Brenda Strong interview

Brenda Strong - Ann Ewing - Dallas TNT Season 3 interview

Brenda Strong interview: Dallas TNT Season 3 – ‘I think it’s going to blow people away’ – Hi Brenda welcome back to, the fans have been busy sending in questions to the website. Let’s jump right on in.

Jamie Lynn in US asks Love you as Ann but why does she put up with Bobby’s self-righteous attitude? He seems a bit of a hypocrite where Ann is concerned. Do you think Ann is a bit of a ‘desperate housewife’ where Bobby is concerned?

Brenda – I don’t think anyone who has been in a long term marriage doesn’t understand this and that is when you are extremely close to someone and when you know their heart, when they wander away from the nature they normally embody, you have patience. You keep thinking they are going to come back to who they normally are. I think Ann is always taking responsibility for what she feels she’s caused, particularly bringing Emma into their lives and the disruption of having the Ryland’s meddling in their business.

She feels very responsible and perhaps even guilty for disrupting the relative harmony that was the Ann and Bobby previous to Emma’s arrival. That is why she is more tolerant of Bobby’s impatience and self-righteousness.
But it does have a limit, I think she will get to a point where she pushes back and that backbone and that strength and that rifle toting ‘don’t mess with me’ Ann will rise again.
I think the audience really like that (laughs), they are not as fond of the more tender Ann, the more put upon Ann.

UD – She could always shoot Bobby (laughs)

Brenda – (laughs) I’m [Ann} not allowed to carry guns, I’m on probation (laughs)

Gabriella in Ireland asks We last saw Ann falling out with Bobby over Emma and then the big fire. Is she about to move off Southfork? Can you give us any hints on what is to come for Ann in the rest of season 3?

Brenda – The fire definitely gives the family a chance to rebuild, both physically and metaphorically. Maybe some of the things that didn’t work in the previous reincarnation of Southfork and I think that overlaps with Ann and Bobby as well, they have some rebuilding to do. If she moves off of Southfork or not is yet to be seen. There is certainly a lot of tension after the fire, I think Bobby is extremely grateful to know that Ann was not in the fire but that certainly doesn’t mean there is peace yet. There is a lot more to come for sure.

Myra in Spain asks  Do you think Ann is still attracted to Harris? Would you like to see something happen there?

Brenda – I will go back to human nature, if you have ever been with someone, if you have moved on and the person has harmed you or you have history with them, if you have ever had a child with that person, if you ever had a love relationship with that person, part of you remembers that. There’s a part of your psyche, there’s a part of your body, there’s a part of your emotional dynamic that remembers it. It doesn’t mean that it’s attractive but there’s a recognition “oh this is familiar”. I think Ann knows that Harris is not for her, I think she is relieved that there seems to be less volatility between her and Harris. They have a modicum of peace right now where they are trying to parent Emma together and be responsible parents. So I don’t think she is falling back into his arms, she knows that he’s a snake (laughs).

Fabio in US asks I would love to see more action between Judith and Ann! You are both brilliant. What’s it like working with Judith? We saw her giving you the evil eye, is there trouble ahead?

Brenda – First of all I would like to say all of us love working with Judith Light, she is such a delight and so much fun to work with because she really enjoys playing Judith. It’s a dream when she’s on the set. I wish Ann and Judith Ryland had a lot more to do with each other because  there is an innate opposition that causes conflict, therefore drama, that is inherent when either of them are in the same proximity. You will see more towards the end of this season. There is definitely an iciness that they share. I would love to see that ice turn to fire if we go into a season four and see Ann take Judith down (laughs).
That’s my own personal wish list (laughs) but I always refer to our writers as they are so good at creating drama. I’m sure they will have plenty in store for us next season, if we are lucky enough to have one.

UD -
How does the creative process work on Dallas? I read that you asked Ann not to cry so much this season.

Brenda – That was actually something that was taken out of context. I’m the first to go wherever they [the writers] want me to go as a character. I love where they have taken Ann. It wasn’t so much Ann not crying as much, it was more exploring other areas of her nature, more of her comedy, more of her bad-ass nature. I certainly wasn’t complaining about crying, I loved all the work I did in season 2. I thought it was exceptional where they took me and I was grateful for it. Everyone knows when there is one direction you go it’s always interesting to go the opposite direction. That’s all I was saying, it would be fun to explore the opposite.

UD –   How would you describe Ann’s character development over the course of Dallas? Do you think she has changed?

Brenda – You know I think Ann is growing up in many ways for the first time in her life. She is no longer afraid. I don’t think she is afraid to stand up to Emma, I don’t think she is afraid of her ex-husband and I don’t think she’s afraid of losing Bobby. She’s willing to fight for him because she knows what’s right but she’s also not going to put up with any unfair behaviour. I think in a weird way she is standing on her own for the first time in her life, knowing what’s right and willing to fight for that. She has grown immensely and her kryptonite was Emma and she made a lot of decisions and continued to make them in season three, that aren’t necessarily the best decisions. I think she is learning as she goes, why she makes those decisions and how to recover from them. She is definitely stepping into her power.

Allie in US asks I love all the scenes between you and Emma Bell. I know Emma is very resentful towards Ann, but are we ever going to see her get past that and become closer?

Brenda – I think there is an opportunity for that certainly. I think with every parent/child relationship its very complex, if one feels abandoned and the other doesn’t know they existed that certainly doesn’t lessen the feelings of abandonment and I think it’s really a wonderful opportunity to explore all those dynamics of the relationship. She [Emma] is trying to figure out who she is and it’s not as easy as she thought it would be. If we are lucky enough to have a fourth season I think we’ll see Emma starting to decide what kind of woman she wants to be and it may not be one that Ann approves of.
So we’ll see if there is a result. I think there maybe one coming but then the rug will probably get ripped out from under us again (laughs).

Lalani in US asks If Bobby’s estranged son popped up, how do you think Ann would react?

Brenda – That’s a really good question. There is ripe opportunity for conflict and whenever there is loyalty to previous spouses’ children it gets complicated. I think for Ann it’s hard enough to navigate being the matriarch of Southfork with her daughter in there without complicating things having Bobby’s son show up but if it adds to the drama I’m all for it. It could happen, who knows.

Tim in US asks We know Bobby’s ex Tracey McKay is about to turn up. How will this impact Bobby and Ann?

Brenda – Having an ex show up when there is tension between Bobby and Ann s only going to add fuel to the fire of Ann’s instability. I’m sure Bobby feeling like Ann has not been fully faithful to him maybe tested or maybe not – we’ll see. I think what’s great is our writers are constantly looking for opportunities to tie the new Dallas to the old Dallas and I think that  what makes for rich drama is keeping the audience connected to the lineage that we come from. I think it’s great they look for opportunities to bring old characters back.

Trev in Australia asks If you could describe the rest of season three is three words what they be?

Brenda – Combustive, unpredictable and epic (laughs)

Mark Borchers on Facebook asks What is the one growth area you would like to see in Ann for season 4?

Brenda – I think finding a place for Ann to channel her energy, whether it’s in something that allows her to be part of the family business or connect with a charity that is meaningful to her through her horses and women’s abuse. Or having her have a more dynamic connection to the other players would be really fun for me, much like Sue Ellen had the governorship. I think Ann is a really powerful woman who hasn’t quite yet found her place to express that. I think there is an opportunity to perhaps take her into her power, that would be really fun to explore.

Jon in Germany asks We are all waiting for news of a season 4. What are your thoughts on this happening?

Brenda – I always go back to our audience and say it’s really up to you guys. If you show up and let TNT know we are still of interest to you and everyone tunes in on August 18th and takes the roller-coaster ride of the next seven episodes, I think season four is a pretty positive outcome. But it is really up to the audience, they are the ones who have the most influence if we have a season four or not. So I invite them to tell their friends and spread the word.
We have the best fans of any show I have been on, I am so incredibly impressed with the dedication and the attention to detail our fans have. I’m really impressed with them and I’m very grateful for their loyalty.

June Hanniman on Facebook asks How is the film you produced I Did Not Forget You, progressing. Is a release date in the near future? Asked by a proud contributor.

Brenda – Thank you. I am so grateful. It was a group effort and we had so many people, both that we knew – fans, family and friends, even the local UPS guy in Dallas. I was blown away by the generosity. It’s going very well, we just finished the first half of the raw edit and we are going to show it to some friends and colleagues and give them a breakdown of what we would like feedback on. Then we will go back to the drawing table and see if we need to cut some more out or add a little bit more. But it’s one of those things that was a magical experience from beginning to end. Many of our Dallas crew helped us out with everything from art direction to props, to camera equipment and sound.

UD – When can we see this?

Brenda – If it has a life of its own hopefully it will get distribution, in the meantime we are hoping to get some festival play and people responding to it. I think it could possibly have a release but I’m not looking towards that.

UD – We’re looking forward to how it progresses and will watch out for updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Brenda – Thank you for asking about it, I’m really proud of it and so happy that you guys had a hand in helping us make this so appreciate that.

UD – Before we finish up, any final messages for the fans out there?

Brenda – I want to say thank you. I have tremendous gratitude for their loyalty and their continued perseverance in this break. I think the summer has always been our best time-slot and I think it’s going to give everyone an opportunity to get excited for a season four. I think the last half of season three is our best half so I look forward to the response from the fans because I think it’s going to blow people away. The first episode out is not to be missed, they showed it at the Austin TV festival and the audience was blown away so it definitely starts off with a big surprize. I look forward to seeing how you guys feel about that. Tune in and enjoy, get back to us at the end and let us know how you feel.

Dallas returns to TNT with the second half of season three on Monday August 18 9/8c



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