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