When Seann William Scott read an early script for a movie remake of the ’80s road-rubes TV series, he thought it ”felt like a cheesy episode of the show.” But then director Jay Chandrasekhar (Super Troopers) said that he and his Broken Lizard partners were punching it up to make it a funnier, faster film, inspired by what he saw as Dukes’ true inspiration: Smokey and the Bandit. ”I said, If you’re gonna go make it cool and country and rock, that’s awesome,” says Scott, who plays Bo to Johnny Knoxville’s Luke. (And what’s more country-cool than Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse?) ”I wanted to make sure it wasn’t Dude, Where’s My Car? in the South.”
To ensure that Smokey flavor, Chandrasekhar not only cast Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg, he hired one of Hollywood’s top car-chase artistes, stunt mastermind Dan Bradley (The Bourne Supremacy). ”I told Dan I want [the chases] to feel like when you got in the car with that guy in high school who was out of control,” says Chandrasekhar. ”You got in that car once and didn’t get in again.”
Jessica Simpson, making her film debut as the boys’ nearly kissin’ cousin, Daisy, doesn’t do much driving, but her short shorts will be handling the curves. ”Daisy’s an all-American girl,” says Simpson. ”It’s very empowering for a woman.” Really? Wedgies are empowering? ”She’s a badass but can use her body at the same time,” defends Simpson. ”I think that’s a really cool image to put out there for women.” Quick, somebody get Condoleezza Rice a pair of hot pants.