Olmundson & Lawson - "Psych:" 100 Episodes & Counting

By Jamie Ruby

PsycPsych is finally ready to air it's Clue inspired episode, which is also its 100th. To celebrate, USA Network is letting fans choose who the killer is in the episode: the butler, the author, the manager, the groupie, or the host.

In preparation, stars Timothy Olmundson, who plays Carlton Lassier, and Maggie Lawson, who plays Juliet O'Hara, talked to the media recently about the landmark episode as well as what else is coming this season.

USA Conference Call
Timothy Omundson and Maggie Lawson

March 15, 2013

2:30 pm ET

SCIFI VISION: So can you talk about what we’re going to see in the 100th episode?

PsychTIMOTHY OMUNDSON: What aren’t you going to see in the 100th episode?

MAGGIE LAWSON: Exactly. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be silly. It’s going to be non-stop. And there’s some crazy thing we’re doing where we - I think it’s that the fans choose the ending. Am I right, Tim?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: You are correct Maggie. Congratulations. For the first time ever in cable television you have…


Yes, yes that’s what it’s going to be, which is super awesome.

You’re also going to see a cornucopia of some of the greatest guest stars or certainly the greatest group of guest stars ever put together for our show in one thing.

MAGGIE LAWSON: All in one episode. It’s crazy.

SCIFI VISION: I also read in the press release we’re finally going to get a musical episode. Can you talk at all about that?

MAGGIE LAWSON: Oh wow, it’s one of the most fun things I think we’ve ever been a part of. It’s wild…

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: And this - I’m sorry to interrupt but this is also coming from like we have done some pretty amazing things on our television program and this is the top of the most amazing. Continue Maggie.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes I guess just, over the years it’s something we’ve always talked about because we all enjoy as you all know with the Psych Outs and whatnot singing and Steve Franks wrote and directed this unbelievable thing that we all got to be a part of, which is so cool.

He wrote the music. It’s all original. It’s just crazy. And it was a bit terrifying at first. And then it ended up being I think one of the most incredible and fun episodes we’ve done.

Tim will blow your mind. It’s…


MAGGIE LAWSON: Oh I’m serious Tim. It’s so good.

And quite a dancer I might add.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: God bless you. And I have to say it has been quite a while since I’ve had dance rehearsal, you know? And it’s always the thing to tell me that’s a triple threat. So it’s an Achilles’ heel.

Maggie has a voice like an angel. I’m just going to put that in there right now.

I think we shocked the hell out of each other because we all sing and goof around but everybody really brought their A games to this one.


TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: And it’s a two-parter by the way. It’s a two hour Psych extravaganza.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes it was pretty incredible and recording everything. It was start to finish just…

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: If you think recording a song in Frank Sinatra’s old study in Hollywood is cool, I mean…

MAGGIE LAWSON: If you’re into that sort of thing.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Sure, sure, sure.

QUESTION: When can Juliet channel her bad-ass side and Lassie Jerky? Does Lassiter return the favor this season, maybe faith help O’Hara?

MAGGIE LAWSON: Lassiter in my opinion always has O’Hara’s back and O’Hara always has Lassiter’s back. So when one person is either held up or taken by who we think is Big Foot the other person steps up to the plate.

And I do think this season what’s interesting about Lassiter is we see a little bit of a softer side. I think he’s softening up a little bit. What do you think Tim?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I think he’s going through a mid-life crisis is what I think.

MAGGIE LAWSON: That’s what that’s called. Okay.

Timothy OmundsonTIMOTHY OMUNDSON: But if you look at the Lassiter/O’Hara relationship it really - we’ve had some amazing moments on this show but there’s so many opportunities this season where you get to see the other - the first three episodes just O’Hara kicking ass to the nth degree and saving her partner.

But then also as we’ll see later in the season she has his back emotionally. There’s some lovely [scenes] where she really steps up to the plate as a friend which I think everyone will be blown away.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes. I really love how this season unfolds with Lassiter and Juliet.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: And sometimes it’s very, very uncomfortable for her. I’m just going to say that.


TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: There’s something about Lassiter that she doesn’t want to see or know and can’t be unseen or unknown.

MAGGIE LAWSON: No. once it’s seen and known you can’t un-see or un-know it.

QUESTION: And there’s some talk of Lassie getting hitched this year. Can you talk a little bit about how Marlo is his soul mate and how they complement each other?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Well, Marlo’s in prison so that’s difficult. Since she’s divorced O’Hara’s pretty much one of the few females that he speaks to other than…

MAGGIE LAWSON: And Chuck, yes.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Well certainly trusts but speaks to other than arresting. So when Marlo comes along it just turns his world upside down. And I’m so grateful for especially James and Todd for giving me that storyline of creating this next place for him to go with the lovely Marlo, the beautiful Kristy Swanson.

He finally has an emotional partner and a life partner. And we’ll see where the relationship goes.

Lassiter’s a crusty old dog so we’ll see if she can truly tame it, you know?

QUESTION: And is there a chance for a holiday episode this year?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I think the musical sort of took the place of the holiday episode if I am not mistaken

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes. Yes that was the move there, yes absolutely.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: But you know what? Isn’t every episode kind of like Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanza all wrapped into just a beautiful 47 minutes of delight?

MAGGIE LAWSON: The correct answer is yes.

QUESTION: Everyone’s been missing the Psych Outs lately. Will they be returning this season?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I don’t know. I don’t know.

MAGGIE LAWSON: I don’t know what’s happening with the Psych Outs, Tim.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Here’s what happened during the filming of season seven. We were putting like 20 pounds of comedy in a 10 pound bag. And sometimes the comedy spills over. And we were so busy and the schedule was so chock full I don’t know that we did a lot of stuff.


TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I know we sort of had (try ins) and then the schedule would get (unintelligible) and wouldn’t be able to do it. That was (unintelligible) by the way.

QUESTION: Tim, after 100 episodes how do you feel about the type of guy Lassiter was as compared to who he is now?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: That’s an excellent question. In many ways he’s the same guy. It’s just we have now gotten to see because these writers have given us the opportunity to -- and I’ve gotten to play -- the other facets of them.

Scratch, he’s still that same by-the-book lovable (dick) that he was in the pilot. But of course like any human being he’s evolved and he has relationships that change him. And they’ve all changed him for the better.

And I’ve never really thought about this but Shawn maybe has changed him for the better. Certainly Marlo has, certainly O’Hara has.

So I love where he’s gone. I love where we have been able to take him and it’s the greatest role I’ve ever gotten to play. And I don’t know when something like this is going to come around the bend again so I’m trying to just suck every ounce of juice out of it that I can.

QUESTION: Maggie, how do you feel about getting to 100 episodes with all the cast intact and happy?

MAGGIE LAWSON: It’s something you dream about but you don’t actually believe or know that it’s going to happen. And I think yes, the whole experience has just been magical. And I think that we’re just all so grateful.

And I feel like everybody - writers, the producers and us cast - we’ve really grown and had this wonderful experience together.

And I feel like that’s come across in a lot of ways on screen as well. And the fans have just been so good to us and so dedicated and they’ve had so much to do with it as well.

I just think all the way around it’s unbelievable and incredibly special.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: And especially amazing to me how many times I’ve tried to get you fired.

Maggie LawsonMAGGIE LAWSON: Tim, I was going to leave it out. We don’t talk about that on these kind of calls, okay?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I can’t keep it anymore.

MAGGIE LAWSON: So other than that we’re a very lucky bunch.

QUESTION: What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to your character since she signed on? When you came in and you had this general idea of what your characters were going to be, what’s been the most surprising part of their journeys for you as you’ve played these roles?


TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I think for me just the fact that there’s been a journey. Because so often in television you play the same beats, the same thing episode after episode after episode. And there’s such resistance to any kind of change, certainly on a procedural, which technically we are.

So I just feel so blessed that we’ve gotten to show colors, we’ve gotten to play these different things personally.

MAGGIE LAWSON: I agree. That’s exactly how I feel as well. Over season after season after season we’ve been able to peel back layers while still having a case and still doing our jobs as detectives and as the psychic and as we’ve been able to show other sides and grow on the personal side as well.

Our characters have grown so much. I remember reading when we got the script An Evening with Mr. (Yang) right or…


MAGGIE LAWSON: It’s when Lassiter and where Juliet is rescued at the end and I fall into Lassiter’s arms, I fall apart basically and he’s there to catch me. And to think that that was the season I think four or five, Tim, was that four? Yes it was four?


MAGGIE LAWSON: Moments like that, these beautiful moments where you’re caught off-guard and you’re like, “Holy cow, we get to do this.” As actors get to do this but we get to do this with each other because we’ve all been through this experience and the writers have paid such close attention.

And I think that’s one of the reasons we’re still here.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: And it’s this ridiculous, silly comedy that gets the moment of power like that. It’s amazing what we get to do.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes it is. It is.

QUESTION: But what haven’t you done yet that you would like to do since you all have been able to exercise these muscles with extreme comedy and now a musical? Is there something that you guys hoped to be able to do in season eight that you haven’t done yet?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I can’t answer…

MAGGIE LAWSON: I can’t either. Isn’t that crazy that we can say that? I can’t imagine between the musical and our 100th episode and I can’t even imagine what that episode would be. And what’s crazy is that the writers are coming up with it right now and they’ll continue to surprise us and take it to another level.

But we’re so happy I think and feel so fulfilled from what we’ve done that I can’t even imagine what that episode is Tim, can you?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I’ve ridden a horse. I’ve chased a man with a sword.

MAGGIE LAWSON: I’ve had an axe fight with a sorority girl.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Come one. Man, you you tagged a Serbian’s arm to a tree with a cross bow.


Tim, I have to say the other night you managed - you know how some people manage to, like that beautiful, perfect, single Demi tear from Ghost? You managed to perfect the single nostril snot in the (unintelligible).

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: That was my snot Demi.

MAGGIE LAWSON: I don’t know how long you practiced that but it was perfect, Tim.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Oh thank you. Thank you very much. I did. I did. I flew in my (happening) coach from LA. We worked for about 48 hours straight. And I appreciate James giving me the time to get there.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Oh and he lit it perfectly. I mean the sparkle coming off of…


MAGGIE LAWSON: Oh God. All right, sorry guys.

PsychQUESTION: I love the scene in Juliet (peaks) 11 where Juliet and Shawn are on the bridge. And I know that you guys have a history of epic moments and a few moments in (bridges). And I was wondering if we would see any of that in future episodes, we’re going to have more and the cute moments between the two going forward.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: You guys played that so simply and beautifully and easily. It was lovely to watch.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Oh thanks, Tim. It was Andy Berman, you know? I love when he writes the relationship stuff. He’s so natural and sweet.

And I love that scene so much for the reason you just said Tim, that it was subtle and a little bit understated. And that I think is what makes those scenes so special.

But there are definitely some Shawn and Juliet scenes in season seven as they’re getting more into their relationship. But we play a lot of it very, very real. They’re in it now. And it’s fun and also they’re going to be going through some real stuff too.


MAGGIE LAWSON: Are you winking as you say that Tim? I don’t understand.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Yes I don’t know. I don’t know.

QUESTION: The upcoming episode “Serpent Soul” is directed by returning director (Jim Bench). I was wondering is there a difference in the way your characters are directed by female directors as to males?

MAGGIE LAWSON: Interesting.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Not for me. I don’t find anything different…

MAGGIE LAWSON: I don’t either. I feel like we’re just so blessed with the directors we’ve had come to our show and especially when people we love like Jen Lynch come back again and again and again.

And it’s just all a part of the team. It’s just all a part of the group and a part of the family. So it doesn’t feel different actually at all. It’s just as wonderful - it’s like we get to play with our friends.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I mean there’s certainly no gender difference. There are some directors who direct certainly differently. There’s some more technical. There’s some that are more emotional.

But I’ve noticed no gender issue.

MAGGIE LAWSON: No, absolutely not.

QUESTION: Fans are able to choose one of the three endings for the 100 clues episodes. Do you guys have a favorite and of course why if so?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I didn’t. They’re all fantastic.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes and they’re equally fantastic and they were equally fun to shoot.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Yes. I can’t wait to see which ones the fans choose.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes, that’s the exciting part. It’s exciting for us too because we don’t know either and it’s up to the fans. That’s crazy.

QUESTION: And since the movie Clue is based on a board game, did you guys have a favorite board game when you were growing up?

MODERATOR: I just want to clarify that episode is inspired by the movie.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: You know, I did not really play the board game.

MAGGIE LAWSON: You were not a Clue player, Tim?

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I was not a Clue player. I’d seen the movie but I was not a Clue player.

MAGGIE LAWSON: I played a little Clue. I remember I loved the game of Life. Oh and of course Monopoly we played a lot.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Well I should interject though, I have killed someone with a candle stick in a library once.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Tim, I don’t know if you want to reveal that on this call.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Oh look, I wasn’t convicted so, you know…


MAGGIE LAWSON: Are people still trying to figure it out, Tim? ‘Cause I think you just gave away the answer.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Well, they can’t try me again. That’s the beauty of our system.

SCIFI VISION: After working on the show all these years, is there anything specific that you’ve both learned about yourself?

MAGGIE LAWSON: I feel like we’ve all kind of grown up together in a (way).

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: We have. You were a child.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Yes, I was a baby. Hey I’m still a child.

PsychTIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I know. Well no, emotionally yes.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Thanks, yes.

I can’t even begin to say one thing. I feel like I have learned so much. I have learned so much as an actress as well just working with all these incredible people. And in life, too. It gets said a lot but we have become a family to each other. And I feel like I learn every day on many levels from everyone, truly.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: Yes, that’s a pretty profound question. You know, my second daughter was born just as the show was starting. And she’s 8 now so the show is almost as old as she is and it’s kind of… it’s a challenge being a parent and being awake so much.

So I guess I’ve learned a lot about how to do that, how to count the moments in life with your family while you get them (unintelligible) profound.

MAGGIE LAWSON: Tim, I need a Kleenex.

TIMOTHY OMUNDSON: I don’t know where I pulled that out of. Oh good.

MAGGIE LAWSON: It made me emotional.


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