Maggie Lawson – Psych: The Movie
By: Paige Zinaman
Q) What are some of the recent projects you have coming up?
A) Oh goodness, I did well the Psych: The Movie, which is Thursday. I did a little Christmas movie that will be on Hallmark this Saturday called Christmas Encore. I did some episodes of “Santa Clarita Diet,” which will be on Netflix. I have a Netflix movie coming out in February called Spivak. It’s been a good year [laughs]
Q) What can you tease about Juliet? What has she been up to?
A) She’s head detective now right. The movie picks up in real time three years later. When we left the series, Juliet was going to San Francisco to be head detective. So, she’s head detective and with her relationship with the Chief (Kirsten Nelson) they have become very close. I love that we explore this a lot in the movie. Kirsten and I love it, too. We had such a good time. Her relationship with Shawn (James Roday) has progressed. We’re all older so there’s a little bit of maturity that they touch on in the movie naturally because we are all naturally older. I can tease that. I get to have some really fun badass Juliet moments that were some of my favorites in the series. So, I love that we got to explore some of that too in a big way.
Q) What was different about making a movie over making an episode?
A) Oh interesting. I think the hardest part for me was the realization as we were shooting it that we didn’t have fifteen more episodes to go or a full season to go. So, it was interesting for me while we were shooting. We really did try to spend as much time together as possible like we’d spend all day working together, but we also spent a lot of dinners and evenings and nights out together because there was this feeling that, “Oh this isn’t six months.” When we were filming the show in Vancouver we would go up in March or April and we’d have six months and you start to get into a groove. Then, this was different. This was, “Oh my gosh. We are only here for a few weeks. Let’s soak all of it in.” We didn’t want to miss anything about it so we tried to live it up off screen as much as we did on screen as well. So, that was different and hard because there were nights where we were like, “Oh my gosh. We are almost done, what do you mean. No, we want to keep going.”
Q) Was it hard to get back into the role of things? How did you prepare to play Juliet again?
A) Um, no. I think the script was written so well. So, for me getting back into Juliet I was excited. I was definitely rusty on the first day. I’ll say just getting back into the energy of it again. Also, being in heels all day takes some getting used to again. But, yeah, we very quickly all settled in like we never left. We are all so very lucky.
Q) You mentioned reuniting with your cast and crew and fans got to see that through social media, how did social media have an impact on Psych?
A) I feel because of social media, if you remember Terry Goldman (who we unfortunately lost this year) was really huge on the marketing side of uniting all of the Psych-O’s through social media. One of the beautiful things about social media is that not only are we able to share our show and connect with fans, but they have all been able to connect with each other. I know there have been some friendships have come out of this whole “Psych” thing and it keeps us all very closely linked to the Psych-O’s as well. I mean, they have supported everything, not just “Psych,” but other projects that we’ve had over the years whether it’s a show, a foundation, a play…Whatever it is they have always shown up in a huge way. And I think the connection has been social media. We are just lucky that “Psych” began at a time when social media was sort of on the rise and now it’s kept us all connected. So, I think it had a huge huge role in the success of “Psych,” but in us being so lucky to keep making “Psych” because of the Psych-O’s keeping it alive.
Q) Is there a favorite behind the scenes moment you can share with us?
A) My very first day of shooting [for the movie] I had to do (and when you see the movie you’ll see what I’m talking about) my scene with Tim [Omundson]. We had to sort of break it up. Some of it was shot on location and some of it was shot after with Tim. The part we shot on location with me, I had to do on the first day. Shooting Psych without Tim for those few weeks, he’s in the movie, but just when I arrived and sort of getting into the groove again without him – he’s like my other half. On the show he was my other half on the show for years. So, it was emotional being there without him, especially knowing what he was going through. The very first day of shooting when I do my side of our scene together I didn’t realize this it was very emotional and I kind of fade off to myself while we were filming it. Everyone was really kind and respectful of giving room and space for the scene. What I didn’t know was while I was shooting this scene and staying in this emotional space I was in – not only had all of the cast that had wrapped for the day had come back to set, but the crew – even members from like our production office. People drove over to be there for that scene and to be there for Tim and to support me, but it was really for Tim. It was this moment that was so powerful that I burst into tears. I mean, I was already a mess, but I burst into tears after. We have a photo that we took after we shot the scene that night I could not believe that everyone was there when I came around the corner. It was so beautiful and special. That is what “Psych” is – we are a family and one of our teammates was down for a little bit and everyone sort showed up and it’s just beautiful. That’s my favorite moment. It’s not really a funny one, but it says a lot about our cast and crew as a group and how special I think it is.
Q) How was it working with new faces like Zachary Levi and reoccurring guests like Ralph Macchio?
A) It was great to see Ralph again. We have this thing on the show where if we had a guest star that came up and spent time we would take them out. We would have a good time. We wanted everybody to have a good time. We wanted to be a good host while we were in Vancouver. We kind of did the same thing on the movie so we had a great time with Ralph. Zac was there for a lot of it. He was so great. He came to play. He had all these ideas and I love that we kind of got to bring in that “Chuck” feel. You know when “Psych” was on “Chuck” was also on. I remember so many people comparing the two and saying how similar they are. So, it was really really cool that we got to invite that world into the “Psych” world, which is something I thought we might do when the series was on the air, but we just never did. And Zac is a pal to all of us so it was just great and he was great in the movie, too. Same with Kurt Fuller. I mean, granted I think people consider Woody more of a regular than just a guest star, but he’s so funny in the movie and I feel he just brought so much to “Psych.” The kooky coroner. [laughs]
Q) They have these little Psych: The Movie tours going on. Have you been a part of that, if so, what has it been like?
A) I didn’t do New York, but I did Salt Lake City and I’m doing LA’s. LA is where I live so this is really, really cool. It’s just fascinating to me that after all this time people still show up. They waited in the cold the other day in line. People are already tweeting that they are in line at the LA one. Salt Lake was awesome because I got to moderate, which was such a fun experience for me to be the one to ask the questions. So, that was really cool because there were some questions I was really curious about myself that I never actually heard from Steve [Franks] like the idea for “Psych” and where it came from. That was fun. We are premiering at the ArcLight at what they call the “Dome” here – the Cinerama Dome. That’s been around for a very long time. It’s just a very, very cool special venue for us to be premiering the movie. I’m really, really excited about it and it’s fun to just be able to celebrate with the Psych-O’s, to be able to watch along with them and listen to them laugh and cheer. It’s nice and it connects us in the experience.
Q) What is something you’ve taken away from “Psych?”
A) Oh man, I have to say some of the greatest friends. We have life-long friendships. I’ve stayed in touch with everybody. We all remain so close and I know it’s so cliché to say we’re a family, but I can truly say we really are. So, I feel really lucky that I met these people and that we are keeping the Psych”” spirit alive.
Q) Is there anything you’d like to say to the Psycho-O’s or you’d like them to know?
A) Thank you. We’re so lucky that we love “Psych” so much ourselves. We loved doing it. We had such a good time. We were all very connected. We are all very close. It is such a wonderful gift to u, that we get to do this again and all come together and make “Psych” experiences and movies again. But it really is all because of the Psych-O’s. They are the reason and this movie is for them. So, other than hopefully getting to make more movies for the Psych-O’s, I will also add a thank you and we love you. We couldn’t do this without you. We’re all in it together.