Ben Stiller discusses 'Escape at Dannemora' before big Plattsburgh premiere

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) It's the talk of the North Country-- the Showtime miniseries "Escape at Dannemora" premieres tonight in Plattsburgh.

Our Kelly O'Brien scored a sit-down interview with the director, Hollywood star Ben Stiller, ahead of the premiere.

“I was in Italy I was shooting Zoolander 2 to in Italy," said Stiller.

While he may not have been in the country for the 3-week manhunt for David Sweat and Richard Matt, when Ben Stiller heard word of a possible production of the escape -- he had to be a part of it.

“It seemed a little unreal and that to me was what was interesting the fact that this is real this is part of our society that were not even aware of,” Stiller said.

In June of 2016 Stiller made his first visit to the North Country to start scouting spots.

"We met with the District Attorney Andrew Wylie and my now friend Damian Battinelli," Stiller said.

Battinelli is a photographer in Plattsburgh who closely photographed the manhunt.

"I said listen, I can show you where everything is, if you want me to come with you right now. They all looked at each other and said ‘get in’ and here we are two years later. It's insane,” said Battinelli.

Stiller wanted the series to feel real and be as accurate to the escape as possible.

“The more you learned about it, the more fascinating it was, learning the details of how two inmates in 2015 would actually saw their way out of their cells. It just seemed like such an anachronistic thing that happened to happen in this day in age in a modern prison,” Stiller said.

Now premiering on the big screen right in the Town of Plattsburgh.

"The series launched into its first hour, it's really dark. I think it captures a lot of the mood very well. I'm cautiously optimistic on how the next five or so hours go in the series," said Michael Cashman, Plattsburgh Town Supervisor.

Battinelli hopes this is just the beginning of the North Country on the big screen.

"I think that this is opening doors for the North Country, I think we’re showing Hollywood that this is a beautiful location, don't forget about us out here we can really offer great locations for your stories," Battinelli said.

If you couldn't make the premiere but want to catch the miniseries, “Escape at Dannemora” premieres this Sunday on Showtime Network.