Brenda Strong believes her “Dallas” character Ann Ewing was in “an altered state” when she shot sadistic ex-husband Harris Ryland at the end of the TNT serial’s most recent episode.
“I don’t know that she knew when she arrived that she was going to complete the intention of shooting him,” Strong told Dallas Decoder and other bloggers yesterday. “She had been pushed to such a degree of heartbreak that there was an altered state that she was in. It was the last thing that he said that allowed her to say, ‘Yes, he deserved it.’”
In the scene, Ann confronted Harris (Mitch Pileggi) after learning he wouldn’t be punished for kidnapping their daughter Emma and sending her to Europe to be raised by his mean mama Judith (Judith Light). When Harris taunted Ann by pointing out how she never got to see Emma grow up, Ann pulled a handgun from her purse, pointed it at him and pulled the trigger.
Strong’s knockout performance earned her rave reviews from critics and bloggers. The actress also heard from viewers who feel Harris had it coming. “I was very surprised by that, actually. Because I did not take it lightly, especially with what’s going on in the country. It’s a big deal,” Strong said.
No “Dallas” cast member is ever sure what’s next for their character (“We’re all page turning every time we get a new script because there are so many twists and turns”), but Strong predicted Ann ultimately will be redeemed. “I think our writers are absolutely holding the big picture in mind and know that as heinous of an act that shooting someone is, in the larger scope of a person’s life, and the opportunity that this kind of conflict presents, there are things that are redeemable.”
More “Dallas” dish from Strong:
• On “Dallas’s” ratings, which have softened in Season 2: “TNT is a formidable summer [network]. They normally air their shows in the summer, and they are starting to branch out into the winter months … and [“Dallas” is] definitely pioneering that. I think we’re right in line with what the network expected our numbers to be, so I don’t think anyone’s worried.”
• On her last scene with Larry Hagman, which was shot in a courthouse: “Larry was in top form, cracking the gallery up. And he and Patrick [Duffy] and I sat around in between shots, telling stories. I actually have a beautiful picture of the three of us sitting there – and none of us knew that we were having our photo taken – but you see me listening to Larry telling a story to Patrick and then both of us laughing. Obviously none of us knew it would be the last time we worked with him, so I hold those memories dear.”
• On Ann and Sue Ellen’s bond: “Their friendship may be tested. There’s a J.R. camp and there’s a Bobby camp, and John Ross belongs in the J.R. camp. And so with Sue Ellen needing to be protective of her son, Ann and Sue Ellen may end up on different sides of the fence, which I think will be very interesting considering what a strong, solid friendship they have.”
• On Judith Light: “She’s been such a great addition to our show. Judith and Ann have an altercation in practically every episode she’s in, so it’s definitely something that the audience can look forward to. And as much as we’ve come to love hating Harris, I think the audience is going to feel the same way about her.”
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