It's over 30 years since Larry Hagman first strode onscreen as JR Ewing in Dallas. Now, with the re-boot of the series scheduled to debut tomorrow night (June 13, 2012), the actor has spoken about returning to the iconic role at the ripe old age of 80. In an interview with Reuters, the veteran star of the small screen explained that returning to Dallas has ben like a homecoming for him.
All it took for Hagman to agree to taking part in the show, it seems, was the news that Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy had already signed up to take part. "I said 'done deal' before I even saw the script. We're buddies. It's three musketeers kinda stuff. We like working with each other," stated Hagman. He also revealed that he had no trouble at all getting back into the character of JR. "Honey," he said, "it was like coming home. It's no trouble getting into that character. I don't know how much is the character and how much is me anymore."
The premiere episode proves to be something of a red herring in terms of what to expect from JR in this new series. The opener is used as a means of explaining what's been going on for the last 20 years and finds JR in "assisted living," suffering from depression. He promises, though, that his character hasn't lost an ounce of his fire. "I think you will find he is just as big a cad now as he was then," he assures. Hagman was diagnosed with cancer as he began filming the show, but carried on regardless. And, ironically, he revealed that, despite playing the role of a wealthy oil baron, he is actually hugely involved in the manufacturing of energy via alternative means.
If you really have the time and inclination to go back and watch 77 episodes...