Five questions with Dule Hill

Posted 10:31am on Sunday, Mar. 10, 2013

Dulé Hill

There are scenes in Psych, USA's long-running comedy-mystery series, when it feels like the actors have ditched their scripts and are making stuff up on the fly. And you know what? That's more or less what happens on this show, which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Dulé Hill -- who co-stars as Burton "Gus" Guster alongside James Roday (who plays fake psychic Shawn Spencer) -- says there's so much ad-libbing he can barely recall what was scripted and what wasn't. "A lot of times, they're organic," Hill says of the goofball comedy moments. "Like, I'll have one take where I think of something that I'll find room for on the second take. And as we do more and more takes, we start massaging it into what we really desire for it to be." Some writers don't like when their precious words are tampered with, but executive producer Steve Franks wholeheartedly approves. "The joy of the show is them [Shawn and Gus] going off on a tangent," Franks says. "The more ridiculous it can get, the more happy I am."

1 This season, Gus has a steady girlfriend (played by Parminder Nagra). How might that affect the "bromance" between Gus and Shawn?

Obviously when you change a dynamic in a relationship, there's going to be some kind of reshifting. You can't throw a stone into a pond without there being some ripples. You'll see that happen with Shawn and Gus. But I trust it'll all work out because Shawn and Gus can't live without each other.

2 Of all the ridiculous fake names Shawn has made up for Gus, do you have a favorite?

For me, it always goes back to the first one, which is Gus "Sillypants" Jackson. That was, like, the third episode and he just threw it out there. After the take, I said, "What did you just call me?" It took everything I had not to break up in the middle of the scene. And that started the whole ball rolling.

3 If Gus didn't have the Blueberry (a blue Toyota Yaris), what kind of car would he drive?

Gus without the Blueberry, that's an alternate reality. That's like saying, "If human beings lived without oxygen ..." But if he didn't have the Blueberry, he would have a Cranberry. Or a Pineapple. Or a Raspberry.

4 Do you have a favorite moment from this season?

By far, it's our 100th episode, the Clue episode. Working with Lesley Ann Warren, Garrett Morris, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull, Steve Valentine, being with that caliber of actors, with so many of them from the original movie, and some of them hadn't seen each other since filming Clue, that was icing on the cake for all the wonderful guest stars we've had over the years.

5 Roday has written and/or directed numerous episodes. Do you have any desire to do that?

I have some big news to drop on you: no. Roday is a filmmaker and he loves writing scripts. That's not me. I love acting. I enjoy bringing words to life and characters to life. I don't think you're going to see me hop behind the camera. There are way more talented people that deserve to sit there.

-- David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram

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