John Schneider rose to fame as Bo Duke on the legendary 1980’s TV series The Dukes Of Hazzard and in the wake of his fame, became a star in the world of country music. He has continued to do film and television ever since and scored a coveted role as Clark Kent’s father Jonathan in the latest Superman incarnation, the TV series Smallville.
Although Jonathan was killed after the show’s fifth season, the now-50-year-old actor, whom we recently met up with at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, talks about how he will now manage to return as the character for the show’s tenth and final season.
“I was very happy when I got the call,” Schneider says, “Some part of me was waiting to get the call. And oddly enough, I had just been inâ€¦I don’t remember what comic convention I was at, but somebody had said that Tom [Welling] was somewhere and said he had mentioned something about, ‘Maybe we can get Jonathan Kent back.'”
“So I had just called after that,” he continues, “I called my agent and said, ‘I just heard a rumor. Why don’t you check it out?’ And as he was making that call, they were calling to check availability to come and do Smallville and to see if I’d want to do Smallville and I said, my God, I’m honored to do Smallville, my favorite character ever. So it was serendipitous.”
We asked John if he was surprised that the fans were more privy to that sort of secret information than even he is.
“Well, in this day and age, yeah, they always do,” Schneider says, “Now they know my address sadly. I didn’t know what I was thinking. That wasn’t how it was in the old days. You could keep a secret in the old days because when I came and signed on to do the show again, they said, ‘Now, we want to keep this a secret.’ And I did an interview the next day that said, ‘Oh, yeah! You’re going to go back on Smallville and I said, ‘Really? Where did you hear that?’ I had to lie. And then, of course, it was everybody knew already.”
Schneider shared with us what was for him the simply best part of going back to do the show.
“Working with Tom,” John says, “Yep, working with Tom. When we first did a father and son, ‘Listen to me, son. Let me tell you somethingâ€¦’ scene, I think Tom had done four episodes of the Gilmore Girls. And now he’s done hundreds of hours of television and executive producer, he’s a great guy.”
“But, so much skill there that people who don’t do television on a schedule would not be able to recognize, but I recognize it and it’s a delight,” he adds, “In some ways, I feel like a proud dad as he’s come so far and done so well and is excellent at his craft.”
We asked John if Tom has directed him in a scene yet.
“No, he hasn’t directed me,” he answers, “That’d be fun.”
Then we asked Schneider if he felt weird about such a proposal.
“No, no, I’d do whatever he said,” John says, “He’s one of the few people I’d do whatever he said. Most of the time, you’re in a self-preservational mode, but with Tom, if he told me to do something that was odd, I’d do it. I trust him.”