John Schneider is well known as an actor for his roles from 1970s Bo Duke in the "Dukes of Hazzard" to his current role as Jim Cryer in "The Haves and the Have Nots." This Sunday evening, March 23, 2014, at end of the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Mr. Schneider premiered his new movie "Smothered", he agreed to sit down for an interview with this writer and discuss the movie before he left Charlotte.
Although he hadn't intended on being in "Smothered" he did take a small role when Rowdy Roddy Piper couldn't make it due to illness. Mr. Schneider indicates that he believes this movie will be line in the sand, or perhaps granite for his career. In the past he has mostly acted in roles that he was paid to play but now things are going to be different where people will be talking about him as the writer/director and not "they guy in the orange car." He has purchased acreage in Louisiana and has set up the studio where they shot "Smothered." The studio is a camp with multiple buildings, a lake, a river, and a swamp and it is rumored to be haunted. The camp is between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
"Smothered" is a radical departure from the roles he has played over the years and delves deep into the darkly comedic horror. When asked what led him into "Smothered" he replied:
"Well if you look back at the things, all the other things that you are talking about with the exception of "Collier and Company" were things that I was hired to do. So, when people hire you to do things they have a certain picture of you in their head. But the pictures in my head are much darker than that. They are more horror film or they are films about hospice, they're films about Alzheimers and dementia, they're films about justifiable homicide. The stories in my head are not... Puffy clouds and puppy dogs and unicorns, they're far more realistic and far darker than that. So really, because these are the pictures I live with, this is how I really am. So that there hasn't been a departure for me, There'a only been a departure in the perception of me. I'm pretty screwed up."
I could only laugh and say, "Aren't we all?"
To which he replied, "Yeah, yeah... We're all screwed up."
More discussion revealed that the version that the viewers saw at the Mad Monster Party is now going to be shopped around for distribution in the coming weeks and he hopes for a wide theatrical release soon.
The next film they will be shooting at his studio is called "Anderson Bench" and shooting will start on April 15, 2014. He expects his studio will be producing 2 movies per year and then renting out the studio for indie productions during the rest of the year.
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