Dan Blocker loved being Hoss, but hated rehearsal
The 6'4 giant loved playing the role of Hoss Cartwright, but hated the rehearsals. "I'm a lazy cowboy," he said.
Whenever Dan Blocker had a day off, he would make the best of it.
Blocker was known for playing Hoss Cartwright on the hit series, Bonanza. The giant 6'4 star loved playing the role of Hoss, but had trouble finding a break when filming Bonanza episodes. Blocker and the rest of the cast would be on set five days a week.
In a 1968 interview with Fort Lauderdale News, Blocker explained that being part of the Bonanza cast meant turning down other roles and potential gigs.
"The trouble with the series is that it keeps us so occupied that we've had to turn down about five major things this year alone," Blocker said. "There are millions of other things I'd like to do. But we're like you guys on the paper, we've got a deadline with Bonanza."
It's fun to imagine what other roles and projects Blocker might've taken during his time on the show, and it leaves us wondering what could have been.
As for keeping in shape during filming, Blocker would have rather been doing anything else.
"I don't work out anymore. I did for almost 15 years. Mike Landon is always in the gym with weights, but not me. I'm a lazy cowboy," he said. "I get enough of a workout just shooting the series. It takes six days to shoot one episode, and we work five days a week, so we always overlap into the next week."
Blocker became so familiar to viewers, that many considered him family. As much as Hoss meant to viewers, he also meant a lot to Blocker. Although, being Hoss wasn't always effortless. In fact, the effort and the many rehearsals it took to film Bonanza, was probably one of his least favorite things.
"Every rehearsal cuts down on spontaneity," he said. "By the time I've done a walk to the door four or five times, I begin to limp or even try to put some emotion into it. That's ridicolous. Nobody thinks about how they walk to a door."
The next time you're watching Bonanza, just remember the many long hours Dan Blocker put in to not wanting to rehearse the scenes. With or without rehearsal, Blocker was the perfect fit to play Hoss.