Interview with Perdita Weeks of “Magnum, P.I.” on NBC by Suzanne 4/20/23
I’m very grateful to Ms. Weeks and NBC for answering these questions. I was scheduled to speak with her via Zoom April 20, but I had to rush to urgent care due to some problems with my spine (I’m fine … it’s an ongoing problem. I was in a lot of pain, though). I hated to cancel it because I had done so much work on these questions and watching the show to catch up. It was truly awesome that they let me send in the questions so that she could answer them via email. She got them back to us fairly quickly, too. Believe me, this is rare! I’m only sorry that this is being put up after the mid-season finale, but there just wasn’t time to re-schedule the interview. I hope you enjoy them!
1. Has the show moving from CBS to NBC impacted you at all?
It was definitely a reminder of how lucky we are to keep doing what we’ve been doing for a few years now. Sort of feels like a brand new show with characters that we know really well, which is a great place to be.
2. How long did you know that Juliet and Thomas might be getting together romantically?
I sort of guessed that’s where we might be heading in Season 4 when Higgins was dreaming about Magnum. I thought they couldn’t dangle that in front of the audience and not let it play out.
3. What kind of feedback have you gotten from fans about their romance? Has it been mostly positive?
There are definitely those who would have preferred they remain friends, which I understand, because, let’s face it, sex can ruin a friendship– but overall, I think people are pleased they are finally being true to their feelings. And I reckon any relationship that starts with two such good friends must have a hope.
4. Do you have a funny story from filming this season that you can share?
Can never think of any, but trust me, there’s been plenty of laughter.
5. So, the show shoots certain months out of the year. Do you live in Hawaii year round, or just for shooting?
As soon as we wrap, I go back to the UK, which is home.
6. The mid-season finale, episode #10, is quite exciting. Anything you can tell us about filming it?
Storywise, it was a direct continuation from Ep 9. So, same clothes, etc. When you have been wearing the same costume for a week, you do quite fancy a change. Also, I did a lot of yawning in Ep 10 as the characters had had very little sleep, and I thought it made sense, but I think it must have looked odd as it was all cut out. Maybe there’s a gag reel somewhere out there, solely with Higgy yawning.
7. I asked some fans on social media for questions, so here are a few of the best (you are very popular on there, so there were MANY)…
These are from Facebook, the group MAGNUM P.I. – The NBC Reboot TV Series
8. Alana wants to know if you enjoyed directing the upcoming 18th episode and what it was like?
I loved directing. Absolutely exhausting, as you wear all the hats at all times and every decision is yours as director. Which is great, but tiring. It was great fun to work with the crew in an entirely different way. They are the best and were so unbelievably supportive. I can’t imagine a better situation to have one’s directorial debut. I count myself very lucky.
9. Will you continue to try your hand at directing?
I would bite the hand off [the person] that offered me another directing gig. Can’t wait.*
10. Pauline asks, What’s it like being one of two females in a predominately male cast?
It doesn’t really feel like anything to be honest. Once you have spent that much time with people, they are just family.
11. Y-Yew on Twitter wants to know the latest Hawai’ian slang you’ve learned.
Opala! (Trash. Or, rubbish, as we say in England). And I love saying ‘tasty pupus’
12. Dane on Twitter said that your character has inspired many people, including his daughter, and he wants to know if that is something you thought might happen and what part of playing Juliet surprised you?
Honestly never thought about it. Just a very cool perk of the job. Love those future women wanting to learn some fighting moves. Juliet is flawed, too, of course, but she has some pretty cool skills, to be sure.
13. Gesi wants to know your favorite spot on the island.
Love the windward side beaches, sandbar and any ridge way up where you can hear the birds and see the ocean.
14. Back to Facebook: Diane wonders if you watched the original “Magnum PI” and what you thought of it.
I have never seen an episode to be honest. But I was very aware of it – the image of the red car, and the hunky guy in a Hawaiian shirt. But as far as I could tell, there weren’t too many female leads in it, so in that respect I guess we are ahead
15. This show has a lot of action. Hugh wants to know if you do your own stunts.
We have an amazing stunt team and I gave probably had 8 stunt women play me over the 5 seasons. They teach me the fights, and we do the whole thing, except for anything like going through glass, or being slammed from a height. It’s better if we do the whole fight as then they can show the faces. I don’t have any proper training, just what we learn on the job, and I love doing the stunts.
16. Dawn asks whether you or the other actors ever contribute any ideas to the show?
Last year Zach created an episode storyline with one of the writers, which was cool. Our showrunner, Eric is great and encourages us to contribute ideas. He will ask me at the beginning of a season if there is anything I want to do. I told him I can ride horses, play tennis and fence – all of which he wrote in to the episodes. I also fancied doing a southern accent last year, and they wrote a storyline around me going undercover as a southern belle which was rather jolly.
17. Donna wants to know if you like Zeus or Apollo better? 🙂
They are all gorgeous. There are four dogs that make up Z and A, one of which is a girl dog.
*Note, this is a British saying, meaning “to be in such a hurry to take what they’re offering that you snatch it out of his hand, like a dog who is so eager to get the biscuit that he bites your hand off with it!”
“Magnum P.I.” is a modern take on the classic series centering on Thomas Magnum, a decorated former Navy SEAL who, upon returning home from Afghanistan, repurposes his military skills to become a private investigator. A charming rogue, an American hero and a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan, Magnum lives in a guest cottage on Robin’s Nest, the luxurious estate where he works as a security consultant to supplement his P.I. business. With keys to a vintage Ferrari in one hand, aviator sunglasses in the other, and an Old Düsseldorf longneck chilling in the fridge, Thomas Magnum is back on the case!
The cast includes Jay Hernandez, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill, Amy Hill, and Tim Kang.
Eric Guggenheim, John Davis, Justin Lin, John Fox, Barbie Kligman, David Wolkove and Gene Hong executive produce.
CBS Studios produces in association with Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.
Juliet Higgins, “Magnum P.I.”
Perdita Weeks portrays Juliet Higgins on the NBC drama series “Magnum, P.I.”
Weeks is a British actress with numerous UK credits. Her Stateside resume includes “Penny Dreadful” as well as the film “Ready Player One.”
Weeks was educated at Roedean School in East Sussex and studied art history at the Courtauld Institute in London. She is the younger sister of Honeysuckle Weeks and the older sister of Rollo Weeks, both actors.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda