Spoiler alert! Psych: The Movie ended on a promising cliffhanger. Before Shawn (James Roday) could head out for his honeymoon with Juliet (Maggie Lawson) — with Gus (Dulé Hill) and his new love, Selene (Hill’s real-life fiancée, Jazmyn Simon) in tow, naturally — the boys got a visit from Ewan O’Hara (John Cena), Juliet’s brother, who’s now on the run. Does that mean we’re getting a second Psych movie?
“It was always our intention to set up the next movie at the end of the first movie,” Roday tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Whether there is a next movie or not, it’s important to us to always give the fans a glimpse of what Shawn and Gus’ next adventure is, so that, even if we don’t get to make any more movies, you know that they are out there caught up in another madcap adventure. Whether it is the Cena story that we take forward, if we get to do it again, or we shift gears and do something else, you at the very least know that now Shawn and Gus got caught up in a crazy adventure with Ewan O’Hara that probably took them to Oslo.”
“And, what better way to end the Psych movie than with John Cena,” Hill adds. “Like a cherry on top for the Psych movie, we have Ewan O’Hara come in at the end.”
Below, Roday and Hill answer a few more of our questions about Psych: The Movie. (Read what they had to say about that epic “suck it” sequence and Zachary Levi’s David Bowie tribute here.)
Yahoo Entertainment: Was that sequence with Shawn and Gus applauding the “black gentleman ninja” who wanted to kill them — while also having a heart-to-heart about the women in their lives before admitting it was time to do what they do best, scream and run — the quintessential Psych moment?
James Roday: The running and screaming thing is something that has become synonymous with Shawn and Gus’s version of heroism. But, you know, we were so tickled because we could visualize that sequence from pretty early on in the prep stages of this, the two of them having this serious conversation while this acrobatic ninja showed off in the background. And then he literally had to get their attention back and say, “Excuse me, I’m going to kill you.”
Dulé Hill: A funny thing is, I was still recovering from my torn achilles during that time. So, you know, I did not get a chance to run as fast as I normally would.
Roday: It was a delicate run.
Hill: Delicate hightail.
There is that moment in the movie when Gus, like, power walks. Was that walk scripted, or something you came up with in the moment, Dulé?
Hill: That one came up in the moment. That was the type of thing where you’re trying to get out of there but you don’t want to make it too obvious that you’re trying to get out of there. You’re just walking fast. It was like, let’s try to be as cool as we can, try to act natural.
How did you all decide on the perfect woman for Gus?
Roday: The idea was really simple. It was like, what happens if Gus meets Gus? How would he react to the same sort of blanket of shenanigans that he lays on others when he’s attempting to hook up? What if they all happened to him?
Hill: When they first pitched me the idea of Gus getting Gus-ed, I thought it was hilarious. Especially the fact that Gus doesn’t like it, but when he does it to other people, he thinks it’s the smoothest thing in the world. It’s like, now you realize why women walked away from you so much. … [Casting is] where I had a little bit more insight and input. Because why would I go and try to fabricate some attraction when there’s a wonderful actress that I live with every day. We crack each other up all the time, and I just knew that she would come in and really knock that role out. Over the years we always had issues finding the right match for Gus, someone who could come in and really meet Gus where he is, in terms of all his nuttiness and wackiness that he does, who would be able to be a nice counterpart to him. And I had no doubt that Jazmyn would be good at coming in and doing Gus to Gus.
Shawn and Juliet were finally wed, three years after they got engaged. James, how important was it to give that moment to fans?
Roday: You know, we did the will-they-or-won’t-they thing for a really, really long time. And I think that there are a lot of fans that were probably expecting a wedding at the end of the series. And [series creator Steve Franks] and I just weren’t ready — it just felt a little obvious and it felt a little derivative of things that have happened on finales of other shows. And it also didn’t feel true to that relationship to have them get married just because it was the last episode. So we did what felt right, which was have him propose and then who knows what happened. Because we have the opportunity to come back and do this again, and because this is, more than anything, a love letter and a thank you letter to our fans, it felt cruel to make them wait any longer.
Hill: They waited long enough.
We have to talk about the joke that the manifesto “The Crimes of Juliet O’Hara” sounds like a killer title for a Hallmark movie. “Gus, don’t be ridiculous. Jules would never do a Hallmark movie.” [Roday and Hill both laugh.] As someone who enjoys Hallmark movies, I know Maggie Lawson recently starred in one [2017’s My Favorite Wedding].
Roday: We’ve kind of made a point to make fun of all of ourselves over the course of that show. We’ve poked fun at other stuff that we’ve done in our careers. None of us have too much pride about that kind of stuff. Maggie laughed out loud when she read that. The other joke we have in there that, you know, six people will appreciate, is Kurt Fuller’s lifelong career nemesis is Stephen Tobolowsky. They’ve been up for the same parts for 30 years. So, when the Thin White Duke says, “Get in the boat, Tobolowsky,” and [Woody Strode]’s response is frozen — “You just called me Tobolowsky, that is a deep cut and now I am very rattled” — that’s art imitating life.
How did you decide to bring back Allison Crowley (Mena Suvari) as the puppetmaster for the Thin White Duke?
Roday: We had a decent chunk of the story in place, but the thread that we knew we needed in order to get the band back together was something from the past. What’s the cleanest, direct line to something that would have affected all of us? The only mini franchise that we did that involved a super villain in Psych was Yin-Yang, and Yin and Yang are both dead. So it was pretty simple, once we did the math, who it would have to be. And I reached out to Mena and was like, “Would you be up for this?” And she was like, “Are you kidding? That’s the most fun I’ve ever had.” And once we knew that she was on board, we all sighed collectively in relief and knew that we had all the pieces.
And you knew you needed a musical number, I’m sure, which we got with the return of Jimmi Simpson as Mary Lightly.
Roday: We knew we wanted to get Jimmi back. Just because the challenge of continuously appearing even though he’s no longer alive is something that we always want to embrace. For the most part, I feel like this movie is sort of a throwback to early Psych and the things that put us on the map, and the Shawn-Gus relationship. So, you know, we didn’t want to go too far outside of our sweet spot. But I did say it from the very beginning to Steve, “I just need one dream sequence. Just give me one scene where I can be weird, and that’s also how we’ll get Mary Lightly back.” And he was like, “Absolutely, you got it.” And then, you know, the song ties in to who the bad guy ultimately is, so we wanted something with Allison in the title, and we thought, Costello was a little too on the nose and probably way more expensive. So, enter Gin Blossoms [and “Allison Road”]. And, Jimmi had about three days to learn it on the ukulele.
Hill: And for me, I mean, the fact that early on in the series I got to dress up as Michael Jackson, it only seems right that as we are doing this special, I get to dress up as Prince. I mean, c’mon, you’ve got to have Michael and Prince.
You make us think we’re finally going to meet the Chief’s husband, but then we don’t. What’s the story there? Did you have any casting in mind?
Roday: There are a lot of Easter eggs in this movie, and as with any movie, once you get into it and numbers start getting crunched, you always end of having to turn down things and make sacrifices so that you can get the budget down to where it needs to live. And meeting Mr. Vick was a baby that we had to let go of. But hopefully we will be able to revisit it if we get to do another one.
Fans will have been very happy to see that call Juliet makes to Lassiter (Timothy Omundson, who suffered a stroke last spring). How important was it for you guys to have that moment in the movie?
Roday: It was the most important thing, honestly. It’s something that we shot later. It wasn’t part of the body of the original movie because we wanted to give Tim as much time as possible in his rehab and to be as comfortable as he possibly could. But, I think I can speak for everybody when I say, if we hadn’t been able to get that, the movie would not have felt complete.
Roday: It just wouldn’t have felt right. So thank God, thank whoever you pray to, that it was able to come together and we were able to include him. And that is probably my favorite scene in the movie.
Hill: You can’t have a Psych movie without Lassie.
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