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Why 'Dukes of Hazzard' Star John Schneider Made 2 Pro-Life Films Practically Simultaneously
Hollywood Reporter ^ | 03/31/2012 | Paul Bond

Posted on 04/01/2012 6:44:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The actor, who made Bo Duke a household name in the 1980's and stars in the just-released "October Baby," discusses anti-Christian bigotry, Johnny Cash, Bill Maher and why he was fired from a directing job.

October Baby, a movie with a miniscule marketing budget and controversial (at least in Hollywood) for its pro-life message surprised the industry with a $4,300 per-screen opening last weekend at 390 theaters. The movie stars former Dukes of Hazzard heartthrob and practicing Christian John Schneider, who also stars in another film with a similar theme called Doonby, set for a summer release. The Hollywood Reporter’s Paul Bond caught up to Schneider on the set of TV Land’s Happily Divorced to ask him: what’s up with all the anti-abortion message movies?

The Hollywood Reporter: Why two pro-life films at once? John Schneider: Well, the people behind them are pro life, but I don’t know if the movies are. October Baby is about an 18-year-old forgiving a woman who tried to terminate her. It’s interesting, October Baby is about a person who shouldn’t be and who is, and Doonby is about a person who should be but isn’t. Doonby is more of a Twilight Zone take. It’s a film about making decisions and living with them. It’s actually It’s a Wonderful Life inverted. Neither movie is coming out and pointing a finger and saying, ‘You terrible pro-choice people are going to Hell!’

THR: Are you pro life?

Schneider: I am until somebody offers up an argument that filters through my current belief system and changes my mind. My mind has been changed on many things. Not on that, but I don’t believe in forcing my beliefs on someone else.

THR: Is it tough being pro-life in Hollywood?

Schneider: If it’s tough believing what you believe, then maybe it’s time to move. But if you are someone who militantly enforces your opinion about anything, then you need to get out of town.

THR: Who are the militant people doing that?

Schneider: They’re the ones throwing red paint at people’s fur, or bombing abortion clinics, or calling pro-life people ignorant. They’re people threatening those who don’t support gay marriage, or threatening those who do support it. I can’t imagine somebody feeling that their relationship with their creator – whoever he or she may be – is so solid that they have time to get into my shit about my belief system.

THR: What other views do you have that go against the grain in Hollywood?

Schneider: Honestly, I don’t pay that much attention. I’m a good dad and a fair husband and I work quite a bit. That takes up a fair amount of time.

THR: What do you do when discussions of politics or faith come up on the set and someone wants to impose his or her view?

Schneider: I usually kind of get quiet. You can tell if someone is about social intercourse or just about browbeating somebody with their opinion. It’s no fun arguing with a closed-minded person.

THR: Can you name names? Who are these close-minded people?

Schneider: God no. I will not point a finger -- not to protect myself -- but because it’s not right.

THR: Then give me an example of a political discussion with an open-minded person in Hollywood.

Schneider: I had Bill Maher say to me several times on Politically Incorrect, ‘you know, I never thought of it like that,’ and he thanked me for that. And I said to him the same thing on occasions.

THR: Name one time when Bill Maher said that to you.

Schneider: When Colin Powell said he wasn’t running for president because his wife said he shouldn’t. Bill tabled it saying, ‘what kind of a man is that?’ I said, ‘hang on, you marry a woman not only because you love her and she’s kind of cute, but also because that person is your most trusted adviser. It’s not that she doesn’t want him to be president because she wants him home to take out the trash. There’s more to it than that, and if you don’t have a ring on your finger then you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, so shut up!’ And he said, ‘Okay!’

THR: Rumor has it Johnny Cash encouraged you to become a born-again Christian?

Schneider: I was a Christian when I lived with Johnny and June, and he solidified my belief system. He was a manly person who believed in Jesus. He was not an emasculated Christian. He was a rough guy held together by his belief in God and his love for his wife. There’s never a bad time to see that example.

THR: Is there anti-Christian bigotry in Hollywood?

Schneider: Sure, there’s Christian bigotry. There’s also Democrat bigotry, Republican bigotry, straight bigotry and homosexual bigotry. There’s a lot of people here.

THR: Give me an anecdote of bigotry you’ve experienced.

Schneider: I was in a makeup trailer talking to the executive producer -- the boss of the show – and I said that one of the reasons I moved to the Agoura area was to find a Christian school, because I didn’t want my kids to be taught that evolution is the only possible answer to how we got here. And I lost my directing job because of that statement. That person said, ‘that’s terrible, we can’t have your perspective… All’s I said was I wanted both perspectives. It’s all I said.

THR: Who was that executive producer?

Schneider: I’m not telling you, Paul.

THR: Are you worried about being typecast in message movies?

Schneider: When you boil it down, most movies are message movies. And I think careers are made in message movies. My god, Meryl Streep made a career out of message movies and there’s no better actress on the planet.

THR: Are Christian movies just preaching to the choir?

Schneider: Maybe they were until October Baby. It didn’t get into the Top 5 per-screen because churches went to see it. Secular people think all that Christian moviemakers have to do is send out an email and all the churches in the nation will see it. That’s absolute bullshit. I was out promoting October Baby on Fox News, the Today show, on VH1 and all kinds of stuff, and I think that’s what helped get people into the theaters. It’s not churches making October Baby the phenomenon that it is.

THR: What’s it like being a former teen idol.

Schneider: It was great. And, Paul, the coolest thing is happening now. There’s a whole new passel of 7-year-olds who are huge Dukes of Hazzard fans because it’s still running on CMT. I was just in Rochester doing a car show, and a 7-year-old came up to me to meet Bo Duke, and he said he was Bo for Halloween. I signed a number of Pinewood Derby cars then, too.

THR: Do girls who grew up watching you still swoon when they see you?

Schneider: They do, but they have to be careful because they have bad knees now. I still sign copies of Tiger Beat magazine. The girls who were 16 then still have a special place in their hearts for Bo, as does Bo for them.

THR: You see the South Park parody of Dukes?

Schneider: My son showed it to me. It was great. And I saw the Family Guy episode where they paint the station wagon orange and paint a '01' on the door. Dukes is an amazing piece of history now. It’s still on TV 34 years later and kids still dress up like Bo, Luke and Daisy, and local officials still tell me they have somebody in their town that’s just like Boss Hogg.

THR: Would a new show as quaint as Dukes work today?

Schneider: If it’s honest, like Doonby and October Baby are. Yes, Dukes was corny, but underneath all the corn was Denver Pyle as Uncle Jesse telling the boys that they were never to do anything to insult or harm another person. Sure, we’d jump cars and all that, but morally and ethically Dukes was and still is sound. We would never go out and force our perspective on others, but if you insulted a girl, Bo would hit you – and I probably would, too. I believe you should be a gentleman, and that’s old-fashioned. The characters I play in Doonby and October Baby also believe that. They live by a code of ethics.

THR: You still see Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat?

Schneider: I see Catherine a lot because she lives out here, and Tom and I are doing a number of concerts together in Niagara on the Canadian side. It’s one of those weird relationships with Tom. We were best friends from hello and remain so after 34 years.

THR: What happened to your FaithWorks production company?

Schneider: It lasted a year and a half. I thought all’s people had to know was that there was a great avenue for family-friendly videos and people would show up. I was wrong. Yep. You actually have to promote, and that’s hard to do and it gets more expensive every day.

THR: You helped create the Children’s Miracle Network charity.

Schneider. That I did, with Marie Osmond, Mick Shannon and Joe Lake. We are about to turn 30 and we’ve raised $5 billion for children’s hospitals in North America, and I’m very proud of that. It has saved lives. It’s an inarguable truth that children deserve good health care regardless of their families’ ability to pay.

THR: You ready to endorse someone for president?

Schneider: No. People have come to me for my opinion since October Baby. But, hey, look, I’m an actor who is very fortunate to be in a movie that’s making wonderful noise, and hopefully helping parents and children to be a little closer. Leave me alone. I’m not talking about politics. I’m just trying to have a conversation with my own kids.

THR: What do you think of the buzz and per-screen results of October Baby?

Schneider: Selfishly, I’m very excited. I do lots of work and always try to do my best, but I never know what’s going to happen. So far with the movies I’ve done it has been kind of – nothing. They’ve been entertaining for those who have seen them, but I never did a movie that people have wanted to talk about until now. That sounds very sad.

THR: What did you think of the Dukes of Hazzard movie?

Schneider: The only thing they got right was the color of the car.


TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abortion; hollywood; prolife

1 posted on 04/01/2012 6:44:23 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

John Schneider
2 posted on 04/01/2012 6:45:05 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
I’m an actor who is very fortunate to be in a movie that’s making wonderful noise, and hopefully helping parents and children to be a little closer. Leave me alone. I’m not talking about politics. I’m just trying to have a conversation with my own kids.

Gotta love it.

3 posted on 04/01/2012 6:52:30 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: SeekAndFind

4 posted on 04/01/2012 7:03:47 AM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
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To: SeekAndFind

Can’t wait to see “October Baby.”


5 posted on 04/01/2012 7:11:41 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (Sofa King Mitt Odd Did Obamneycare)
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To: SeekAndFind

Back when I was a kid and Dukes was still in prime time I saw him at a restaurant at Disney World. I summoned up the courage and (not understanding privacy at that age) approached his table for his autograph. I remember to this day how nice he was about it and even engaged me in some small talk.

Very down-to-earth guy back then, and now, it would appear.


6 posted on 04/01/2012 7:13:14 AM PDT by RedCell (Honor thy Father (9/6/07) - Semper Fi / "...it is their duty, to throw off such government...")
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump


7 posted on 04/01/2012 7:30:55 AM PDT by lowbridge (Rep. Dingell: "Its taken a long time.....to control the people.")
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To: Sirius Lee
Don't wait too long. It was only at our local theater for two weeks.

And that was only because a local woman personally guaranteed the operator a thousand tickets would be sold and she would make up the difference if it didn't.

I don't know how that turned out but I would say there were about 50 people at the showing we went to.

And that was the 11:00 a.m. showing on a weekday.

Hopefully, she didn't have to shell out any money but at the very least I'm sure she has stored up treasures in heaven for herself.

Great movie. Go see it.

8 posted on 04/01/2012 7:42:13 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Sirius Lee

Saw it last week. It was a great movie.


9 posted on 04/01/2012 7:54:22 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: SeekAndFind
"I can’t imagine somebody feeling that their relationship with their creator – whoever he or she may be – is so solid that they have time to get into my shit about my belief system."

But yet thats all they seem to have time for.......

10 posted on 04/01/2012 8:01:00 AM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good post.

Enjoyable reading.


11 posted on 04/01/2012 8:05:58 AM PDT by TribalPrincess2U (Anyone not wanting an ID or purple thumb to vote isn't worthy of voting privilege.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I loved this movie.


12 posted on 04/01/2012 8:14:41 AM PDT by georgia peach (georgia peach)
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To: SeekAndFind

Gee and I would have though it was just because he can’t act.


13 posted on 04/01/2012 8:58:28 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe he’s involved in charity work for disabled children. One of our choir members back in Texas got to know him through benefits for ...whatever it was, exactly.


14 posted on 04/01/2012 3:22:35 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Read "Radical Son" by David Horowitz to understand the Left.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

John is a GREAT actor.


15 posted on 04/01/2012 4:20:18 PM PDT by DNA.2012
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To: afraidfortherepublic

What is the plot?


16 posted on 04/01/2012 4:28:26 PM PDT by DNA.2012
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To: DNA.2012
John is a GREAT actor.

Oh, I see.

17 posted on 04/01/2012 6:48:38 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand
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To: the invisib1e hand

He was great in The Dukes of Hazzard and in Smallville.


18 posted on 04/01/2012 6:50:01 PM PDT by DNA.2012
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To: DNA.2012

Plot? October BAby is about a young lady who finds out accidentally (because she has a health crisis) that she is 1) adopted 2) survivor of a failed abortion 3)the surviving sister of a set of twins (brother died as a result of the abortion. The plot is about her attempts to find her birth mother and to put order in her own life and how this action affects those around her — adoptive parents, friends, birth mother, etc.

The plot is not really about abortion. That is just the vehicle through which this story is told. The story is really about growing up, love, forgiveness, helping those in need, caring for your neighbor, unforseen consequences of your actions, etc. It’s an unusual coming of age story.


19 posted on 04/01/2012 7:43:03 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: DNA.2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L52Lciaui4o

October Baby Trailer

This movie is based on a true story.


20 posted on 04/01/2012 7:52:09 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: georgia peach; Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; Wisconsinlady; ...

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson Endorses Romney ping

FReep Mail me if yo want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.


21 posted on 04/01/2012 7:58:46 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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