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Psych: it’s Dule Hill and James Roday

Joel D. Amos is a Los Angeles-based writer, and the Senior Entertainment Editor here at SheKnows. He has interviewed numerous celebrities, including Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Katherine Heigl, Rachel McAdams, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaw...

Psych speak

Psych is back and the dynamic duo of crime solving returns to USA this August for a triumphant new season. Dule Hill and James Roday speak about the phenomenal success of Psych since its debut in 2006 and how both their careers led them to this pop culture moment.

Psych speakPsych punch lines

SheKnows: How do you two find doing comedy after successful runs on dramatic shows?

Dule Hill: I actually enjoy comedy; it's a lot of fun. After doing seven years of drama on West Wing to be able to come and work with Roday and the rest of the cast has been a blast. It's something different, especially working with Roday where he likes to improv a lot it challenges me to work on different muscles that I haven't used before.

James Roday: I've actually done a lot more comedy than I've done drama. It's weird the way that worked out, because when I came out of theater school I took myself way too seriously, so it's kind of ironic that I ended up sort of going down the comedy path. But I think what makes this role special compared to some of the other stuff that I've done is just the fact that I've had the opportunity to live with it so long and sort of watch it sort of grow and nurture it, not unlike you nurture a plant. And working with a great group and an unbelievable cast and sort of having the freedom to do what we do on the show sort of sets it apart from any role that I've played, comedy or drama. It's just been a special ride. It's been a special ride.

Psych speakSheKnows: The banter on Psych is unmistakeable. How challenging is it for both of you to learn those lines?

James Roday: Unlike, I think, the majority of shows on television right now we actually have a frighteningly high amount of say in what we do with the dialog. A lot of times it comes in great and all we have to do is say it, but any time we sort of recognize an opportunity to throw something in or add something or if we have a better name for Gus than the one that came in we just pull the trigger. We're pretty good at monitoring ourselves so that we only do it if we're making it better, and it's very rare that we find out later that the people down in LA were disappointed because we changed something. They're usually pretty pleased.

Dule Hill: Yes. And the names that we come up with most of the time it has to do with somebody that we know, somebody in the cast knows or somebody that one of the writers knows or a producer, something like that. I would say pretty much eight times to of ten there is some relation to the crazy name that Gus is being called.

Psych speakWatching the detectives

SheKnows: What characters in fictional detective history are you two enjoy watching?

James Roday: You know what? I go to this movie called Without a Clue that not a lot of people saw. It was Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley, and the idea behind the movie was that Watson was the brains of the operation and Holmes was just this very theatrical sort of charlatan that diverted people's attention and got all the ladies. It's a very, very funny movie that not a lot of people have seen.

Dule Hill: I guess for myself it's not any real I guess template that I came in to with a preconceived notion about like in terms of a previous detective team. I guess if I had to choose one I would say (Bill) Cosby and (Sidney) Poitier in Uptown Saturday Night. I want to say that would be the equivalence that I could think of, but besides that there's not really anything that I've thought about before to say yes, this is what the template is.

SheKnows: Who would you two enjoy investigating in real life?

James Roday: I think I might have to just really roll up my sleeves and investigate Monica Bellucci and just make sure that she's living her life along the straight and narrow, she's not cutting any corners in life, in her work; just really get in there and make sure that she's on the up and up.

Psych speakDule Hill: And from my side I would investigate Halle Bear, who is also Halle Berry.

SheKnows: Is Psych as much fun to shoot as it is to watch? You guys look like you're having a blast!

Dule Hill: We have so much fun up there. The cast is great, the crew is even greater, and we just have a lot of fun. No one takes themselves too seriously; we all come to work and we are pretty much getting paid to laugh all day. We sing songs; we have the best singing crew in Vancouver. One day if you get a chance you come up there and we'll have them sing you Happy Birthday just for no reason in particular. We sing Happy Birthday about three or four times a day just because. There's a really great bunch of people up there.

James Roday: And we don't pay royalties for it. It's free; we can sing Happy Birthday for free.

Favorite Psych episodes

SheKnows: As you are looking forward with this new season of Psych, look backwards for a moment and tell our readers what your favorite episodes have been and why?

Psych speakJames Roday: I like different ones for so many different reasons, but I can say that for me personally, just as an actor, I think the most fun I've ever had on our show was an episode called Life's Camera Homicidio when my character got thrust into the world of a Spanish telenovela and I got to improvise in both English and Spanish. That was a blast.

Dule Hill: Well I guess for that episode I guess Roday to be able to improvise in Spanish he was getting in touch with his roots so he was really excited about that. But for myself it would still have to go back to American Duos. I just can't help it, I just loved dressing up as Michael Jackson and being able to do a moonwalk, have John Landis direct me while I'm dressed up as Michael Jackson in Thriller. And there was a crowd there, too, so you can't really beat that. You can't really beat that. That's one of my all time favorite experiences on Psych.

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