Julie Gonzalo’s got a pretty sweet gig: She plays Rebecca Sutter on TNT’s beloved drama series “Dallas.” Besides scheming and backstabbing on set, the actress gets to do some pretty cool things, like riding in helicopters and working with the show's original cast members.
But the job doesn’t come without some drawbacks. The show films in Texas, which is far from Gonzalo’s friends and family, and the long hours on set have got to be exhausting.
Before the second season of the show kicks off on January 28, HLN caught up with Gonzalo to see how she makes her time on the set fun, and what she’s looking forward to the most this season.
HLN: What is it like to work on the set of such a legendary show?
Julie Gonzalo: It’s fun! During the first season, it was a little intimidating because you didn’t know what you were walking into, but people started getting along right away. We have the most amazing crew and cast. It’s really a comedy -- we’re just not rolling the cameras when the funny stuff happens. We laugh all day long and are so blessed and lucky to actually enjoy working with each other.
HLN: What is the biggest perk of your job?
JG: There are many. I get to wake up every day and love my job. And I get to learn things like shooting guns or playing golf. Not only do I get to play a character I love, but I actually have to learn about her as a person. Rebecca has to get out of a helicopter every day, so I need to be able to do it like it’s no big deal. So I had to take helicopter lessons so I could get used to being in one. These are things you don’t get to do in an everyday job.
HLN: What is the biggest misconception about your job?
JG: People thinking it’s easy. People think “Oh you’re an actor, you’re on TV -- I could do that.” Well, I’ve been doing it for 11 years -- almost 12 -- and yes, I’m on TV today, but it’s not like I got to L.A. and walked onto a TV set. It’s not just about memorizing your lines and acting them. It’s about knowing how to treat people and how to present yourself in a room full of people. People think it’s easy, but I say easy come, easy go.
HLN: What are the biggest challenges of the job? For example, has your scene ever been cut out of an episode?
JG: Oh, sure. It’s not fun, but it is what it is. We’re an ensemble cast with 10 regular cast members and each episode is only 42 minutes long. We shoot a lot, and if I don’t make it in, I can usually see why -- I can tell why the producers made that decision. It’s not so much of “Oh man, it sucks.” It’s more like, “I was really curious about that scene.”
HLN: How is your relationship with the original cast members? Do they act as mentors to you, or do they try to stay out of your way?
JG: I have the utmost respect for Patrick, Linda and Larry. They‘re just like family. They came in with no egos and no expectations. They let us run free and don’t criticize us. They always compliment us on a scene well done. They’re the best role models we could have asked for. Of course, we want to make them proud because they’re fantastic people to look up to, and we’re lucky to be a part of this show. But they’re very inclusive and welcomed us with open arms.
HLN: What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming second season?
JG: I’m playing such a different character this season (in the first season finale, it was revealed that Rebecca is a con artist), so I’m curious to see how people react to the difference of the characters. We’re very proud of our work, and it can be a little nerve-racking, so I’m very eager to find out what people think of the new season.