Voici le copier-coller d'une interview que Ted Shackelford a donné pour le site "Dallas Decodeur",à l'occasion de sa participation dans le nouveau Dallas . Il dit en autre qu'il lui a été facile de reprendre son rôle de Gary Ewing,et qu'il pense que la description faite par l'intervieweur est bonne -"que c'est un peu comme monter sur une bicyclette"-(cela ne s'oublie pas). Que Ted se rassure,même si il reconnait ne jamais avoir aimé son personnage de Gary,nous les fans l'aimons.Je dois avouer que lorsqu'il a trompé Val avec Judy Trent,puis Abby,cela m'a un peu agacée.La preuve en est ,que comme de nombreux les fans de la série ,je rentrais à fond dans l'histoire et que j'avais de la compassion pour cette "pauvre Val"!
Ted Shackelford logged more than 340 hours of prime-time television playing Gary Ewing on the original “Dallas” and “Knots Landing.” Next month, he’ll revive the character for a three-week guest stint on TNT’s “Dallas.” I was thrilled to speak to Shackelford recently about Gary’s return to Southfork.
Did you ever dream you’d be playing Gary Ewing again?
No. I did it for 14 years and that’s a long, long time for anybody to do one character. I thought that would be it.
What was your process to get back into character?
There’s no magic here, man. I just learned the lines and showed up on time. It wasn’t that hard. It came back pretty fast.
Kind of like getting on a bicycle?
Yeah, that’s a pretty good description of it. A little wobbly at first but then it takes off.
I know you can’t give away any plot secrets, but what’s Gary up to these days?
I don’t think this is a plot point: He and Valene are having marital problems, and Bobby wants him to come down [to Texas] because Gary owns a third of Ewing –
The Southfork mineral rights.
Right. Whatever that is. [Laughs] You know, I’m not real clear on that. And Bobby needs me to form a voting bloc, which is why I’m there.
And you sort of get back into the thick of things, I guess.
A little bit. I don’t want to give away anything there.
Well, can you talk about what Gary’s like now? He changed a lot over the course of “Knots Landing’s” run.
Did he? How? Tell me. I’m curious. Because I never saw much change.
[“Dallas” and “Knots Landing” creator] David Jacobs called him a clenched fist in the beginning, but he seemed to mellow out towards the end of the show’s run.
Eh. Here’s the terrible truth about that: When you do a show for 14 years, after a few years, they run out of things for you to do! You’ve just about done them all! I mean, you’ve bedded everybody, you’ve gotten drunk twice and you’re an alcoholic –
Been arrested for murder a few times –
Yeah. You’ve gotten involved with mobsters. I mean, after that there’s not a whole lot they can do with you! So yeah, he does kind of mellow out because he’s just kind of there. They just kind of ran out things for him to do.
Did you like the character?
No, I never liked him.
[Laughs] You never liked Gary?
No, I didn’t.
Why is that?
Oh, I thought he was weak. I thought he never thought anything through. I didn’t see any strength of character. I mean, just once I wanted him to have some courage. And I never saw that.
He certainly attracted beautiful women.
Well, you know, there are women who like weak men they can manipulate. [Laughs] But having said all that, had he been stronger, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to play some of the things I played. I had great material. It was great stuff. There were the drunk things, and then the mobster things, and I don’t know what else. Because he was the way he was, as an actor I got to play a lot of different colors, as they say.
Well, let me share with you my theory of the Ewing brothers: Bobby is the brother you think you’re supposed to be, J.R. is the brother you’d secretly like to be and Gary is the brother you probably are.
So I’ve always identified with Gary, but maybe that’s not a good thing.
Well, you know, that’s my take on it. And listen, no actor is objective. We’re all very subjective about what we do. So your take on that character is going to be far better than mine.
What was it like to be reunited with your TV wife Joan Van Ark and daughter Charlene Tilton?
Well, I didn’t have much to do with Charlene. I think we had one scene together, maybe. And [our characters] didn’t really speak. Charlene and I spoke, of course. And then they brought in Joanie for one episode for a very real reason – and a good reason. I can’t tell you that, either. But I only had one scene with Joanie. … It was crucial to both her character and my character and how they interact in Dallas.
It must have been great to perform with her again. She’s called you her acting soul mate.
That’s the beauty of it. Working with Joanie, you just learn the words and you show up. There’s already a connection there. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s so simple. I’m one of the lucky men in the business in that I had her to work with for, I guess, 13-and-a-half year because she left during the final season [of “Knots Landing”] for awhile and then came back. But you know, there was always a connection with her.
You two really do have something special.
We’re separated by three years in age but we’re a week apart in birthdays. We’re both kind of from the same part of the country. She’s from Colorado, I’m from Oklahoma. And I knew about her before I even met her. She’d done work at the Helen Bonfils Theatre in Denver. … And I remember being there in the late ’60s, looking at pictures from their past productions, and there was a picture of Joanie. So I knew who she was. And I met her – here’s the real funny part – we did a “Wonder Woman” episode –
Oh, yes. I’ve seen it!
You’ve seen it?
I recently watched it, just as a giggle. I think it was on YouTube. I don’t know why I ever got work again after that. But that’s the first thing we ever did together. We did that before we did “Knots Landing.” It’s just a funny thing with her. It’s so easy. I just had lunch with her yesterday. There’s a shorthand with us. You know, it’s like a married couple. When we talk, we don’t have to finish the sentence because we know what the other person is going to say.
So let me tell you this: A certain segment of my audience is going to want to know if Gary and Bobby are going to take another dip in the Southfork swimming pool.
No, thank God. I don’t have to worry about holding my stomach in. No swimming pool for this actor!
Some of my readers are going to be disappointed.
Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. You know what, I’m 66 so. … [Laughs]
Well, I know you didn’t do a lot of “Dallas” episodes, but do you have any special memories of working on the show?
Not really. Because when I did the “Dallas” episodes I was in between the “Knots Landing” episodes, so it was pretty fast and furious. It was: Get in there, say the words and then go back to the other soundstage where “Knots” was. It was stuff you do when you’re young because you can. [Laughs]
How about your relationship with Larry Hagman?
We never hung out. I did run into him a couple of years ago at one of those autograph shows. The man was a delight. Just a delight. You could talk to him and you’d walk away feeling a little better about yourself. It was wonderful. He was a great guy.
Well, now that J.R.’s gone, there’s a void on the show for another Ewing brother. Is that something you’d be interested in?
Oh, in a New York minute. In a heartbeat. Of course.
And what about the idea of “Knots Landing” being revived as a weekly series?
I don’t know. I’d be delighted to do it. Nobody’s talking about it, though. I mean, nobody. I don’t really see that happening. But sure, I’d do it.
Even though you weren’t crazy about Gary as a person?
I mean, come on, man. I made a very good living for 14 years. Very few actors get to say that. I’m forever, forever grateful that I got to play this guy.
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