We didn’t recognize you in the ‘Lone Star’ preview clips – you’re a brunette now!
Well it’s kind of awesome because it’s such a different character. There are so many “Friday Night Lights” fans that I think maybe the hair will take them out of it a little bit. They won’t be like – ‘That’s Tyra!’
We’re used to seeing you as the wild child high school girl and now you’re playing Cat, a classy oil heiress. It’s a big leap! What drew you to the character?
It was absolutely the fact that she’s completely different from any other character I’ve ever played. I do tend to play the girl from the wrong side of the tracks but they all tend to be strong women and she is as well. Even though [Cat] comes from this really rich background, she still has her own issues. She still has Daddy issues. She wants to get out of the socialite world.
The Daddy issues are with Jon Voight, who plays your father. That’s kind of cool.
It’s awesome! He is one of the most lovely people I have ever met. He’s such a giving actor and he’s so sincere and he’s really come in and been like, ‘I’m Papa.’ And at the same time, even though he’s working with such a young cast, he’s been completely involved and like one of us. He’s goofy and funny.
People are going to hear oil and money and scandal and call it a modern-day “Dallas.” How right or wrong is that?
I call it a ‘Dallas’-meets-‘Friday Night Lights.’ I think it has that heart and that realism and at the same time it does have that glossy, soapy. So I think it’s going to bring in a very dynamic audience. It’s a very interesting concept for a show and I don’t think it’s been done before.
How is filming the show in Dallas?
At this point now, I’m an honorary Texan, which I’m totally fine with, by the way. I love Texas. Dallas is nice. It’s a different environment, it’s a different world. Thankfully I have a lot of friends there, because half the cast of “Friday Night Lights” is from Dallas. I love Austin more than I love any place on Earth. Everybody’s nice. Nobody gives a crap about what you do for a living. It’s just a real homegrown fun environment. And between the Tex-Mex and the margaritas… Oh my god!
You’re filming the series finale of “Friday Night Lights” in Austin in the coming days. How are you feeling about that? (raises her champagne glass, we cheers.)
It’s weird because I already kind of did my grief in, you know, leaving the show, but it’s weird to come back and get to do it with everybody. I think it’s a very therapeutic thing and it’s really sad. It was such a big chapter of my life, but it’s kind of great to be ending that chapter whole-heartedly and with everyone and then go full-on into a new chapter. There’s something about it that’s really beautiful actually.
Are there some rip-roaring “Friday Night Lights” goodbye parties happening?
We will have a huge, huge party. We always are known for our wrap parties. I don’t remember half of them – no , I’m kidding. (laughs) I remember them all. I’ve been sober at every single one of them.
What’s up with Tyra? We last saw her going off to college at University of Texas, and we actually sobbed when she got in off the wait list.
You know, one of the reasons I kind of wanted to leave the show in a way was because I didn’t want her to come back from college. I cared so much about that character. She had to be at college. That was all she’s ever wanted and if anybody can get out of that town, it needs to be her and I just want to see her go all the way. That’s what I’ve always wanted to see for her.
Since ‘Friday Night Lights,’ you’ve played a porn star in ‘Elektra Luxx’ —
And a call girl at the same time, let’s not forget that, okay!?
You’re also kicking butt in the ‘Red Dawn’ remake. Did you channel Jennifer Grey, who originated your role?
That was a really great, rough shoot. We had to go through military camp. Let me show you something – (whips out cell phone) – this is my screensaver (a picture of Palicki wearing a mask and toting a huge gun.) This is me at military camp. We had to wear masks – that was an AK-47. We were going up against green berets and military that were training us and coming after us. We had to go against them as the Wolverines, all together. I have scars on my arms, just from like, bleeding. It was terrible. I can’t imagine what a bullet would feel like.
There’s been some doubts about the release – is the movie definitely coming out?
It’s going to come out in March. We just screened it. It’s amazing.
We read that your dream role is Supergirl.
On Broadway! (laughs)
Is someone going to make ‘Supergirl’?
I am trying to get that thing made, are you kidding me? I love ‘Supergirl.’ I literally have a Supergirl tattoo on my hip, but I can’t show you. That would be weird. I got it like 5 years ago.
So if it ever comes down to it in the audition, you’ll have to flash it.
I would. I’d be like, ‘Look, this is how much I love it.’