The city of Dallas has been a prime time fixture—from the notorious 1980s soap of the same name to the recent Bravo reality series Most Eligible Dallas. This Sunday, ABC adds another to the list with the premiere of GCB from writer Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and producer Darren Star (Sex and the City). The show follows bible-toting Southern belles behaving badly and with a cast led by Kristen Chenoweth, Leslie Bibb, and Miriam Shor, GCB holds promise. T+L catches up with Shor, a bona fide globetrotter.
Q: GCB is set in Dallas. Is the city its own character on the show?
A: Absolutely, I think it’s imperative that the show takes place in Dallas—and especially Highland Park, which is such a specific part of the city. It’s unbelievably wealthy and has its own social rules and regulations that are perplexing and fascinating to me. The writers have dealt with that well and the more specific and idiosyncratic you can get, the more universal something can feel.
Q: Did you get to spend any time in Dallas?
A: We shot the pilot there before moving to Los Angeles to shoot the rest. We were staying at the Ritz-Carlton and I was there with my husband and our two-year-old daughter, so I explored what the city has to offer for kids and families. They have this amazing aquarium [Dallas World Aquarium] that we frequented a lot. Dallas has a really big art scene and it’s really a city for foodies.
Q: You grew up in both Italy and Detroit. What was that like?
A: I was born in Minneapolis and not long after that my family moved to Venice because my dad got a Fulbright to teach there. It was the 1970s and they were young and said "let’s just go to Italy" and packed it all up and went. My parents split up and my mother had fallen in love with Italy and settled in Turnio, which is known as the “Detroit of Italy.” My sister and I went back forth from Turino and Detroit until we graduated high school.
Q: What’s your most cherished passport stamp?
A: I really love everywhere I’ve been. I did a 79 city Fiddler On the Roof tour in the United States and Canada. I’ve driven cross-country – but I still marvel that until recently I had traveled so more outside the country. I’ve spent time in Colorado and Utah and both were breathtakingly beautiful.
Eight years ago, I went to India for a wedding and I stayed for a month. It’s an unbelievable country. I went to the south, where of lot of Americans don’t go, and spent time in Kerala and it was pretty astonishing. [That area] is actually known as the "Venice of India" and it has a wonderfully rich cultural history…You have this myriad of cultures all rolled into one area. But it’s still indelibly India – with all the color, mayhem and vibrancy, disorder and beauty.
Q: Are there any shows that have inspired you to travel?
A: House Hunters International – you get to travel and buy a house. And Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, which is a stroke of genius.
Q: Any travel essentials?
A: Mixed nuts, since good trail mix can get you through a lot. Scientific American because for some reason I believe you lose brain cells when you fly and I try to stay smart. Also, the New York Times. I always bring a good book. Last time it was Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which I finished just as we landed in New York. 69 bottles of water, which means I have to sit on the aisle. Finally, the coziest sweater I can find. I would travel in pajamas if I could…but I don’t think they would let me.
GCB premieres on ABC on March 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Briana Fasone is a digital editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter @brifasone.