They’ve come and gone. John Travolta, George Clooney. Alec Baldwin. The question remains.
Who will play detestable oilman J.R. Ewing in the proposed feature film Dallas?
The movie would be a film adaptation of the popular daytime drama that lasted 14 years.
On the show, Hagman played Ewing, billed as “The man the whole world loves to hate.” Ewing cheated on his wife Sue Ellen and treated her contemptuously, accidentally caused sister-in-law Pam to miscarry while he was drunk and on several occasions was punched, thrown into the Southfork ranch pool and was even caught by Sue Ellen in the act of adultery.
“People have asked me whom I think should play J.R. in the movie, and I think the choice is obvious—Gary Busey,” Hagman said.
The alcoholic and liver transplant recipient said he got the idea for Busey while visiting Youtube and hearing Tom Wilson’s “The Question Song”. In the song, the Back to the Future bad guy talks about the endless questions fans have asked him. One was “Who’s the biggest famous jerk you’ve ever met?” to which Wilson replied, “Gary Busey!”
“I figure that if a nice, easy-going guy like Tom Wilson doesn’t like Gary Busey, then Busey is perfect to play J.R.,” Hagman said. “J.R.’s a jerk, and that’s what you need in the role—an actor who’s also known as a jerk. Sure, Busey’s a little deranged, but I don’t think Clooney or Baldwin could capture the essence of evil J.R. personifies.”
Hagman added: “I’ve seen John Travolta in Broken Arrow and Face-Off, and I just don’t think he’s a credible bad guy. I’ve never been able to take him seriously.”
What made Hagman’s performance as Ewing even more impressive was the fact that he and Linda Gray, who played his TV wife Sue Ellen, were actually good friends off-camera.