Header Ads

James Roday Rodriguez Interview: Psych 3 | Screen Rant

Psych 3: This Is Gus prepares to delight fans with yet another round of wacky adventures courtesy of the not-so-psychic Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez, A Million Little Things) and his best friend Gus (Dulé Hill, The Wonder Years), the investigative duo who delight and frustrate the Santa Barbara Police Department all at once. In this film, however, things get a little more personal. The new film, streaming exclusively on Peacock starting November 18, takes place as Gus is preparing to get married.

The only problem in sight is that his beloved fiancée Selene (Jazmyn Simon, Raising Dion) is still married and no one can find her ex. But Shawn senses there is more at play here and wants to scope out the situation before Gus goes full speed ahead with his dream wedding. In the meantime, the changes to Gus' life and additions to his family have Shawn and Juliet (Maggie Lawson, Outmatched) questioning where they are in their own lives.

Related: Psych: 10 Characters That Need To Return For Psych 3

The Psych star spoke to Screen Rant about how the stakes have leveled up for Shawn and Gus this time around, and what it's like to grow up with your character.

What is it like for you to get to come back and revisit Shawn as he is evolving in his life, just like you are?

James Roday Rodriguez: It's a pretty unique honor, as an actor, to live with a character for this long - and to not want to betray everything that you've set up for so many years. As fun as these movies are, and as great as it is to see everybody - they're like family reunions - there is a certain level of responsibility that goes along with stepping into that skin every couple of years and wanting to do it justice. It keeps you on your toes, and it gives you something to care about. Not every job provides that, so it's a special thing.

One obviously new addition to the Psych movies has been Selene and her induction into the family, metaphorically and literally. What has it been like to get to work with Jazmyn and really integrate her into this story for Gus?

James Roday Rodriguez: Jazmyn feels like - I mean, she bleeds Psych. She feels like she's been with us from the beginning. Her energy, her approach to work; she just fit in seamlessly. She's Dulé's better half, so she wasn't going anywhere no matter what. But it didn't have to be that easy, and it was.

For us, after so many years of building character and evolving character, to have the opportunity to start from scratch this late in series with someone that you know is gonna stick around was awesome. What a fun challenge. We want to make sure we get it right, but it was also a new energy to add to an old show. And again, she's so much fun and she's such a gamer that there's almost nothing you can throw at her that she's not willing to take a stab at.

The comfort level, obviously, with all of us is there because we're all very close in our real lives as well. So, this is awesome. I'm so glad Dulé met and fell in love with that woman.

I'm sure Shawn always has Gus' best interests at heart, but our Groomzilla has a point when he says Shawn always finds a flaw in his romances. Even though Shawn has Juliet, is there a small part of him that doesn't want to lose the status quo with his bestie?

James Roday Rodriguez: Yeah, I think it's an interesting battle, the thing that's going on inside of Shawn because he wants his best friend to be happy. There's no one that he loves in the world more than Gus, but he also wants them to keep doing this forever somehow, even though it doesn't make sense. It's not physically possible.

I think with regards to Selene, because Gus is so head over heels and truly feels like he's found a soulmate - with this one, Shawn's probably more leaning into, "I want to make sure that my best friend isn't going to be betrayed or taken behind the woodshed." I think he's feeling pretty protective, but ultimately wants Gus to be happy.

It's the adventure in Shawn that's ignited because he loves going down a rabbit hole, with the added element of, "This is serious, and I want it to work out. But I also have to make sure that everything is legit here."

You and Juliet get a bit of growing pains in this film, as it were, with some interesting, honest and vulnerable conversations in the midst of the chaos. Can you talk about opening up that door?

James Roday Rodriguez: Yeah, it feel very real to me just because of where we are in our lives. We're not kids anymore either, and a lot of those existential crises that these characters are facing are the exact same ones that you're talking about over dinner when you wrap. It was a little bit of life imitating art.

But I also think, for all of the fun and games that we push forward in the Psych universe, what buys us all of that real estate is the moments where the show also feels grounded. That's an absolutely necessary ingredient to the success of this show. And to have a woman of a certain age faced with the reality that there is a window, and what does that mean? And what does that look like? And what dies your partner think, but ultimately, what do you think? Where is your heart as a woman, and the stigmas and the social conditioning, and what's expected of you versus what you truly want and feel comfortable with?

It's not the kind of stuff we usually lean into on Psych. But it's very real, and it's very real in any relationship. And if we're going to keep doing these movies, and evolving these characters, we're going to have to face some of them head on.

Coming back to this story for the 300th time, what was the most surprising thing about the script or about the filming?

James Roday Rodriguez: I don't know if it was surprising, but it was certainly the most fulfilling and satisfying, just watching Tim's continued [rehabilitation]. At every turn, he's exceeded every possible expectation on his road back from suffering a stroke. I mean, he's my hero. Watching the growth and the difference between you him in part 2 and him and part 3 is really beautiful, just watching him get more and more comfortable and leaning back into [acting].

Acting is his greatest passion on this planet. The guy loves to perform, that's who he is. The second you meet him, that's what Tim is. And so, [I loved] getting to watch him work again and feel more confident and feel more comfortable. Specifically: the scene in the car with Shawn and Gus, and on the porch with Henry and his daughter, were the most satisfying for me.

I really love the opening scene too, because it felt like a great combination of humor and at the same time literally checking in with him. I love how Psych always weaves in real life with fiction and makes it even greater than the sum of its parts.

James Roday Rodriguez: Thanks, man. I can't give enough credit [to Steve]. Over the years, the show takes on its own life because it needs to. A good show runner will recognize that at some point you've got to give the keys over, because that's ultimately going to be what sustains the show. And no one is better at doing that than Steve Franks.

But what we forget is he really is the heart and soul of this show. He always has been the energy that everyone loves about Psych - the spirit, the innocence, the positivity, the love forward approach that has sustained it for so long is Steve Franks to his core. So, I've always got to bring it back to that. There is no Psych without that man putting himself on a screen and saying, "This is my mantra. This is my approach to life, and I think it can work as a television show."

I love that. I also love the double date that you guys had early on in the movie, which did not go as well as it could have. What do you think is the perfect double date for the future?

James Roday Rodriguez: Any kind of living history experience. Space camp would probably be a good one for those four. I think anything that's just a vacation is not going to check the box, because these two - and to an extent Juliet and Selene too - need a mystery to solve. It's part of their DNA, all four of them. They need to snoop; they need to go on a ride, and they need something unexpected to happen.

To say, "These four should just go to Hawaii and lay on a beach?" I don't know how satisfying that would be unless a body washed up on shore. Then it's the perfect vacation.

More: Psych 3: 10 Questions We Need Answered

Psych 3: This Is Gus will be streaming exclusively on NBCUniversal’s Peacock on November 18.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.