The cast of ‘Psych 2: Lassie Come Home’ on making their ‘family whole again’

July 6, 2020, 1:00 PM UTC

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“It’s like being wrapped up in a nice warm green Psych Snuggie,” says Dulé Hill.

“It’s like coming home,” says Maggie Lawson.

That’s how the cast of Psych feels about resuming their roles for their new movie, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, which debuts on NBCUniversal’s Peacock when it launches nationwide July 15. As the title suggests, the movie centers on Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson), also known as “Lassie.”

Outside of a small cameo, Lassiter was largely absent from the first Psych film (2017) because Omundson had recently suffered from a massive stroke. But the cast and crew of Psych couldn’t imagine making a second movie without him.

“There was no way we were doing another Psych movie without Tim,” says James Roday, who plays Shawn Spencer and cowrote the film. “So it was really just a matter of checking in with him, getting a sense of where he was, what he was going to be comfortable or not comfortable in building a story around what we all felt like Tim could handle.”

“It was very emotional. It was having our family whole again,” Lawson (Juliet O’Hara) tells Fortune. “While we had a great time on the first movie, not having our whole family together and not having Tim there, we really felt that.”

“It was absolutely touching to see…his strength, his fortitude, his courage, and his determination to keep pressing forward in the midst of this atrocious obstacle that was thrown his way,” adds Hill (Burton “Gus” Guster). “He really is one of my heroes.”

“Psych 2: Lassie Come Home,” on Peacock, features James Roday (left) as Shawn Spencer and Dulé Hill as Gus Guster.
James Dittinger—Peacock

Psych, the series, debuted on USA in 2006. The detective dramedy ran for eight seasons before the first film, Psych: The Movie, was made. As time went on, the cast’s characters became second nature to them, and more and more of their own personalities began to trickle onto the show. Hill describes it as something of a “give and take” and a “tennis match between the actors and the writers.”

“We all approached it from the beginning as creating a character and playing a character, and then you wake up, and you’ve been doing it for the better part of a decade, and it’s almost impossible not to have little quirks and inside jokes and pieces of you start to blur with the character you’ve been playing,” Roday says. “And then you realize that every joke you make with your costars is now in the show.”

Psych’s fans are a dedicated bunch, and the actors think they’ll be satisfied with what Lassie Come Home has to offer.

“I’m relatively confident that they’re going to be overwhelmingly ecstatic with watching the movie. I think there’s a lot of funny moments in there,” says Hill. “Seeing Tim back on the screen—that alone is the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top.”

The possibility of another movie also remains: “Our fans have kept us around this long, and if the appetite is still there, and they want us to keep coming back, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’ll always figure out how to do it on our end,” says Roday.

As far as the series’ enduring appeal for its fan base is concerned, he thinks it has something to do with “an element to Psych that is a celebration of all things good.”

From left: Lawson, Omundson, Roday, and Hill in the “Bollywood Homicide” episode of “Psych” from 2009.
Alan Zenuk—USA Network

“When society around us folds in on itself as it is currently, and we always face our own individual struggles on our own journeys, having something that you can consistently rely upon—it doesn’t have to be a TV show—whatever it is that reminds you that there is good, becomes invaluable,” says Roday.

“We realized, ‘Oh, we have families watching this show together. We have families who are struggling to connect six days a week, but for one evening they can all sit together in their living room and feel that connection, and bond over watching a television show,’” he adds.

“And I think once we realized that that was part of our journey—our collective journey on this show—it came with a certain responsibility to not mess that up and to lean into that,” he says. “And that’s, I think, another reason why we’ll always come back and do more, as long as the appetite is there, because we should be so lucky to be a part of this.”

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