Psych Interview: James Roday and Dule Hill Dish on Gus’ New Girlfriend, Shawn’s Future and More

Psych - Season 7

Well, Psych fans, the wait is finally over. On Wednesday, February 27, Psych season 7 premieres with an episode called “Santa Barbaratown 2, Lethal Weapon 5.” The premiere may air this week, but TV Equals was on the Psych set last summer when the series celebrated filming its 100th episode. On that day, we got a chance to sit down with stars James Roday and Dule Hill and find out what fans can expect this year and what it’s been like filming the series after seven seasons.

Here is what we learned:

Gus is taking a few steps into the relationship world in season 7. Dule Hill: “Yeah, we have the lovely Parminder Nagra. She’s on the show this year and Gus finally kind of takes a few steps into the relationship world. And it still doesn’t go exactly as planned, but so far, so good. I think it’ll be exciting for the audience to see how Gus interacts in relationship land. We’ll see how long it lasts, though, I don’t know how long it’ll last. But it’ll be there for at least a little while. I’m a big fan of Parminder, too, so the fact that she was able to come up and, and join us has been great.”

Gus’ new girlfriend comes with her own set of complications, and a kid. Dule Hill: “[Gus] was kind of blindsided by [the fact his girlfriend has a kid]. And then he kind of dives head-first in, and I think it’ll be fun seeing Gus just get all caught up in that world, as if he’s been there all along, and how he has this new family, when he just met ’em a couple weeks ago. I think that’ll be fun for people to see, and Shawn will call Gus out a lot on that. So there’ll be that.”

Having a girlfriend is just one way that Gus has grown since the first season. Dule Hill: “I think going from the beginning of the show to now, Gus definitely stands up for himself more. I think at first he may have been a little more not so comfortable in his skin, but now he’s very fine with who he is. And I guess really going to this season, especially, would be the relationship. ‘Cause I think early on, Gus wasn’t really thinking at all about a relationship, really. He was just thrilled to be moonlighting as a psychic detective. But now he’s looking for something beyond just hanging out with Shawn all the time. So I guess that would be the arc of it.”

Gus’ new relationship won’t get in the way of his and Shawn’s bromance. Dule Hill: “Well, I think they’ll always have the bromance. I mean, no matter what happens, there will always be the core. Even with Shawn and Juliet, you know, Shawn and Gus are still extremely tight, and I don’t think anything will ever get in between [them]. There may be challenges at different points, but really when it comes down to it, there’ll never be anything that gets in between Shawn and Gus. Simple as that.”

But no matter how much Gus grows, he’ll never get rid of the Blueberry. Dule Hill: “That’s one thing I definitely don’t want him to ever do is change out the Blueberry, you know? Gus and the Blueberry, they go hand in hand.”

Dule Hill’s most memorable moment over the past seven seasons didn’t happen on screen. Dule Hill: “[What’s] the most memorable moment being on this show? The most memorable? That’s a hard one to say the most memorable. I honestly will say the most memorable moment will probably be when Roday came to my house before my screen test to work on [our scene]. He already had the job, and I thought that was very cool for the lead actor to do; to come to my house to work on the scene, so that we’d be ready to go when I walked in the room. I think that kind of set our dynamic up. I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, you’re a real cool dude.’

They’ve been trying to figure out a way to get Corbin Bernsen off the show for years. Asked about the fate of Henry, James Roday joked, “The truth is creatively we’ve been trying to figure out a way to get Corbin off of the show for years.” Getting serious, he continued, “After six years, you [have] basically shown every pitch that you have in your arsenal and it’s fun to come up with something that the audience hasn’t seen yet. It’s still Psych. It’s always going to be Psych at the end of the day. But if we can make your heartbeat a little bit faster every now and then, I think it’s probably healthy for everybody.”

According to Roday, Psych doesn’t just love the 80’s, it exploits the hell out of it. Asked about bringing William Shatner on the show last season as Juliet’s dad, Roday said, “Shatner was a great example of bringing in a new energy that also fell right in line with what we do. So we were never worried about fitting him in, we knew he was going to fit in. You could actually just focus on shedding some light on Juliette’s relationship with her dad. Which I feel like is often the case when we bring in actors that are associated with nostalgia of any kind. I mean people say we love the 80’s, well partly we love the 80’s. But you know, we also exploit the hell out of that nostalgia sense, you know. People feel comfortable with those actors because they grew up watching them and loving them, whether it was on TV shows or in movies. So it’s sort of like cheating and we use that to our advantage.”

There will be a lot of interesting episodes coming up in season 7. Asked to talk about what’s coming up this season, Roday said, “We’ve got an In-Laws homage coming up. Jeffrey Tambor [plays] Juliette’s step father. Keeping with Juliet, we’re also doing a little Single White Female action later this season.

Roday doesn’t think Shawn is worried about what will happen if people find out he’s not a psychic – except for Juliet. Asked about what might happen if Shawn’s secret got out, Roday said, “Well, my feeling is that the big road block there is Shawn’s personal relationship with Juliet. I think that that’s probably the biggest issue. As far as the police and, and everything else; we’ve solved probably 160 murders, we’ve put many people behind bars. The fact that Shawn may not be psychic probably isn’t going to ruffle that many feathers at this point, but you know, the fact that he’s been lying to the girl that he wants to make a life with is a different issue.”

As far as guest stars go, David Bowie is Psych‘s unicorn. Asked who he’d love to see guest star on the show, Roday said, “We sort of have uh, our, our unicorn which has been David Bowie since the very beginning of Psych. He remains the impossible dream.”

According to Roday, this show is a giant cow teat. Asked to talk about what it’s been like to be involved with a show like Psych, Roday said, “I feel like I’m a pretty articulate and eloquent guy, so I’ll compare this show to a giant cow teat. I’ve managed to drink from this wonderful beautiful teat for so long and I’ve literally sucked it dry. But no, I mean this show’s been a gift in so many ways. Where do you even start? It changed my life as an actor because I’d never done anything that lasted longer than 10 episodes before. And none of the independent films that I had appeared in were even worth watching on cable. So the fact that it provided me the opportunity to write and direct and do the other things that I’ve always known that I wanted to do – not just once or twice, but many times and actually start getting better at them as well. I feel like when Psych ends, [I’ll] have a lot more tools in my bag. How can I possibly say thanks enough for the experience? Because where else could I have gotten that and so quickly too?”

Well, it sounds like both Roday and Hill have a great time filming this show. Now that you’ve heard more about Psych season 7, what do you think your favorite episodes will be this season?

Stay tuned as Psych‘s 100th episode draws near in the coming weeks, because we’ll also have interviews with guest stars Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd and Lesley Ann Warren, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of the 100th episode celebration with the cast and crew.

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