Posted: Jul 22, 2017 5:55 PM EDT Updated: Jul 22, 2017 7:10 PM EDT PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -
Two years ago when convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, people across the region became a part of the story that made national headlines. Now, residents are getting the chance to take part in a TV series based on the real life events.
"Something interesting to do. Maybe get a break out in a minor acting career, couldn't hurt," said Plattsburgh resident Mark Maddy.
Hundreds of people showed up in Plattsburgh Saturday for an open casting call to audition for the TV mini series, Escape at Dannemora, that will be directed by Hollywood star Ben Stiller. Many drove hours for the audition.
"Get anything and everything, whatever opportunity arrives. I'm here. Just gonna try my best and try to fit in, get any role I can," said Jonathan Chirico--who traveled all the way from Buffalo.
An hour before the auditions even began, a line had already formed out the door of the Strand Theater. Many were told they would have to wait hours for their turn, and crowds continued to file in throughout the day.
The casting call notice said no acting experience was necessary-- with a particular interest in people with backgrounds in law enforcement.
"I worked as a state trooper for 27 years, and I also worked in a prison for 5 years, so I figured they could use somebody like me here," said Waddington resident, Clinton Johnson.
Casting Director Rachel Tenner says they have hundreds of roles to fill, including extras and a few principal roles. She hopes coming to the North Country will bring an authentic element to the show.
"I mean to be able to do this locally in the town where you're shooting, it's fantastic! It's not an opportunity you get all the time, so we absolutely take advantage of it, because you get to use your community and really, I keep saying authentic, but you really want to bring some authenticity to the world," said Rachel Tenner, Casting Director.
Bringing the story of the prison escape back to life, with the people who truly lived it.