so strange to be hovering over this telephone and speaking into you.

Christine Hinton: Isnít it? I have to say I grew up on the original Dallas. And when I heard the news that TNT was bringing it back, which was about a year ago, I immediately called my editor and said thatís mine, Iím covering it.

Patrick Duffy: Nice, I love that.

Christine Hinton: So I have to ask, Patrick, what was it like to hear the news that they were recreating the show? And did you ever see it coming back as a series?

Patrick Duffy: No, because I didnít think that anybody knew how to do it as a series again. The real brains and heart behind the show is our executive producer, (Leonard Cassman). And he died.

And all of these other attempts to write scripts and to promote a movie or a television show that fell so far short of what the original concept was. I didnít think anybody had the ability anymore.

And then Cynthia Cidre wrote a script and it was submitted to Larry and Linda and myself. And it was phenomenal. The pilot script for the show had everything even better than I would say half of the original Dallas scripts that we got.

So from the moment, the three of us read it we were onboard. And it was the first time I ever thought it was a possibility of returning as a series. And we filmed the pilot. I was sure that we were going to series. I was sure we were going to do this show.

And Iím still as optimistic that itís going to go for years and years, because the quality of it is so satisfying having done the show for 13 years to see how well it can be redone again in 2012. I would be more than happy if this were my swan song.

Christine Hinton: One other quick question, will you or any of the other cast be at the TNT Upfronts Event in New York City in the next couple of weeks?

Patrick Duffy: Everybody short of the family dog is going to be in the TNT Upfronts.

Christine Hinton: Fantastic. I canít wait to see you guys there.

Patrick Duffy: And please introduce yourself and remind us of this conversation.

Christine Hinton: Wonderful. Thank you very much.

Patrick Duffy: Thank you.

Operator: Again as a reminder, please limit yourself to one question. Weíll now go to Chris Baker with The Dallas Decoder.

Chris Baker: Hey, Patrick and Jesse.

Jesse Metcalf: Hey, man; how you doing?

Chris Baker: Good. Hey, listen, Iím a huge fan of the original series. And I just started the new blog, And I hope you guys will check it out.


Chris Baker: Iím on Twitter, yeah, exactly, yeah. And Iíve got the site up, so I hope youíll check it out. But I want to say Iíve seen the first seven episodes and Iíve been really impressed.

And I want to ask you each among those first seven do you each have a favorite scene that youíve done or favorite moment from the first few episodes that you could each talk about?

Jesse Metcalf: I probably have a favorite moment from every episode. You know, itís really difficult for me to, you know, to pick just one scene, you know. I mean, you know, the fun thing about this show is that itís a magnificent ensemble.

You know, and every single day, you know, you get to work with, you know, a different actor. You know, and I love working with all these different actors on the show for different reasons.

But Iíd say, you know, from the pilot episode, you know, my favorite scene would have to be, you know, the scene where Christopher confronts Elena about possibly betraying him and about the email.

Chris Baker: Thatís a good scene. Youíre great in that scene.

Jesse Metcalf: Thank you; appreciate it. You know, Patrick and I have had a number of really strong scenes, you know.

Patrick Duffy: Yeah.

Jesse Metcalf: I donít know, what do you think, Patrick?

Patrick Duffy: Well itís interesting to me, because several of my favorite scenes didnít make it to the show. And thatís whatís interesting is that these scripts are so compact and so intense. And every scene is so brilliantly done.

You finish filming and you think I canít wait to see that. And then itís edited out.

Chris Baker: Interesting.

Patrick Duffy: Well because, you know, you just canít put everything in each episode.

Chris Baker: Sure.

Patrick Duffy: It still exists somewhere; especially when it comes out on a DVD there will be, you know, additional scenes as an ancillary side to the DVD.

Chris Baker: Sure.

Patrick Duffy: So they will exist at some point. And you have to as an actor let that go. But I had a scene with Jesse in a barn, which they only kept the lead in scene for that. And they eliminated it. And it was one of my favorite ones of that episode.

But over the years Iíve learned to let those feelings go and just enjoy what I see. Most of my new scenes that I have with my wife, with Brenda Strong, are really satisfying, because, you know, that to me is the big test to find someone who would be the new Mrs. Bobby Ewing is a tough decision that casting had to make.

It was a tough role for somebody to accept and Brenda is so good and I...

Chris Baker: Sheís terrific.

Patrick Duffy: ...feel like when I watch us on camera anymore that weíve been married for 20 years. Thereís just an ease that we have with each other that makes those particular scenes very enjoyable for me.

And I like being a father. So every time I work with Jesse itís another level of satisfaction.

Chris Baker: Terrific. Great. Well, listen, best of luck to both of you. I look forward to...

Patrick Duffy: Thank you so much.

Chris Baker: Thanks.

Operator: And weíll now go to Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine.

Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Itís such a pleasure to speak with both of you.

Patrick Duffy: Thank you.

Jesse Metcalf: Hey.

Jamie Steinberg: I was just wondering, Jesse, for you what was it about the show that really captured you and said, you know, I want to be apart of this version?

Jesse Metcalf: It was the writing, you know. It was the pilot episode, you know, that initial script that I read. You know, I mean, to be honest, and I think this probably speaks to, you know, our critics a bit.

You know, I was a bit hesitant, you know, to, you know, to even audition, you know, for the new Dallas, because I wasnít sure of remaking such an iconic show was a good idea. You know, and with the wave of, you know, remakes and reboots of various different shows over the past, you know, five years, you know, itís really been a trend.

Most of which werenít very successful, you know. I was definitely hesitant. But after reading that pilot episode I was like, wow, this is really good story telling.

You know, the characters are really well defined and complex. And I said - I was like, wow, you know, I think I want to throw my hat in the ring. You know, initially I auditioned for the role of John Ross.

There was some interest there. But they ended up going with Josh Henderson, who I think is perfect casting for the role. You know, and they came back ((inaudible)) for Christopher and I was even more excited for that role.

And, yeah, and then I think the, you know, thing that, you know, really pushed it over the top for me was, you know, that Larry, Patrick, and Linda were going to be a part of the new series, which I think, you know, I think is completely necessary.

I donít think weíve couldíve done the new series, you know, without the original cast members or, you know. I mean, I know we donít have all of them, but at least, you know, the big three as we like to call them.

Jamie Steinberg: And Patrick, what do you think it is about the show that really captures so many viewers?

Patrick Duffy: Well, Jesse, nailed it, because weíve been, you know, approached over the years both to be in a show or how do we feel about, you know, redoing Dallas or movie versions that didnít even involve the original cast members and they all fell so far short...

Jamie Steinberg: Right.

Patrick Duffy: ...even approaching the original show that I didnít think it was possible to do. And as Jesse said, once I saw the script and Larry and Linda saw the script and read it we realized not only was it possible but it could end up being better than the original because of the timely nature of how the scripts were written and what we could do with technology now.

So the three of us got onboard, and Iíve not been disappointed in a page, a paragraph, or anything since the original pilot episode. So Iím onboard as long as they can squeeze another year out of this old horse.

Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you guys so much.

Patrick Duffy: Thank you.

Jesse Metcalf: ((inaudible)).

Operator: And that concludes todayís question and answer session. Stafford, I will now turn the call back to you for closing remarks.

Kristina Stafford: Thank you for joining todayís call. As a reminder, Dallas premiers Wednesday June 13 at 9:00 pm Eastern on TNT. A transcript of this call will be available on Monday May 7.

Thank you so much Patrick and Jesse for joining us. And thank you everyone for participating.

Patrick Duffy: Thank you all.

Jesse Metcalf: Thank you for participating.

Patrick Duffy: Good bye.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude todayís conference call. Thank you for your participation.


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