“Dallas” legend, Larry Hagman, returns to his role as the abrasive Frank on Sunday’s (Feb. 13) episode of “Desperate Housewives.” When we last saw Frank, he married Lynette’s mother, Stella (played by Polly Bergen) and peeved off Lynette (Felicity Huffman).
“It’s just one of those characters you learn to hate,” Hagman tells Zap2it. “In ‘Dallas’ you love to hate this guy. This one, you learn to hate him and you really do. He’s just a jerk.”
In the next episode, Frank and Lynette bump heads again over his inclusion in a family portrait. And according to Hagman, things won’t turn out well.
“He’s a very abrasive guy and she rightfully doesn’t like him,” he says. “You’ll see there are repercussions.”
We spoke to Hagman about what it’s like to play Frank, how he found himself on the show and getting direction from creator and executive producer, Marc Cherry.
Frank is abrasive, but isn’t his love for Lynette’s mom a redeeming quality?
There are no redeeming qualities about him. He may love her, but on his own terms. Believe me.
This season has been referred to as the “Who shot J.R.?” season for the storyline in which we don’t know who shot Paul Young (Mark Moses). Did Marc Cherry tell you that you’d be appearing amid that storyline?
He doesn’t tell me a thing. I was only there for a short while. I may come back again, but he just tells you what he wants from your character and he doesn’t discuss any of the other ones.
Why did you decide to accept the role as Frank?
It was my grandchildren who got me to do the show. They were in the room when I got the offer to do it. They were all, ‘Oh, grandpa, you have to go on it. It’s the best show in the world.’ So, that’s one of the reasons why I did it.
You’ve been on ‘Dallas,’ so you were prepared for the over-the-top acting in “Desperate Housewives,” right?
Actually, the language was so abrasive I didn’t think I had to do anything. I thought I’d just do the language and walk through it. But, Mr. Cherry had other ideas and he came in and kind of goofed up my performance quite a bit as a matter of fact. I figured he’s the genius behind the show, so I better go along with him.
You’ve worked with some of the best directors in the business. How was it working with the director on this episode?
Marc Cherry was the real responsibility there. He tells everybody what to do. Nobody seems to thwart him. And it’s been on for seven years, so he must know something. And obviously he does. I just did what he told me as best I could.
If you were to return to the show, is there anything you’d like to do?
Play God, I suppose. They haven’t cast that part yet, so… I think Mr. Cherry is regarded as that on the show.
Did you get along with Marc Cherry?
Oh, sure, what’s not to get along with. He’s the boss.
Larry Hagman returns to shake things up on “Desperate Housewives” this Sunday, Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.