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'Psych: The Movie': James Roday and Dulé Hill on one epic 'suck it'

Mandi Bierly
Deputy Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Dulé Hill as Gus Guster, James Roday as Shawn Spencer in Psych: The Movie. (Photo: Alan Zenuk/USA Network)

Three years after USA bid farewell to fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill), the boys are back in action. Psych: The Movie, premiering Dec. 7, finds them offering their services to Shawn’s fiancée, Juliet (Maggie Lawson), after her partner in the San Francisco Police Department is targeted by the Thin White Duke (Zachary Levi).

Here, Roday and Hill offer us a preview.

Yahoo Entertainment: What was the first moment on set that you felt like Shawn and Gus again?
Dulé Hill: On the Psych set, we’d always have a little tradition of singing “Happy Birthday” whenever we wrapped out something, wrapped out an actor or an episode. This time we reversed it, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Psych when we all came back, the cast and the crew. And after the first take, we said one or two “C’mon, son”s, one or two “suck it”s, and I was ready to go.

As we see in the promo, we get one glorious “suck it” sequence in the movie. But if you only get to do one, was it hard to decide what it would be?
James Roday: Well, we knew we wanted it to be in song, but we knew that we had to top any other version of a “suck it” song. We also wanted to represent “C’mon, son” fairly and balanced.

Hill: We don’t want Ed Lover to get mad at us, you know what I’m saying? We had to get “C’mon, son” in there.

Roday: So the idea was hatched that we could somehow combine two catch phrases into one song and just blow people’s minds.

It really is tremendous. How many takes were required?
Roday: We had to work the harmony out, so there was probably four or five takes until we found the sweet spot. Until we got into the pocket, as they say on NBC’s The Voice.

Hill: It wasn’t until we started trying it that we figured out the whole seesaw aspect of it, where one of us was going up, the other one was going down.

Roday: We ran up the scales and then down the scales.

We also see in the promo that there’s a fair amount of high-pitched screaming from the two of you, as always. Do you guys do vocal warm-ups for that kind of moment?
Roday: We’re just pros.

Hill: It’s just there, you know. The happy scream is either inside of you or it’s not.

Roday: We’re performers, and we’re all blessed with certain gifts, and just because we can do that, doesn’t me we can do everything.

Hill: But we can do that.

Roday: We can do that.

What is the stage direction in the script for those screams?
Roday: We’ll put something in like, “Shawn and Gus do what they do best.” And then we know what that means.

Zachary Levi plays the villain, the Thin White Duke. What was the inspiration for his blond look and British accent?
Roday: Well, first of all, let it be known that we were always big fans of Zach and wanted him on the show in various stages and incarnations of the series, and it never worked out. So, the fact that we were finally able to marry him with, I think, what would easily be classified as the best role that we could have put him in was a huge triumph. He knew that he was paying tribute to David Bowie; we didn’t know how up for it he was going to be or if he was prepared to go all the way. And with Zach, there is no such thing as halfway. It’s 250 percent. So in his mind, there was never any doubt that he was dyeing his hair and doing a British accent. There was no real discussion to be had, because he showed up doing the accent. And he never dropped it, even when we were at the hotel.

Hill: [Laughs] At the hotel bar, he had the accent. I remember we were at Joey’s, our place that we like to hang out at in Vancouver. It was myself, Roday, Zach, and then [Shameless star] Steve Howey. Steve Howey was, by chance, in town, and he came over to meet us, and he hadn’t seen Zach in years. And he is there talking with Zach, and Zach is in the accent.

Roday: Imagine Steve Howey, who is as jacked as he’s ever been now, he looks like the Rock, and he was just sort of sitting there and you could see the wheels turning in his head. He gave it a solid 10 minutes, and then finally, Howey was like, “Dude, if you don’t knock it off, I’m gonna take off.”

Hill: [Still laughing] I wish I could have recorded that moment.

Psych: The Movie premieres Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. on USA.

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