THE SEMI CHARMED LIFE OF JOSH HENDERSON
Dallas, Texas native Josh Henderson has led a mostly semi-charmed kind of life. You could say that his career started very early in life when he started dancing at a young age and won the World’s Youngest Break Dancer at the age of 2 ½ years old. From there, his career spanned from dancer to recording artist and now a multi-talented actor. Henderson has always considered himself to be an entertainer. In addition to the entertainment aspect of life, he’s an avid sports fanatic, a passion he developed while growing up and moving back and forth from Dallas to Tulsa that manifested into his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.
It wasn’t until at the age of 18 was when he randomly hopped in line to audition for a show called Popstars (equivalent to today’s version of American Idol and/or The Voice) that his life ultimately began to change. “Popstars was a show about the making of a pop group, and there were about 80,000 kids who auditioned in seven different cities. I don’t know how, to this day, I won, but I did and made it to the final five and instantly got a record deal. It was the most surreal thing ever because I was focused on being a baseball player and never thought I’d be in a pop group by any means,” explains Henderson. The opportunity led him into moving to Los Angeles to meet with different agents and producers, which opened the door for him to pursue acting. Within weeks of signing with an agent, he booked a television show, a movie and a national print ad. “I couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t [pursue acting]. It seemed so easy, even though it wasn’t, but then I learned later on it’s not that easy and I was just extremely lucky in the beginning.”
When Popstars turned into the record label folding, he had to figure out what he wanted to do with his life, whether it was to go back to playing baseball in college or take a chance and pursue acting again. “So far, the last twelve years of my life [acting] in Los Angeles have been a complete roller coaster full of ups and downs. The ups are amazing and downs can be really down because the industry can feel lonely and cold. It’s really strengthened me a lot and made me mature. I’m very happy with who I am today and I’m secure.” After landing a few guest starring roles and a recurring one on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, he managed to land the juicy lead role as misunderstood bad boy John Ross Ewing in the TNT reboot of Dallas, where he says that he’s “having so much fun” playing his role and blessed with the opportunity to work with his television father, the original son-of-a-bitch, J.R. Ewing, played by the legendary Larry Hagman. When asked what it was like working with the now-deceased icon, he described his experience as a blessing. “I was intimidated at first when I got the role. I went to YouTube and looked at every J.R. scene and how he interacted with Sue Ellen and how he did his thing when it came to business and manipulating. Even when he was backed in a corner, he loved the challenge, so I just took that trait and who J.R. was and really tried to figure out, what would the spawn of J.R. be like.” Henderson goes even further to say how natural it was working with Hagman and that he pays respect to him every day when he’s on set. “He is why we’re still doing the show. As long as our show is on the air, the spirit of J.R. will always be there.”
As far as his sense of style goes, when he is not suited and booted to play his alter ego on camera, you will find him wearing sweat pants, possibly a wife beater, and a sweatshirt as his comfort choice before he has to transform. Occasionally, he’ll wear his worn-in vintage brown boots with his jeans and a suit. This Southern gentleman is pretty laid back, easy going and an all-around nice guy who counts his blessings of being able to shoot every day in his home town of Dallas, Texas. He puts everyone else before himself while staying humble and thankful. “I didn’t grow up with money. I came into a business that I knew nothing of and I wasn’t prepared for. At the end of the day, I haven’t changed in the fact that I care about people a lot.”
When asked about his hobbies and downtime while shooting, you’ll find him hitting the gym, as he has to stay in shape due to his always being half-naked throughout the season on the show. He enjoys running, playing flag football, and just hanging with his friends watching sports and drinking a beer. The one thing that continues to mold and shape his career is his passion for music. With the support of the producers on the show, he’s been able to pursue the musician side of him once again. He’s recorded about eight songs, two of which will be used on the show this season, which he’s very excited about. “I was in the studio recording a song called “I See You,” which is very much about the storyline in Dallas of me looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of J.R., loving it and hating it even more at the same time. It’s a song filled with torment; it’s dark and beautiful.” While recording in Nashville, he’s grown as a writer and vocalist and now, being able to incorporate the musical aspect of his life along with his acting career has been nothing short of a blessing for this multi-talented artist. At the end of the day, he’s still into his music, and he proclaims it’s 50% of who he is as an artist.
Dallas will be pushing the envelope this season. Henderson promises that there will be some racy and scandalous stuff happening that will make people talk. There will be several surprises, along with new characters and villains. It’s going to be everything that the fans love about the show, just amped up to the next level.
In addition to the show, Henderson has just finished shooting a gritty, action-thriller called Swelter with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Grant Bowler. As for the future of the 32-year-old actor, his future plans include expanding his musical career and, once he finishes shooting Dallas, he will be getting his “producer feet” wet on a project called War of Wings. “What I love about my life is that I never know what I’m going to be doing next, and I enjoy that every day.”
PHOTOGRAPHY DUC NGUYEN / WWW.DUCPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
STYLING RUDY REED / WWW.FASHIONFORWARDMEN.COM
STYLING ASSISTANT CHIP LANDRY
GROOMING ANNA BERNABE AT EXCLUSIVE ARTIST MANAGEMENT
Production Bello Media Group | WORDS BY JEROD WILLIAMS