Aaron O'Connell and John Schneider
Should he call Olivia Pope? Jim Cryer, the cock-o-the-walk judge played by John Schneider on OWN's The Haves and the Have Nots, wants to be the next Georgia governor but that dream could be dashed if he doesn't get his clan under control. When Tyler Perry's steamy, rowdy sudser returns Tuesday (9/8c), Jim's drug-addict son, Wyatt (Aaron O'Connell), has left two people near death after a hit-and-run driving spree. That's not Dad's only headache: His bipolar daughter Amanda (Jaklyn Betham) has teamed with his favorite hooker, Candace (Tika Sumpter), in a revenge lawsuit against him. And his bitter, high-strung wife, Katheryn (Renee Lawson), who hate his guts and knows his dirt, could blow at any moment. No worries! Schneider tells TV Guide Magazine why his badass character won't be losing his cool.
TV Guide Magazine: Pissed-off prostitutes have ended many a political career. Isn't Jim headed for a freak-out?
Schneider: That's the wildest thing about him. [Laughs] Jim doesn't give a damn! This kind of stuff could jeopardize someone else's political aspirations but he doesn't think there's anyone out there powerful enough to be a threat, or that there's any scandal he can't talk his way around. Actually, Jim kind of enjoys it, which is why he likes Candace. They are so much alike. You can throw a sack o' s--t at Candace and she'll figure out a way to come out smelling like a rose. Jim appreciates that!
TV Guide Magazine: Is he capable of living a life without all this madness?
Schneider: Probably not. Some people thrive on creating chaos and then operating through it, though usually that's presented as a female trait. Jim's very confident. Too confident. He's the kind of guy who has learned to satisfy his needs by throwing $300 on a hooker's dresser. Pay the money and be done with it. Poof! It all goes away. That's the whole philosophy behind prostitution. [Laughs] Forgive me for knowing so much about the subject. I was just doing my research. I, uh, Googled it!
TV Guide Magazine: So how is Jim going to deal with the hit-and-run, especially if one of the victims dies?
Schneider: The first order of business is to get rid of the evidence — the car. Jim wants it all to go away and he's really tough on Wyatt. "You got a drug problem? Well, get over it!" He'll get a little huggy with his son, but even when he's hugging him he's telling him he's going to break his neck. There's some real tough, anti-Smallvillelove there! It's what happening to Jim's daughter, Amanda, that really breaks his heart. Yes, surprise! He actually has a heart. [Laughs] I think. In a way, all this family dysfunction will make Jim and Katheryn band together for a bit. They are by no means friends but you do start to get an inkling of why those two ever got together in the first place. I will also tell you there's going to be a death this season — someone very unexpected.
TV Guide Magazine: Okay, 'fess up. How much of John Schneider is in Jim Cryer? You play this son of a bitch way too well!
Schneider: John Schneider is certainly pigheaded and he wants to go out and kill the bear, climb the mountain and do that kind of stuff. So I guess I bring all of that to the character. But I don't know where the complete ass comes from, unless it's inside me somewhere and I'm just not aware of it. My wife, Elly, always said that if I ever got to play somebody reallylike myself it would be very successful. [Laughs] When she saw me in The Haves and the Have Notsshe said: "Congratulations, you're very successful."