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Charlene Tilton Dallas  interview official website

Uncut Channel 4 transcript exclusive to Ultimate Dallas

Interviewer: When you started Dallas did you have any inclination it would be a success?

Charlene: Of course I did, I'm a genius, I knew Dallas would be the biggest thing ever (laughs) no of course not. No nobody knew, it was 5 part one hour mini series and it took off from there.

Interviewer: When did it hit what a success the show was?

Charlene: Now, I'm slow. (laughs) Now I realize how big it really was. Obviously I knew how big and huge , I just now have more awareness of the power of the show. Especially since, my daughter is 17 now, the same age I was when I started in the show and there's a whole new generation on the net and reruns now and its amazing getting all these letters from kids who are so young.

Interviewer: How did you get on with the rest of the cast?

Charlene: Oh everyone was wonderful, Larry Hagman and his wife are like the nicest people in the world, Linda, Victoria, Patrick, Barbara, Jim Davis, all of them amazing people.

Interviewer: I watched the bloopers tape, did they do things to make you fluff your lines?

Charlene : We always had fun, we were always doing all kinds of things, there was never a dull moment that's for sure.

Interviewer: There's one where Patrick Duffy and Steve Kanaly turn you upside down.

Charlene: (laughs) In that particular scene, Bobby and Ray are supposed to come and find Lucy and she's just loaded from popping pills. They ask "Lucy do you have any more pills?" I'm like "no no", anyway everything went great and I was pleased with my performance then Leonard Katzman said "lets do one more". So we do one more and at the end they pick me up by my heels and start shaking me. They were crazy, then there's one where Patrick had a superman costume on.

Interviewer: Then there's that song sung "when your balls hang low"

Charlene: Yes that lovely little ditty was taught to us by Miss Ellie (laughs)

Interviewer: Really??

Charlene: No (Laughs)

Interviewer: How would you describe Lucy?

Charlene : Lucy didn't have too many quiet moments which was fun, Lucy needed a lot of attention and she needed acceptance which she would get through men. Look at all the things that happened to Lucy! She was abandoned by her parents, lived with this horrible Uncle, she was raped, kidnapped, poor Lucy had a lot of things going on.

Interviewer: Going into the profession so young did you also have a need for attention?

Charlene : Yes, well I got attention from going into show business, but not like Lucy did it.

Interviewer: How did you find the pressure being so young?

Charlene: well I had prepared myself, it was something I wanted to do, and I was in it for the work not the fame which sounds crazy because of how big Dallas was. But I had my own apartment when I was 15 and started working really young.

Interviewer: How did you play Lucy?

Charlene: Well I think the scripts were really well written and there were times when you could interject humor and there were times when Lucy would give a little dinger to J.R, things like that, those were great. The Cliff Barnes character also had a lot of comic relief to it to and so did J.R at times.

Interviewer: Did Victoria and Linda help you at all?

Charlene: yeah everyone was sweet, everyone looked out for me because I was so young. They also expected me to be a professional and do good work.

Interviewer: How would you describe Victoria?

Charlene: She's an amazing lady, very sweet, and so very caring.

Interviewer: How about Linda?

Charlene: Really sweet, very nice lady with a wonderful heart.

Interviewer: What was your favorite plot line?

Charlene: Well it happened early on, when you think back now it was a story line that pushed the envelope. Lucy was engaged to marry a young man called Kit Mainwaring, who was actually gay and he was trying not to be gay to please his family. His family were oil tycoons and J.R thought they were the perfect match. So he tells Lucy that he is gay and that he's tried , so Lucy on her own says "No its my fault, I broke off the wedding". I thought it was great, I loved it. It was before Ellen, it was before a lot of the shows that handled the subject matter tastefully, wonderfully and it was way ahead of its time.

Interviewer: How would you describe the clothes your wore?

Charlene: sometimes they were really good and sometimes they were really bad. My daughter watched the rerun and she's like "Mom do you still have those bell bottoms? I want those pants". So its like everything is back in style.

Interviewer: and the hair as well?

Charlene: ahhhh no I don't think that hair will ever come back in style. Big hair.

Interviewer: What about the wind?

Charlene: I had problems with that, that's why in the Southfork scenes Lucy wears braids. Some of them could plaster their hair and have it sprayed so tight.

Interviewer: Who was your favorite romantic lead?

Charlene: Gee I had so many. A favorite ? mmmmmm . I don't know if it would be fair to name a favorite would it?

Interviewer: Well you could.

Charlene: um well I had the chance to work with a lot of wonderful actors but one time I was on set and I saw the call sheet and I saw the name of a man I was going to be involved with for like 3 weeks or something and it was Nicholas Hammond, he was a Von Trapp in the Sound of Music. I was like "Oh my god I'm going to be playing opposite Nicholas Hammond, a Von-Trapp"

Interviewer: Where is your favorite place?

Charlene: I love England, I might live there actually. I am really drawn to England and we lived there for like seven months in Guilford and I loved it, loved it, its amazing. Its expensive though (Laughs)

Interviewer: You made a record I believe? Patrick Duffy did too with Mireille Mathieu

Charlene: yeah I made a record, it was really just "so so", it actually did very well. So Patrick did a song?

Interviewer: yes with Mireille Mathieu

Charlene: Can Patrick sing?

Interviewer: Ummmmmm not bad (laughs)

Charlene : (throws her head back and laughs hysterically)

Interviewer: How did Dallas change your life?

Charlene: Well you had to be careful, travelling all over the world and you needed security. I had my daughter and she was young and I wanted to keep things normal.

Interviewer: what about now?

Charlene: oh yeah people are always coming up, most people are very nice, a few oddballs.

Interviewer: what about accents on the show?

Charlene: well I don't think people put on accents as such, perhaps Linda did and Larry was natural.

Interviewer: Why do you think the show ended?

Charlene: well I wasn't there at the end.

Interviewer: but you did keep up with it?

Charlene : (shakes her head) I have no idea how the show ended, I have no idea how I got off the show.

Interviewer: Was it your decision to leave?

Charlene: The last time, it was a little of both, it was time for me to go and be mom.

Interviewer: Now you work for the Globe?

Charlene: yeah that's kind of interesting. The Globe tabloid called me and if someone had told me I would be working for one of the tabloids I would of said your crazy. They called me and said we have a gossip column and we want a celebrity to take over. I said I can't do anything mean spirited , if you want to make it uplifting kind of stuff, I know many wonderful people in this industry and you never hear about the good stuff and they went for it. So I have my good news, fun, silly column.

Interviewer: Did you ever get frustrated with the part of Lucy?

Charlene: No I was fortunate, I started off at 17 and they allowed Lucy to grow up, they didn't keep her as a little girl.

Interviewer: Did you base Lucy on anyone?

Charlene: No, Lucy was just written on the paper and what I saw of her.

Interviewer: How did you get the part?

Charlene: I read in a casting magazine for a mini series called Dallas, I read the description of Lucy which was "a manipulative little sexpot", immediately I felt I wanted to do the part so I snuck into the studio everyday for 2 weeks until I got the part. There was a vulnerability to the character that I saw and I played that, as it was written she was just mean and nasty.

Interviewer: What did you make of the whole dream thing?

Charlene: well I wasn't on the show when Patrick Duffy came back in the shower. I heard that's what they did and if Patrick wanted to come back how else would they do it?

Interviewer: So how do you feel about Lucy sleeping with Ray Krebbs?

Charlene: Those scenes between Lucy and Ray in the hayloft had never been done on television before back then. Again it was pushing the envelope, Lucy was 17 but at that point I looked about 12, he was a much older man and we had these intense, very passionate love scenes in the hayloft, that was really pushing it.

Interviewer: Are there anymore gags you can tell us about?

Charlene: I remember one time there was a scene going on in the dining room, Larry took me up on the catwalk above the set which looked down on the dining area. He had these bubble machines and we started blowing bubbles down to the people sitting at the table. We did it during a rehearsal not during a take we were far too professional for that (laughs), yeah right, sure (laughs). Anything for a laugh.

Interviewer: Can I persuade you to sing your song for us?

Charlene: (laughs) No I can't remember it

Interviewer: you sure?

Charlene: Um I can't remember it (laughs)

Interviewer: So what have you done recently?

Charlene: Well Iv done a play called "who's life is it anyway?", where I play a woman who was left a quadriplegic in an accident and she's doesn't want to live. I just did two television pilots for two sitcoms. I love comedy.

Interviewer: Ok I guess that's it.

Charlene: Ok (Laughs)

The end.




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