“I’m pretty much the go-to guy when it comes to sex stuff,” Josh Henderson says with a laugh. And suddenly, we’re happy Dallas is back!
When Season 3 kicks of Feb. 24 (9 p.m. ET on TNT), we quickly learn why Henderson’s John Ross is cheating on new wife Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) with Emma (Emma Bell), who you’ll recall also lives at Southfork. “He only knows how to do business one way, and that’s how JR taught him. It’s like history repeating itself,” Henderson says. “He basically justifies things: ‘I’m doin’ this for us.’ But what Pamela doesn’t know is what this is. He doesn’t want her to find out, obviously. But at the end of the day, stuff’s gonna come crashing down, and I think it’s gonna surprise the audience what ends up happening. It’s pretty dangerous.”
While Henderson jokes that the show is “gettin’ a little weird this season, in a good way,” executive producer Cynthia Cidre looks at it as turning things up to 11. “We decided, let’s just embrace the fun of it,” she says. “There’s definitely a lot more sex. We have a few fistfights, but no one’s landed in the pool yet.” (We also have one pregnancy and two shootings to look forward to.)
As always, the Ewings will fight amongst themselves — first. “I want us to be one big happy family, but not really, ’cause I want to be sittin’ at the head of the table,” Henderson says of John Ross. “I start makin’ some big moves, and they start seein’ I’m up to no good pretty quickly, so that puts Christopher [Jesse Metcalfe] and I on two different sides of the fence.”
Bobby (Patrick Duffy), who’s carrying the burden of his role in framing Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval) for JR’s murder (which was actually an assisted suicide), will also butt heads with John Ross about plans for Southfork. And seeing John Ross follow in his father’s scoundrel footsteps will send Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) back to the bottle. “It gets pretty intense,” Henderson says of the latter development. “We have moments about halfway through the season that are the most intense scenes I’ve had since we’ve started shooting the show. They’re gonna go through a lot. Sue Ellen starts to really, really, really see JR in him, and it scares her, and it worries her, and it pains her.”
Of course, as Cidre promises, “[The Ewings] always come back together when there’s a greater enemy.” And that enemy may not be one they see coming: Elena (Jordana Brewster) will accept Cliff’s offer to be his proxy at Ewing Global. Billionaire businessman Nicolas Trevino (played by Juan Pablo Di Pace) also enters the picture.
“We literally couldn’t cast him. We had already started shooting [the premiere] and kept pushing his scene because we didn’t have a character. Then our casting person said, ‘Wait a minute, there’s this guy who just arrived from Spain and he self-taped the scene. Let me send it to you.’ He hadn’t even seen it,” Cidre says. She and fellow EP Michael M. Robin watched it and 30 minutes later, the actor was in their office.
“[Di Pace] literally had been in [L.A.] for a week,” continues Cidre. “He was here visiting his sister. He was born in Argentina and moved to Spain when he was 12. He’d lived in London for 10 years, so he speaks perfect English. We were on a plane with him the next morning to Dallas. We took him shopping when we arrived. He sat at Neiman Marcus all day long to get fitted for some suits. Then he was working the next morning. It was hysterical.”
The season 3 premiere also marks the arrival of 90210‘s AnnaLynne McCord, who recurs as Heather, a sexy, competent Southfork ranch hand who will turn Christopher’s head once he’s done brooding over his bad breakup with Elena. “She’s not a villain,” Cidre says. “She’s a fun, nice, direct woman, and Christopher likes her.” And Judith Light, whose character Judith Ryland had been pushed down the stairs by her son Harris (Mitch Pileggi) and locked away in forced rehab, will return as Emma’s badass grandmother starting in episode 2. “She is better, badder, and more delicious than ever,” Cidre says.
When we spoke to Henderson in December, he hadn’t yet filmed a scene with Light but he was looking forward to it. “She and I, that’s like lighting two ends of a stick of dynamite,” he says. “Who knows who’s gonna blow first and what’s gonna happen.”