Josh Henderson, Desperate Housewives
ABC's Desperate Housewives doesn’t return for another month yet (Sept. 24), but already there is buzz surrounding the new bad boy who will give Season 3 some extra sizzle. Josh Henderson, best known for his tour of duty on FX's Over There, is joining the sudser as Austin, Edie's naughty nephew. TVGuide.com grabbed a few minutes with the Wisteria Lane newcomer — and the rockin' ex-beau of Ashlee Simpson, at that — to preview the hijinks ahead.

TVGuide.com: You're playing Nicollette Sheridan's "bad-boy nephew." In exactly what way is Austin a bad boy?
Josh Henderson: The show is very secretive so they didn’t tell me too much about him. I just get the scripts every week, learn something new about him every time, and chuckle to myself.

TVGuide.com: Do we get this "bad boy" vibe early on?
Henderson: A little bit. He's a drinker/smoker guy who comes in on a motorcycle.... For me it's a fun, perfect character in that he's edgy and dark and mysterious. You want to know more about him.

TVGuide.com: On the show, it's been mentioned that Edie had a son, but here they are bringing on a nephew. Was this a case of Nicollette Sheridan not wanting to be saddled with a teen son?
Henderson: I'm not sure. I was talking once to Nicollette about that, and she said they made reference once to her young son.... Instead I basically show up and she's very surprised.... She's not expecting me at all. In the first episode, I come in and start stirring up trouble!

TVGuide.com: Who from the cast has taken you under their wing thus far?
Henderson: Well, definitely Nicollette. Within the first 20 minutes of meeting her I felt like I had known her for years. She's been so good about welcoming me, she's a real sweetheart. So far I've only worked with Nicollette and with Andrea Brown, who plays Teri Hatcher's daughter. She's a sweetheart, too. Everyone has been so nice.

TVGuide.com: Have you been pulled in for a poker game with James Denton and the guys yet?
Henderson: I'm surprised I haven’t, but they're all really cool. Everyone has fun on this set, which isn't the case all the time.

TVGuide.com: Be honest — did you come to Housewives with a crush on any of the ladies?
Henderson: I think they're all beautiful girls....

TVGuide.com: "He says diplomatically...."
Henderson: But I didn’t come in with any nervousness. They're all very attractive.

TVGuide.com: You have a musical background; might Austin break out in song at some point?
Henderson: I think it's a good possibility. [The producers] were very excited that I sang and played guitar.

TVGuide.com: Speaking of singing, you were once on The Ashlee Simpson Show?
Henderson: I was on one episode, yeah. I dated her for a long time.

TVGuide.com: Do you two still keep in touch?
Henderson: We do, we do.... She called to congratulate me about [Desperate Housewives], while she was on the road even. She's a sweetheart.

TVGuide.com: Who are you playing in Step Up, which has been doing pretty well at the box office?
Henderson: I play Jenna Dewan's boyfriend. He's not a dancer, but a kid with a dream of being a recording artist. That was a really fun movie to do. Everybody did a really good job.

TVGuide.com: Let's see, Jenna dated Justin Timberlake, you dated Ashlee.... There's a "six degrees" connection in there for sure.
Henderson: Oh, absolutely!

TVGuide.com: What did your Over There experience teach you?
Henderson: That series was incredible. When I first booked the show I was almost intimidated, because I knew it was going to be very hard-core and I'd have to work my butt off and push myself to do some things I've never done. I stepped up to the plate, and I had a blast. I think the show was so well done. It was an incredible opportunity.

TVGuide.com: Having done it, do you think you'd be an eensy bit more prepared to go "over there" if need be?
Henderson: I definitely learned a lot, because we had to do the whole boot-camp experience and learn to fire the weapons and move like a unit.... So I'm definitely a lot more knowledgeable about everything. I respect [the U.S. military] so much because it takes a special kind of person to go over there and risk your life for what you love.

TVGuide.com: Let's talk about Fingerprints, a movie you have in the pipeline.
Henderson: That was a movie I got to go home to Oklahoma to shoot, so it was a good time. It's a fun, young cast. It was Kristin Cavallari and Andy Lawrence.... We all had a lot of fun, hanging out at the hotel and shooting every night from 7 pm to 7 am. We shot in this freakin' eerie town called Guthrie that is supposed to be one of the most haunted towns in the country. Everywhere you went it was old abandoned trains and buildings, the streets are brick.... It was like a time warp.

TVGuide.com: So before we go, are you prepared for the scrutiny that comes with being on Desperate Housewives?
Henderson: A lot of people ask me that, and I don’t really think about it too much. I just go to work to have fun. I don’t know if I am [braced for it] or not. Whatever comes my way, I'm just going to have fun with it. I'm excited, and so are my aunts and my mother and my little sister. Even my guy friends watch this show. You have these guys who were, like, football players in high school saying, "Yo, dude, it might sound kind of girlie but... I love that show! If you can tell me anything about the characters or story lines, lemme know!" [Laughs]

Hungry for more fall previews? The new TV Guide has sneak peeks at the new seasons of such shows as Lost, House and Bones.

Send your comments on this Q&A to online_insider@tvguide.com.