The story in question — the farewell to J.R. Ewing, the truly iconic character played by the recently deceased Larry Hagman — will be televised several weeks into Season 2 of TNT’s reboot of the classic serial, which begins Monday, Jan. 28.
New developments on the show include Bobby Ewing’s (Duffy) discovery that he has a stepdaughter (cast newcomer Emma Bell), but J.R. and Hagman still are integral to the first six episodes. And Duffy confirms the character and actor will continue to loom large over the series.
“I’ve read it, so I know what it is, and I know how it’s going to play out.” Duffy tells Zap2it of the show’s goodbye to J.R. “The anticipation I have of doing it is probably different than almost anyone’s, except for Linda (Gray, the show’s Sue Ellen). I am so saturated with my relationship with Larry, it’s not a missing element.
“I only miss him on a daily basis because we always had fun on a daily basis, but there’s no sense of loss because I am so sated with 35 years of our friendship. When I think of him — and I think of him several times every day — I just get this little smile on my face. He’s still there, and he’s always going to be there.”
Duffy says the about-to-be-filmed “Dallas” episode involves “the character of J.R. disappearing, but it won’t be an ‘Is he still alive?’ or any of those things. There are going to be a lot of remembrances, but none of those are going to affect me in any sort of emotionally negative way, or even a disturbing way. Everything is such a joyful memory.
“People have great Larry Hagman stories, but I have my great Larry Hagman life,” Duffy notes. “I can’t get that out of me, so consequently, I have nothing but good feelings. All the time. And I’m going to be acting my a** off to look sad when we do the tribute we have planned. I wish I could go into his dressing room and have a good laugh, but that’s minor compared to the joy I feel every day when I think of him.”