Playing J.R. "like coming home," says Larry Hagman

Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:06am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Larry Hagman's conniving Texas oil baron J.R. Ewing helped turn "Dallas" into a worldwide hit more than 30 years ago, and gave television one of its most alluring and dastardly villains.

Hagman, now 80, is putting on his boots, his wicked grin and 10-gallon cowboy hat for a new version of the TV series, starting June 13 on cable channel TNT.

The TV veteran sat down with Reuters recently to talk about returning to the Southfork Ranch, his off-screen passion for alternative energy and his hatred of cowboy boots.

Q: What was your first reaction when this new "Dallas" TV series was pitched to you?

A: "I said, 'who's on the show?' and they said Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy. I said 'done deal' before I even saw the script. We're buddies. It's three musketeers kinda stuff. We like working with each other."

Q: How hard was it to get back into the character of J.R. after all these years?

A: "Honey, it was like coming home. It's no trouble getting into that character. I don't know how much is the character and how much is me anymore."

Q: You gave me a fright in the premiere, with J.R. spending so much time sitting silent in a chair with his eyes closed.   Continued...

Actor Larry Hagman from the TV series "Dallas" poses backstage at the 18th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 29, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake