For most of the 1980s, Dallas’s Sue Ellen Ewing was downtrodden and browbeaten by oil baron JR Ewing – but finally it seems she has the upper hand.
“I felt I was representing all the people out there that for years had wanted to smack him so hard,” actress Linda Gray has told RadioTimes.com. “So I thought, well, it’s written in the script. All I was doing was my job. I loved it.”
For his part, actor Larry Hagman was perfectly sanguine about being slapped by his co-star: “Well, she did let me have it about five times. I said, ‘go ahead, hit me. That’s all right.'”
Both Gray and Hagman return this week for a new run of Dallas (Wednesday, 9pm, Channel 5), but don’t expect JR to be back in control at the start of the series.
“He doesn’t have any reins anymore,” admitted Hagman. “She [Sue Ellen] has the reins. Cliff Barnes has the company and Bobby has the ranch. I’m starting off at the bottom again. But don’t worry, I’ll get it back.”
Of this 21st-century incarnation of the Texan drama, Hagman had this to say: “They do it faster. They shoot it faster. And the dialogue is snappier. They compress three shows three shows into one. What would take three hours is now a one-hour show.”
Gray added: “The final show has about seven cliffhangers in the last five minutes, so I think that’s genius.”
Watch the full interview with Larry Hagman and Linda Gray below: