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Exclusive interviews with the cast and production team of the hit tv series Dallas.
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PATRICK DUFFY INTERVIEW
Ultimate Dallas - Hi Patrick welcome. How are you?
Patrick - I'm fine thank you very much. Well this has been a long time getting set-up but I'm glad its finally happening.
UD - Yes it has been a long while but its fantastic to have you
Patrick - Am I the last hold out?
UD - Actually Ken Kercheval, although we have chatted on e-mail
Patrick - Really! Well at least I'm not the last. I didn't want to be the very last one
UD - laughs
Patrick - Ok, you lead the way and I will follow
UD - We have had so many questions flying in from the fans. So lets start with a question about Youtube and whole Crab situation.......
Marianne Laird-Bird asks Why the crab?
Patrick - The crab situation is sort of my son and his wife's answer to 'The Muppets' for want of a better analogy. The Crab is a real character and we never explained the absolute source of our relationship but we made six episodes of this odd couple 'Patrick Duffy and the Crab'. He does have a name by the way, his name is Shel and we are going to pursue this as long as people want to see it. It's going to this anthology of short vignettes with my best friend who happens to be a crab.
UD - Will we see any guests stars?
Patrick - Not in the next six. I know the Producers - my son Conner and his wife Emily, want to expand this concept and so it would be, in my opinion, great to bring in some of my friends, have a poker party, whomever, if its George Clooney and Mat Damon and me and the crab and its normal for us to get together every Wednesday and play poker. However it works out I'm just one of the guys in the system here and its really up to the two Producers. (Laughs)
I must tell you I have never put myself into the internet, other than having an email address to communicate, but to be on Youtube and experience Facebook and to have my own website now. I'm probably the last actor in the face of the earth to have his own website until this year when I got mine. So I'm really experiencing a whole great expansion of my world. I think a lot of it has to do with I am now so far removed from California and the business, apart from when I fly down there to do some work. I'm really in a rural area on a ranch and my computer is my connection. Its been really exciting for me in the past year to expand in all these different areas technically.
Mo in Jo Berg have you ever googled yourself?
Patrick - I have googled myself, I googled myself after my wife googled me. It was an interfamily googleing. I would say "Am I on there?" and she would say "you have like thousands".
I'm not immune to slight ego massage and I thought I can't believe there would be that many but anyone can have a site with your name, so anyone who was a fan of Step by Step, Man from Atlantis or Dallas have these places. I find these sites not only entertaining but I find photos and information that I don't even remember. I've enjoyed going back and reliving my past (laughs)
Cally asks asks in an interview with Timeout you suggested something Victoria said may not have really been her. It was a reference to something Victoria said about the cast on an internet interview. Do you have a mistrust of the internet , is that still the same?
Patrick - I don't know if mistrust is the word but I don't automatically trust everything on the internet. There is no governing factor, people can say anything they want and can attribute it as a quote. So I'm a bit apprehensive taking something at face value unless I know for a fact what was said.
UD - There are fans forums, we have one on Ultimate Dallas. Do you ever read those?
Patrick - I have started reading Youtube comments on the crab. I love reading their comments because some are very prescient, they get it, they get what we are trying to do. That's very enjoyable.
When we had what I refer to as the debacle in Dallas, I did want to read what peoples response was to the mismanagement of that event and so I did read a lot of unfortunate disappointments. So in that sense the internet does allow us to have the ear of people that you would not normally hear. I think that's valuable and I was very disappointed that so many people were disappointed. I can understand exactly why they were disappointed and I actually feel sorry for the fact it was a mismanaged event and created the disappointment that it did.
UD - We have had a number of questions on this very issue. Would you ever do one again?
Patrick - The problem now in one sense the analogy would be 'the waters have been poisoned'. What we were looking at when we were approached originally for this idea is what a wonderful way to meet x amount of people that are fans. Then what a debacle it turned out to be. It left a very bad taste, not only in the participants mouth, the fans that came but most of us cast members. It was just so badly done. It would very difficult to do another without assuming complete and total responsibility for it. It has become a who do you trust situation. The question 'would we like to do another one? A lot of us would very much because we not only appreciate what the show has done for us but the people that still enjoy the show. So yeah it would be great to do one if we could feel confident it was done correctly.
UD - Despite the experience our mailbag would suggest fans would love something else.
Patrick -It could be done in smaller groups. The producer of this one bit off a lot more than he could chew. Larry, Linda and I have done numerous appearances together and its just two or three cast members its easy to assume more responsibility and have a certain control. To try and get all the cast members together is a difficult project at best.
UD - We have been informed a DVD is being released of the event with cast interviews. Do you know anything about this?
Patrick - This is another one of those problems. There were photographers there filming. I have no idea who the quality control person that would assume responsibility to compile that stuff, edit it and put it in a workable format. Then what would they do with it? Would they try and sell it? It just opens up a whole can of worms. I have not been interviewed for this DVD and I know Linda has not been interviewed because I spoke with Linda just yesterday, not about this specifically but we communicate all the time. I don't know if Larry did something at the actual event or shortly thereafter but i've heard nothing of it. I have not been interviewed and I have not signed off to allow my person to be on that dvd. That's a whole other set of legalities, a DVD cannot be produced and sold without our written contractual permission. Just because I have not signed a contract personally does not mean Larry hasn't or anyone else can if they want to in the future.
Pamela asks did you purposely set out to be part of pop culture with South Park, Family Guy and now the crab or are you just naturally cool?
Patrick - (laughs loudly) That's a loaded question. I did not start out to be part of any culture. (laughs) I guess I'm naturally cool, but not many people think so. But the beauty of doing a show as iconic as Dallas turned out to be is that other productions, especially of the moment, South Park, a trend setting cartoon the likes of which nobody has really duplicated. So without any permission from me at all, there wasn't actually a photo of me, I became Scuzzlebuts leg. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Then when Family Guy approached me it was because he was a manical fan of Dallas. That's why they got Victoria and I to do that live insert piece for Family Guy and then several episodes into it they asked me to do voiceover's and certain characters in it. I did go to one of their wrap parties because they loved to showcase people they were fans of when they were growing up. All these things happen serendipitously, I'm very fortunate to be able to ride that crest. I always ask both of my sons, I say "Is this cool or am I being an idiot?" and they are the right age to tell me "no Dad you have to do this. This is better than 13 years on Dallas". I follow their lead and their advice.
Sue Ellen in DC do you recall your first scene on Dallas? Can you share your memories
Patrick - I absolutely do. The very first shot of Dallas is a shot of Victoria and myself riding in our red convertible where I'm bringing her back to Southfork to drop the bomb on the family that I married her. Leonard Katzman then on purpose, I am the last shot of the final episode of Dallas - when the shot rings out and I run into the room and look off camera and see whatever I see, because Leonard never told me what it was - you see my face and the freeze frame is there. So I was the very first shot of Dallas and very last shot of Dallas. He wanted the bookend just because he was my friend.
Mac in UK asks was there a specific moment when you knew Dallas was a massive hit?
Patrick - I probably didn't know as soon as a lot of people did but I was certainly aware of it when everybody who saw me would reference the character of JR, when JR was shot. When I saw internationally how much attention and news coverage I knew it was inevitable that this was going to be one of the biggest phenomenon's of a certain era of television. I didn't know it would become as iconic but I knew it would be a big hit television show for several years. At the end of the second year I knew I had employment for a number of years ahead of me.
Chrysler in Sweden asks How did you manage to stay sane? Were you ever tempted by the darker side of Hollywood.
Patrick - I never actually knew the darker side of Hollywood. I was fortunate that I came directly from the Man from Atlantis , even though it went for one season I had an education in what it meant to be really well known over a short period of time. That was the difficult training period in terms of dealing with photographers, interviewers and a whole change of lifestyle. I was fortunate that I was married, that I had one child and a second child during Dallas. Before I was famous we were a family unit and our idea of entertainment was to entertain ourselves at home. So we never went outside of the family unit so I never got involved in the industry side of entertainment - parties etc. Plus my wife and I have been very consistent practicing Buddhists, very active lay organization of our Buddhist philosophy, so we would do three or four activities a week during Man From Atlantis, Dallas and Step by Step. All during those years our functions when we would go out would be to go to those activities to encourage members of the branch of Buddhism we practice. So that took up all our time.
James asks is it true that Bobby was originally intended to be a more flawed character (more of a playboy)?
Patrick - He was originally but it was his back story. He was never intended on the show to be a playboy. His past was as a playboy neerdowell but from the moment he married Pamela Barnes he decided to change his ways. They intended for him to be that playboy kind of guy. One thing that Leonard always had to fight was that he had to be a true monogamous husband, even when he was separated from Pamela and not divorced they had to walk a very fine line with the character of Bobby that he would not have affairs until he was morally justified to be in bed with other women. It wasn't my insistence one way or the other but Leonard Katzman wanted to maintain the integrity of that character. The most I would do if heart broken was go out get drunk and get into a fight (Laughs)
Mickey in California asks It has been stated by David Jacobs that Bobby was due to be killed off at the end of the mini series. Is that true?
Patrick - Yes that's correct. The show was going to be a Romeo and Juliet and Romeo was going to die and Juliet was going to live in the enemies house. Leonard Katzman, again this is why Leonard is my mentor and was always my friend and I miss him terribly, went into the network meetings, because they had the five episodes written ending with the demise of Bobby and he asked the one question "why does Bobby die?" and they said it was a great storyline and we have this woman living with the enemy family. Leonard asked the second most important question - he said "Why does she stay in the house?" Nobody could answer the question. She now owns half of everything, why would she live in the house? She can do everything she wanted to do from her own house. She would not live in that house if she were not married to Bobby. And they went "so Bobby doesn't die" and that is how my career got started (laughs).
UD - So did you take the role knowing Bobby was going to die?
Patrick - All of that happened before we were cast, this all happened when they were in the development stage.
Sabian in Nice asks The show was written as Bobby and Pam in the central roles. When did this change and how did yourself and Victoria feel about it? It was no longer your show.
Patrick - I think it literally changed when Larry Hagman walked into the first scene he was in. He had whatever it was that JR needed to be the instigator in a show that was sorely sorely missing that. I don't know when we realized it but I know that's when it happened. You couldn't take your eyes off Hagman in any scene he was in. Someone like Leonard Katzman who had been in the business as long as he had recognized that stroke of fortune and luck. Its like having Henry Winkler as the Fonz, it was never intended that Henry Winkler was going to be the keystone of Happy Days, it was going to be Ron Howard - the boy next door. Our show would never have gone beyond three or four years if it had been just a love story of Bobby and Pam. That's why Larry Hagman is the dearest friend I have in the world for the past thirty years. Because I have nothing but 100% appreciation and love for not only him as a person but for what he did that created the rest of my life.
Pammy P asks Who was your most favorite love interest (in character) - Pam, April or Jenna?
Patrick - I can not win if I answer this question (laughs) because every one of those characters has a fan base who will hate me. The right answer is that April has to be my favorite love interest because April is the only one who did not leave me of their own volition. Pamela left me and Jenna left me , someone had to kill April to get her to leave me. So I have to have my loyalties to April Stevens.
Chantel Limone in Canada asks Hi Patrick! What is like to work with actress Victoria Principal?
UD - Dallas fans are very intrigued because Victoria seems so enigmatic
Patrick - She is enigmatic but I must tell you I never had a bad experience because of her enigma. What it was , she explained this once, is that she did this on purpose. The choice she made as an actress was in playing the outsider in the Ewing family she actually maintained somewhat of an outsider position with the cast as social equals. She didn't do a lot of the hanging out social activities that a lot of us did because we were together so much. So in that sense she was maybe a few percentage points removed from the swirl that was the social center of our group. At least twice a year Larry and I would go up to Canada - fishing trips, hunting trips, things like that. Steve was included in that group and we would go up together and Steve and I would take other trips together. We were a group and Linda was also a member of that group. Victoria was always slightly outside and didn't participate in those things. It was her own choice and she felt it was conducive to her playing the part of Pamela. But the times we were together on the set, waiting for scenes to be shot, in the make-up room and everything, it was nothing but convivial. It was probably the most dream cast that's ever been assembled and every person who guest starred on our show wanted to be a permanent member of the cast because of the atmosphere of the cast members together, of which Victoria was an integral part.
UD - Was that the same for the Southfork Reunion produced by Henry Winkler?
Patrick - It was and the only reason it was similar is because we all, I say we all, Larry, Linda, myself, Charlene, Steve, Ken Kercheval, always found ourselves in each others company. Even Kenny who was not always around, two or three times a year we would happen to be together. Larry, Linda and I when I lived in LA we'd be together if not once a week, twice a week. Once the show was off the air the only times I actually saw Victoria were at network events or big function where we might run into each other. It was always a great homecoming type of atmosphere to see her but it was never an understood thing that she would be around if any of us got together. When we did Henry's show it was the first time many of us had seen Victoria, literally in years unless we watched her infomercial's. We were together like "are we going out to dinner again this week?" but with her you'd have to go through "how's Harry?", this was before she was divorced, but literally you'd get caught up over the five years you hadn't seen somebody. So it was a bit different.
Patrick - In that reunion I found it very interesting when I watched that show and saw the scene where Victoria and I reminisced. We were standing by a fence at the ranch and we had a little conversation that they filmed where we remembered a number of things about each other over the years of the show and it was like sitting down and talking to somebody I had not seen in five years. It wasn't like Larry and I had to make up stuff because we had just seen each other the week before but with Victoria and I we really were catching up and reminiscing. Which was enjoyable and why I think that scene worked so well.
Christine asks on the Dallas Fans forum a Youtube clip was posted of you in Battle of the Network stars.
UD - Do you remember that?
Patrick - I did several
UD - You were running and accused of cheating
Patrick - (Laughs)
Christine continues - Victoria is very excited when you won, some would say overly. Was it part of the publicity machine to make the public think there could be something going on in real life?
Patrick - It must have been because there was certainly nothing going on in real life, that's interesting because that had to be quite early on.
UD - I think 1979
Patrick - Oh my goodness, the end of the first or second year. I don't think it was a publicity machine thing but Victoria was not a newcomer to the business and I would do those events thinking this was cool to do athletic events and compete but I think she was smarter than all of us thinking this is a great publicity thing and this is going to help the show. She knew what it was all about. She was the smartest person in a lot of respects that were at those events so I'm sure it wasn't some publicity person telling her to do something, she knew how to work the system very well.
James asks you were in Knots Landing season 2 (just out on DVD). You are having a go at Gary. It seemed to be a much tougher Bobby. Do you recall this?
Patrick - I don't recall specifically. The interesting thing and I can assume certain things by the question and thinking about that time. I was probably feeling a bit freer outside of the confines of being on a Dallas set. I think, just knowing myself, I probably felt like I had a greater latitude to break a bit out of the mould of what the Dallas set would expect from that character. I certainly know when I went back to Dallas I reverted back to what that character was supposed to be in his own family. But I think because it was a new set and all new people I could be slightly tougher than possibly I was allowed to be on my show. Interesting observation.
UD - Well on Knots Landing it was more of a collaborative effort, with everyone having an input but apparently on Dallas that was not the case. Did you find that frustrating as an actor?
Patrick - That's true but no it wasn't frustrating at all. We had input to the extent that Leonard would always listen to us. We did not have input to the extent we could dictate product, for want of a better word. None of us really assumed to say "Oh I'd like this storyline for my character to go here, I want to do this or I don't like that", I think there was this magic trust we all had in Leonard and his choice of direction for the show. That was brought vividly in focus the year I left the show, Leonard Katzman also left the show. I was not only 'oh Bobby's off the show and the shows not the same' but the guiding hand that was really the quality control guidance for the show Dallas was no longer there and that's a good part of what made Larry so unhappy. When Larry got unhappy on that year of Dallas that's when everything changed and they brought Leonard back and they brought me back. Then the show became Dallas again. It wasn't like Leonard said 'I won't listen to you, you have no right to say things', it was first of all we all trusted him and we just entered that show with a certain understanding and we maintained it that Leonard was the storyline producer. I think if anyone could have made suggestions it could have been Hagman and perhaps he did but he never certainly demanded things. I think we survived very well without any of us getting involved.
UD - You directed several episodes of the show, did you have creative freedom in that role?
Patrick - Yes much more so as a director. The important thing I had to learn and liked learning is that Dallas had a genetic imprint and we as directors were not there to reinvent the show. We were there to do the best episode of Dallas we could. There was no way we were going to do camera moves ala Miami Vice, it wasn't going to be jerky hand held edgy kind of stuff. That's not what Dallas was. So the freedom we had, which I really appreciated, was the freedom to elicit performances out of actors. I enjoyed doing that immensely and learned a lot about my fellow actors that I would never learned only being in scenes with them as a fellow thespian. The freedom to work with an actor and get a performance out of them, to touch on something that possibly had not been touched on yet. That's the freedom we had but certainly not to re stamp the show with a different look, that would have been stopped immediately.
Jackie asks you have worked in film, theatre and TV. What is your preference?
Patrick - Working is my preference. I find them all equally satisfying, I don't find a preference because if ever I'm in one that's the one I love the best. I come to learn that the act of the work I do is what I enjoy the most and it doesn't matter where or in what form I'm doing it.
Andy Robbins asks I am from woking and saw you in panto in Cinderella
Patrick - Oh I loved doing Panto, that the was the biggest education I had I think in my entire career. Larry was the only one who knew what panto was because he lived in England for so many years. Larry said "have you any idea how hard that is?", I said "it can't be hard we are just doing a fairytale", he just laughed at me. It was twelve shows a week and full blown productions. It was the most fun to have on stage because every night it was different, you had great latitude to play with the scene. All of those characters who do panto are real old soldiers in the business. If the opportunity and the time worked out I would be back there doing it again.
Tom Miller asks Are there any plans for another "DALLAS" reunion movie in the works?
Patrick - No. The one thing that pops up every year is a feature film of Dallas and I read one of the scripts they were thinking of using and it was absolutely atrocious. So I'm not sure it's ever gonna get done, not because I know anything but I just see how difficult it is. It's difficult because the old television show still lives. It lives in reruns and it lives in the minds of millions of people who liked it and I'm not sure anybody wants to see other actors play those parts.
UD - In the script you read do you recall why it was so bad?
Patrick - Well it was the same thing, I think, when Leonard was off the show. Those producers thought how difficult can it be to do Dallas, we watch it, we know what it is, there's skullduggery, a little playing around in the bedroom, and who's sleeping with who and its the reason Leonard had to come back on the show and the reason there was never another show like Dallas. It's not simple to do. It's not just taking the template of five typical Dallas scripts and plugging in those ideas and coming up with another Dallas script. There is a quality control that is inexplicable and untransferrable and Leonard had it. This writer, who was an Indian writer, she wrote a script and there was not one true sounding character element in the entire script.
UD - What about TV reunion. Would you reprise the role?
Patrick - Again I would read anything that anybody wrote. To say that Leonard is the only person on the face of the earth to have that piece of brilliance to be able to create a good Dallas format, no I don't think that's necessarily true. But I think that, certainly Larry, Linda and myself in the first ten pages of anybody's script would be able to tell whether we would do a new show of it or not. If I were to hear in my ear the voice of those characters and they sounded like Sue Ellen, JR, Ray and Bobby I would say you know what? We hit it lucky. But we would have to play our own ages, we would be old. It's a lot to ask. I love that cast, I love those characters and as I said I love to work.
UD - What did you make of JR Returns and War of the Ewings?
Patrick - The first one we did Leonard was an integral part of that. The second movie was after Leonard had died and Larry and I were already obligated because when we did the first one it was a contract with CBS for two Dallas movies. When Leonard died we tried our best to create and do the second of those two movies and that movie was not very good. I'm the first person to admit that. Larry and I were executive producers on that and nobody could do what Leonard did, at least we couldn't do what Leonard did. We tried our best, we tried to honor the characters that we resurrected. But it didn't work, it just didn't work, so I was not a fan of that. I was actually not a fan of the final episode of Dallas, Leonard did that one but I'm not sure why he did it that way.
UD - What was it about that final episode you didn't like?
Patrick - The reason I didn't like it was it broke out of the format which had always been our safety net, which was there was a reality to the show Dallas. The joy of working with Joel Gray was terrific, when would a television actor have that chance basically, so that was cool but to bring in the guy who was the devil, to do the whole 'Its A Wonderful Life' aspect to it I just thought stretched credulity. You have to understand that comes from a man who came back from the dead, so I don't have much grounds to complain, the whole dream sequence of my life on the show but we did that in order to maintain the integrity of Dallas. Taking our characters under different circumstances in a parallel universe I thought was not the way to do the show and certainly not the way to end it. Its not the way I want to be remembered, so in my minds eye I don't consider that the last episode of Dallas.
UD - So how would you liked to have seen it end?
Patrick - I had two ways that I thought. I thought we should end Dallas as if its coming back for another season. We should just have a cliffhanger the way we have every year, like who shot JR, we should have a normal episode, a big cliffhanger and then walk away from it. Leave as that enigma, the ultimate cliffhanger that will never be resolved. I thought people would talk about that for 50 years.
UD - On the fans forum they definitely would (laughs)
Patrick - The other thing I thought, as opposed to doing this fictional devil thing is do a complete episode and literally take a bow. Literally as a cast take a bow thanking people for watching for thirteen years, get in our cars and drive to our respective homes. Like those old 50's shows where you see the characters walk in and take a bow. I never thought the audience would think it was bad for us at the end of final episode to take two minutes of television time and literally have every member of the cast walk out of the front door of Southfork, take a bow and walk off camera. I sent both of those ideas over to Leonard and it goes back to your earlier question, they fell on deaf ears, he didn't want to do it.
J. Cooper in Ireland asks What kind of conflicts about Bobby excited you as an actor?
Patrick - Interesting question - conflicts that excited me as an actor. If excited me as an actor can be defined as challenged me as an actor. I had many meetings with Leonard during the mini series, once I realized my job was to make, and Leonard's job too, to make a non exciting character appealing, that was then my goal. Bobby had to maintain, more so other than Miss Ellie, an absolute integrity of morals and also find a way to make him an exciting character was a difficult task. If they are writing you parts where you are jumping from bed to bed, ruining someone's life, those are fun things to do on camera, its really hard to be exciting when you are essentially the moral standard bearer. To me the exciting part was the dilemma Bobby faced which was to be a macho, brave, moral exciting person and not have any of the fun things to do. I went through some changes as a person until I realized that was my job, ok now I've sort of grown up as an actor and realized this is my job I have to, you know, play this part and find reasons that its fun. It took me a year to come to grips with all that and then I got into it. I loved it. If Leonard was around you could ask him but I never positioned myself to ask why can't I have an affair, why can't Bobby fall off the straight and true road, or maybe starts drinking - I never wanted to do any of those things. Those weren't part of what I finally realized my characters job was. I never once had a bad day at work. I was always excited to go to work every day for thirteen years.
UD - so what were the reasons you left in 1985?
Patrick - I had been on the show for seven years, my contract was for seven years. The show was definitely an ensemble cast show, an ensemble cast show with one really stand out character which was he character of JR. That's why the show was successful, I knew it then and to this day. But I thought after seven years with the amount of publicity and appeal we all had as characters that would be the prime opportunity to see if I could find the type of show I had before I went on Dallas, which was a one or two person character show where I could be one of those main leading people. I thought that would be the time to make that move. It wasn't like I went off in a huff. I had meetings with all the executive producers, I said this is business wise why its a good career move. I even had to convince my agent because they obviously didn't want me to leave a number one show but I thought if I'm going to do it and try it I better try it now. Because I will never be as popular as I am now as this character Bobby. I left the show and went out to see what was possible. I didn't do another television series, I did some television movies and two thirds of the way through the season [of Dallas] I wasn't on is when everything turned around and they decided they wanted to have me back and I was more than ready to come back. Those nine months did not transpire the way I wanted them to, the way I hoped that they would.
UD - What was different when you went back? Was the part different?
Patrick - Interestingly enough I did not leave the show thinking, well if I leave the show I will get a lot of press and when I come back I'll have more attention. I left and died, I wanted to die because I didn't want people to think I may come back. But when I did come back on the show it almost became an ensemble cast with two, although Larry was always top of the pinnacle, I went up another couple of notches just because of the press that was generated when I came back on the show. They had to write to it which was my great fortune, I was the benefactor of the added attention that came to the resurrection of the character of Bobby. They devoted more time in developing the character of Bobby once he came back on the show. So the last five years were quite different for me as a character, there was more to do, the character of Bobby was more pivotal. It really was a JR/Bobby kind of format. So in that sense it was even more beneficial the last five years than the first seven years for my character and for me. Two weeks following the cancellation of Dallas I had a new television series, which was Step by Step. It happened the way I thought it would happen but happened five years late (laughs).
UD - Bobby was far more macho post dream.
Patrick - Yep, that's what happened and became a Leonard Katzman decision. It wasn't ever discussed with me. It was never part of any arrangement for me coming back. Leonard is extenuating those parts of the character it was very nice for me. I don't know if I enjoyed the second part of Dallas more than the first, but it was different, so it was refreshing.
WelshCarrollo in Wales asks Did you enjoy the darker side of Bobby developing in the final season with the loss of both Pam and April??
Patrick - I guess dark is the right word because we didn't just deal with heartbreak, we dealt with death, we dealt with two deaths actually, he assumed that Pamela was dead and he witnessed the death of April. So all of those things I thought added slightly more of a feature film quality to the characters, certainly to the character of Bobby. Those were very tasty times for me.
UD - In previous interviews both Linda Gray and Susan Howard have stated they felt slightly stifled as female characters on the show. do you have any sympathy with how they felt the women were portrayed?
Patrick - Yes I do have sympathy. It most definitely Leonard's to have a male dominated basic story. It's an interesting thing though because I certainly think the character of Sue Ellen is probably one of the most interesting female characters in prime time television. Partly because of her characters victimization and partly because of Linda's determination not to be a victimized character. I think that developed into the birth of the character of Sue Ellen Ewing that was one of the richest female television characters that i've ever seen. If that character had been a straight Cagney and Lacey controlled action figure I don't think it would have been nearly as dynamic and powerful as the whole arc of the character of Sue Ellen. But I certainly do recognize that Leonard Katzman had a male dominant point of view. Even though that's true I think he would, if asked the question, point to the fact that essentially Miss Ellie ran the Ewing family and although JR was the kingpin character of the show, the storylines generally hinged on the spouses of the lead characters. Nobody mentions Bobby without mentioning Bobby and Pamela or Pamela and Bobby and its the JR and Sue Ellen relationship. JR would not have been recognized as the JR character had he not had that character of Sue Ellen. So there was a double edged sword to Leonards.......(pause) I guess it is chauvinism in a sense. I think Linda's character, the Sue Ellen character - she fought for it, she was very adamant about her character - she wouldn't have had much to fight against and she wouldn't of developed that character in the way it ended up being developed had she not had something rubbing a sore spot on her like Leonard Katzmans male dominated script ideas. I think she became a beneficiary of it even though it was a constant struggle for her to maintain her personal equilibrium.
UD - Then there was also the character of Pamela who became incredible weak post the dream season.
Patrick - It wasn't that long after I came back on the show that her character left. When did she leave?
UD - It was that season. The season you returned.
Patrick - Yes, it was just the way things worked out. The Bobby character ascended a bit. Its show business, a lot of that is not decided on personal whim but what those people in charge decide will add another year longevity, another ratings point. If it hadn't worked in year nine I would have been back to wimpy Bobby. They call it show business for a reason, ultimately its the business.
UD - Is it true that you personally cast Bobby's love interests following the departure of Pamela?
Patrick - I didn't actually cast them but Leonard would feel me out to who I was comfortable with it. I didn't have the option of actually calling them in. The one person I actually ended up having a certain influence in getting the show was Margaret Michaels. I had met Margaret Michaels and I was so struck by the similarities visually, she was also a wonderful young lady, and I thought this would be a possible usable storyline. I got her introduced officially to Leonard Katzman and made the suggestion there might be something here if I no longer have Pam and I get fixated on this woman. She ended up being on the show for several episodes and it ended up being a great storyline. I thought it worked very well but it wasn't like I demanded it or cast her. I didn't have any control over anyone else.
UD - Actually she played Pam for one scene where she revealed she was dying
Patrick - Yes that's right, she played that scene, that's right
UD - Would you have liked to have seen the character recast or is that a bad move?
Patrick - I think its a bad move, it was a bad move when we recast mama. There was nobody sweeter on the planet than Donna Reed was but again its like why I think there's not going to be a Dallas movie, you can't expect people to readily accept it.
Larry_Fan in Ohio asks "What was Sasha Mitchell like to work with?"
Patrick - It was interesting because when I heard Sasha was going to be on Step by Step I remembered the James character from Dallas and I thought 'woo I don't know if this is going to work at all' and then to have Sasha and find out who he really was - he was more Cody then he ever was James. His character really was that crazy whacked out, he had an infallible comic gift. It was interesting to see him in a different light, I thought he was brilliant as Cody on our show.
Kelly in Ireland asks "What are your thoughts on Ken Kercheval?"
Patrick - Kenny is probably the most interesting actor that i've ever worked with. I just talked to him a few weeks ago but he never does what you expect, he never does what is the standard way you assume a line is going to be read or a scene played. I find him so intriguing, he is brilliantly talented, he had a lot of rough roads to travel but I find him so brilliant as a working actor. I have complete admiration for his talent.
Milt Stark in UK asks Patrick how seriously did you treat your role as Bobby on Dallas?
Patrick - I'm not sure I understand the question. I took it so serious, I don't think I once tossed off a scene on the show because I thought its just another scene. I had complete respect for the show and every character on it. But the minute the camera stopped rolling and I mean literally, I didn't take it seriously at all nor did Larry. That was one of the great joys of working and to find somebody that worked the same way I did which is to be able to do anything you want to until you hear the word 'action'. I never took an emotion off the set with me , I never walked off a scene taking anything from the scene with me. That's not my way of acting, I know there are people that had to get into it. Victoria wanted to be bit of an outsider so it would help her to feel like an outsider in a scene, I understand actors who work like that. I just can't and don't. So in that sense people might think I'm not taking it seriously but its just the way that I work and the way that Larry works.
UD - We had had many questions come in on the Bold and the Beautiful.
Eric Marks in the US asks Will you be on the Bold and the Beautiful again?
Patrick - My character is almost not on the show anymore but I'm actually going to go down and do some filming at the end of this week. But the character of the father of all those girls on Bold and Beautiful, there is not a storyline that keeps that character alive. I perform a function to be a sounding board at certain times. I understand the dynamics, its like a Dallas, the dynamics of serialized Soap Opera format is that there are a small pod of reoccurring characters around the storylines. I'm just happy when I get the phone call and go down to play poppa and grand poppa.
UD - The daytime soap seems to be struggling at the moment. One was cancelled very recently I believe.
Patrick - Yes Guiding Light, one of the oldest soap operas in history. Everyone is struggling, the industry is struggling. The new media is changing the viewing habits of the entire world. I'm doing three minute episodes with a crab, what does that tell ya?
UD - Ok I'm going to throw some names at you, and your impressions or a memory of that person.
Lois Chiles - Holly Harwood
Patrick - My impression of her as an actress was she really is an actress who has to feel what the character is doing. Which is the opposite of what Larry and I get into the feelings of the character. When I directed her it was one of the pleasures of starting to direct, was to learn all different actors methods, to be able to appreciate those different actor methods and to be able to use those methods to get great performances. Lois Chiles was pivotal in my learning that lesson. To learn to give more time to actors that want it and not assume they all work the way that I do. I appreciate her very much for that and I thought that was completely dedicated to character that she was playing and she was brilliant as Holly Harwood.
Morgan Brittany - Katherine Wentworth
Patrick - Morgan Brittanny. Well other than trying to kill me with a car Morgan Britanny was always very interesting because I never saw her when she didn't look like the character she played. It was like she woke up in the morning looking like that character, plus the fact she was married to a stuntman, who I admire his work very much. I thought she was wonderful, we had so many Morgans on the show I always had to keep the blonde Morgan and brunette Morgan separate.
UD - Plus of course Morgan Woodward - Punk Anderson
Patrick - I loved the first time I met Morgan because I used to watch him on the Wyatt Earp show. It was probably the the mid 60's it came out and when I first met him on Dallas it was like seeing an icon I grew up with. All the years he was on that show he was the most robust, healthy professional that ever got on the show. I got to learn a lot about him, he was a brilliant pilot and I remember seeing him on Gun smoke. He was brilliant, I loved Morgan.
Patrick - William 'Smithers' (Patrick states this with a Mr Burns impression). You can't say the word Smithers anymore without thinking of the Simpsons. William Smithers was the quintessential villain I always thought. There's a couple of those guys in the industry that the minute you see them its going to be very hard for you to think anything other than evil music coming out. William Smithers I thought was just so perfect playing that character on Dallas. You enjoyed just so much knowing that he was going to be the worse possible person and eventually JR was gonna kill him - either business wise of personally. I loved him, he had that snake like villainy that I thought was very interesting.
Patrick -Kimberly played April Stevens sister. I had very little work time with Kimberly unless I was directing. Again Leonard Katzman had an eye for absolute beauty on the hoof and Kimberly Foster really was one of those striking beautiful actresses. Anytime I have to compare the sisters, and I look at April Stevens, my Sheree and I think 'mmmmm ok I'll choose Sheree'. Kimberly was great, as a director I enjoyed her very much
Patrick - I was addicted to television as a kid, still am actually, I used to watch George Petrie when he was on the 'Jackie Gleason show' and he was doing 'I love Lucy' episodes. In walks our family lawyer and its this guy I used to watch on television. I always got very excited as an actor when these guys would come on the set. He was an absolute professional, when he was playing Harv Smithfield he came in with his own little set of glasses that he would pinch onto his nose. He just walked in as a completely realized character and that's what I loved about those old fashioned television actors. They didn't take much time in rehearsal to try and figure out who they were, they walked on the set who they were.
Patrick - Sweet Cathy. I loved Cathy, I always thought she was pushing the limits of being too young for JR to have a relationship with, let alone to marry. But she was so damned cute, and when she put on that little southern country girl accent it was to die for. I got to know her more when we did our trip to Europe. Those were bonding times for all of us who were able to make those trips. I thought she was just so sweet but I have not heard much about her but I think she has several children now but I can't think of her now without thinking of that accent, which I know is not her real speaking voice.
UD - Now you mentioned earlier about your own website. So fans can go along and visit http://www.Patrickduffy.org
Patrick - It's Patrickduffy.org but coincidently I was just able to get Patrickduffy.com so not immediately but in the next few weeks either of those will come to the same website. It's fun to do that, its partially a retrospective of things I have done and an update on things I am doing and hope to do and a chance to interface a bit with people out there. Which in the old days you never got to do unless it was a fan letter. But when you have a website you can blog back and fourth. Whenever I have a few minutes I can log on in real time and talk to people which will be very interesting.
Sue_Fan in US asks Patrick do you have any new projects lined up?
Patrick - I think there is something with Patrick Duffy and the Crab, it may not end up being called Patrick Duffy and the Crab but its just to be indicative of the change in the way the industry is going. Its showing the industry, whatever that term means of another transition in my career. I turned 60 years old this past March, when I think that I turned 30 on Dallas, you can't be the swaggering Bobby Ewing character your whole life and I just think that everything happens for a reason and I didn't plan one of these things. I just have had the most fortunate career, most fortunate life. I have a beautiful wife, a lovely family and grandchildren. I never make plans for the future because too often I realize I'm not the best person to plan things. Which is why I didn't try and plan Dallas, write scripts. I just want to take advantage of the next opportunity that presents itself and I have a feeling that somehow this crab and.... thing is the next step. Other than that....I have no idea.............I look back and appreciate I've had what I've had and there are still people, like on your website that appreciate what all os us have done. Its very satisfying to be at this point in my life.
UD - Well thank you so much Patrick.
Patrick - Thank you, I'm glad to do this. it was a pleasure to do this and I'm sorry it took this long but I'm glad I'm second to last.
Don't forget to catch Patrick on http://www.patrickduffy.org and on YouTube
Special thanks to Patrick Duffy for taking the time to answer your questions and to the dedicated fans at Ultimate Dallas for taking part.
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