It was one of the biggest television moments of all time when Bobby Ewing appeared in a shower on “Dallas” in May 1986, returning to life as the show rolled back an entire season via Pam Ewing’s dream. And no one is happier than actress Brenda Strong, who plays the legendary TV character’s new wife in the upcoming TNT reboot.
“Oh thank God, thank God [she] woke up and [he] came out of that shower, otherwise I wouldn’t have a role,” Brenda joked on Sunday night at ABC’s Television Critics Association bash at the Beverly Hilton.
The Emmy-nominated “Desperate Housewives” actress (for Outstanding Voice-Over), has begun filming the “Dallas” reboot, playing Ann Ewing, and the project reunites her with Jesse Metcalfe, Eva Longoria’s “DH” Season 1 love interest.
On Dallas, however, Jesse plays Christopher Ewing, the adopted son of Bobby, and stepson of Brenda’s character.
“He’s my new son-in-law and I have to say, Jesse really showed up for the pilot,” she told Access Hollywood. “His acting has gotten so incredibly detailed and rich and I think people are gonna be surprised about how good he is in this.”
South Fork, Texas, the central location for “Dallas,” is a departure for Jesse, who spent Season 1 of “DH” as Gabrielle Solis’ sexy gardener-turned-lover and it’s also a big change for Brenda who played the heard, but not often seen, late Mary Alice Young in “DH.”
“I am the new Mrs. Bobby Ewing, I am Ann Ewing and I’m not replacing Pam, I’m not replacing Victoria Principal. I’ve been married to him for seven years,” she explained of her new character. “I come back as a very strong equal and come from a moneyed family and she’s definitely entrenched in Dallas society, but she’s grounded and earthy at the same time. She’s kind of like the new Miss Ellie [Ewing].”
“Dallas” is actually in production, but because “DH” is officially now entering its final season, Brenda is about to get very busy, as creator Marc Cherry revealed at the TCA session on Sunday that the last run for the show would reexamine “DH’s” original story line – the tragic suicide of her character.
“We’ve heard that Mary Alice will have more of a presence and I do know that Marc Cherry said whatever our last season is, there’s some tension that should bring Mary Alice back more to kind of bookend it,” she said. “So we have Mary Alice getting us off to a bang at the start and we’re fishing with a bang as well.”
The actress said she’s filmed several scenes already on Wisteria Lane that look back on themes from the show’s debut year, 2004.
“I actually just worked on the set last week and I had to go back to the day I killed myself, and talk about recapitulation. It’s like, ‘Enough, already!’ It’s so depressing,” she said of the heavy material. “But really, what’s great — it’s kind of like Groundhog Day. You can go back to the same day, but once you do that, there’s so much nuance emotionally that you can start to reveal and it actually talks about — without giving too much away — that I wanted to call my friends but then decided not to and so I think it’s a very emotionally charged subject and I’m hoping that I get to see a lot more of the ladies with me.”
“Desperate Housewives” ends its Season 8 run in 2012. “Dallas” premieres next summer on TNT.