‘Dukes of Hazzard’: How John Schneider Pulled a Fast One on Producers to Land Role of Bo Duke

by Matthew Wilson
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The Duke boys didn’t just get into mischief on-camera. Actor John Schneider had to pull a fast one to land his iconic role on “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Bo Duke would have been proud. Not only did Schneider lie about his age to land the role. But he also lied about his entire personality during the audition process, according to Country Music Nation. The actor was living in Atlanta, working in theater productions when he heard the show was auditioning.

Schneider was only 18-years-old at the time. And the show was currently looking for someone a little bit older. So, Schneider lied and told the casting directors that he was 24-years-old. That fib kept him in the competition for the part.

But Schneider landed the role with a little bit of method acting. He pretended to be Southern.

John Schneider Becomes Bo Duke

More specifically, he pretended to be Bo Duke. He inhabited and became the role that the casting directors were looking for. Only a little bit later did they find out Schneider was really from New York. He was about as Southern as unsweetened tea.

“Here I am this Westchester county guy. And here’s this rural thing. The word is they want actors 24 to 30 years old from Georgia, from the sticks, from the farm. Dirt in their boots. Not on but in their boots,” Schneider said during a Youtube video.

To complete the character, Schneider borrowed his friend’s pickup truck. He also decided to dress in boots and a tee-shirt for the audition. He became a sort of devil-may-cry character, rolling up with a six-pack of beer that he started passing out to people at the audition. Schneider was either going to land the part of Bo Duke or he probably would never act for the studio in his life.

At the audition, Schneider opened a cold one, sat back like he didn’t have a care in the world, and started drinking. His rebel attitude quickly caught the eye of one of the show’s executive producers. Shortly after, they offered him the lead role in the show. And Hazzard county had found one of its stars.

Schneider probably would have never landed the role if he didn’t do some out-of-the-box thinking. It’s hard to say being a New York native and his natural personality exactly scream country rebel. Fortunately for TV fans, Schneider landed the role, which became the defining character of his career.

Outsider.com