Shawn and Gus: one of TV’s most hilarious duos still going strong after five seasons. Each are polar opposites, making you wonder: how can they be friends, much less partners fighting crime? “I think without one or the other, they both would go too far to their respective corners,” says ‘Psych’ star Dulé Hill, who plays Burton “Gus” Guster on the USA comedy. “Gus would live a very boring, lame life [without Shawn].” But will the time ever come when the two will split?
Dulé took a break from filming to chat about Wednesday’s episode, how long he’ll stay on the show, and whether or not Gus has met the mysterious Mr. Yin before.
What’s happening with Gus this season?
Same old hijinks, you know, and mysteries, and basically what always goes on we’ll be repeating the same thing, just bigger and better. He gets to put on some tap shoes this year. Yeah, so that’s an exciting thing. I also – I mean, I do beat somebody [laughs] in one of the episodes coming up.
We saw Gus’s character sing with his Acapella group – do you sing in real life? Do some karaoke in your free time?
Well, I started in musical theater, so from the age of 10, I was doing acting, singing, and dancing. The older I got, the less I kept singing. So I believe I can sing now, but I’m not a singah, you know what I mean? [laughs] I can’t saang. You know what I’m saying? I can sing. But, you know, I’m always singing songs, whether I’m on set or I’m in the shower or, you know, I’ll do karaoke in a heartbeat as long as I know the song.
Earlier in the series, we see Gus more reluctantly dragged along on Shawn’s cases. How do you think their relationship has progressed over the series?
I think any relationship starts figuring out how and where they fit in, and how they can move the ship forward. They both love Psych, they both enjoy doing what they do, and in terms as how its progressed, sometimes Gus might be a little more assertive in telling Shawn no. There will be more Gus realizing he’s the one who has to keep Shawn moving in the right direction. You know, not letting him get too far on the outside. He’s like Shawn’s handler. So I guess Gus is putting more energy into that area. He keeps things focused, he keeps things moving.
Will he ever be ‘Lead’ Inspector, as Shawn puts it, or will Shawn still be calling the shots?
I don’t really think that Shawn is calling the shots. I think it’s a back and forth that happens. Shawn might think that he’s always calling the shots but Gus knows underneath that he’s kind of – sometimes letting things happen in certain ways to get certain places. Will he ever be officially ‘Lead’ Investigator? Ehhh – probably. Probably at one point he’ll be like, ‘No, let me take lead on this. I know what to do.’
In the tap dancing episode coming up, there’s actually a break for a second there because Shawn and Gus have a little rift so we end up going our separate ways. So to the answer to that question, he will be. But I’ll be working with Lassiter, so I’m not really a ‘lead’ investigator there either but I do kind of go off on my own for a little bit.
Catch a Sneak Peek at Gus’s Tap Dancing Skills!:
What’s your relationship with James like off set? Do you guys hang out when the cameras aren’t rolling?
Oh, I can’t stand him. Can’t stand him. No, he’s cool, we have a good time. Especially up here because I see [James] Roday, Maggie [Lawson], and Tim [Omundson] more than I see my family. We definitely have become like a little nucleus up here, where we hang very tight. We have a little spot that we go to every weekend, and we have some drinks, and some food. And especially with Roday, I definitely see him more than I see my wife [laughs].
What’s your favorite episode?
I really enjoyed ‘High Top Fade Out.’ I had a lot of fun doing that one because you saw a little bit more into Gus’s history and some of his personal issues that he’s dealt with. I also enjoyed ‘American Duos’ because I got a chance to dress up as Michael Jackson. Then…let me see. There are so many of them, each episode is always so much fun. I’ve enjoyed doing all the Ying-Yang, like ‘Mr. Yin Presents’ trilogy with Roday and Andy Berman. I really enjoyed those because Ally Sheedy is great: she’s spooky and creepy and she’s fun to play off of, and Jimmi Simpson was great – he died in the last one, and he was a lot to play off also.
In a shocking twist in last season’s finale, we see a photo of Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy) with a young Shawn. Without revealing too much, did Mr. Yang (or Mr. Yin for that matter) meet Gus too, seeing as they’re basically attached to the hip?
That is a question for Andy Berman and James Roday because being as the script has not been written yet [laughs], I don’t know. But I would hope – my answer is I hope not because Yin is creepy. Shawn was probably somewhere he should not have been and Gus was like, “I’m not going!” [Laughs].
Gus is more cautious, while Shawn is more of a risk taker. Who do you relate more to more in real life?
I think I’m a mixture of both. I do like to take risks, and I do like to just slide by the seat of my pants sometimes but other times, I’m like, ‘Look, I’m not doing that. That’s just crazy, and stupid, and forget that. You can do whatever you want to do, but this dude is staying right here.’ [Laughs]
How many seasons do you think ‘Psych’ will ultimately wind up with?
How many seasons? Wow. That’s a really good question. And that’s a question for fans and USA to answer, you know, because as long as the fans are tuning in, then USA will keep picking us up.
How long would you stay with it?
I would say after season 5, I would say in the next two seasons, you might see Gus go bye-bye. Two or three seasons at the most, I’d be surprised if it got to three but who knows.