To see if life would imitate art, TVGuide.com recently spent a night at River Rock Casino in suburban Vancouver with James Roday and Dulé Hill of Psych, USA Network's breezy buddy series (airing Fridays at 10 pm/ET) about a bogus psychic and his put-upon partner who run their own detective agency. Turns out the two are just as zany off camera as they are on screen. "We make each other laugh to the point where we ruin takes," reveals Roday, who says the wisecracking duo are known for ad-libbing, hiding the crew's equipment, organizing poker nights and breaking out into '80s songs.
"They sing nonstop on set," confirms Roday's real-life girlfriend and costar Maggie Lawson, who plays detective Juliet O'Hara. "It doesn't matter if the song was a hit, and it doesn't matter if they even know it, they'll just make up their own words!"
But the boys aren't singing a happy tune tonight. They've both wiped out at the poker table in less than an hour — while Lawson's chip pile grows. "I'm usually terrible!" she says, claiming beginner's luck. Afterwards, Hill ribs Roday for not possessing his character's keen eye for detail. "In the morning going to work or late at night coming home," jokes Hill, "I have to tell him, ‘Hey, that's a red light!'"
It's a good thing Roday's alter ego, Shawn, is as sharp as a tack. He'll need to be when he goes undercover later in the season as a writer for a local newspaper. He'll be working to solve the murder of a food critic when a former school bully turned jockey comes to the agency for help because his horses keep losing.
For now, it's Hill — a onetime Celebrity Poker Showdown champion — who's doing all the losing. "Being on Poker Showdown does not make you a serious player," he admits. Defends wife Nicole Lyn, "The first time he went on, he had just learned to play two days before!"
As for Roday, he's back in the game after taking a loan from his winning gal pal. He antes up, and, lo and behold, the long shot hits the jackpot. "Here's the thing," says a poker-faced Roday, "I'm a player and a player plays." Who said he wasn't sharp?
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