Interview with James Roday & Dule Hill from Psych

Recently, James Roday (Shawn Spencer) and Dule Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster) spoke to the press about the upcoming season of Psych. They talked upcoming guest stars, episode descriptions, pineapples, Psych-Outs, & more, so check it out below!

On the different theme/inspired episodes this season

James Roday: Those are in the can. Those are fully produced and being mixed.

Dule Hill: We also have a Shining episode this year too.

James: Shining is what you get in place of Clue. So we still felt like we should swing big.

[Note from Jenny: There was a Clue episode planned, but it didn’t work out for this season. It’s still being planned for a future episode, though.]

James: Halloween is the vampire episode. And I think it’s airing the week of Halloween. [Guest starring in that one are] Kristy Swanson, the original Buffy, and Corey Feldman, one of the Frog Brothers from The Lost Boys, and Tom Lenk, a regular on Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Series. We went Double Buffy.

Dule: And Blacula makes a guest appearance also.

James: Yes. Guest appearances, Blacula and the Vampire Lestat.
Jump with us to read more.

On their favorite Psych-Outs

Dule: For myself it would be either the one we did with Joey, [McIntyre, from New Kids on the Block, coming up this season] which because when you start involving real, you know, musicians and real singers and real artists singing their own songs with you, you can’t really top that.

It would be the one that we did with Joey, and then it would be the original one that we did in the pilot, Man in the Mirror, because that’s kind of what started the whole machine going with the Psych-Outs. And that was just really just Roday and I having a lot of fun off camera. And then we got to the final shot just, “You know what, let’s put it on tape. Let’s just do it.” And it turned into this whole big Psych-Out phenomenon so. Those are…

James: Yes and in the spirit of doing Psych-Outs with the original artists, I’ll mention a drunken rendition of Head Over Heels that we did with Chris Smith.

Dule: Yes.

View a clip originally from of Joey McIntyre & the guys here:


On something fans would be surprised to learn about them both

James: Well you know I think a lot is made of my affinity for horror films, which is absolutely true, and I think indicative of some of the episodes that I’ve written and directed. But I’m equally maniacal and fanatical about sports, which may not be as evident, especially since some of our sports episodes leave a little to be desired. But fantasy sports is sort of, probably my biggest vice in life, and it’s not something that I get asked about a lot, nor do I volunteer it. But in this instance I will.

And right now, you know, we’re in the football season and I’m managing no less than five — that’s right, five — fantasy football teams. So there you go.

Dule: I think for myself it would be – they probably would be surprise that I have – I’m nowhere near tuned into the 80s as my character on the show. The majority of the references that we make on the show I have no idea what we’re talking about. It’s really afterwards I’m always like, “What is – Okay, what was that about? What are you saying now?” It’s Roday and Steve, they’re very much into the 80s, but I’m not really anywhere near as into as they are.

But I do like pineapples though — I love them.

On what show they would like to see a crossover with

Dule: U.S.A. Network, I would want to do White Collar. I mean, that’s on the air right now, I would say White Caller. A show that was off the air, I would still go back to Monk.

James: If it’s any show I would say we should crossover with The Walking Dead, because I think we’re due for a zombie episode.

Dule: For myself I would say if it’s any show I would say, Modern Family, because I just love the show so much. And I think it would be fun to have Shawn and Gus interact with all of those characters over there.

On working with William Shatner

James: Unbelievable.

Dule: Right.

James: The man is – I mean he’s an icon obviously but watching him work was an honor in and of itself. I mean he’s a machine. He was totally invested. He had – and I say this – this is not me editorializing or exaggerating, he had the heaviest load that we’ve ever given a guest star on our show. He pretty much drives the entire episode. He had the same schedule as Dule and I. And it was just remarkable.

I mean not only did he know everything, he had questions, he had thoughts, he had concerns. You know, he was modulating his performance and he just – he really, really wanted to knock the role out of the park. And then to top it off, when the weekend came and you know, and Dule and I basically beach ourselves and recharge our batteries so that we can get back to it Monday morning, (Bill), flew to Calgary and did two live shows on Saturday and Sunday, and then flew back to Vancouver and was back at work at 6:00 am Monday morning. The man is 80 going on 20. And like I said, “It was humbling and it was a really honor just to watch him work and pick his brain and be around him.”

[He plays Juliet’s dad, so] we had some fun there because it’s kind of like, you know you can’t snow the snowman, you can’t con the King of Con, so he kind of had the ability to see right through Shawn and that made things really interesting. And then Shawn of course sort of fired back by seeing through him and calling him on all of his BS. So we had sort of an interesting game of one-upsman-ship and a little bit of a chess match going on, with the common thread of course being that they both do care very much about Juliet.

On Gus getting a steady, long-term girlfriend, possibly set up by Shawn

Dule: I think we’ll have to see what happens in Season 7, but in Season 6 he makes a valiant effort to attain that. He goes for it.

You know, you can’t blame Gus for trying in Season 6, he’s actually put his – throwing his hat into the ring and he’s out there, you know, really trying to make it happen. But we’ll see what happens going into Season 7, maybe he’ll get past the one-episode love interest then.

James: I don’t know how much faith Gus would have in a Shawn setup.

Dule: Right. But then again, Gus hasn’t been doing too great on his own so, you know, at a certain point he might say, “You know what, what the heck?”

On what they haven’t done yet that they would like to see

Dule: Well I know Steve Franks has talked about it for a couple of season now and it hasn’t actually happened yet, but I hope that in Season 7 we can actually make the musical episode happen. I mean I started – that’s how I started in the business — doing musicals — so it would be great to bring that to Psych and be able to sing and dance in an episode, and not just in a Psych-Out.

James: Agreed, yes I think that’s kind of the pinnacle of theme episodes that we’ve yet to do. So that’s the big apple that hopefully we’ll be able to slice up and feed to all of our fans.

You know it’s tricky, it’s not something that you could throw together. You know, other shows have tried it to varying levels of success and I think because Steve has such a love for music, you know, his band sings our theme song, it’s really important to him to hit a homerun with it.

And I think that’s why there’s been a little bit of Indian giving in the past, because you know, he realizes – I think it really hit him this past off-season, like just how much work it’s going to take to do it right and that’s why he postponed it. But I think he’s committed and I expect it to happen next season.

[There are high expectations] And I think [Steve] knows that. And but the good news is, look he’s got a game cast and you know, he’s got his own band and they’re songwriters. And you know, it’s just a matter of putting in the time and you know, we should be able to execute.

On who would win if the whole cast (the characters) went on Survivor

Dule: My guess? I would probably say Lassiter, because he probably trained for like 15 years for a situation just like that.

James: Yes, you’ve got to throw Shawn and Gus off first and second, just because the comfort items and the food that they’re accustomed to eating wouldn’t be there. So I think they would probably be out first.

And then you’d have some kind of showdown between Lassiter, Juliet and Henry. And I don’t know, you know what, I’m going to keep it in the family, I’m going to say that Henry Spencer pulls out the upset victory.

On whether or not they are ever surprised by something to do with their characters

James: I get surprised two or three times a year, when our writers come up with something for the purposes of one episode that Shawn has supposedly had as part of his character for much longer than that, so a strange way of talking or a fear of something.

A lot of times we’ll just sort of invent something for the purposes of an episode as a theme. And I’m suddenly sort of thinking, “Wow, that’s odd. I didn’t have that last week.” They’ve done that to me a couple of times this season.

All of a sudden there was an episode where Shawn had a – has a great fear of death and doesn’t know how to deal with it, which is odd because of course we were around death every week.

Dule: Right.

James: But it served the purposes of the one episode that it’s in, so we rolled with it.

Dule: I was – I’m learning how to expect the unexpected when dealing with the Psych writers, which – so I don’t really get too surprised when things come around. But having that mentality also leaves – I mean it leaves the room wide open for the writers to do what they do and come up with all these amazing stories and roles for us to get into. So that’s kind of my motto of each season is, “Expect the unexpected.” When you have Andy Berman, Todd Harthan, Steve Franks, Saladin Patterson, you know, all these cats all in one room, you can expect something crazy’s going to come out of there.

More on the Indiana Jones episode & working with John Rhys-Davies

James: Yes that episode came out really well, and it’s also the third installment of the episodes involving the Despereaux character, played by Cary Elwes. And for my money, it’s the best of the trilogy for sure — a lot of fun.

And yes, John Rhys-Davies was a blast man. We didn’t get to work with him a ton but, you know, he came in and he was, you know, kind of bigger than life and sort of what you would imagine. And he was a real sweetheart.

Dule: Fun guy to work with. Full of energy.
Thanks to Dule & James for taking the time to chat with us! Don’t miss the season premiere on Wednesday, October 12, on USA Network at 10/9c!

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