Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Questions with GCB Star David James Elliott

For those of you who dismissed GCB as little more than DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES in Dallas, we’ve got two words for you: Look closer. Despite a handful of similarities, GCB — which chronicles the deliciously fun lives of what some might call a little-too-tight-knit Texas community — is anything but. Which is to say, unlike its lead in which continues to limp to its long-awaited conclusion, GCB is a whole lotta fun. And a big part of the reason is the you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it marriage between Kristin Chenoweth’s Carlene and David James Elliott’s Ripp Cockburn. The latter of whom we recently caught up with to talk about all things GCB. See for yourself, after the jump.

With apologies in advance to for the slightly obvious first question: What was your first reaction to discovering your character’s name was Ripp Cockburn?
David James Elliott: That was what sold me. Ripp Cockburn is the best TV name ever! God that alone was enough for me. Of course also helping seal the deal was meeting producers Darren [Starr] and Robert [Harling]. They assuaged all of my concerns in terms of who the character was and how deeply we were going to explore him.

You character’s marriage to Carlene [Kristen Chenoweth] is an absolute hoot! What is it like getting those scripts and reading scenes in which the two of you are rein-acting a not-so-safe-for-work version of the Adam and Eve story?!
It’s great. Carlene and Ripp do some really funny things. Which pretty much sums up our show. Going to readthroughs, I was constantly blown away by how funny it was and how talented the cast was. It just kept getting better and better.

Last Sunday’s episode saw Ripp reveal to Carlene that they too fell victim to Amanda’s [Leslie Bibb] former husband’s ponzi scheme. Will their search to reclaim their riches intensify as the season progresses?
Well, it continues to play throughout, but it doesn’t become a major major thread. It definitely continues, but we do find some resolution, certainly for Ripp.

Are there any other marital woes you can tease with regards to Ripp and Carlene?
Well, that’s a fairly big question. We shot 10 episodes and in the 10th episode, a big marital situation arises — something that I can’t reveal — but it’s fairly serious and certainly one that demands some close attention from Carlene.

As a TV Addict that has watched far too many of our favorite shows end abruptly, what can you assure fans in terms of the season finale. Is it one that ends on a cliffhanger that demands a second season or does it do a fairly adequate job of wrapping things up?
I would say yes and no. We would not leave the fans completely hanging if ABC in its infinite wisdom decides not to continue with the show. But if the Network does opt to continue with the show, it is certainly something that would call for some closer inspection and further episodes to deal with. Interesting fact: In our first season of JAG when we were canceled, we were in the middle of shooting a major cliffhanger and ultimately they never aired it. So we had this loose episode for years and years and years, and finally, I think in year seven they took it, rewrote it a little bit, reshot a few things over the course of 2 or 3 days and made it into an entirely different episode.

GCB airs Sundays at 10PM on ABC (CTV in Canada). More info on the show can be found on ABC’s official webpage.

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  • gerald christie

    Love GCB, it’s really funny, campy and over the top. That being said, I get it that you guys hate DH’s last season, now can you please stop with the complaining? It’s really getting annoying…