By Domenic Poli
June 29, 2017
ORANGE — Star treatment was being given at Orange Town Hall this week, as residents met the three men working on a Stephen King-inspired series expected to be filmed in town.
Hulu, a subscription video-on-demand service, has selected Orange as a filming location for “Castle Rock,” the upcoming production developing buzz in entertainment circles. Location managers Joseph Stargensky, Alex Berard and Kevin Foster attended a Selectboard meeting Wednesday to share information about Hulu’s plans.
“I think it was an extremely positive experience. Everyone had questions. … We had a great time,” Stargensky said. “We’re pretty excited that people are excited about it.”
Filming of the psychological-horror drama is expected to begin in late July or early August.
The location managers also told people about slatecasting.com, which they can visit for information on being extras, or as its called in the business, “background actor” casting.
Berard, who grew up in Uxbridge, has been spending his days in Orange, introducing himself to business owners and making himself available to the public. He referred to the Miller’s River Cafe, inside Trail Head Outfitters & General Store at 1 South Main St., as “kind of my mobile office.”
“It seems like most of the town just cycles through here,” he said Wednesday afternoon.
Berard said Orange, when he was growing up, was an unofficial halfway point when traveling from Uxbridge to visit his grandparents in Vermont. He said he used to eat at the Box Car Restaurant in Erving and later attended Keene State College in New Hampshire. His work has included location scouting for “Manchester by the Sea,” with Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams.
Berard said the production crew will likely request that many storefronts be dressed in a way characteristic of the fictional Castle Rock during filming. Castle Rock is a fictional town in Maine, King’s home state. It has been used regularly in King’s work, including “Cujo,” “The Dark Half,” “IT” and “Needful Things,” as well as the novella “The Body,” and numerous short stories are either set there or contain references to Castle Rock.
“It’s nice because it’s kind of untapped territory out here,” Berard said about the North Quabbin area. “We don’t typically do a lot of filming out here.”
According to Berard, “Castle Rock” is being produced by Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot, the production company of J.J. Abrams, the 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.
According to deadline.com, André Holland from the Academy Award-winning film “Moonlight” has been cast to play the lead role.
The series has also signed Sissy Spacek, famous for her role as the title character in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s “Carrie” and Jane Levy, who starred in the ABC comedy series “Suburgatory.”
And says deadline.com, the most recently enlisted talent is Melanie Lynskey, who starred as Rose in the CBS comedy “Two and a Half Men,” with Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer.