DO­ING IT HIS WAY

Dean Nor­ris has man­aged to carve out a long and suc­cess­ful ca­reer play­ing his share of tough guys and gar­ner­ing plenty of fans.

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV - MICHELE MANELIS

Dean Nor­ris is cur­rently mak­ing waves as James “Big Jim” Ren­nie in the third sea­son of Un­der The Dome. But it’s not the only role that has had peo­ple talk­ing dur­ing his suc­cess­ful ca­reer. The 52-yearold vet­eran talks about the im­pact that be­ing part of wa­ter cooler shows like Break­ing Bad and NYPD Blue have had on him as an ac­tor.

We ended sea­son two with sev­eral peo­ple es­cap­ing the dome. Where are we go­ing to fo­cus this sea­son?

There’s a plot line that has to deal with some who may think that they are out­side the dome – but maybe they’re not. We will get into it in the first cou­ple of episodes – but I can tell you defini­tively that Big Jim is still un­der the dome.

What’s in store for Big Jim?

I didn’t want him to turn too much into a psy­cho killer be­cause how far can you go with that? What’s in­ter­est­ing is that Big Jim might not be the guy you want as your neigh­bour, but when it comes to bat­tling the dome maybe he is the guy that you want. He sees through the BS that the town buys into and he does it in a smar­tass way. It’s a lot more fun this year with Big Jim.

Break­ing Bad made a huge im­pact dur­ing its time on screens. What did you take away from it?

It was such a great show to have been a part of and it’s still with me; it’s still hard to grasp the whole im­pact it made be­cause peo­ple are still dis­cov­er­ing the show. Two sum­mers ago at its peak it was like be­ing in The Rolling Stones. It was in­sane; it was like a cul­tural phe­nom­e­non around the world. I will take away get­ting to do re­ally, re­ally great work and work­ing with re­ally great peo­ple. Some­times all you re­ally want is to have that in your back pocket. So I got that one. We’ll see if another one comes along.

Tak­ing you back 20 years to NYPD Blue, where did you think your ca­reer was go­ing at that time?

You have ups and downs and things that you wished had worked out. But I am a guy from In­di­ana so just to make a liv­ing as an ac­tor was it. If I could do that, I’d be happy and for­tu­nately I got to do that early on and then to have got­ten Break­ing Bad, no one knew it was go­ing to be a hit. In fact, there was a great show that I was re­ally dis­ap­pointed I didn’t get about three months be­fore that (laughs) and thank God I didn’t get it.

What are The Dome fans like? Do they want to know what’s go­ing to hap­pen?

Yeah, they do and I am glad we’re giv­ing them an­swers this year – oth­er­wise we’ll be torn apart.

What’s the fan in­ter­ac­tion like?

They come up and say, “We love your show!” You do a job and you like to get recog­ni­tion, so to have peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate what you do is fan­tas­tic.

Un­der the Dome, Chan­nel 10, Mon­day, 9.30pm

Pic­ture: CBS

Dean Nor­ris stars as James ‘Big Jim’ Ren­nie in Un­der The Dome.

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