This afternoon, Brenda Strong of TNT's Dallas participated in a press call to promote her role as Ann Ewing in the currently airing second season of the show. The season provides some exciting happenings for Strong's Ann character, as in the third episode, in true Dallas fashion, someone ends up getting shot. The only difference? This time the shooter's no mystery: We see right away that the shooter is Ann.
What happens next? You'll have to watch the show for yourself, though that does inspire a question: Why didn't Ann just talk to J.R. to see if he could take Harris Ryland down, Ewing-style? As it turns out, we didn't get to see Ann going to J.R. for help, but what we did get is something Ms. Strong seems happy with. "First of all, I'd just like to say, any time Patrick Duffy and Larry Hagman are in a scene together, I just love it, because there's so much history present, and these two men love each other so deeply that it leaps off the screen," she says. "I think it was a rare character turn for Bobby to ask J.R. for help. I love that Bobby loves Ann enough to go to that length. I don't think, because Bobby did it, that Ann would feel the need to, but certainly, you know, we didn't get to see that entire story arc play itself out because of Larry's preemptive passing. Certainly, anything's possible with our writers, but I have not, to my knowledge, known that Ann would do that. Bobby did it, and I think that was an act of love and loyalty that was one of those things where blood is thicker than water, and when there's a common enemy, they actually do bond together and go against it. Harris Ryland is definitely a common enemy," she affirms.
While the Hagman-Duffy actor chemistry and J.R.-Bobby character chemistry is something that has impressed audiences for decades, the interactions between Ann and Linda Gray's character Sue Ellen have been a highlight of the new Dallas. Brenda has nothing but good things to say about the First Lady of the franchise. "The lovely Linda Gray, she is an extraordinary woman, and I admire her tremendously, and the more I have gotten to know her off screen, the more there is to admire. She is the salt of the Earth; she's kind, she's generous... she's absolutely hysterical. She makes me laugh, and she has a terrific sense of humor. To be Larry Hagman's best friend for as many years as she has, it just shows you how much she loves to laugh. She and I have very similar life philosophies, so I enjoy her tremendously off screen," she says.
On screen, at least to date, they've also had a good relationship. "There's some wonderful chemistry between Ann and Sue Ellen, because they've both had some history that they're not too proud of, and they both have ex-husbands that have made their lives very difficult. I think there's a lot of camaraderie and compassion for what each of them have gone through and are going through currently in their lives. They're mature women who know that life's not always going to serve you the dish that you want to be eating, but you have to make it work," she says.
That relationship might change in the future, however. "I think where it may go in the future, and I'm not certain... their friendship may be tested, because as you know, Sue Ellen is the mother of John Ross, and there is a camp. There's a J.R. camp and there's the Bobby camp, and John Ross belongs in the J.R. camp, so, in many ways, I think with Sue Ellen needing to be protective of her son, Ann and Sue Ellen may end up on different sides of the fence, which I think will be very interesting, considering what a strong, solid friendship they have. I think it's going to be tested," she teases.
New episodes of Dallas air Mondays at 9PM on TNT. Be sure to check it out!