The Cast of 'Dallas': Season 2 on 'Steroids' and Larry Hagman's Legacy
The Cast of 'Dallas': Season 2 on 'Steroids' and Larry Hagman's Legacy
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Things are about to get even more dramatic in Southfork as TNT's hit reboot Dallas stampedes back to the airwaves on January 28 with a two-hour premiere. Show stars Josh Henderson, Julie Gonzalo, and Jordana Brewster's characters might not see eye-to-eye on much, but the actors can all agree the second season is looking even more scandalous than the first.

"It's going to be a big year for the show," said Henderson, who plays bad boy John Ross. "This season is on steroids compared to the first season. It always keeps you guessing."

On a conference call with reporters Henderson, Gonzalo, and Brewster all noted the stakes are being continually raised on the reboot of the 80's classic about the backstabbing Ewing family.

"If you're living on Southfork and in business with the Ewings than you're in danger," said Brewster, who plays Christopher's true love Elena. "Regardless of who you're sleeping with."

15 Most Shocking Moments of Dallas Season 1

Love, Business, and Family
Romantic entanglement and sexy scandals are practically written into Dallas' DNA. The first season hinged on the love triangle between Bobby's adopted son Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe), JR's boy John Ross, and their childhood friend Elena.

In the season finale, Elena handed back John Ross' ring in favor of shacking up with do-gooder Christopher. According to Brewster, the love triangle is put on the back-burner in season two while Christopher and Elena enjoy some much deserved happiness. Instead, Elena will be redirecting the energy she spent on her love life in the first season into becoming a force to be reckoned with in the business world.

"Elena is very ambitious and she definitely wants to prove herself," Brewster said. "Now that everything is ok on the home front--for now at least-- she can focus on her business career. She's navigating wanting to succeed, thrive, and make money and yet not sacrifice her values to do it."

Making life more difficult is a strained relationship with former mentor Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), whose mama bear tendencies might appear since Elena broke John Ross' heart. Further complicating their lives will be Elena's brother Drew (Kuno Becker) who rides into town with a murky agenda.

"Her older brother really pushes her buttons and forces her to be very adversarial," Brewster said. "He's a bit of a bad boy."

On Dallas is there any other kind?

About That Shocking Twist...
Fans were shocked when the summer season of Dallas concluded by revealing Christopher's former bride Rebecca was none other than Cliff Barnes' daughter. Who knew! Now that the cat is out of the bag, Pamela "Rebecca" Barnes will be a much different character when the show returns.

"She is now her true self, she's Cliff Barnes' daughter. She walks into a room and is now who she needs to be," Gonzalo said. "I think it's going to be fun to discover the real Pamela this year."

Gonzalo assures that fans will find out Pamela's motivations for pulling a long con on Christopher and the Ewings. We'll understand some of her first season actions and maybe, just maybe, even sympathize with her.

"Cliff has never had any nice things to say about the Ewing family, so I think she grew up listening to that," Gonzalo explained. "She's trying to make her father happy, and she's just doing the things she was programmed to do since she was a little girl."

Spurned on by her father's quest for revenge, Pamela might find an ally in an unlikely source with similar daddy issues: John Ross. The two share some screentime, as well as some serious chemistry, in the season premiere.

"They very much operate on the same level," Gonzalo says about Pamela and John Ross. "They do see eye to eye on a lot of the goals they want to reach."

Larry Hagman's Legacy
While filming the show's second season, Dallas had a major setback when it lost 81-year-old acting legend Larry Hagman. Hagman will appear in the first seven episodes of the show's second season and then be written out with an episode memorializing his character.

For the cast it was a very sad day, but everyone agreed Hagman would have wanted the show to continue on.

"It's still sad. We still talk about him on a daily basis," Gonzalo said. "Our motto became 'let's do it for Larry'. It's a beautiful thing that we get to unite and honor this icon on and off screen."

Hagman's sudden death caused the writing staff to scrap plans for future storylines and rewrite on the fly. As Henderson notes, Hagman was a big part of why the world was captivated by Dallas and fans from all over the world loved to hate his iconic J.R. Ewing.

"The writers had to really rewrite the entire second half of the season," Henderson said. "At the end of the day we wanted to make sure to pay respects to Larry. Hopefully the fans will accept the way Larry exits. That's a really big deal for us."

The death of J.R. Ewing will certainly have a big impact on John Ross, who has always struggled for his father's acceptance. The two finally put differences aside at the end of last season to turn their wily ways to a common cause. John Ross was just starting to develop a new relationship he never had with J.R. growing up. Expect the loss of his father to send John Ross down a dark path as the season progresses.

"I think he's going to feel very, very lost and unprepared with J.R.'s early exit. It's painful for him," Henderson said. "It's going to cause some unbelievable emotions and actions to come out of John Ross."

Hagman himself had a big impact on the cast and his presence will certainly be missed.  Henderson attributes the close knit feeling on set to the precedence set by the close friendship Hagman enjoyed with original cast members Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray.

Hagman always had fun playing the duplicitous J.R. Ewing, which is why Henderson believes fans loved to hate him for so many years. Hagman's love for the job was what kept him showing up to work at 81-years-old with a smile on his face.

Things might be hectic behind the scenes as the cast and crew of Dallas scramble to send off their friend and iconic villain in style. The one constant in the world of Southfork, however, is that drama is always just around the corner.

"In true Dallas fashion anything can happen on this show," Gonzalo said. "You never know where they're going to take us."

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(Image courtesy of TNT)

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