Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q: You said you were a great fan of the television series
and I wondered, at any time when you were growing up, did you
think somebody would beat you to it and make a feature film before
you got there?
A: No. I didn’t really know I was going to make
the movie until Billy [the producer] sent me the script. I was
probably nine or ten when the show was on air, I had a poster
of Daisy Duke on my wall and I was going through puberty at the
time. I was a big fan of the show!
Johnny Knoxville: Could you expand on that?
JC: [Laughing] Expand on that?! I had a high
lotion bill at the time. I was also a big fan of the car-jumping
and I was really happy when Billy sent me the script.
Q: The out-takes also show a few cars getting written
off. How many did you manage to go through and, Seann and Johnny,
were you actually responsible for any of those?
A: We took 30 General Lees down there and we came back
with seven. We tossed that thing all over the place and trashed
about 30 police cars too. Those cars are extremely heavy and when
they jump the front axel brakes and they either slam really hard
left or really hard right, so it was exciting each time we jumped
one to bet on which way it was going to go.
Scott: We didn’t crash the car at all.
There was one time when you see the car coming out of Cooter’s
Garage and it was on, what, a ratchet?
Jay: Yeah, it’s the thing that gets the
car up to speed really quick and then Seann took over and put
it into a slide and then he was supposed to zoom off down the
road but as he was coming out the brakes gave way.
You can hear these guys in the car shouting “Whoooo!”,
having a blast, acting then all of a sudden it goes quiet and
you hear Seann go, [whispering] 'The brakes are out!'.
Then they almost go flying into one ditch and he saves it, then
almost goes flying into another ditch and he saves it again. And
then they’re screaming down the road and at the end of the
road is a roadblock with about a hundred fans waiting! And these
guys are just heading right towards them, so he slams…
Knoxville: He slams into the fans!
Jay: He slams it into park and the car screeches
to a halt. We got a new brake guy after that!
Q. Were you worried that the fans of the original series
weren’t going to go see the new film?
A: It was a real question as to who was going to go.
A think a fair number of people have gone in the US and I think
a lot of them are younger. I think the older folks will probably
catch up with it on DVD.
Q. I thought the film was
great and loved the way you set up stereotypes like the Confederate
Flag and the woman’s car breaking down, then picked them
apart. How important was it to you to bring The Dukes of Hazzard
up to date, like having Jessica break down and ask for help, then
having the woman say 'Help yourself!'?
A: We were big fans of the show so we wanted to remind
people of some of those things that we liked at the time. The
Confederate Flag obviously means different things now, but the
fact of the matter is that the car is called the General Lee and
had to have the flag on it, so we figured we’d acknowledge
the debate and make a little fun of it.
Q. What will there be on the DVD that didn’t make
it into the film?
Jay: There’s actually an R-rated version of the
movie that we’ve made that will come out on the DVD later,
but the initial DVD will be this movie. But the next one’s
good too! A little naughtier…
Q. What makes it R-rated? Is that Johnny’s parts?!
A. More swearing, more nudity, more dirty jokes.
Q. Do you have any good stories about working with Burt
A: Well, Burt Reynolds has sort of made a career being
anti-authority and unfortunately with the director you end up
being the authority. He’s a great guy, he’s hilarious
and he tells great showbiz stories. His back was hurting one day
and I was having him doing too many takes I think. He took me
aside and he started chewing me out. He said “You don’t
respect me goddamn it!” and then threw a DVD at me.
The DVD says “Why My Back Hurts – Burt Reynolds”!
It’s two and a half minutes straight of him falling off
a building, crashing a car, rolling down a hill played to this
really beautiful classical music. I said “Sorry, Sir”.
Q. It’s so refreshing to see a good old car crash.
Where did you find the people to do the stunts?
A: What was exciting about the original show and about
‘Smokey and the Bandit’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’
was that it was before they had the sort of technology. Those
stunts had a certain feeling to them.
The guy we got to do the second unit directing, this guy Dan Bradley
who did The Bourne Supremacy
and the car crash in Adaptation,
I don’t know if you remember that. He’s just a real
visceral, violent kind of car guy and he’s so talented.
When he and I talked about we just wanted it to feel very real
and so he got some of the best drivers in the world to smash cars
into other cars.
Q. Would you guys ever consider remaking another 80s
action series. Maybe The A-Team?
A: Yeah, I have a group called Brooklyn Lizard and we’ve
made a film called ‘Super Troopers’ but we’ve
been trying to get ‘The A-Team’. I wanted to play
Related stories: Our
verdict on the film
Johnny Knoxville interview
Seann William Scott interview
Jessica Simpson interview
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