Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose — and won't stop.
It's been three years since "Friday Night Lights" went off the air, but the beloved series is still very much alive in the hearts of fans. For the third year in a row, the ATX Television Festival is bringing back the show's stars to Austin, Texas, where they made the "FNL" magic.
Adrianne Palicki, who played sassy Tyra Collette, told Yahoo TV she'll make her first appearance at this year's ATX TV Festival, taking place June 5-8. "Finally!" she laughed.
We chatted with the actress about the big reunion, fan encounters, and the possibility of a "Friday Night Lights" movie.
We hear you're heading to the ATX TV Festival! What will you be doing there?
Yes, finally! There will be a reunion, we'll be doing some panels, meeting with fans, talking about "Friday Night Lights," and what [the show] represented. Just celebrating!
Who else will be there?
Well, it's gonna be a Collette family reunion, that's for damn sure! Dana Wheeler-Nicholson [Angela], Stacey Oristano [Mindy], Derek Phillips [Billy Riggins]. Those are the ones I know of so far. It's going to be fun to be back in Austin together, and getting to go back to our favorite spots and haunts.
Even though "Friday Night Lights" is off the air, it's still gaining fans thanks to Netflix and DVDs.
It's more of a hit now than ever. When we were on television, not too many people were watching. It wasn't until after that people really started watching the show. I just so appreciate it when people are "Friday Night Lights" fans. It was such a big part of all of our lives, we all kind of grew up on it — even Connie [Britton] and Kyle [Chandler]. It was so much fun, and it's great that people appreciate it.
"FNL" fans are so passionate about the show. Have you had any crazy fan encounters?
It varies. Even walking down the streets of New York, all of the sudden you'll just hear "Tyra!" There are so many stories. We actually had a journalist come on the show at one point, and he had been battling cancer. And he said the one thing that got him through it was watching "Friday Night Lights." Stories like that you hear a lot of. That makes you feel like you're part of something really special.
Ever since the show went off the air, there's been talk of doing a movie. How do you feel about it?
I'm torn — it's the best experience I've had, and that world is my family. But it ended so well. It's one of those double-edged swords. I'd hate to ruin the franchise, yet going back to play that character would be so fun. It's one of those things that people have been talking about for years, but I don't know that it'll happen.
Fans of "Veronica Mars" helped get that movie made with Kickstarter. Do you think "FNL" fans could do something similar?
Absolutely. I think it's really going to come down to whether Connie and Kyle will do it, because you can't have a "Friday Night Lights" movie without those two.
You were recently on NBC's "About a Boy," which is run by Jason Katims, too. He really likes to use his "FNL" actors in his other shows. What was that experience like?
He definitely keeps it in the family, which I so appreciate. It was awesome! I got a phone call from him, and he was talking about this character in this new show. And I was such a fan of the original "About a Boy" and at that point, I wasn't even aware that he was writing it. He was talking about this character, Dr. Sam, coming on and have this arc as Will's love interest, and he wanted me to do it. First of all, I'd do anything for that guy, and second of all, it was so fun. He really sets a precedent on set, from the writers down — he really has the best sets.
See Palicki on "About a Boy":
And he's had other "FNL" alums on "Parenthood."
Right! Who knows? Maybe I'll be there next.
What else are you up to now?
I'm getting ready to do another movie, it's called "Baby Baby Baby" by Brian Klugman, he's a writer/director who's also acting in the movie. It's a romantic comedy about relationships. It's kind of a two-fer — it's a comedy, but it really does show this couple's experience. It kind of reminds me of an old-school Ethan Hawke movie, like "Before Sunset." And I'm gearing up for the next "G.I. Joe" movie.
Check out the ATX Television Festival website for details about participating shows and panelists and how to attend.