‘Dukes of Hazzard’: Why Tom Wopat and John Schneider Are Friendship Goals

by Josh Lanier
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Everyone has that friend they know they can call to bail them out of jail. But a lucky few of us have that friend who’ll be there in the cell next to us. For John Schneider, it’s his TV brother Tom Wopat. The Dukes of Hazzard bros have been best friends since they first met nearly 50 years ago.

John Schneider flew to Los Angeles in 1975 to audition for Bo Duke. While he waited to be called, nature called first, he explained on The Dukes of Hazzard Season 3 DVD extras. That’s when his world changed.

“I went in to use the restroom, and I saw a pair of boots and a guitar in a case underneath the door,” he said. It was Tom Wopat. They struck up a conversation about music and found out they had similar tastes in tunes.

Once they realized The Dukes of Hazzard producers had put them up in the same hotel, they decided to hang out while they waited to hear back about the parts. Schneider spent the week in Wopat’s hotel trading songs and stories.

“I played Jim Croce, and he’d play John Denver. And I’d play Cat Stevens, and he’d play Harry Chapin. And we just … got along from the very beginning so very well, but we couldn’t be more different in every regard,” he said.

That chemistry showed on when they screen-tested for Dukes of Hazzard. They stayed close throughout the show’s run and remain close to this day.

“He’s been one of my best friends since the moment we met, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon,” Schneider said. “We’re both theater brats. He came from the community theater. So did I. We have a common love of theater, the roar of the crowd, and all that. We’re joined at the hip forever.”

‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Stars Remain Close Despite Their Differencees

They continued acting after the show ended in 1985. John Schneider stayed in television and movies, and Tom Wopat mostly worked in theater. He earned two Tony Award nominations for his work on Broadway. But they were always a part of each others’ lives.

And as the country became more politically divided, Schneider and Wopat found themselves on opposite sides of the aisle. John Schneider is a Donald Trump-supporting Republican. Tom Wopat sang at the 2016 Democratic National Convention with several other Broadway stars. Though, it had little impact on their friendship.

Brothers disagree. There’s nothing strange about that, but they also have each others’ backs. That’s what matters, Schneider said.

“Tom and I really bring out the best in each other,” Schneider told Broadway World. “We may not sound alike when we talk, but when we sing, sometimes you can’t tell us apart. In the studio, I put him first, and he puts me first. If that’s not friendship, I don’t know what is.”

Outsider.com