we hear it's time for new episodes of Psych
to pick back up, we start to anticipate the return and count
down the days. We know you do, too. The show, which has been
renewed for an incredible seventh season, is one of the freshest,
wittiest and just flat out funniest shows on TV.
Between the writing, the acting and the undeniable chemistry
of the cast, there is little that can touch this series. Two
of the leading reasons we can't get enough of the show go
by the names of James Roday and Dule Hill, the
dynamic duo behind the lead characters Shawn and Gus. And
let's just say, they are definitely like their characters!
In preparation for the mid-season premiere of sixth season
of Psych, PCM's Allison had the chance to participate in a
conference call with both James and Dule to discuss the upcoming
episodes, the promise of season seven, the minds of Shawn
and Gus and much more!
Be sure to read below to find out all they had to share with
New Episodes of Psych air Wednesdays at
10/9c on USA,
Beginning February 29.
So sometimes the banter between Shawn and Gus seems so
natural. Is any of that improvised?
James Roday: Yes, yes, we've sort of - we've got a
nice balance of scripted stuff and improvisation since the
very beginning. I think it's part of what sparks the show
and keeps things lively for Dule and I, and luckily we've
been doing it long enough that we can make it - we can generally
make it sound like it belongs in the scene.
As you know, there've been a lot of parodies and tributes
done on Psych so far. Are there any other ones coming up in
the future that we should be looking for?
Dule Hill: Well, James Roday has directed one, I think
airing second. Maybe you might want to fill them in on what
that is, there, James.
James Roday: You know what? We've got an episode called
"Here's Lassie" up second, which is our tribute
to The Shining, not so much the book, more the Stanley Kubrick
adaptation - film adaptation of the book, and that turned
out pretty well. I think the highlight is easily Dule Hill's
impression of Shelley Duvall. Everyone can look forward to
Dule Hill: Okay. Yes, Gus Duvall is in the house.
James Roday: Gus gets his Duvall on in a big way.
Dule Hill: Yes, I see an opening too, I guess as an
homage to the Indiana Jones series.
James Roday: Yes, that's true. That's absolutely true.
And then we also send up The Bachelor.
Dule Hill: Oh, that's right.
James Roday: That comes later in the season.
Dule Hill: Yes, that's right.
James Roday: So we do our version of the reality looking
for love thing. And then we close down the season with a little
nod to Chinatown, which we call Santa Barbara town.
Dule Hill: Santa Barbara town. See the play on words
there, Chinatown, Santa Barbara town? See how we do it?
James Roday: So, yes, you've got some tributes to
look forward to coming up.
We know that Dule has been doing an amazing job at Stick
Fly this hiatus. What did you do over the hiatus, James?
And everyone's pretty curious about what they've dubbed "Ro-hawk"
for your hair.
James Roday: Wow. Well, yes. I was not doing an amazing
job in Stick Fly, which allowed me to shave off 75% of my
hair and spike the other part of it so that, you know, so
that I could pretend like I'm a lot younger than I really
am basically. I actually spent a good portion of this hiatus
writing, which is another reason why I could do that to myself.
So it was good. It was good, and hopefully something will
come of it. But I kind of took it on easy, and spent some
time renovating a house, it was very - it was a very domestic
sort of break for me.
Dule Hill: There it is.
I sort of want to go back to the beginning with you guys,
because obviously you had Monk as a lead-in. And you know,
I think a lesser show probably would have suffered when Monk
went off the air. But you guys have turned the show into just
a ginormous success, and I'm wondering to what you attribute
that, if it's the writing, the acting, the fans. I mean, you
guys have really built the show up into a big success, and
I'm wondering to what you attribute that.
Dule Hill: I would say it's a perfect storm. I mean,
I think it has to do with the writing. I think it has to do
with the acting. I think it has to do with the fans. I think
it has to do with the network. It has to do with the studio,
the crew. I think it's everybody.
You know, creating a hit television show is - it's not easy,
and it's - there's no perfect science to making it happen,
so when it does, you just kind of enjoy the ride. I think
for us to sit back and say - to attribute it to any one thing
would be very presumptuous of us, I feel like, that we know
what the answer is.
Like I said, it's just all these great things coming together,
and people seem to enjoy it, and we have fun. I think nobody
takes themselves too seriously, and I think that helps the
James Roday: And you mentioned Monk, which was sort
of a great shepherd for us, and you know, the truth is, you
know, Monk managed to stick around long enough for us to kind
of find our sea legs and get really comfortable doing what
we were doing, so by the time that they did call it a series
for Monk, we were sort of confident in our own skin and ready
to spread our wings. So they kind of timed that out really
nicely for us as well.
Dule Hill: You know, and I think also - I think like
having the - like the support of the fans, especially like
when we do our fan appreciation days, like we did our college
tour and things like that, also I think allowed the studio
and the network to see how much they enjoyed what we do, which
also allows us to have more freedom to have more fun.
James Roday: Right, and we get everything that keeps
kind of playing into each other. So thank you to the fans.
Dule Hill: Oh, yes. Thank you to Tony Shaloub.
So you guys mentioned in the last call that there had
still been more talk about a musical episode in season seven.
Have you heard anything more?
James Roday: You know what? That's - the only person
that can answer that question is Steve Franks. I'm pleading
the fifth from now on. I'm not promising anything because
it's all on his shoulders. And I'll say this. If he wants
to do it we'll do it, and that's all we got. That's all we
You know, to Steve's credit, I think obviously we're all
very excited by the possibility of doing a musical, but knowing
that there - you know, it's not unprecedented and that other
shows have done it, I can tell you it's very important to
him that we not just do it, but that we do it incredibly well.
And I think he just doesn't want to short change the fans
or our show by delivering anything less than you know, a home
run. And I'm not entirely sure if we've figured out what the
home run is. So until that happens, it's just a big question
So in the Indiana Jones episode, there's another Shawn
and Gus fight, which are always fun. If you think the two
of them had to, you know, have a fight where you know, someone
has to declare a winner, who would win and why?
Dule Hill: I think what would happen, would - one
of us would declare a winner, and then we probably would start
fighting over who the winner is. So it'd be like this little
black hole that we'd go into where we'd continue to fight
over new things.
And then someone would say, you know, fine, you win, and
then we would start fighting over who the - like, you know,
I said you win, and he would say, "No, you won."
You know what I'm saying? It would just keep going back and
James Roday: It would be tough, because I - they're
both - I don't think either of their pain thresholds are very
high, and I also don't think they have it in them to truly
hurt the other person. So I think it would come down to semantics
and debate as opposed to...
Dule Hill: Exactly.
James Roday: ...one man standing over the other.
Shawn hasn't been hiding any, you know, secret kung fu
moves or anything from his four classes?
James Roday: Shawn would like to think that he has
unlimited moves from any number of disciplines, but I think
we all know the truth, which is that when danger is near,
those guys run as quickly as they possibly can in the other
Now can you both talk about filming the episode "Here's
Lassie" and what horror film element that was brought
into the episode scared you the most?
James Roday: I can tell you that we got pretty lucky
with - since you've seen the episode, with the set of twins
that we found. You know, I think initially we were going to
go with sort of more traditionally and closer to what you
have in the original movie. And then they had come in and
auditioned for a different episode, and I think it was Steve's
episode and he remembered them. And he was like you have to
And we watched the audition, and it was like, oh my gosh.
We're going to do this instead, which was better because it
allowed us to sort of put our own little spin on it. But they
were I thought pretty effectively creepy. They were lovely
ladies, and a hoot to have around, but I thought it was pretty
- I thought it was just as creepy as the little girls in the
movie quite frankly.
Dule Hill: Yes. And the little boy too. The little
boy breaking his little pinky, that little finger - that was
pretty spooky for me, especially when we're down there in
the laundry room and he comes by the window. It's like - that
was pretty spooky.
James Roday: Little kids and twins, man. You can't
go wrong with those, you know what I mean?
Dule Hill: Two of the scariest things in the world.
How much fun was it to get to work with Cary Elwes again?
Dule Hill: Well, it's always fun working with Cary
Elwes. He's such a delight to work with. He's a great guy,
brings so much fun energy to the set. And being that he came
back around for the third time, you start to really be familiar
with people. But we had a blast. I mean, it was a wonderful
experience, and if we have a chance to work with him again,
we'll look forward to that too.
James Roday: Yes, Cary's the real deal. I would actually
that's probably my favorite of the Despereaux episodes. It
was really a good time.
Dule Hill: Definitely.
and you know, you got to work with Sallah too, John Rhys Davies.
So was that intimidating for you guys at all?
James Roday: You know, that guy is bigger than life.
There wasn't even a moment to be intimidated. He - you know,
he came over and it was kind of like - I don't know. It was
like working with Santa Claus or something almost.
You know, he's got such - he's got that big voice and that
big personality and his laugh is really infectious, and yes,
it was great. And I got the added bonus of working with (Mage
Tunomic) in that episode too, who was like my original TV
crush. It was just lots of good stuff going on.
Dule Hill: That's something. I mean, I think people
come to our show and they enjoy, you know, just from what
they hear, that they don't really have much fun on a lot of
other shows, and everyone who comes to fight has a good time
for a week …
They enjoy being up there, and I think word has started
to spread to the - through the town that it's a fun place
to come and work, and to - you know, and to give actors a
chance to come and play something interesting and different
and have a week in Vancouver where we get a chance to laugh,
laugh a lot. And we can laugh a lot.
My favorite part of any show is a random pop culture reference
that you just sneak into a random conversation. Do you guys
come up with those as you go, or do you have one and try to
find a way to get it in there that you really want to mention?
James Roday: I think it's a little bit of everything,
Dule Hill: Right.
James Roday: I think for one, between me and Steve
and the rest of our writing staff, it's a pretty deep well
of obscurity. And with, you know, each opportunity we get
to come back, you know, we've got a list of ones that we haven't
gotten to yet, and then in addition to that, we'll come up
with stuff in the moment based on, you know, a song we've
been singing, you know, in between takes. And we kind of -
we jam all those in as well. It's a pretty fantastic format,
our show, because it kind of lends itself to doing just about
anything you'd want and getting away with it.
Dule Hill: I know, I think, because for example, when
we did our how we got to - you know, the little intimate thing,
I was in my trailer one day, you know, and somebody emailed
me or I'd seen it somewhere like on the Web, you know, Ed
Lover's "come on, son," and I was just crying.
I think maybe on Facebook I think I saw it, and I was just
rolling in my trailer and I finally said, "Oh, James,
you got to come see this," or I emailed it to him. And
then we - he - it made him die laughing, and by chance we
were filming the episode that (Bruce Davis) did, I think a
season ago. And we just started dropping it in there, and
it made it to the air.
And then of course this year, now, we were running with
the "Come on, son," and we were having dinner one
day for (Andy Berman)'s episode. You know, why don't we have
(Ed Lover) come out and do "Come on, son." And it
In the Indiana Jones episode, Shawn has to deal with mortality.
So my question is, what do you imagine that would be the most
likely way that Shawn and Gus kick the bucket?
James Roday: Shawn has joked on several occasions
that Gus will somehow inadvertently be the cause of his own
death. I think Steve's thrown that joke in like two or three
times over the years, like Gus is going to accidentally walk
into traffic or something and have no one to blame but himself.
I don't know, I - it's a good question. I mean, I think these
- I don't know if these guys have given a lot of thought to
mortality. They're kind of stuck in the past...
Dule Hill: In denial. In the past, and in denial.
James Roday: ...and clinging to the idea of not growing
up, so I think Shawn is probably convinced that he'll never
die, and I think, you know, Gus probably just doesn't like
thinking about it.
Dule Hill: Right. He doesn't want to be putting any
choice to talking about that.
James Roday: Exactly.
My question is, you guys talked a little bit last Fall
before this season debuted about a clue-themed episode. Is
there any word on that project?
James Roday: That I can say with a reasonable degree
of confidence is still happening. The reason that we were
unable to do it in season six was sort of a perfect storm
of scheduling issues with some of the pieces of talent that
I think we could all agree you have to have on board if you're
going to do a clue episode.
So we basically just put a pin in it and pushed it to season
seven, if there was going to be a season seven, and now that
there is one, I can say here with confidence, barring some
unforeseen glitch, you're going to get your clue episode next
So obviously the show's hysterical, and I don't want to
do Shawn and Gus a disservice by saying they're growing up,
but there are still some, you know, underlying more serious
moments, like in the Indiana Jones episode where Shawn was
like, "Oh my God, Gus is going to die," or even
the emergency ring situation. So how would you characterize
what's going on with these two at this point in their lives?
And are we going to see more of these sort of realizations
come upon them?
Dule Hill: I think you have to. I mean, I think, you
know, we've been on the air for six years, going into our
seventh. And you know, it would be false for us not to. I
mean, the fact is they are trying to hold onto the past and
to be never growing up, but the fact is they are growing up.
And as you see, you know, with Shawn, you know, and getting
more serious with Juliet, and even Gus trying to find his
own significant other and things like that, I think that's
a - the general, or - that's going to be the arc of the characters.
Otherwise I think it'd just be getting boring if we kept doing
the same exact thing as season one.
What kind of crossover do you want to see with Psych and
any other show?
Dule Hill: Well, I'm still on the whole Monk train.
I would love to have Tony Shaloub come and do an episode of
Psych. Really, that's my big - I wouldn't mind that, and I
wouldn't mind either Zachary Levi. That would be cool. You
know, he's a cool dude, and I really could have fun hanging
around. And I think big Chuck fans would enjoy seeing - the
Chuck and the Psych fans would enjoy seeing Zach come and
do an episode of Psych. So those are my two.
James Roday: I think the one thing that we're not
allowed to do on Psych in terms of like a mandate creatively
that probably will never change is anything that's truly supernatural.
Like, stuff can appear to be supernatural, but then there
always ends up being an explanation.
So I think it would be fun to get dropped into like The
Walking Dead or True Blood or something and have Shawn and
Gus have to deal with something that truly can't be explained.
And also, I think Gus would probably - he would probably
warm up to the idea of vampires pretty quickly once he realized
that - and they were interested in doing more than, you know,
just talking to him.
Dule Hill: I think you're right about that. And of
course he wouldn't say that. He would have had Sookie in mind,
James Roday: That's right.
Dule Hill: You know Gus gets down with the vampires.
James Roday: Gus and Sookie I think make a lot of
It's about have they ever thought of doing like a Wacky
Wednesday episode, where Shawn is Gus and Gus is Shawn, and
would that be like the most difficult acting that you've had
to do, to try to play each other?
James Roday: Well, we kind of stuck our big toe in
the water. We probably tried it to early, but it was back
in I think season two.
Dule Hill: Two, right.
James Roday: And it was the episode where Gus's uncle
comes to town, and Gus has lied to his family and said that
he's the psychic in the duo. And so he kind of had to do his
best Shawn impression. But it was a little undercooked, and
Shawn didn't have to do any kind of Gus impression, so - and
it's a fairly unmemorable episode, so maybe we can go back
to the drawing board and give it a shot.
Dule Hill: It would be fun.
James Roday: Yes, man, we're putting it on the board.
Dule Hill: You heard it here first.
I wanted to ask both of you, you both have very strong
backgrounds in theater and both in TV and film. What do you
consider your favorite and why as far as the genres?
Dule Hill: For me, by far it's theater. I feel like
when I'm on stage I learn more. During a play every night,
I learn more as an actor and I grow as an actor much faster
I feel and more dynamically than I do in any other medium.
But I do enjoy doing television and film.
So my ideal situation really would be to do a cable show
for four months, be able to go do a film, then go do a play
for another three months, and keep doing that cycle, you know,
oh, every three years or something like that. I think I could
do one medium - just one medium too long, you can very easily
get stale and boring. If I had to choose, I would choose theater,
as long as I can get my TV paycheck.
James Roday: So eloquently laid out for you. I don't
even know how to follow that. But I would definitely agree.
I mean, theater is the actor's medium for sure. And you know,
it's sort of where you get to flex your muscles the most.
It generally presents the most challenges. It's the most dangerous.
It's the most fulfilling, and I think more than anything it
just makes you a better actor on camera. So you know, if I
could only do one, I guess it's back to bartending and theater
Dule Hill: If you could see the difference between
me and Roday, he said it's back to bartending and theater.
I said as long as I can get my TV paycheck. That's the difference
between James and Dule.
So it's been a while since Gus has had a real love interest.
How long until he gets a steady romantic love interest?
Dule Hill: That's a good question. I'm - I hope that
I - and Roday might be able to answer it better, being that
- actually, I think you're here in New York, now, but when
you go back to LA, you might be able to answer it better.
I hope that this season, we'll get a chance to see Gus be
in some kind of relationship that lasts over an episode or
I wouldn't want to see him being in a relationship all season.
I wouldn't - I don't - just I think that would not be fun,
but hopefully we're going to see what it's like when he's
in some kind of relationship over a short period of time,
and not just one episode and - or swinging and striking out.
And of all the girls that you've got to have a romantic
relationship with so far, who's been your favorite to work
Dule Hill: Well, that's kind of a loaded question
there, because I would have to go back to - "From Earth
to Starbucks," because that was my wife. I'm no idiot.
I'm no idiot.
James Roday: It takes the fun out of it a little,
seeing as how I pretty much have to say Maggie [Lawson], so
there you go.
good as Psych is, and it really is awesome, does it ever bother
you when you're snubbed by the Emmys?
Dule Hill: I think we would be lying if we said no.
You mean, I know, you always say you don't care until you
actually get a nomination. Then you're like, "Oh, that's
the greatest organization ever!" I mean, it would be
nice to be honored. I think we've had some - I think we've
put together some really funny episodes and I think that we've
consistently been a funny show.
We got a little bit of love by being added into, you know,
some of the opening promo stuff that was going on for the
Emmys this year. But it would be nice to get a little more
Emmy love in some shape or form for the show. I think Psych
is a very funny show and it deserves to be included among
In honor of President's Day, I would like to know who
your favorite presidents are, real or fictional, and why.
Dule Hill: Oh, well, that's very easy. Fictional wise,
it's our (President Josiah Bartlett), because I think he's
the ideal president. You know, he's someone who thought about
issues in a way, the pros and cons, and felt like he let his
heart lead him, and really put the country first and doing
what's right, beyond doing what is - doing what the polls
And most politicians nowadays beyond what they say really
do kind of lean towards polling. In terms of real, well I
mean, it would have to be - that's a toss-up. For me it would
either be a toss-up between President Clinton and President
And I've been fans of both of theirs, so I can't go too
far back because I don't really remember too many presidents
before that. You know, I know Reagan and I know Clinton and
I know both Bush presidents, and I know President Obama. So
I would say Clinton and Obama, presidents, would be my two
James Roday: I was a Bill Clinton guy for sure. He
was my man. And then fictionally I got to go with (Tiny Lister).
I'm pretty sure he suited up - what was it, in The Fifth Element,
I think so. He had an eye patch. That's my on-screen president.
No one's touching him.
So Psych has paid homage to a lot of great films and TV
series'. Is there any favorite film or TV series of yours
that you wish you could do as an episode?
James Roday: Well, you know I got - I sort of got
mine when we did Twin Peaks. That was my favorite show of
all time, and that is an experience that I will never forget.
So it's going to be tough for anything to come close to that
one, but we'll keep rolling them out for sure. For sure.
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