'Dallas' Star Josh Henderson on His Racy Sex Scenes: 'I Just Go For It' (EXCLUSIVE Q&A)
It's hot -- and we mean hot -- in Southfork.
Despite being off the air for more than two decades, last week's Dallas reboot proved that there’s still plenty of unresolved drama between the Ewing clan -- and in the process the hit TNT drama became 2012′s highest cable premiere so far.
Celebuzz: Congratulations on the biggest cable premiere of 2012 so far. Josh Henderson: We are very, very excited. So far it seems people are really enjoying it and it seems really positive. I had a big fun premiere party at my house and now I’m kind of on round two of getting out there and keeping people excited about the show.
CB: Everyone here in the office is so excited about it, especially the girls. JH: Good! That’s what we want to hear.
CB: Since you aren't in production anymore, have you kept in touch with the cast post-premiere? What is the general vibe with the Dallas cast right now? JH: There’s been a circle of emails going around from TNT, Turner and from Warner Brothers to the cast sojust saying 'congrats' and 'we’re so excited the world is falling in love with Dallas again.' It’s been kind of an exciting time. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been attached to this show for about a year and a half. It’s been a while and I’m glad and hope that people will continue to tune in. We did really well.
CB: A year and a half is a long time to sit around and get nervous-- did you have any doubts that it wouldn't be a hit? I was very confident in the show because I had seen a lot of the episodes, and I had seen and sat in screenings with people all over the country and they didn’t even know I was there! It was funny because I got to actually see genuine reactions from people to the show. It’s been very good and I just hope that we can continue the progress.
CB: Lets take it back to the audition process. Did you gun for this role right from the beginning? JH: When I heard that the show was coming back, I just felt this weird connection. I remember calling my agent and saying I really feel right for this, and I have to audition for JR’s son. So, I went in one day and I remember sitting across from another guy auditioning and he had a cowboy hat on and I thought, “uh okay?” And I went in, and I did my audition and I felt really good about it, to the point where I went back to my car and I shut the door and I screamed. Cause it just felt right!
I got a call a half hour later that they were going to test me for John Ross. I called my mom and we were freaking out and I said to my mom, by the way I’m still auditioning, I don’t have it yet, so don’t go Facebook crazy. I finally got the call from Michael Wright, one of the big wigs at TNT, and he called and asked for John Ross, and I was like hello? So that’s how I found out I had gotten the role.
CB: I know that you have a lot of friends in this industry. Did you know anyone else you were going up against? Is that weird? JH: I know that Jesse [Metcalfe] had originally read for John Ross as well. And then he had to Skype his audition in because he was doing another show. I know that they saw everyone and that a ton of people auditioned. But I know when I was there, it was a very quiet day, and it was just me and this mystery cowboy guy!
CB: I know you guys like to keep plot lines very “hush hush.” What kind of spoilers can you give us? What’s good about this show is that it keeps you guessing. There will be a lot of twists and turns. The writers did such a good job because there isn't just one cliffhanger per episode, it’s like there’s cliffhangers during the commercial breaks. It’s like once you think you’ve figured it out, it totally spins you and it continues to do that through the entire season. When it comes to actual stuff, of course I can’t tell you exactly what happens.
CB: We just talked to your co-star, Leonor Varela who said that she was the one who dreamt up the racy sex scene between you two out of her “twisted imagination.” JH: I think so! It’s a fun story line for John Ross’ character as well because he has is people that he wheels and deals with. He kind of uses everyone around him as chess pieces. His goal is to stay one step ahead of whether it’s JR or Christopher. One of his main players in season one is definitely Marta. So, it’s a really fun story line and she plays such a great, twisted, torn… Her character is a lot of fun and you’re going to see a lot of fun stuff happen between us. And it only gets crazier and weirder as it goes on.
CB: Do you ever get nervous before sex scenes? JH: No, at the end of the day, those are the scenes that you just kind of have to go there, and take yourself out of everything real and just go for it. So, we had a lot of fun together. We got to do some fun things.
CB: The rivalry between John Ross and Jesse’s character is so believable. Did you guys know each other before this? JH: Ya, I’ve known Jesse for about ten years, since around 2002. We used to play on a charity basketball team together. He and I go way back. It’s funny how we were on the same show [Desperate Housewives] for a bit but we never had scenes together. And now, here we are.
We definitely use our comfort level with each other to be able to take our scenes deeper, and make them more real. Knowing each other helps because at the end of the day, if you are comfortable with the person you are working with and there are no walls up, you can just kind of let everything go and really go at it. So it really works for this intense kind of….like with what’s going on in the story, it helps that him and I are really close.
CB: Coming on a show with so many veterans, what was the most rewarding part and what was the most nerve-wracking part? JH: Well, rewarding in the sense that I don’t think you can do Dallas without them. They legitimize our show, they are what the original fans want to come back and see. It’s a blessing for us to be able to have them. I was a little intimidated and a little nervous. This show was such a big deal to people all over the world. I call them the legendary three; Larry, Linda and Patrick. They are what creating this monster that is Dallas.
We definitely wanted to come in as the young generation and have them kind of accept us, and hopefully they are happy to what we brought to the table. But at the end of the day, they are all such amazing people and so genuinely nice. Actually none of us felt we were being judged, they just accepted us with open arms. Like I was talking about with Jesse, whether it was scenes with me and Larry or me and Linda, it kind of made me comfortable. I wasn’t being judged, I could just kind of do what I do for John Ross and it really seamlessly worked. And it kind of felt real.
When I have scenes with Linda, I really feel like I’m dealing with my mother. Same with Larry, he’s so intense and his just a magnetic ball of energy as JR and it really feels real and it works. So far, I think the response from the audience has been that the story line is believable and they really believe I can be JR’s son. For me, it’s great to hear.
Watch some of the original Dallas cast members sound off below: