Lucky fans join Stephen King, cast for a first look at 'Under the Dome'

Published: Jun. 20, 2013 at 3:48 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2013 at 10:11 PM EDT
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Rachelle LeFevre, Dean Norris, Stephen King and Britt Robertson
Rachelle LeFevre, Dean Norris, Stephen King and Britt Robertson
'Under the Dome' poster inside Thalian Hall.
'Under the Dome' poster inside Thalian Hall.
Fans lined up outside Thalian Hall.
Fans lined up outside Thalian Hall.
'Under the Dome' crews in Southport.
'Under the Dome' crews in Southport.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Stephen King and the cast of Under the Dome excited fans at Thalian Hall in front of a home audience for the screening of the first episode of the mini-series, which is based on a book by the best-selling author.

King and the cast answers questions from the crowd, after the audience got a first look at the Hollywood East-filmed show.

King, though, is no stranger to Wilmington.

"I love Wilmington," he said. "The studios and all the locations, I've been to all of those places before because I worked down here before on four or five pictures with Dino (DeLaurentiis) in the 80s. I have a book out now called Joyland and it's a fictionalized version of Wrightsville Beach. So, I like the area."

Under the Dome has been filming in Hollywood East since this spring. King said Wilmington, Burgaw and Southport come together perfectly to create under the dome's fictional town of Chester's Mill.

"Through the magic of filmmaking, there are a number of locations miles apart but in the story, they're all Chester's Mill," King said.

Thursday night, many who were in the local audience of lucky fans who landed limited tickets to the screening said they were excited about the show because they're fans of King's.

Even the show's stars said they're Stephen's fans.

"He's such a humble and sweet man and such an icon," said Dean Norris, who plays Big Jim in the series. "It's just been great."

Norris is best known for his role as a DEA agent on Breaking Bad.

We talked to him about his character on Under the Dome.

"He's only looking out for the good of the town but sometimes, he does some bad things," Norris said.

Wilmington native Josh Carter, on the other hand, is a good guy in the show.

He plays a firefighter whose fiancé is stuck inside the dome.

"It's amazing," he said. "It's a highlight for my career, being a Stephen King character. I was really excited to get this role. I hope I represent Wilmington in a good way and that people are proud to have me on their TVs."

Mayor Bill Saffo, who is proud to have the show filming locally, gave the creators and crew a special honor at the screening.

He proclaimed Monday, June 24, the day the show airs on CBS, as Dome Day in Wilmington and gave King a key to the city.

After watching the premiere episode of the series, there was a Q&A with the executive producers and the cast, including Norris, Rachelle LeFevre, Mike Vogel, Natalie Martinez and Britt Robertson.

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