Daisy Duke is hitting the road with the “good ole boys.”
“The Dukes of Hazzard” stars Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat are reuniting to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary with the “Good Ole Boys Tour,” a car show and concert series kicking off on April 13 in Bakersfield, Calif.
“The Dukes of Hazzard,” which chronicled the adventures of “the fast-drivin’, rubber-burnin’ Duke boys of Hazzard County,” aired from 1979 until 1985. And while the castmates have stayed in touch over the years, Bach, who sizzled on the screen as sultry country girl Daisy Duke, didn’t think twice to kick off the celebration with fans.
We spoke with the 65-year-old star about how she earned the iconic role, why she almost turned it down and becoming a sex symbol. Bach also set the record straight on whether there was any canoodling with John Schneider, 59, or Wopat, 67.
Fox News: How does it feel to know “Dukes of Hazzard” is 40 years old?
Catherine Bach: It’s just wild. I’m just so proud of this legacy. We’ve managed to entertain people after all this time. And now it’s a hit on Amazon. It’s just wonderful. This is what the show was about — entertaining people. I’ve done a lot of different things since that show, but this part somehow continues to connect with people. It just makes me proud. And I just love meeting the fans. … We just want to take “Dukes” on the road for them. … Because of that show, I’ve not only managed to meet fans but their kids too. It’s crazy… It’s a history we all share together.
Fox News: Producers originally wanted a Dolly Parton look-alike to play Daisy Duke. So how did you get the role?
Bach: That’s still a mystery *laughs*… I had just done a one-woman show that was well received. That resulted in an offer to do movies of the week with ABC…. It’s funny because around that time, my agency had fired me and I hadn’t gone out in an interview for two years. According to them, I was too exotic looking. I was told, “We’re never going to make money off you. Aside from doing a movie here and there, we don’t see a television series in your future. We just don’t see that kind of thing happening. So we’re going to let you go because it’s a lot of work to represent you.” That’s what initially compelled me to do the one-act play.
My husband at the time was very connected with show business and worked with Bob Clark, who was writing with the show’s creator, Gy Waldron. He must have told him my stories because Bob called me and said, "I’m working on this project and I’ve been thinking about you. I bring you up about your stories. I would love for you to try out for this role, Daisy Duke." I went, "No, no, no."
Fox News: Why didn’t you want to play Daisy Duke?
Bach: Here’s the thing — they’ve been looking for a year for that part. They went to New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Georgia and California. Nothing. So I said, "That’s very nice of you to think of me, and I know you’re doing this as a favor to my husband, but you don’t have to." I just didn't think I had a chance. But he goes, "I really want you to come in."
A few weeks later, I was at some little Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills with my girlfriend, who directed my one-act play… I tell her, "I do have this interview that I’m supposed to go, but I’m not. … You know part Daisy Duke for Warner Bros.? They want me to come in, but I know I’m not going to get it." … She goes, "It’s Warner Bros. You never know who you’re going to meet on the way in and on the way out. Just go!" So I went.
After I did my reading during the audition, there was total silence. I thought, "Oh no, they didn’t like what I did." Then everyone, we’re talking about 30 people, got up and started clapping. They just connected with my vision of how this part should be played. Two weeks later I was on a plane to Georgia.
Fox News: Is it true you came up with the idea to wear short shorts or daisy dukes?
Bach: You would have too! *laughs* [The creators] wanted me to wear a poodle skirt that matched the tablecloth. I said, "You want me to match the tablecloth? That’s demeaning to women." They went, "We didn’t come up with that!" They took me across the street from Warner Brothers and sure enough, there were these older ladies waitressing at this little Italian restaurant wearing poodle skirts that matched the tablecloth.
I had go-go boots, a white turtleneck and a blonde wig because the creator loved Dolly Parton. I thought, "We need a costume change." So I got my jean shorts that I could never get even, with cowboy boots and a little top… They loved it.
Fox News: Honestly, were there any dates or hookups with you and Tom Wopat or John Schneider?
Bach: Let me say this — as much as those guys were the most charming, sexiest friends and men on the planet and women all over just adored them — they were really like my brothers. As much as I appreciate them, there’s no way I would be, as you say, hooking up with them. Just look at your brother or whoever is really close to you and go "Can I do this?" It’s a no *laughs*.
Fox News: You posed for a famous poster that sold 5 million copies and your legs were insured for $1 million. How did it feel to be this sex symbol, this American pinup?
Bach: I didn’t look at it as being a pinup. On a personal level, my husband at the time didn’t like me working. So I was going through this hard time emotionally trying to be independent and assertive… Also, Warner Bros. wanted me to follow the same formula as Farrah Fawcett... But I felt like audiences wanted something else. They wanted an all-American country girl… They said, "If you’re not doing it our way, we’re not paying for it." … I said, "No problem, I’ll do it." So I took those shorts, a little red and white top I made…. I did my own makeup and got some daisies… A friend of mine shot that poster, front start to finish, in an hour.
Fox News: Were you ever worried about being typecast?
Bach: There is a certain amount of typecasting, sure. Everybody goes through that… But I know I’m an actress. And I have not played that part since I finished “Dukes of Hazzard.” … I know who I am and I’m not worried about it. And everything can’t be the biggest hit. You can get the biggest part every single time. All I can do as an actress is deliver the work the best way I can. And I don’t mind if people still call me Daisy Duke or associate me with her. I think it’s cute and charming.
Fox News: You’ve managed to avoid scandal in Hollywood. How?
Bach: I don’t know *laughs*. I’m interested in having a good time. I’m not interested in drugs. Just think about where those drugs come from. It’s disgusting. Just watch “Narcos” *laughs* and you’ll see why you shouldn’t be around that. It’s horrible. I wouldn’t even consider that. As for alcohol? I’ll have a drink, sure, but I won’t let anything take over me. My love for my family, my children and I, ultimately, prevent that.