Cheryl Hines previews SUBURGATORY’s Hip Hop Dance-Off!
SUBURGATORY is back tonight at 9:30/8:30c with an all new episode that finds George and Dallas at odds over their parenting styles, while the Shays try to recover from that adoption bomb the photographer dropped on Ryan at Christmas. To talk about what’s coming up tonight and what we can expect in future episodes, I got on the phone with Cheryl Hines to chat all things Dallas!
What can you tease for us about what we’ll see in the first episode back from a long break here?
Well, you’ll see George and Dallas have a hip hop dance off [laughs], so that’s really something to look forward to. As you can imagine, there are some parenting style differences between George and Dallas. And the girls take their PSATS and Tessa gets an ice cream cone and Dalia gets a new car, so things start to simmer a little bit. It finally comes to blows in a hip hop dance class. Everyone gathers around, and then George and Dallas start sort of arguing, and it ends up arguing while they’re dancing.
It’s a show where I’d image you get a script and are never 100% positive what’s coming next!
I never know what’s coming next, and these writers don’t give me the script until a few days before we start shooting because they know, if I had too much time to think about it, I probably wouldn’t do half of the things that they write for me [laughs], but I don’t have time ha, the train has already left the station by the time I get the script.
And then you’re like “And Dallas comes down from the ceiling” and you say “Wait a minute?”
[laughs] Yes, things like that! Exactly.
This will be the first real “fight” that we’ve seen George and Dallas deal with as a couple. How does the dance-off impact their relationship going forward?
I think it brings them closer, ultimately. There are differences between Dallas and George that are always going to be there [laughs]. I think that’s one of the lessons learned, too. They are who they are, and you either need to accept it and move on. At the end of the day, they really appreciate each other, and I think it’s going to be tough on Tessa because she’s going to watch Dalia get new cars while she goes to get ice cream, and I can imagine that would be tough on a teenager.
I love the relationship Dallas has with Dalia; she’s a great mom. But I also love that they explore the mother-daughter relationship with Dallas and Tessa, especially given that Tessa’s mom is so unreliable. Will we get to see more of their mother/daughter relationship?
You do! We just had a table read with an episode, and Tessa is still working at Dallas’ “Crystal Cup of Crystals” and it’s always sweet to see these two in the store together because it’s really their time alone together. So, in that particular episode, Tessa’s starting to apply for college, and she wants to have something really good on her resume, and Dallas feels like, well this is great! You’re working at a Crystal shop! And then Jill Warner comes in, Noah’s wife, the “writer,” and she starts to work with her for a little while, Tessa does, and she realizes that she misses Dallas because Dallas is a good person! And Dallas, she sees Dallas a mentor, even though Dallas is a little out there. She owns her own shop, and she has a good time doing it. There are lessons that Tessa learns from Dallas that are real, but she just learns them in a bright pink, feathery way.
I loved the episode where Dallas had some friends come to visit; will we get to see more of her apart of the family, some friend interaction?
That’s a good question! I haven’t’ seen an episode like that coming up yet, but I have only seen, I’m trying to think of where we are in the shooting schedule. I don’t see anything in the near future of “outsiders” coming in of Dallas’, but I think the writers do like to have those moments of outsiders coming in and you see a glimpse of people’s past, and past lives, and lives outside of Chatswin, so it would not surprise me if we see that sometime soon.
In one of the episodes from this season, you had a long monologue, and I thought to myself, does this woman do circular breathing to get all of those words out? How do you get into the mindset, and the cadence of how Dallas speaks?
[laughs] It is a different way of speaking. It’s really helpful to do the table reads. Our table reads are kind of magical. The cast is there; you’re just concentrating on the words, and for me that’s very helpful! You say it out loud and you’re hearing it for the first time, and you’re hearing the other characters, so you really have a good idea of the dialogue of the show. Then comes the sets and the clothes and the crazy circumstances, the horses…
And the kangaroos! [laughs]. It’s good to just spend some time with the script first before we start shooting it.
Do you go to Emily and the writers, and say “oh I had this idea,” or “this is something Dallas wouldn’t say” – how much feedback do you as Cheryl give about your character?
Emily Kapnek is such a great show runner. She’s very collaborative. I feel like I can talk to her any time. At the same time, I trust her creative eye. You know? She created all of these characters, so she’s going to know Dallas really well. Once in a while, I’ll have, a word, maybe or something, where I don’t know if Dallas would say that, it’s a little brash for even Dallas, or [laughs] every once in a while there will be one little thing, and I’ll either figure it out by myself why it makes sense to say things like that, or if I really can’t, then I’ll go to Emily, and I’ll ask her why she wrote it like that, so I can understand it. I really feel like my job as an actress is to bring words to life that the writers wrote. There are times, as an actor, where you have to walk that line because you are the one representing that character. For the most part, Emily is just so good at what she does. I know I could go in there and talk to her about anything, but I usually don’t [laughs]. I love what they write! AND, it’s interesting, too, because our show is a satire, so I always have to keep that in mind, too. Sometimes it’s big, sometimes it’s broad, and sometimes it’s small. I just appreciate it, and I feel like it’s my job to figure it out!
SUBURGATORY airs Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c. For more on the show, like images, episode guides, and previews, head to their site at ABC.com!