New Ghost Whisperer Spoilers: David Conrad on Jim, Melinda, the Watchers and all the unresolved ghosts in Grandview!

Conrad says death brings his ‘Whisperer’ character to life

By Amy Amatangelo, Boston Herald, Friday, November 28, 2008 –

David Conrad’s character Jim,...

David Conrad wants fans of CBS’ “Ghost Whisperer” (tonight at 8 on WBZ, Ch. 4) to know there’s no reason to panic.

Earlier this month, Conrad’s character Jim was murdered. But, in keeping with the series’ paranormal bent, Jim entered Sam’s (Kenneth Mitchell) deceased body. Now his beloved wife Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) must help Sam (who is really Jim) through his amnesia.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Conrad said. “I am there most of the time.”

Executive producer P.K. Simonds promised that viewers will see Conrad, and not actor Kenneth Mitchell, who plays Sam, 99 percent of the time.

Conrad said the controversial story line finally gave him a chance to do something different.

“I think actually it’s an exciting development instead of going through the same kind of trope that we usually do, which is nice but somewhat predictable. Look, after three years, Love and I were like, ‘Oh, no, another kitchen scene.’ We kiss each other and its, ‘OK, honey, I’ll give you a back rub,’ end of show,” he said. “It’s kind of cool for us to walk out and do a scene that we’ve never done before, and I think that will reflect in the show.”

The Pittsburgh native said the story that will unfold over the rest of the season is akin to a prequel.

“I get to play the part we never got to play at all, which was, I meet this stranger who I am really attracted to. They get to date, flirt, fall back in love with each other, and that’s thrilling.”

Conrad has been preparing himself for his character’s demise since filming the pilot.

“I thought, you know what, at some point they are going to hand me a pink slip,” he said. “But I didn’t know it would be in such a creative and kind of cool way. I thought somehow I was going to become sort of ghostly, and I kind of looked forward to it, and I have to say I think Jim kind of looked forward to it. From the pilot, he was always fascinated by what’s on the other side.”

Simonds said the plot will finally allow the show to tap into the full complement of Conrad’s talent.

“David is an amazing actor, and one of the reasons that we were excited about doing this in the first place is that we knew we had an actor that could do a lot more than frankly we were asking him to do.”

Both Simonds and Conrad are aware that many fans haven’t yet made peace with the story line.

“You feel bad because you don’t want the audience to feel bad,” Simonds said. “You don’t set out to do that, ever. But at the same time, we knew where we were going with it, and we were sure for the fans who stuck around, it would be a worthwhile journey for them.”

We Chat with ‘Ghost Whisperer’s’ David Conrad!

Today 9:00 AM PST, by Gabrielle DiPietro and Eric Walsingham

ghost whisperer

David Conrad is dead to me. To all of you. And to all past, present and future Ghost Whisperer fans. But in the mystical world of miracles depicted in GW, that doesn’t mean that he’s really dead, that his character has been killed off, or even that he’s taking a hiatus to rehabilitate a sex-addiction on a VH1 reality show. No. It does mean, however, that in a recent Ghost Whisperer plot twist, the nature of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character, Melinda and David Conrad’s character, Jim, will continue to change in a surprising way. And since we’re pretty big ghost fans and quite partial to inside voices and low-talking, we decided to catch up with Whisperer star Conrad and executive producer P.K. Simonds to get some real dirt on the turn J. Love’s hit show will take! Check out our full interview after the jump.

ghost whisperer

What was your reaction when they brought the “Hey we’re going to kill you on the show but don’t worry – you’re going to be in another body” storyline to you?

Conrad: My first reaction was kind of like something out of Prizzi’s Honor or Goodfellas, where they walk up to you and they’re like, “Yeah, you’re gonna’ end up here for a while.” I was pretty sure that they were very nicely saying “you’re done, you’re off the show.” But P.K. in a very polite, very reassuring way said, “I have this great plan…” At first I was like, “Oh, c’mon…” But then I was just like, “Great.” It was a face-to-face meeting, a guy knocked on my door and handed me an envelope. [Laughs.]

Do you miss the supportive character you were playing before now?

Conrad: Well that’s really an exciting thing for me. What I initially liked about the script was that John Grey wrote a character from the get-go that really loves his wife, he likes what she does – he thinks it’s a little freaky – but it’s still something that he likes about her. The core thing that she is and the best thing she does – he loves, which is probably a good thing. But after a few years for me, I guess the disbelieving thing – and I don’t really know how that’s going to go – but I guess what’s exciting for me is getting to play the part I never got to play at all, which is, I meet this stranger and I’m really attracted to her for some reason, I really like her, and so I really get to flirt and we get to start all over again.

Is the other actor that’s currently playing your character on set all the time? Do you have kind of a strange relationship with this person that you’re sharing a role with?

Conrad: He’s a sweet guy and he is around pretty often. Um yeah, it is kind of strange. But he’s amazing at imitating me – I try to do it sometimes – but he’s amazing at kind of mimicking some of my movements and what not – and he’s just fought on, I mean his timing is great.

Simonds: If I can just jump in and say… Kenneth Mitchell – the actor – is a great guy and he’s actually more of a model, he’s just kind of there in weight. He’s there to remind us what the rest of the world sees. But because we as the audience quickly understand that it really is Jim in that body and that’s because that’s essentially what Melinda sees when she looks at him – not literally but that’s who she knows is in there – we see David probably 99 percent of the time.

Although we’re getting 99 percent of David right now, how long will we be seeing David from Melinda’s side?

Simonds: We’ll always be seeing David from Melinda’s side. I know I’ve mentioned before that Heaven Can Wait is a big influence – it’s a great movie, I highly recommend renting it. It’s one of my favorite movies ever. The storytelling that we’re doing is kind of picking up the storytelling at the end of that movie. Which is when Joe Pendleton, Warren Beatty’s character, makes the last leap into another body so while we see him, we know it’s still his soul. He doesn’t even remember his past life. But that’s all by way of saying in that movie we never ever saw any of the other characters whose body he was occupying. So what you’re sort of saying to the audience is that it’s still Jim’s soul – it still in every sense is Jim and that’s who we want to see. We’re interested in seeing the soul of Jim and obviously the real reason we’re interested in that is because we have David and he’s an amazing actor. And one of the things that excited us about doing this story in the first place is that we knew we had an actor who could do a lot more than frankly we were asking him to do – and he’s been doing an amazing, amazing job of filling out this new role – which we’re really excited for the audience to see.

ghost whisperer

What would you say to fans that are sort of freaked by this storyline?

Conrad: I mean… what they’ll do is they’ll say that and then they’ll watch it and realize that I am there most of the time. As P.K. said, I am still there 90 percent of the time.

Simonds: 90 percent in the way that we want to remind you that people in the show see him differently when they look at him. But aside from reminding them that – since it really is Jim’s soul, we want to remind the audience of that and focus on that. He’s the same character. He just doesn’t look the same to other people. But a majority of the time you’re not seeing him through other people’s eyes.

Conrad: I think the only thing that’s gone is the memory. I think actually it’s an exciting development because instead of going through the same kind of trope that we usually do, it’s like a prequel. You’ll get to see them date, flirt, and fall back in love again. And that’s thrilling. Maybe that’s what’s at the heart of what makes them so exciting – that chemistry between them.

So far, Jim has memory loss since being in his new body. Is there a plan to resolve this issue or will it last forever?

Simonds: Yes. We’ve plotted it out through the end of the season, so we know where we’re going to go. We don’t want it to last forever. And really what we’re interested in is a journey. You’ve got these two characters, who, as David pointed out… it was always our intention to do kind of an emotional prequel because now we get to see what may have played out at the beginning of their relationship. Part of the reason she was drawn to Jim is he was very believing, very ready and very open to believing her gift and accepting it and embracing it. Without getting too intellectual, one of things we have to explore in this season’s story is what makes a person. It’s partly their soul and partly their experiences. Here’s a guy who still has Jim’s soul but it’s kind of a purer version of that soul in many ways, yet he has different experiences, because he’s been brought into the world, almost reincarnated, under such bizarre circumstances. It changes the way he reacts when he learns things about her that we all know as fans. Even though he at this point doesn’t have access to his life’s memories, those things are going to come back and that’s what makes the storytelling even more interesting.

Conrad: I mean it’s like Star Wars where we’re going back to the thing before. I mean, after three years, Love and I were like, “Oh, no. We’ve got a kitchen scene. Yeah, that’s great. Tell me the story. Okay, honey, I’ll give you a backrub. End of show.” It’s kind of cool. I’m really excited to be able to do a scene that we’ve never done before, and weren’t able to do before. It’s cool to find that kind of spark in one another.

Did it ever occur to you that, in a show about ghosts and spirits, that you could become one of them?

Conrad: Actually, you know what, I think it occurred to me while I was filming the pilot. I was like “I wonder when they’re going to hand me the pink slip…” [Laughs.] I didn’t know it would be in such a creative and cool way. I thought they’d be like “Hey, we hired David Duchovny and he’s going to come on the show and you’re going.” I knew it all along in some way. I thought at some point it would be very logical for my character to be tied into that aspect of the storytelling. I kind of looked forward to it. I’d have to say that Jim probably looked forward to it because, since the pilot, he’s always asked the question, “What’s on the other side?”

Many Ghost Whisperer fans are really interested in the romance between Jim and Melinda, which has become a huge part of the storytelling. For FEARnet fans, the supernatural aspect is probably a bit more interesting. With the new storyline, where do you see this fitting in?

Simonds: Well obviously we have new ghosts every week. We’ve been focused a little bit less on new ghost powers and manifestations and so forth – partly because with the amount of the premise portion that the audience is being asked to embrace with the storyline with Jim, he’s large enough that we kind of don’t want to strain the limits. But once we head towards the resolution of that story, we want to sort of get back into what you’re talking about and that sort of stuff that’s related to what we’ve been doing or were doing before in terms of possession. Also these ghosts that we’ve introduced at the beginning of the seasons, the Watchers, we’re going to see more of them and we’re going to learn more about who they are and how they work in relationship to the world of the beyond. It’s kind of complicated and more two-edged. Then there’s some other stuff that I can’t really talk about for the end of this season and the beginning of next.

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4 Comments

  1. connie funnell

     /  December 10, 2008

    As a long time watcher from day1, I’m disappointed with the twist taken on this great show. There was no reason to do this at all, it has added nothing to the show anymore. It has taken away. I have learned with these programs someone always slips up and destroys the perfect recipe and this has happened here.

    For me to keep watching, I want Jim back as Jim and not other guy, they need to figure out a way to get Jim back as himself once and for all. Enough is enough of fixing what is not broken.

  2. Hi im from Scotland and i love Ghost Whisperer their should be more new proggramms because its amazing i hope to hear from this comment again

    Jade xxxx

  3. its its 00:10 in scotland

  4. chris

     /  August 4, 2011

    i like ghost whisperer i wish that they would bring some new ones on i would hate to see it end for every i like the actors ty chris from pa

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