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Producer: Orange is a “lovely’ Castle Rock

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli Castle Rock Coffee by Dean’s Beans. Trail Head Outfitters and General Store is the only business that carries it.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli At the special town meeting in Orange on Oct. 26, Moderator Christopher Woodcock dons a wig to look more like actress Melanie Lynskey in a playful appeal to "Castle Rock" executives to give him a role in the Hulu series being partially filmed in Orange.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli “Castle Rock” filmed in Central Cemetery in Orange.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli “Castle Rock” filmed in Central Cemetery in Orange.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli Castle Rock Coffee by Dean’s Beans. Trail Head Outfitters and General Store is the only business that carries it.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliMattresses & More on South Main Street in Orange has had a Schlitz beer advertisement painted on its side for the filming of "Castle Rock," an upcoming Hulu series inspired by the works of horror writer Stephen King.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliOne of the two 15,000-square-foot brick buildings belonging to Gary H. Moise, owner of the Orange Trading Co. on South Main Street, was on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the site of filming for "Castle Rock," an upcoming Hulu series based on the works of horror writer Stephen King.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliOne of the two 15,000-square-foot brick buildings belonging to Gary H. Moise, owner of the Orange Trading Co. on South Main Street, was on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the site of filming for "Castle Rock," an upcoming Hulu series based on the works of horror writer Stephen King.

  • Attendees of the open casting call for the Stephen King series, Castle Rock, being filmed in Orange, wait in a line beginning on North Main Street at the Orange Town Hall Auditorium, wrapping around onto Prospect and High Streets, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Attendees of the open casting call for the Stephen King series, Castle Rock, being filmed in Orange, wait in line on High Street Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Attendees of the open casting call for the Stephen King series, Castle Rock, being filmed in Orange, wait in a line beginning on North Main Street at the Orange Town Hall Auditorium, wrapping around onto Prospect and High Streets, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • An attendee of the open casting call for the Stephen King series, Castle Rock, being filmed in Orange, reads a book while waiting in a line beginning on North Main Street at the Orange Town Hall Auditorium, wrapping around onto Prospect and High Streets, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli “Castle Rock” filmed in Central Cemetery in Orange.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli “Castle Rock” filmed in Central Cemetery in Orange.

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic Poli People chat near a barricade reading "CASTLE ROCK POLICE" during filming of the "Castle Rock" series being partially filmed in Orange.



Recorder Staff
Thursday, December 21, 2017

ORANGE — The fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, is written as a place straight out of nightmares. But a producer of an upcoming series based on the made-up location author Stephen King uses in much of his work has said Orange, the town tapped for filming, has been nothing but a dream.

Robin Sweet said crews were in town Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday filming the Season 1 finale of “Castle Rock,” an original suspense/thriller.

“People have been lovely and very patient, and we appreciate all the help we’ve had in the community,” she said. “It could have been a real challenge, and I think it’s just all gone very smoothly,” Sweet said.

“Castle Rock” crews started working in Orange around the beginning of August, visiting periodically to film the series, and are expected to finish early next month.

Hulu, a subscription video-on-demand service, ordered 10 episodes of “Castle Rock.” Filming has taken place in Orange and at New England Studios in Devens, from where Sweet spoke via telephone on Tuesday. Hulu employees have worked closely with the local government to arrange dates and times in which cast and crew can utilize public roadways — including the main intersection — for their work. The Orange Police Department has used Facebook to warn locals, often humorously, about when filming will occur and which roads would be closed. Officers have directed traffic during filming.

Having lived in New York City, Sweet said she is familiar with having to get from “Point A to Point B,” only to be hindered by show business traffic.

“I’m usually as frustrated as everybody else. There’s no immunity to it,” she said with a laugh. “But I do absolutely get the sense the community as a whole is pleased with our presence and that it’s ... brought some extra money to businesses.

“The overall response has been positive, even if we’re an inconvenience at times,” she added.

Sweet said she is confident “Castle Rock” has also served as a distraction for Orange, a town still reeling from a house fire that killed two little girls in March 2016 and a home invasion seven months later that resulted in the murder of an elderly couple.

Sweet, who grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Concord, said she is a freelance producer in the midst of her first job for Hulu and her second for Bad Robot Productions, J.J. Abrams’ production company. Abrams is the creator of “Lost,” “Felicity” and director of the films “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Mission: Impossible III.” Sweet previously produced the pilot episode of the television series “Person of Interest” and, most recently, the series “Better Call Saul,” a prequel to the smash hit “Breaking Bad.”

“Castle Rock” is also being produced by Warner Bros. Television. Orange landmarks, like the Quabbin Harvest food co-op at 12 North Main St., are visible in the trailer, which can be seen online at bit.ly/2y5Lptp.

The series has enlisted a cast that includes Melanie Lynskey, perhaps best known for playing Rose on the sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” André Holland, from the Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight,” Sissy Spacek, famous for her role as the title character in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” Jane Levy, who starred in the ABC comedy series “Suburgatory” and Bill Skarsgård, who has received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the 2017 film “It,” based on King’s 1986 novel of the same name.

Sweet said the actors have enjoyed their time in Orange.

“Everyone has loved it, Sissy Spacek in particular,” Sweet said. “It’s a part of the country that they hadn’t experienced or spent time in before, and by that, I mean in New England. It’s eye-opening to the cast and crew. They’re out of their minds with how beautiful it is here.”

Sweet said a stunt coordinator from New Mexico recently told her how much he loves the area.

Though Massachusetts is increasingly used for films, such as “Manchester by the Sea,” “Patriots Day” and “The Finest Hours,” it has been 30 years since a series has been filmed in the state. That series was “Spenser: For Hire,” a mystery/suspense television show that ran from 1985 to 1988. Sweet said Massachusetts has great film production tax incentives.

She said there is not yet a premiere date for “Castle Rock,” though she said it will be in the spring. She also said she could not speculate about the future of the series.

“We’re all hoping there’s a Season 2,” she said. “The series is called ‘Castle Rock,’ which would absolutely bring us back to Orange.”

According to Hulu, the fictional town of Castle Rock has been featured in “Cujo,” “The Dark Half” and “Needful Things,” as well as the novella “The Body” and other short stories.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 258
On Twitter: @DomenicPoli