Josh Henderson was just 12 years old when the original Dallas ended, but he’s well-versed in Ewing family history. Speaking exclusively to Wetpaint Entertainment, the star of TNT’s Dallas reboot talks both about what the extensive family history means for his character — and what the series’ legacy means to him as an actor. Playing J.R. Ewing’s son, John Ross, Josh is tasked with portraying the next generation of power in the oil-rich family. Will he follow in his father’s power-hungry footsteps? Check out what Josh has to say about what’s to come for his character:
Do you understand the impact of being J.R.'s son?
You know, I knew that first of all, this role was a huge opportunity for any young male actor. I thought there was probably going to be a lot of expectation, so there was a little weight on my shoulders. And I basically just tried to show up to work every day and have fun, but also kind of have this intense energy. And my goal for him was to keep the audience guessing. And not only keep the audience guessing, but really even keep the characters around me in the scene guessing because I really thought that at the end of the day, he should try and stay a step ahead of everybody else. So I'm having so much fun playing him, and I'm so stoked because people are having fun watching him. So that's a good thing.
He seems to have a lot of anger and resentment in him. Are we going to see a softer side of John Ross at some point?
I think so. You're going to start to really kind of go on this journey with him, and he becomes explained more and more throughout the season, why he's the way he is. At the end of the day, he is J.R.'s son. So there's going to be a lot of similarities, a lot of comparisons, but he's a more passionate, troubled guy. And he goes through a lot. So you're going to take a great up and down roller coaster journey with him throughout the first season.
How is he like his dad?
Well, before Momma, Sue Ellen, took him away to Europe, he grew up with this admiration of his father. Kind of this wide eyed kid who looked up to his dad as this big, powerful oil man, and he wanted to be just like him. He knows how to do business one way, and that's the J.R. way. And he wants to hopefully even one-up his father if that's possible. And I think that he knows that if he can actually one-up his dad and pull one over on his dad, if nothing else, it will probably make his dad proud of him. Like, “Wow, that's my son. That's John Ross.” He would expect nothing else. So that's a big goal of his. So even though he doesn't have a great relationship with J.R. at this point, he really, definitely wants to make him proud in a way. So he's definitely a chip off the old block.