James and Dule talk Psych
Psych is coming back! Starting on July 18th, the comedy starring James Roday and Dule Hill will be returning to USA Network with all new episodes. The third season of this series looks to be a very interesting one, as viewers will finally get to meet Shawn Spencer's long-lost mother as well as get to see a more dramatic side of the character ... something we got a taste of during the last few episodes of last season.
The two stars of Psych got together with the press last week to touch on a number of subjects. Topics included a preview of the upcoming season, a discussion about the duo's "Ebony & Ivory" commercial, Roday's appearance on the NBC anthology Fear Itself, and the never-ending 1980s references that the two spout during each episode.
The "Ebony & Ivory" promotion for Psych: Doing the promo was a lot of fun, according to Dule Hill, who plays Burton 'Gus' Guster on the show. They had very little time to memorize the song before shooting began, perhaps maybe fifteen minutes. Once the shoot began, Hill didn't realize that the Stevie Wonder portion of the song was so high.
For James Roday, who plays Shawn Spencer on the show, his main concern was that they were going to be making fun of these two rock icons. However, after he and Hill watched the original video, they realized that they were just emulating what McCartney did on the video rather than mocking it. And, for the record, the song still lingers in their memories since the shooting ended.
Cybill Shepherd: Roday says Cybill Sheppard, who will portray Shawn's mother in the season three premiere and will have a recurring role this season, was very professional and happy to be on the set with them. James was also impressed that Shepherd was able to anchor the episode in a dramatic way when she came in and really didn't know anybody on the set. According to James, Sheppard stepped up, had fun, and accomplished what needed to be done in the opening scene.
The upcoming season: "Our self-imposed mandate for this season was 20% more of everything", said Roday. "So, you're going to get 20% more action, 20% more comedy, 20% more drama, 20% more emotional grounding." James continued by saying that viewers will be seeing a few new layers peeled back on Shawn's character that will reveal a bit more about his family history. He will also be more serious, especially during the season premiere.
In terms of episode conten,t there will be one that features more stunts than all of the other episodes combined, and another, directed by James himself, that will pay tribute to the Friday the 13th series of films. As to guest stars, in addition to the before mentioned Cybill Sheppard as Shawn's mother, and Steven Weber as Shawn's uncle, actors Rachael Leigh Cook, Ted Lange, Jeff Fahey, Gary Cole, and Christopher McDonald will also make appearances.
Shawn and Henry: When asked about Shawn and Henry Spencer's relationship this season, Roday said that the appearance of Shawn's mother will shine a new light on the their past and reveal that some truths may not be as accurate as he once thought. After that, the two will take their relationship one day at a time. James thinks that he and his father (played by Corbin Bernsen) will still have their problems, but they will be moving towards a mutual understanding of each other.
Will Gus's parents be returning this season?: Hill doesn't know if Ernie Hudson and Phylicia Rashad will be returning as Gus's parents this season. However, there is a chance that viewers will be meeting one or two of his siblings this year.
Fears of messing with the current format of the show: When asked if there was a little fear when it came to some of the new stuff coming up this season, Hill believed that there wasn't much. "I think with any long-running TV show, you have to continue to challenge yourself to improve on what you've done," said Dule. "Otherwise, you'll get stale." Hill added that these changes were the only way to keep the show exciting for the audience as well as the actors.
The' 80s references: The writers definitely add their own references, said Roday. But, he added, by the time it reaches him and Hill they have some additional '80s references to throw in as well. In the end, they end up with a good mix of everyone's favorite references. James concluded by saying that there is a bounty of '80s references still available and they won't be drying up any time soon.
Improvising Gus and Shawn's conversations on Psych: While the shooting schedule is very intense, both Roday and Hill do have leeway as to how much improvisation goes into their dialogue. Roday says that this spontaneity is something that the fans appreciate and, if it's not broke, don't fix it. They will continue to take what is written on the script and mold it into the flavor that fans have come to expect of the show.
Shawn's flirtation with Jules (Maggie Lawson): The continued flirtation between Shawn and Santa Barbara Police Detective Juliet O'Hara will still remain a part of the show. They'll continue to dangle the question of "will they or won't they" in front of viewers until the cast gets too uncomfortable with it. At that point they'll pull back and see what happens.
Roday and Lawson on Fear Itself: "Fear Itself was just sort of a fun little gag that we did because John Landis directed it and he's worked with us a couple times on Psych," said Roday. "And, it was sort of an opportunity to do something that was very, very different than what we do on the show but still with John." Roday added that the roles that he and Lawson played on Fear were as far from Shawn and Jules as you could go from these characters.
Dule moving from The West Wing to Psych: For Hill, it was a great change of pace. "After being in the White House and working on the drama for seven years, I didn't really want to go do another drama. And Psych was exactly what I had wanted to do."
Any crossover opportunities with other USA shows?: Hill certainly hopes so. He mentioned that their have been talks about crossing over with Monk, but there is nothing set in concrete yet. Roday added that Monk would be the obvious companion for them since both private investigators are based in the same state.
Will the pineapple be showing up this season on Psych?: A resounding "absolutely" from both actors, with Hill adding, "We love our pineapple."