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April 23, 2014

Dulé Hill Talks Wrestling With John Cena and New 'Psych' Episodes

by Ryan McKee, posted Jan 27th 2010 11:30AM
Dulé Hill is sitting backstage at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio a few hours before he'll host 'WWE Monday Night RAW' in front of thousands of screaming Midwesterners and millions of live TV viewers.

New episodes of 'Psych's fourth season resume tonight at 10PM ET on USA. WWE superstar John Cena will guest as Ewan O'Hara, a special ops soldier and brother to Detective Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson). It's a perfect bit of cross-promotion between two USA shows and before Hill got ready to rumble, he spoke to AOL TV about wrestling, romance for his character Gus and improvising with Roday. Dulé Hill is sitting backstage at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio a few hours before he'll host 'WWE Monday Night RAW' in front of thousands of screaming Midwesterners and millions of live TV viewers.

New episodes of 'Psych's fourth season resume tonight at 10PM ET on USA. WWE superstar John Cena will guest as Ewan O'Hara, a special ops soldier and brother to Detective Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson). It's a perfect bit of cross-promotion between two USA shows and before Hill got ready to rumble, he spoke to AOL TV about wrestling, romance for his character Gus and improvising with Cena.

(His 'Psych' co-star, James Roday, was scheduled to be here as well, but last weekend he was rushed to the hospital for an appendectomy. According to Hill, Roday is the huge WWE fan and has been looking forward to this for months. He gets his picture taken with diva sisters, The Bella Twins, and text messages it to Roday, just to rub it in.)

Are you a professional fan?
I'm more of an old school wrestling fan: Tony Atlas, Andre the Giant, the Iron Sheik ... all those cats. As a kid, I used to go over to my friends' houses and play with the toys. Put them up on the ropes of the little ring. I grew up before Xbox and Playstation 3 obviously.



Did you have a favorite toy wrestler?
I really liked James "Superfly" Snuka. He was my man. I also really liked the Ultimate Warrior.

John Cena on PsychWhat was it like working with John Cena?
I was actually surprised at how good he was. I figured he'd be good since he performs so much. His comedy skills were on point and actually, his improv skills are better than mine. I really hope he comes back on the show.

Did you find yourself puffing out your chest a little more or anything?
No ... well, maybe a few times as a joke. I'm not going to puff out my chest to John Cena. That's just not going to happen, unless I have Mark Henry standing behind me [laughs].

Does Gus have a romance this season?
Yes, I do, I have something coming up with Sarah Shahi. So you'll get to see how Gus interacts with his love interest. It's the second episode and it's all about daredevils.

Are there any other themed episodes coming up this season?
We have the thrill-seekers/daredevil episode, then a 'Jaws' episode. We have a Hitchcock theme for the season finale, written and direct by James Roday. I mean, "directed'" by James Roday, not "direct", that's not proper English. Please don't write that I said that ... or you can write that I asked you not to write that [laughs].

Is 'Jaws' a reference to the shark or the James Bond villain?
A shark. We end up on the high seas. I wish they would have recorded the outtakes because Roday got the worst seasickness for that. We were on the sea for 12 or 13 hours on multiple days and in between takes, he was just "earling" over the side. I was just laughing and I kept trying to get them to roll camera, but they were scared to embarrass him. I wanted them to roll it for 'Psych Out'.



Do you know all the pop references that 'Psych' throw out?
No. Roday does. But I have no idea what I'm talking about some times.

As the show becomes more popular, are more people recognizing you on the street?
Yeah, the show seems to have a wide net of viewers. There are seniors, there's children, there's young adults, there's married couples ... It's a family time where they can all get together and laugh.

What will people say to you most often?
[Laughs] Most of the time they'll say, "You know, your friend really is stupid sometimes. He gets you in so much trouble. You should pop him over the head."

You've said that your oddest fan interaction happened after a performance of the off-Broadway show, 'Bring in da' Noise, Bring in da' Funk'. A woman asked for your sweaty towel?

Yeah, that really happened! It shocked me. I said, "You want my towel ... OK." She took it and screamed and ran down the block.

Is that still your most insane fan experience?
Yeah, I'd say so. You know, I come across people all the time now, but that's still the most insane. But I'm not usually sweating these days [laughs].

Did you expect that huge response at Comic Con last year?
No, none of us had any idea. They had us in this huge room and I was like, "Are you sure you don't want to put us in a smaller room so we can pack it out?" [Laughs] We were all really taken back by the outpouring because we film in Vancouver six months out of the year, so we're pretty much removed from a lot of it.

Do you and James Roday improvise while shooting?
All the time. Pretty much each scene, we'll come up with something that just makes us laugh. Then about 85% to 90% it will make it in the show.

Are there any improvised lines you remember that will appear this season?
Yah, Ed Lover from 'Yo! MTV Raps' has a new Internet thing he does called 'C'mon Son!' It's hilarious. I showed it to Roday the other day and he loved it. Then we were shooting the episode called 'Think Tank' and Roday calls it out, "Don't do Ed Lover on me!"



Is there a genre or medium you haven't done that you'd like to in the future?
I'd like to produce some television. Me and Roday are producing a play right now. It's called 'Extinction', it runs February 13 through March 14 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York. He and Michael Weston star in it, playing two college buddies who go to Atlantic City for a night of debauchery. It's not for all 'Psych' fans, but the adult fans will enjoy it.

I'd also like to star in something action-y. Not ridiculous action, but action-y, you know? Like 'Bourne Identity' because there's still some drama rounding it. I mean, who wouldn't want to do 'Bourne'? But we'll see, I like to stay open to things and take them as they come along. That's how I ended up at 'Psych'.

And on the WWE?
[Laughs] Exactly! If you had asked me five years ago if I thought I'd be hosting 'WWE Monday Night RAW', I would have said you were out of your mind.

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