By Emily Feimster
Move over Jessica Simpson
! There's a new Daisy Duke in town and she's about to take Hollywood by storm. From a modeling gig on the highly successful NBC series, "Deal or No Deal," to a starring role in "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning," April Scott is already turning heads. It's just a matter of time before everyone else catches on.
Born in the town of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, April began pursuing acting at a small Christian college called College of the Ozarks in Branson. After getting a degree in theatre, she moved to Los Angeles where it wasn't long before she found an agent. "I just started from scratch," she tells us. "I would get a few roles here and there, but I mainly did a lot of modeling for four years." Soon "Deal or No Deal" came knocking on her door. Ok, well, maybe she went knocking on theirs, but nonetheless, she was hired as model number 14 for the show's first season.
She explains: "They had a pretty extensive audition process to narrow it down to 26 models. Once we got there, they said they could only guarantee us six days of work. Then we'd get picked up for 12 more shows. Then it became so popular that all of a sudden they were ordering 23 more episodes and it kept increasing. NBC ended up ordering 53 episodes for the first season," says April of the show's surprising success. "People magazine came to our set and they photographed us all for the '100 Most Beautiful People' issue. I think that increased the popularity too." You can certainly never go wrong with hot girls and Howie Mandel.
Near the end of the show's first season, April returned to her love of acting and tried out for the newest version of "The Dukes of Hazzard" - which reportedly might be the first of a string of DVD "Dukes" pics, depending upon how this one fares. "It was such a cool role that everybody was going out for it, so I feel really lucky to have gotten it," she notes.
Though there had been a recent film version of the series starring Jessica Simpson, April says her film was more about the earlier lives of the well-known TV characters. "I tried to base this Daisy more on Catherine Bach's character."
When asked if any of the original cast has had a chance to talk with them, April responds, "Not yet. I would love to know if any of them have seen it. I know there's a pretty hardcore 'Dukes of Hazzard' fan site called hazzardcounty.net and Warner Brothers has been in touch with them. They have a blog where most of the fans saw the movie and are really supportive of it and they think it captured the TV series. If the fans think it's good, then I'm sure the original cast will."
Now that "Dukes of Hazzard" is on DVD and she's no longer with "Deal or No Deal," April has had even more time to focus on her movie career. Already she's got three more projects on the way, including the dark romantic comedy, "I Do...I Did," which comes out in the fall. "I play a woman who is eight months pregnant and that was a challenge. I find out that my husband was married before when his ex-wife shows up on my doorstep and decides she's living with us."
Another of her projects, titled "Coma," is being targeted for May release. "It's going to be the first of a TV series that you can download on your cell phone," says the actress, who worked with Michael Madsen in the production.
Working with the polific actor of "Reservoir Dogs" and the "Kill Bill" movies certainly was a treat, and she couldn't help but laugh when thinking about him bringing his own shotgun to use as a prop during filming.
She found her next film, "Nite Tales" with Gary Busey, to be much less amusing. "It's about six people who wake up trapped in this room and we're all trying to get out. That was nuts, but it was a horror film, so it made it pretty busy to be freaked out."
As for April's future, her path to success certainly seems bright. Her next goal is to take her career a step further by delving into writing and directing. "I've directed quite a few things, but they were for the stage or for short films. I actually finished a screenplay and I'm planning on directing it in late April," she says about her first full-length film. "I'm excited because it gives you the freedom to create the kind of project you want to act in."