Interview: Jordana Brewster & Julie Gonzalo of TNT’s Dallas
Video transcript below:
Devin Southard, Pretentious Film Majors: Hey! I’m Devin with the Pretentious Film Majors and I am sitting here with Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo, stars of TNT’s new show Dallas. Thank you ladies for joining us, we really appreciate it. So to get started, would you guys mind telling us a little bit about your characters?
Jordana Brewster: Elena is super pretentious for starters.
Julie Gonzalo: *Laughing* So, we fit in here.
JB: Just kidding.
DS: We’re all pretentious together.
JB: Yeah, we’re having a pretention party. She’s super ambitious. She wants to make it on her own. She was not pretentious to start out. She was the cook’s daughter…is the cook’s daughter. My mom’s not dead, she’s alive on the show.
JG: She’s still cooking.
DS: Are we sure?
JG: I saw her.
JB: Mhmm. And she is in the middle of a love triangle between John Ross and Christopher Ewing.
JG: *Cough* Slut! *Cough*
JB: What? What?!
JB: You’re just saying that cause you’re jealous cause he’s your husband. So we get down and dirty on the show, and you are Rebecca.
JG: I am Rebecca Ewing, well Sutter. I become a Ewing in the pilot. But, she’s very pretentious actually. She’s a lawyer, she’s very smart so I think she has a little bit of an air. I think she’s just trying to find her way now that she’s part of this rich, iconic family. She has a few things she has to deal with along the way.
DS: Awkward…so [Jordana] you were saying how your character is involved in a love triangle. Julie had choice words for that…but anyway…that’s not important.
JG: Did I say something?
DS: I think you had a sneeze. Allergies.
JG: I had a cough. I’m allergic to her. *Points to Jordana*
DS: So can you tell us a little bit about that situation and how it plays out on camera?
JB: Yeah, Elena is in love with Christopher and then something…I don’t know what, and I’m not gonna say what cause everyone has to tune into Dallas. Something prevents Elena and Christopher from getting married. And then this biznatch steals him from her…
JG: I don’t steal, because he was already looking for something better.
JB: Preventing her from marrying Christopher. And so then she falls into the arms of John Ross. And that’s what happens.
JG: And I suffer the love triangle because my husband is torn between his ex-lover and his new lover. But, who cares? I have the ring.
JB: It’s his ex-lover and his wife.
JG: So who wins?
DS: I’m not going to answer that question. I’m the interviewer, let’s keep that in mind.
JG: You watch the show, and then let us know.
DS: Ok I’ll send you a text. I’ll let you know. That’s cool. So, what is the interaction between your two characters? We pretty much know how you guys feel about each other. Is this the way it plays out on camera as well?
JB: Not at all. In the original Dallas, there were more catfights. I think everything was a little more overt. With this, they keep it under the surface and it’s all a little more subtle in terms of the wheelings and dealings. I think that’s a bit more fun for the audience to watch.
JG: They wrote really smart women, so we kind of kill each other with kindness. It’s fun to play smart women and just go from there. But somebody has to end up in the pool.
JB: Maybe season two.
DS: Maybe…we’ll have to stay tuned to find out. So, since you two work so closely with Jesse and Josh what’s that like?
JG: Very close.
JB: Maybe too close…What?! What do you mean what’s that’s like? What are you asking?
DS: Well do you guys work well together? Can you see the chemistry on television?
JB: Like your TV set will burn.
JG: Oh yeah, it’s hot. You may need to keep a bucket of water around or a fire extinguisher.
DS: I don’t know if I can afford to watch this show then…cause I’m in college. This might not work for me.
JG: No, they’re good boys.
JB: And they take their shirts off a ton.
JG: Yeah, they take their shirts more than we do. So yeah girls!
DS: Welcome to 2012.
JB: Yeah it’s awesome, welcome to 2012. Exactly!
JG: Exactly! Where the men are the ones…
JB: Being objectified. They are the piece of meat.
DS: I like it! So Dallas of course, is a classic TV series that ran mostly during the 80s. Did you guys watch the original show in order to prepare for these roles or did you want to take more of an unbiased approach to it?
JB: We didn’t want to take an unbiased approach…or I didn’t. I don’t want to speak for Julie.
JG: Please don’t.
JB: I didn’t because we were referring to the old characters and the characters we were interacting with… I keep speaking for you, I’m sorry. Like John Ross and Christopher were babies on the show, so it was fun to watch their history. Like I would deal with John Ross and I was like “Oh no wonder you were so effed up. Your mom didn’t hold you when you were a baby! So now I get it!” And that stuff was fun to watch. And it was also fun to watch Linda Grey act, and act like such a luscious character, and then see her the next day and ask “So what was that like?” and to talk to her.
JG: Yeah she was having a lot fun. It was nice to see where these characters have come from. My role is new, it was never in the original so it’s nice to see where they are now twenty years later…thirty years later. Thirty-four years later actually. I watched it yes and no. I didn’t want to get too involved because I was a new character, but obviously I did my homework when it came to knowing the tone of the show and what I was dealing with.
JB: But it is really different, like the pace is much faster.
JG: It’s very different. I think a season back then is like an episode now. There’s a lot of stuff happening.
DS: And what are the other differences between the original and what you guys are doing now? Or any similarities?
JG: It’s very very similar because we’re dealing with the same family. We’re dealing with a lot of the same topics, but it’s modernized. It’s 2012, so we’re dealing with a lot of the things we deal with on a daily basis. It’s still oil, power, money, greed.
JB: Power versus love, family versus money. Those themes that are in the original one still persist in this one.
JG: Oil versus alternative energy. So yeah, it’s fun to integrate everything we deal with on an everyday basis in today’s world.
DS: What’s it like to join a project like Dallas that had such a strong following when it originally aired? Is it intimidating or is it exciting? What were your thoughts?
JB: It was super exciting initially for me when we first joined, and when we met the cast initially. And now it’s a little intimidating because everyone is asking that question.
DS: So I’m not original?
JB: Like there wasn’t any pressure until I started thinking about it!
JG: Now we’re promoting it, and we’re kinda like crap!
JB: Yeah, now I feel like there’s some pressure because we don’t want to disappoint the fans. I hope the fans welcome us.
JG: There are a lot of them! It was a global show; it was in every other country in the world! At first, it was like before we met Patrick, Linda, and Larry we were wondering how are they gonna be. And then we ended up hitting it off right away. They’re the sweetest most down to earth, humble people who are so appreciative of their lives and their work. To us, we were like “This is gonna be awesome!” We were welcomed right away and now with the pressure we’re like “Oh shit!” I mean poo…
DS: We’re in college, you can say shit.
JG: Okay, awesome. I mean, I don’t know.
DS: And we just got a bleep.
JB: You’re gonna bleep us?
DS: Well, I mean only if it’s cool with you.
JB: Yeah, you can bleep us.
JB: You’ll just be able to read my mouth
JG: I mean if you’re gonna bleep, we might as well just keep going with them right?
DS: That’s fine. We could just have a perpetual bleep.
JG: Oh my god, that would be fucking awesome.
JB: That’s such a pretentious word. What’s wrong with you?
DS: I’m a college student. That’s what’s wrong with me! Okay, so if you could be on any classic TV show aside from Dallas, which would one would it be and why?
JB: Can it be on now?
DS: We can use the word classic loosely.
JB: I love 30 Rock. I’m kind of obsessed with 30 Rock. I would love to be on 30 Rock! And that, I think, will be a classic one day.
JG: Oh yeah, but Bewitched came to mind real quick.
JB: You would be good as that witch.
DS: But wait, can you do the nose thing?
JG: I can try. *Twitches nose*
JB: Oh my gosh!
JG: Really? I’m telling you. I could totally be Elizabeth Montgomerey.
DS: Ok, so without spoiling anything for everyone who’s going to watch and have their television explode, is there a scene or moment that you are really excited for audiences to see?
JG: Yeah, there’s a lot. Dallas was mostly known forits’ cliffhangers. There’s a ton of cliffhangers.
JG: I think every commercial is a cliffhanger, so that’s going to be exciting to see reactions.
DS: Anything else?
JB: I like a scene where I slap someone. And I like a scene where you’re kissing someone, but that’s all I’m gonna reveal.
JG: And I know exactly what you’re talking about. You’re reading my mind.
JB: We gotta keep that on the DL though. We can’t give it out.
DS: Totally not general.
JB: It won’t be general once you watch the show.
DS: That’s fair. I can deal with that. So, for all of you that want to have your television explode from the hotness of TNT’s new show Dallas, you should check it out. Thank you Jordana and Julie, it was really fun.
JB: It was fun.
DS: It was good. It was like a little girl’s corner.
JG: I know we bonded right?
DS: I think so.
JG: Don’t we feel closer to each other?
DS: Are we sisters now?
JG: I hope so.
JB: Let’s go get manicures!
DS: Okay! You’re paying!
Catch Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo & the rest of the ensemble cast on TNT’s revival of Dallas, every Wednesday night this summer, starting with the 2-hour premiere TONIGHT at 8:00pm