Larry Hagman: 'I was drinking five bottles of champagne on set, but I was never drunk'


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The Independent Online

My accountant was very happy when they told me They were bringing 'Dallas' back and wanted JR to return I said yes. Why? I wasn't doing anything else, Linda [Gray, who plays Sue Ellen] and Patrick [Duffy – Bobby Ewing] told me they were interested, so how couldn't I be?

Good acting is all in the writing If it isn't on the page, then it really won't make any difference. You cannot act on force of personality alone. That said, I did bring a lot to the role of JR. I'm from Texas in real life, see, and I have that Texas state of mind. It's a kind of arrogance. You Brits used to have it; the arrogance of imperialism.

TV brings me only good memories I don't have any bad memories of anything I've ever done. Except for one. One year our writer/producer on Dallas left the show, and I had some difficulties with the person brought in to replace him. I had to get rid of him. I didn't know I had that kind of power because I'd never had to exert it before. I exerted it then.

I never was a drunk True, I was drinking five bottles of champagne a day [during the filming of the original series], but I was never drunk. I just took little slugs throughout the day. Nine o'clock in the morning to nine o'clock at night is 12 long hours. You can ingest a lot of alcohol in that time, but it was never too much.

I experimented with drugs 30, 40 years ago I did peyote once, and LSD I took four or five times. It taught me lots of spiritual things, and taught me not to fear death.

Major success feels a bit like a coronation Like I'd become a king. I was one of the most famous people in the world, loved and hated in equal measure. I couldn't see anything bad with it. It made me a happy person.

I have been married for 58 years to the same woman Our secret? Separate bathrooms.

I'm pretty healthy I take a lot of vitamin pills, but I also had a liver transplant 17 years ago. I'm an 80-year-old man with the liver of a 44-year-old. That helps.

It's a brutal industry for women I have five granddaughters, five beautiful girls [aged between 17 and 26]. They are all voluptuous and beautiful and kind to their grandfather. Will they follow in my footsteps? I sure as hell hope not. There aren't a lot of Judi Denches and Meryl Streeps around, are there?

I have thousands and thousands of hats Some are the most outrageous hats in the world. They are my disguise. I hide beneath them.

I enjoy adoration It is wonderful, an aphrodisiac. Have I ever taken advantage of it? Oh, absolutely! At every available opportunity.

Larry Hagman, 80, is an American actor who returns as the legendary JR Ewing in the new series of 'Dallas', which begins on Channel 5 this month