Interview with Bill Engvall

Bill Engvall Q & A: Hawthorne and Comedy
By: Judith Wallace

Funny man Bill Engvall gets serious and plays a cop on the hit show Hawthorne alongside Jada Pinkett Smith and Marc Anthony. Premier Guide Media recently caught up with Bill where he told us of his experience playing this role and working with Jada Pinkett Smith who he say he is a big fan of hers. He also brought us up to date with other projects that he is currently working on.


“A Fair to Remember”- Premieres, Tuesday, July 5, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

Internal affairs investigator Jimmy Dupree (guest star Bill Engvall) continues to interview the nursing staff about Detective Nick Renata and the events surrounding the attack. On the day of a health fair at the hospital, Kelly suspects a possible MERSA outbreak and butts heads with Bobbie over how to proceed. And Morrissey begins to crack over recent events. Derek Luke guest-stars.


Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal

Written by Shelley Meals & Darin Goldberg

“Let Freedom Sing” – Premieres, July 12, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)

Christina and Tom spend the day with Miles’ kids who are in town visiting. Bobbie is photographed for an article about James River. Kelly and Dr. Marshall learn more about each other. And investigator Jimmy Dupree (guest star Bill Engvall) returns to question Detective Renata. Derek Luke guest-stars.

Directed by Adam Kane

Written by Sibyl Gardner

Hawthorne is now in its third season, what the show is about?
Bill Engvall: Jada Pinkett Smith is the star of the show who plays this girl Christina. So last season she got beat up in the parking garage and lost her baby. So now I am challenged with this character Jimmy Dupre who is an internal affairs cop was brought on to help Mark Anthony’s character Nick Renata investigate this beating and through the three episodes that I am doing, it takes a lot of twists and turns and I think in the end people are going to be a little shocked about how I came out. This guy that I play is like a little southern boy cop who is your buddy, take you out for beer, you are not in trouble I just need to find out some information and then the next thing you know I am putting you in jail.

As a comedian, how was it playing a cop which is a more serious role?

Bill Engvall: It was really fun. I think that being a comedian made it much easier for me to transition into this role, because I think to do drama you have to be able to do comedy as well and vice versa. This is what I brought to this character because he has a real sense of humor but there is a real dark side to this guy. I think that what make him more interesting because he has layers to him.

How was your experience working with Jada Pinkett Smith, Marc Anthony and the rest of the cast?
Bill Engvall: Think about how great that would be and then make that ten times. It was just so wonderful. They welcomed me from the minute I walked on that set. There was no “oh you are a comedian so I don’t know if you can act.” They really helped me out and it made it much easier for me to make that adjustment from being the funny guy to being the dark side cop.

Did you ever watch the show before accepting the role?
Bill Engvall: Oh yes, I am a Jada Pinkett Smith fan. I like shows that you don’t see coming. I think the problem with television today is that things are too predictable. They don’t give the viewer to wonder a little bit, and that is what I like about the writing of this show. Even though it is set in a hospital it’s not really a hospital show. It is really well written and you can have so much fun with the show.

How did you land the guest starring role on the show?
Bill Engvall: I did an episode of Leverage last year where I played a bad guy, and I guess they saw that I could do drama. So they called and said they got this role that they want me to do. And I said okay I am in. It started out as a one shoe shot and then it turned into three shows which was great. I got to flush this guy a little bit more.

Can we expect to see you taking on more serious roles?
Bill Engvall: I hope so from your mouth to God’s ears I would love to do my own drama series or get casted in a great show like this.

So bring us up to date with what is going on with your comedy?
Bill Engvall: I am still doing my stand up and I am still touring currently. I am also hosting a game show on Lingo and I just finished filming a Hallmark movie up in Vancouver. Everything is great in my world I am staying busy which is good.

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