Friday, April 25, 2014

Awesome Con: Ernie Hudson talks -- of all things -- "The Dukes of Hazzard"

This author had a fantastic time at last weekend's Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. It was the second year for this event, and it was huge. Lots of great TV and film stars, lots of great costumes, and lots of great people to hang with. Look for coverage of the event on upcoming episodes of the "Fantastic Forum" TV show (IMDb), which this chick is blessed to be a part of. We had a great set overlooking the convention floor, and we shot a ton of wonderful stuff (three episodes and several interviews) under the direction of producer Ulysses E. Campbell and a sterling camera and talent crew. What a great experience!!!! Magnificent weekend with true professionals, says BRB!

One of the folks we got to see was Ernie Hudson of "Ghostbusters" fame, who us "Dukes of Hazzard" fans remember from the 1982 episode "Dear Diary." (You know, the one where the adorable Flash buries Rosco's diary at the Duke farm.) Hudson played Avery in the episode. Fellow author Brian Lombard (who wrote the "Bradypalooza" guide to "The Brady Bunch") is an avid "Dukes" fan and asked Hudson about the episode during the actor's panel discussion. In particular Brian wanted to know about that moment when the car went off the cliff and exploded in mid-air -- was that an accident or planned that way?

 From last weekend's Awesome Con: Ernie Hudson in a discussion panel
moderated by Ulysses Campbell, producer of the "Fantastic Forum" TV show.

At first Hudson quipped that he didn’t know because he hadn’t seen the episode. As the laughter died down in the vast convention room, and it seemed this was the only answer there would be, the actor graciously continued: “I don’t watch everything I do. I’m not embarrassed to say that. Well, the part I wanted to play was the bad guy. I found out great, I got the job. And then they handed me the script. I thought, oh no. And the guy who was playing the part wasn’t really an actor, so I was kinda disappointed. Then when I got there, they had a tank top and some baby oil for me. I don’t think I had hardly any lines. Maybe one line or something. So they wanted me to oil up. I’m thinking, this is ‘Dukes of Hazzard,’ and I've got my head oiled up! And I was like, no, no. First off, the day I was working, I drove to the set, and as I was coming in to the driveway, there was a Confederate flag. It didn’t start the day off right.” (Audience laughs)

“Then I get there and I see the baby oil and the tank top.Then I go, ‘No, I want to see the director.’ I went, ‘No, no. This ain’t gonna happen.’ I’m walking to see the director and I go past the one other black guy in the entire room, and he’s telling a black joke." (Laughter) "So now I’m like, OK, this is getting bad. So now I’m going to see the director, I’m going to say I’m not wearing this thing. And he’s going to say something, and I’m going to knock him up. You know how you’re thinking in your head, when he says this, I’m going to say that. Then something said, just let it go, whatever happens. You can deal with it. And then I just …” (spreading hands) “And I saw the director, and I said listen, and he said, no, it’s OK, it’s over. And then I did show up in one of the funniest experiences I’ve ever had. With Tom (Wopat), and in fact I just worked with John Schneider again. That was a really big learning experience for me. Because sometimes you’re acting on the emotion of what you’re expecting to happen. And none of that happened. It actually turned out nice.”

We're kinda thinking that with the tremendous body of work he's had over the years, Ernie doesn't get many questions about our beloved "Dukes"!

Photo by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand.

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