You were once the most famous fictional resident of Dallas – but you actually live in LA. What has lit up your television recently?
My daughter told me that I should see Stranger Things, but I was alone in my bed watching it and I had to turn it off. I thought, “Oh my God, this is scaring me, I can’t watch this!” Afterwards, she laughed at me. But when the news is very depressing, I switch right off and turn to something funny.
So no scary TV for you – at least not in bed. What do you enjoy on your sofa? The Crown. Except two episodes morphed into three and then into four. The production values were extraordinary, the whole thing was beautiful and I was very impressed by John Lithgow’s portrayal of Winston Churchill. So that was definitely a delightful evening in front of the TV. And now I’ve embraced box-set bingeing.
What do you feel if you catch an old episode of Dallas?
Oh, love. And fond memories. It was one of those magical experiences that you continue to be grateful for. I look back on it with complete gratitude because it was loved around the world. Obviously, as a woman, I do comment on the clothes. I often think, “What was I thinking saying yes to wearing that?” So I’ll watch it with my tongue in my cheek, and with a great deal of humour, too.
Did you think that the revival of Dallas was axed too soon?
I was angry. I thought TNT [the US broadcaster of the 2012–14 revival] did the fans a disservice. Out of respect for the history of the series and the viewers, they could have made a few more episodes to tie up all the loose plotlines. But they didn’t. And the viewers ended up feeling disrespected – and that’s how I felt, too. Had they chosen to a do a few more, it would have been more respectful.
You’re now in Hollyoaks. What would Larry Hagman say about that if he were here today?
Oh, he would love it. He’d say it was the part I was meant to play. He would cheer me on. I can sense that. My character, Tabby, is feisty and opinionated – and I’ve always played dysfunctional women.
In what ways does Hollyoaks remind you of Dallas?
I got sent some episodes of Hollyoaks and I could see that it was filled with young, beautiful, dysfunctional people. And there were a lot of fires and characters dying, so I thought, “This is perfect for me!” The thing I loved about it was that I could be at home in LA, come over, cause some major chaos and then leave again!
Presumably, not everything reminds you of Southfork. For a start, there’s the accent…
Yes, I’m still struggling with the accents in Liverpool. They’ll say something and I’ll have no idea what. I thought it was my hearing at first! It’s a very strange language, but we’re getting there. And they humour me, so we get along great.
What do you do when you’re not watching TV?
I’m an avid cookbook reader – I have way too many. Some women collect shoes, I collect cookbooks. I like things that take me right out of my own head.