1,500 line streets of Orange to audition for ‘Castle Rock’

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliOrange resident and mechanic Norm McGrath went to Tuesday's open casting call in a black hearse he is working on for his nephew, who owns it. It sports a Maine license plate that reads "STN CLD," for "Stone cold."

  • Recorder Staff/Domenic PoliOrange resident and mechanic Norm McGrath went to Tuesday's open casting call in a black hearse he is working on for his nephew, who owns it. It sports a Maine license plate that reads "STN CLD," for "Stone cold."

  • 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—Matt Burkhartt

  • Attendees of the open casting call for the Stephen King series, Castle Rock, being filmed in Orange, exit the Orange Town Hall Auditorium after auditioning Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—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—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—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—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—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—Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/18/2017 8:15:46 PM

ORANGE — Orange just took a step closer to becoming Castle Rock.

Approximately 1,500 people braved Tuesday’s heat to stop by an open casting call at Orange Town Hall for extras on the upcoming series based on author Stephen King’s work. Hulu, a subscription video-on-demand service, selected Orange as a filming location for “Castle Rock,” a fictional town in King’s home state of Maine.

The casting call lasted from shortly before 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. People were periodically ushered inside the town hall’s auditorium, where they had their photographs taken before filling out an application and learning about the process of selecting people to appear in the series.

Orange native Kyle Deane, 28, said he has always been interested in acting and chose to show up Tuesday to see for himself what a real open casting call is like.

“I didn’t come with too high of expectations. I just expected to have an experience, maybe get a fun experience out of it,” he said.

Deane said he has acted locally and was involved in theater as a student at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School.

“I always liked being the center of attention when I was younger,” he said, standing in line. “I just like to pretend to be other people – what kid doesn’t, I suppose. But if it just sticks with you for a while, why not go with it?”

The line of hopefuls spilled out of the town hall’s front entrance on North Main Street, turned up Prospect Street and again onto High Street. People young and old stood patiently for their chance to get inside. Some made small talk and discussed the excitement buzzing throughout town, while others listened to music on their smartphones. Some people had their dogs with them.

Police officers were needed to help direct vehicular traffic at the corner of North Main and Prospect streets and at the main intersection.

Sarah Mildren, team leader at the Quabbin Harvest food co-op across the street from the town hall, said anyone who mentioned “Castle Rock” between 3 and 7 p.m. got a 10 percent discount. She said people were pouring in to buy ice cream, drinks and snacks.

“Everybody’s excited,” she said. “It’s been fun to watch.”

Chicopee resident Shannon Moineau, 23, said she and her co-workers took their work break to visit the casting call.

“I thought it would be cool,” she said. “I really love the horror genre.”

Moineau said she enjoys King’s novels and the movies based on them.

Casting director Julie Knowlton, who co-owns Slate Casting of Boston, the company running the casting call, said the response from the community has been fantastic. She said this casting call had a huge turnout and success is typically gauged on the number of people who show up and their overall enthusiasm and passion.

“It’s so hot, but everyone has been fabulous,” she said. “Everyone has been so nice. It’s beautiful out here.”

She also touted the importance of background actors and what they provide to a production.

“Any movie, any TV show, any thing you see where there’s people in the background, if those people weren’t there, how would it look? It wouldn’t look real. So everyone is really, really important,” she said. “We’re so thankful that they took the time out of their day to come. And I’m sure it’s out of a lot of people’s comfort zones, which I give everyone a ton of credit for that. Because it’s not something you normally do.”

Knowlton said a casting call is essentially research for a production. She said people will be contacted via email.

She also said the ship to Castle Rock has not sailed for anyone who couldn’t make it on Tuesday. People can visit slatecasting.com and click on the “CASTLE ROCK EXTRAS” tag at the top of the screen to fill out an application.

Petersham resident Polly Pillsbury skipped to the front of the line Tuesday because she is a union actor, belonging to the Screen Actors Guild (now the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) since 1984. She said she has appeared in theater productions, TV commercials and movies, including “The Finest Hours” and “Manchester by the Sea.”

Pillsbury said she typically files applications online but decided to stop by because she lives 12 minutes from Orange Town Hall.

Orange resident Norm McGrath, a mechanic by trade, drove to the casting call in a black hearse he is working on for his nephew, who owns it. McGrath said his nephew is passionate about Halloween and even has a haunted house for the ghoulish holiday. The hearse, complete with an empty blue casket in the back, was fitting for a Stephen King-inspired series – with a Maine license plate that reads “STN CLD,” for “Stone cold.”

“Castle Rock” is being produced by Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot, the production company of J.J. Abrams, creator of “Lost,” “Felicity” and the films “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Mission: Impossible.”

A teaser for the series can be viewed online at: hulu.tv/2rBi7hF.

Casting

According to deadline.com, André Holland from the Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight” has been cast in the lead role. The series has also picked up 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 Melanie Lynskey, who starred as Rose in the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men.”

According to variety.com, the most recently enlisted talent is Bill Skarsgård, who starred in 2012’s “Anna Karenina” and will appear as the main character is a 2017 adaptation of Stephen King’s “It.”

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


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