Before he became known to TV audiences, Dulé Hill, an extraordinary tap dancer, was the understudy for Savion Glover in The Tap Dance Kid on Broadway. Now, however, he may be remembered for his role as Charlie Young, the youthful, earnest assistant to the president (Martin Sheen) in the long-running drama The West Wing and as the saner part of the crazy duo in the USA Network comedy Psych that ran for eight seasons. Next week we'll see Hill again in Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (July 15, Peacock). He's glad to be bringing Burton “Gus” Guster back to the fans.
Growing up with Gus
Gus was always lagging behind. Gus [and friend Shawn Spencer, played by James Roday] have definitely evolved and grown since the beginning, which is what I think keeps the characters interesting. They are still the same people but they're living differently because they've evolved.
On and off-screen synergy with Roday
We built up a friendship — even more so, a brotherhood. We're close. He was one of my groomsmen in my wedding to Jazmyn [Hill married actress Jazmyn Simon in April 2018]. Sometimes you work with someone helpful to your work; there's not a jockeying for position, not a jockeying for who can be more funny. I don't try to cut him off at the knees and vice versa.
Kids help us see the light
Between the social justice [protests] and the coronavirus, we're being bombarded on all sides but there is light. We have two beautiful children, a 15-year-old daughter [Kennedy] going through the recruiting process for college and our 1-year-old son [Levi], who is just bringing joy and light into each moment. It gives me a little hope seeing the journey that they are on.
Psych is a nerdy lighthearted comedy but we have not been color blind on the show. We have been color aware and that's a beautiful thing to lean into and understand. I hope that in some ways over the course of the series, it highlighted some of the little differences in people but that we still love each other.
Martin Sheen's fatherly advice
One thing that Martin always told me was “Anything worthwhile has to cost you something.” I've shared that with Kennedy as she's been going in pursuit of — she's a talented, brilliant, wonderful athlete [volleyball] but the work, the cost of it! Before quarantine, her schedule was so busy, getting up at 6:30 in the morning, go to school, be in classes all day, taking the bus out to where her team practices because she wants to play with that particular team, then not getting home until late and having to be up almost to midnight or after midnight to do homework and then getting up and having to do it all over again. It was a lot. “You have to sacrifice the sneeze if you want to receive the blossom,” that's something that Martin used to always say and it stayed with me.