There are plenty of personalities on “Dallas," TNT’s return to the iconic soap opera set on Southfork Ranch, but perhaps none as ambitious, dangerous and exciting as Josh Henderson’s John Ross Ewing III.
The Ministry caught up with Josh — shirtless, ambitious and full of twang — to talk about his Texas roots, his workout regime and, well, pork chops.
Matt Donnelly: John Ross is maybe the most intense character of the younger crop of actors. Can you relate to his ambitions?
Josh Henderson: Yes and no. I kind of grew up with high goals for myself; I intended to play pro baseball. Growing up in Texas, Hollywood isn’t much of a reality. But I’m a really personable guy, I’m not a really ruthless guy.
MD: Those are some pretty big shoes to fill as an actor.
JH: Larry [Hagman, who plays Josh’s fictional father] is the most famous villain in TV history. I have to become this built-up, explosive kind of guy or you get crushed in the scene. What’s weird is, when I watch episodes back, I don’t remember anything. It’s like a blackout when I work.
MD: You’re an actual Dallas boy. Was your house a “Dallas” house during the original run?
JH: Oh, yeah. We have a [saying], “We go to church and we watch ‘Dallas.’ ”
MD: I love that. And the accent must’ve been a breeze.
JD: My accent used to be so thick. The first thing i ever did was a show called “Pop Stars.” I sounded like, I mean ... so it’s kind of a return to my accent.
MD: There’s been an interesting response to the show in terms of the Ewings toying with alternative energy sources.
JD: Yeah, you know, what’s great about that is that John Ross as a character is stuck in his father’s old-school ways. Christopher [a cousin, played by Jesse Metcalfe] is the one who is well-traveled and wants to innovate in the business. It creates some great intensity.
MD: There’s also been a response to the amount of male flesh on the show.
JD: I was on"Desperate Housewives” and that was my crash course on being on national television topless. Also, I do what I can in between scenes: push-ups, a little free weights. I knew going in it would be a big part of the show.
MD: That Southern craft service must kill you.
JD: It’s good food. I’m such a foodie. If I see a pork chop, I’m eating it. Also, the problem was our caterers made fresh cookies every day. And I won’t just eat a cookie. Let’s throw it in a bowl. Let’s top it with some ice cream.
Catch “Dallas,” a dessert in its own right, Wednesdays on TNT.