Psych Stars Talk Last Season [Exclusive Interview]

Psych is a popular TV show about Shawn Spencer and his best friend, Gus, who solve crimes for the Santa Barbara Police Department as psychic detectives. The catch is Shawn isn’t really a psychic. He just has a keen eye when it comes to detail. New West Press interviewed two actors from the TV series about seasons 7 and 8; Corbin Bernsen, who plays Shawn’s father, and Kurt Fuller, who plays Woody the Coroner. Season 8, the final season of Psych, aired on USA earlier this year.

This interview was conducted in February of 2012.


Corbin Bernsen

Interviewer: When you first got the script for the Psych pilot what did you think? Did you think this would be the next 8 years of your life? What appealed to you about the script?

Corbin: When I first got the script for Psych I knew it “worked.” That’s a term I like to use beyond “it was good.”  There are lots of great scripts out there; funny, sad, etc, but most of them, believe it or not don’t’ work structurally. Psych worked, especially in the development of the relationship between Shaun and his dad, which in the end, is why Shaun is the way he is.  That’s what drew me to the series.  Also, I knew if they kept that up, and then kept developing the humor between Shaun and Gus, then we would have a home run that could go on for years.  I believe it can go well beyond the 8 years now planned, but that’s a big  business decision, not in my court.

Interviewer: What is your favorite Psych episode?

Corbin: My favorite Psych episode just happens to be a big one for me and it’s SantaBarbaraTown. It has humor but also really brings the relationship with Shaun and his dad to a head. Lots of great episodes, but hey, I like the ones I’m in.  Is that fair?

Interviewer: Psych has quite an interesting cult following. What can you tell me about the experiences you’ve had with fans?

Corbin: That fans REALLY make the show. Seriously, EVERYONE SAYS THAT, but with Psych it’s so true. It is in fact why we have 8 years.  We have passionate fans  who love to stay involved. I believe this is the new direction of television by the way, engaging the fan base well beyond the show it self, via social media, web interaction, and all the stuff that’s out there – that you probably know better than me!

Interviewer: How did you feel when you read the script for the season 6 finale and saw that your character was being shot?

Corbin: I was really bummed to see that I was shot because nobody told me if I’d survive or not. Of course I’m not going to give anything away, but it seemed very LOGICAL to end Henry right there, where Shaun has reached a maturity that he can now possible deal with life.  I literally hand him the big Swiss Army Knife (which just happened on the set, it was a prop in the box I was holding) but meant so much. I was passing the baton. Given where the show started, it was a logical end.  And may well be…stay tuned.

Interviewer: Who do you have the most fun with on the set?

Corbin: I love my entire cast, honestly. We have an incredible rapport which you can only imagine, it’s what delivers the show that people love.  I haven’t really become great friends with anyone of the show, but I do have an affection for Timmy O.  He’s an incredible actor, funny, dramatic, but also just a great human being… and a great dad. That’s important to me.

Interviewer: Who is most like their character on Psych?

Corbin: Honestly, I think I’m the most like my character. When I auditioned for the role I discussed with Steve Franks how closely this resembles my relationship with my 4 sons.  I want so much for them, I want them to achieve their potential, like I try to do. What I’ve learned and Henry has learned with Shaun, is that they will eventually get there but it might not be the way I want it to be or the road that I traveled.  I’m very much like Henry.

Interviewer: Who is a total stick in the mud and is all work no play on set?

Corbin: Seriously, we have no stick in the mud. If anyone, I guess it would be me. I tend to see the more serious side of the show, the very real relationship between Shaun and his dad. That means I don’t go to the humor card very often.  I’m also a little older than the rest, and therefore don’t really “hang out” that much. Been there, done that.  That said, I think I’m some fun.

Interviewer: What was one of your favorite experiences on the set for Season 7?

Corbin: I can’t tell you what my favorite moment of filming season seven is yet because I MIGHT BE DEAD.  Thought you’d catch me, huh?  I will tell you, actor Jeffrey Tambor who was on Arrested Development came up and there where tons of laughs… or so I heard!

Interviewer: Can you tell us anything big or awesome that’s going to happen in Season 7?

Corbin: I can tell you that Season 7 – again, from what I hear, has some of the best stories yet, and of course the 2 part Musical is extraordinary.

Interviewer: Since Season 8 (next season) will be the last season, what type of thing do you think will happen to wrap up the show?

Corbin: I think that ultimately the relationships will come complete at the end of season 8. Can’t elaborate and honestly I have no idea what’s planned. But I do think Lassiter might move up in the department and Shaun might finally become the man his dad has always wanted him to be.

Kurt Fuller

Interviewer: What made you want to play Woody the Coroner on Psych?

Kurt: I have been friends with James Roday and Maggie Lawson for years. One day, about four years ago, James called and said they needed a coroner for one episode. I didn’t need to read it; I was such a big fan of the show and James that I said “yes!” immediately.

Interviewer: What was your first episode on Psych?

Kurt: I believe it was “High Top Fade Out” when Gus reunites with his old singing group.

Interviewer: Did you think Woody the Coroner would have such great response from the fans?

Kurt: No way! I was planning to do one episode only, but we all had so much fun and just clicked. The writing on the show is so good, and the atmosphere so conducive to having fun and being creative, that I immediately felt at home.

Interviewer: What is your favorite Psych episode?

Kurt: Definitely “Last Night Gus” — the homage to “The Hangover” — there are so many fun little gems in that show. It’s also the show fans write me about the most.

Interviewer: Who do you have the most fun with on set?

Kurt: No lie, everyone is great. But on set, because James and Dule are also producing and incredibly busy between takes, it ends up being Tim Omundson, Maggie and I laughing, gossiping and trying to come up with ways to do justice to the writing.

Interviewer: Who is most like their character on Psych?

Kurt: Corbin Bernsen is smart, funny and irascible, just like his character.

Interviewer: Who is a total stick in the mud and is all work no play on set?

Kurt: Even if there was someone like that (there isn’t) I wouldn’t tell you. I have to work with these people!

Interviewer: Can you tell us anything big or awesome that’s going to happen in Season 8?

Kurt: I can hint. There are breakups and makeups and we get to see Woody’s “house”!! Oh, and everybody sings.

Interviewer: Since Season 8 (next season) will be the last season, what type of thing do you think will happen to wrap up the show?

Kurt: I think the genius writers are figuring that out right now, but I do know they want to bring the relationships and stories to a satisfying, real and fun conclusion.


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