'Dallas': How Jesse Metcalfe Bonded With On-Screen Father Patrick Duffy (Video)
The actor also tells THR how he brought a real-life rivalry with Josh Henderson to the small screen.
When Jesse Metcalfe returns to the small screen in TNT’s Dallas reboot, he’ll be joining a longstanding tradition of family dysfunction as Christopher, the adopted son of Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy).
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor spoke openly about developing his relationship with returning Dallas vets Duffy, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray – as well as adding real-life fuel to his on-screen feud with cousin John Ross, played by Josh Henderson.
“I think the tone of our set was really set by Larry, Linda and Patrick. Their 35-year friendship trickled down to the rest of us and sort of created an environment that we all felt very confident and secure and welcomed,” Metcalfe said. “This is very much their show, and we're the new elements to it.”
As for developing a believable father-son dynamic with his on-screen pop, Metcalfe said that his relationship with Duffy blossomed “organically,” aided by one specific bonding opportunity.
“I think the first time we really bonded was when I expressed interest to learn how to ride a horse, because I knew my character in a few episodes down the road would have to ride in a scene,” explained Metcalfe. “And now Patrick offered to take me out because he's been riding his whole life. Patrick basically taught me how to ride.”
“Through that journey, we really struck up a great friendship,” he added. “I have a lot of admiration for Patrick. He's a real class act. He carries himself with a lot of grace and dignity.”
While the returning trio has a lifetime of history together, Metcalfe revealed a history of his own with co-star Henderson.
“Josh and I have been friends for a decade,” he said. “We've been in and out of each other's lives. At times, we have had a sort of competitive, bordering on adversarial relationship, so we definitely brought that to our work. I like to think that we have a nice friendship off set now. It definitely works. The chemistry is there. And the fact that we have a personal history only adds to that on-screen.”
In the series, Henderson plays the son of Hagman’s J.R. Ewing, a young, aspiring oil tycoon who appears to have inherited all of his father’s scheming ways but none of his experience. As for Metcalfe’s Christopher, he shares the same good conscious of his father and returns home from Asia after working on developing an eco-friendly oil alternative.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Dallas without a love triangle (or two) -- and newcomers Jordana Brewster and Julie Gonzalo fit perfectly into those storylines.
After a 21-year hiatus, Dallas is set to return to the small screen on June 13 via TNT. For more from THR’s interview with Metcalfe, watch the video above.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci