‘Dukes of Hazzard’s’ Tom Wopat Returns to a Familiar TV Role
When it comes to serving justice, Tom Wopat knows how to take care of that. The famed Luke Duke of The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85) has spent a bit of his TV, film and even Broadway career in a cowboy hat and boots, often chasing down the bad guys.
On Saturday, May 27 at 8pm ET, he returns to a familiar role as Sheriff Alden Rockwell in County Line: No Fear, the third movie in the popular film franchise, which will make its debut on INSP. “I had to ask my wife, ‘So, where’s the hat?’” Wopat tells us about slipping back into the role. “She said, ‘Well, I think it’s in the top of the hall closet.’ And there it was, perched on top of a bunch of other stuff. As long as I have my hat and my boots, I’m pretty well ready to go. And the boots, those are the boots I wore in Annie Get Your Gun, with Bernadette Peters [for his Broadway run].”
The action-packed drama also sees the return of Kelsey Crane (The Good Doctor) and Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement), and the addition of Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers). “Casper is amazing. He was a lot of fun,” Wopat tells us. “You immediately know who the bad guy is in this film.”
As with the previous County Line films, Alden is presented with new challenges that threaten the town he’s sworn to protect.
“It’s like Dukes in the fact that there’s no real blood, there’s no cussing, there’s no real sex, it’s family-friendly,” Wopat adds. “It’s like when I was on Longmire, Longmire was the same kind of guy. He’s family-friendly, and you know, it may be bittersweet, but it’s going to work out the right way.”
There’s still a little chemistry left with Alden and Patricia Richardson’s character, and reuniting again proved easy.
“She surely enjoys herself giving it to me like that, that’s for sure,” Wopat laughs, about a scene that sees the couple feuding. “She’s a trip. We did a couple of episodes on Tool Time. … at one point my character gives her a kiss, or she kisses me, or one or the other, and I get fired. Then, at the end, I come to pick up my tools, because I was working in their house when this happened, and Tim comes to the door and we do a whole scene in grunts with subtitles. You should check it out, it’s hysterical.”
But for Wopat, while he appreciates guest appearances on popular series including shows like The Blacklist, playing the “big dog” is always the most fun, especially when he’s running around doing a lot of stunts.
“People ask me if I can still slide across the hood [of the famous General Lee car from Dukes]. Yes I can. That’s the stuff that’s always a lot of fun, though. I don’t know about other actors, but back when we were doing the Dukes show, the physical stuff was always a blast. We always looked forward to it a great deal.”
Wopat also wrote and sings the movie’s title track “County Line,” part of his newly released album Simple Man. Music has always been his first passion: acting was secondary. This album is his 13th. As for what’s ahead for Wopat? A lot of touring across the country this summer and some reconnecting with his old friends from Dukes.