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April 2005
Set Visit Report: Jessica Simpson Speaks

Set Visit Report: Jessica Simpson speaks

By Wilson Morales

Sometime back in January of this year, I, along with other journalists from various websites, had the opportunity to go to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and visit the set of "The Dukes of Hazzard", the film based on the TV series. The film stars Seann William Scott as Bo Duke, Johnny Knoxville as Luke Duke, Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke, with Burt Reynolds playing a big tall Boss Hogg. One of the highlights of the show and the film is seeing The General Lee back in good form. Yes, the Confederate Flag is still on the rooftop of the car. It wouldn't be the General Lee without it. After meeting with Burt Reynolds while having dinner at a fabulous steakhouse (Fleming's), we spoke briefly with producer Bill Gerber, who gave us a rundown on how the schedule will be while we were on the set.

We woke up the next morning and went to Starbucks to get ready for the long day. After watching The General Lee in action with other cars, we spoke to Seann William Scott, producer Bill Gerber and director Jay Chandrasekhar. Chandraskhar was kind enough to show us some dailies of what has been shot already. At 10 in the morning, the weather was still chilly, but meeting the cast was a pleasure. After taking a stroll through the houses used for the film, we stopped by the production office where we met up and chatted with Johnny Knoxville. Knoxville gave us a glimpse of his Jackass humor when he walked in, but I will discuss that at a later date. As Knoxville walked out of the room, the newest Daisy Duke, Jessica Simpson, walked in. Seeing her image in magazines and on TV is nothing compared to the seeing her in person. She is definitely Daisy Duke.

Will you be performing with Willie Nelson?

Jessica Simpson: That started out as a rumor and something I wanted to do and I didn't know if he wanted to do it but he asked me on-set the other day to sing with him. So, we're trying to find the best song to do, and we'll be recording that.

Did you work together on the theme song?

JS: No. He did that by himself. He doesn't want me on the theme song.

Did you find jumping into acting in films different from the TV show?

JS: You know I thought it was going to be a lot harder but I think just the atmosphere, the cast, Johnny and Sean, and the director, Jay, and everybody has really made me feel very comfortable. They're crazy anyway, so it's okay if I mess up and it's cool for your first movie to go in completely open to just fall on your face. That's the personality that they have and what makes them so good at what they do.

Why did you want this part?

JS: It was important for me to not go so far away from my persona and what people already knew me as and eventually I go there in acting but for my first role I just didn't want it to be too farfetched and I just thought it was an amazing character and I wasn't alive when Dukes of Hazzard was around (on TV), but I did see all the reruns and I'm from the South and the accent sort of came natural and it's something that as an all-American girl I wanted to keep.

With cameras all around you all the time, did your experience on your TV show make it a lot of easier to do this film?

JS: I don't even notice a camera anymore, so that's one of the positive things as far as having a crew around all the time. They'll be in your face and you don't even notice that they are there, which is scary but it's good as an actor.

As an actress, what did you do to prepare for the role?

JS: I shoot on Thursday and I don't even know what my lines are so I'm better at just going in and sit in my hair and makeup trailer and while I'm getting my hair and makeup done, just memorizing my lines right there. That way I don't rehearse them too much and it doesn't sound like I'm acting and it's more on how I say it instead of thinking of when and where to say my lines. It gets too confusing and that's when I think it starts to look contrived.

Do you have any desire to drive the General Lee?

JS: Well, Daisy never really was in the car. She pretty much stayed in her jeep and I think Bo doesn't let many people drive it. I did go to driving school. I guess I just did it for fun because I really don't do any car tricks or stunts or anything in the movie, but they wanted me to feel comfortable driving so I went and learned how to do a reverse 180 and all sorts of stuff and they said I caught on really quick.

Are you and Enos going to hook up in this movie?

JS: I definitely tease Enos a little bit. It's sort of how I get my cousins out of a lot of situations.

Isn't that cruel?

JS: Is it cruel? No, because she really does love him and has a place in her heart for him.

She doesn't love himä

JS: I don't know. Maybe in the sequel? When it was first written, they had Enos and Daisy kissing but I haven't read that in the new script.

So you don't think it will happen?

JS: I already had my big scene with Enos. Most of them are in bikinis. Thank God those are over.

You look like you got in shape for this role. Can you talk about what you did to prepare for this role as Daisy Duke?

JS: Immediately when I found out that I had the part, I thought it would be best to be able to have something to work towards or else I'll stick to my fried food and taco bell. To have something, a goal, is awesome; so I ate my last piece of chocolate cake when I found out and ever since then I've tried to cut sugar out of my diet except fruit. For the most part, I eat healthy and work out for two hours everyday.

Will you stick to this diet after the movie?

JS: Yeah, I'm addicted to it now. Now, I actually feel better and I have so much more energy and work is so much easier, but I'm also not traveling everyday of my life, which I'm so used to and that's one of the main differences when doing a movie.

Having the part of Daisy Duke must have brought you plenty of talk about the jeans and what brand will you choose. Have you decided on one?

JS: Oh my gosh. I tried on so many jeans. You can't even imagine how jeans I tried on for this movie, but most of them were jeans that we just cut off and made them as short as we wanted to, which is probably more than I would wear.

What brand was the lucky winner?

JS: Lucky jeans, and then Levis is in one (scene), but the main Daisy Dukes are Lucky and her jeans are True Religion.

Will you have your own line of Daisy Dukes?

JS: Yes. I just signed a big merchandising deal and my mom and I are doing it together, so we're going to have a line of jeans called Bridges. I'm hoping to do a line of Daisy Bridges.

I heard that you had fun shopping while you were hear and ended up with a lot of luggage.

JS: Yeah. It's so weird for me because I like to be comfortable but I also like to put together outfits so you never know what you're to feel like that day so you have to bring, and the sad thing is that my closet at home in LA is completely full and you would not know that I have so much luggage out here but I do and we're going to end up having to ship things home. It's funny that what you think is cute when you go to a small town, and I'm used to shopping and getting major designer stuff, but now we are so excited to go to a Target and get a new hooded sweatshirt.

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