We caught up with actress Elizabeth Gillies, who tells us why her role as Fallon Carrington on Dynasty is her spiciest yet, and who she wants to see play Joan Collins' iconic Alexis Carrington character in the series.
I’ve seen you in Nickelodeon’s Victorious and several movies, but I think Dynasty’s Fallon Carrington might be your spiciest role yet... ELIZABETH GILLIES: I guess the common thread between all the characters that I’ve played is that I'm more attracted to strong women and Fallon is no exception. She might be the strongest yet, actually. I think she’s a riot and has been such a fun character to play and I would agree that she is maybe the spiciest one yet to come.
When you got the role, how important was it for you to rewatch the original series of the show? EG: It was very important, but I know some cast members never wanted to see the original because they wanted to completely reinvent the role without a clouded perception of the character or how they were before. But for me, because I've had so many friends that were such die hard fans of the show and because I recognize the impact the show had on pop culture and fashion, it was a very big deal. So, before I accepted the role, I made sure to sit down and watch the three-hour pilot before my audition. When I got the role, I did my homework and continued to watch the show because I wanted to make sure I understood the tone and I wanted to make the fans who grew up with the show feel nostalgic when they watched our version of Dynasty. I also wanted them to understand that I had watched the show and that I got what was going on. And that I paid homage as much and wherever I could.
Was there a part of you that wanted to reach out to any of the original cast members, maybe Joan Collins or Linda Evans, and say, “I want to know your experience”? EG: The beautiful thing is that Richard and Esther Shapiro are producers on our show and they, of course, were the creators of the original Dynasty. I recently did a panel and Esther was on the panel and I heard her talk about the experience of getting the show off the ground, and how they went forward with all the twists and turns, and how important the fanbase was to the program. The fans impacted the outcome of the show and the storyline. So, I'm so thankful we have their blessing. Fans of the original show should know that we have the mother and father of Dynasty looking over the show and that they've given us the okay. We're not trying to touch the original or reinvent the original, but we have reimagined it for a new generation. I'm a big Joan Collins fan and I give her little pokes with retweets and favorites on Twitter. Maybe one day she'll follow me back, but I'm not holding my breath.
This series is told from Fallon’s perspective, which is a departure from the original show, so what other major changes are there planned for the reboot? EG: The most obvious changes were in the casting. Our cast is super diverse. Krystle [Carrington] is Latina, Steven [Carrington] is an out-and-proud gay man, where as in the original he really struggles with his sexuality and the fact that back then it was very taboo, and he went back and forth and eventually dated Sammy Jo, who was played by Heather Locklear. But now, Sammy Jo is a Latin man and their relationship is updated for a modern time now. Also, when you go back and look at the original you'll hear things that we couldn't possibly get away with now. And my favorite change is that Fallon and Krystle are so much more motivated. We see them in boardrooms, they're fighting, not over clothes or shoes or men, other than Blake, but they're fighting for their companies, they want to be COOs. I think for girls and women watching the show today, it's very inspiring to see that, and I'm thankful to be part of a show that showcases women in that way.
But there is one very important and powerful woman looming in the background, no? Faithful Dynasty fans know Joan Collins' character Alexis Carrington, makes an appearance towards the end of Season 1, so is there anyone you're dreaming about for that role? EG: If you and I had a drink, I’d tell you everybody I'm thinking of and I think you'd agree. The things I've heard around town, well, these are bloggers talking, but they were saying Elizabeth Hurley would be great or Heather Locklear would be great. But I think Elizabeth Hurley was on The Royals, and Joan Collins played her mother, so I don’t know if we would do that, but it is quite the trifecta. I have a list and it's very elite. I'm hoping, when I put it on the world at some point, that we’ll get someone good. Or maybe I could bully them into the role.
Listen, tell me where to meet you for the list and I’ll do all the dirty work. EG: Exactly! [Laughs] That’s how things get done on Dynasty.