Banshee, the latest TV show filmed in Charlotte, premieres Friday @ 10
Posted on 9 Jan 2013 by Justin Ruckman
From True Blood’s creator Alan Ball, Banshee is the latest TV show to be filmed in Charlotte, and premieres on Cinemax this Friday, 10–11 PM.
From the show’s website:
From the creator of ‘True Blood,’ ‘Banshee’ stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania, where he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier.
Théoden Janes from the Charlotte Observer writes about the cast and crew’s relationship with Charlotte and the surrounding areas:
Location scouting took producers all over the U.S., including Pennsylvania, since the story is set there; they also considered Canada.
“North Carolina is an excellent match for Amish country,” [show runner Greg Yaitanes] says. Plus, “it was the right mix of having a strong crew base, as well as the tax rebate.”
The movie and TV industry can get a refund on 25 percent of salaries and money they spend on taxable items in North Carolina, up to $20 million per project. It’s one of the most competitive tax breaks of its kind, and is responsible for luring major projects like “Homeland” and Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” movie.
Then there was the look of the greater Charlotte area.
“Five towns make Banshee: Monroe, Mooresville, Lincolnton, Gastonia, and Waxhaw,” Yaitanes says. “No one town captured everything that Banshee was, but everything existed in that area, and it allowed us to go to a lot of different places and make that town.”
They found Banshee’s police station, bus depot and train depot in Mooresville; its slaughterhouse, a local diner and Milicevic’s character’s house in Gastonia; the crime boss’s mansion in Waxhaw; the Banshee courthouse in Monroe; and a local watering hole on Old Statesville Road in north Charlotte.
Sound stages for interior sets were built in warehouses along Reames Road just north of Sunset Road off Interstate 77. Uptown Charlotte stands in for Harrisburg, Pa., in Episode 4.
[Ivana] Milicevic, 38, a former Bond girl (“Casino Royale”), rented a furnished apartment in Dilworth from spring till fall and named Soul Gastrolounge in Plaza Midwood, Amelie’s in NoDa, Tony’s Ice Cream in Gastonia, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center as some of her local favorites.
The actress loved the weather, and loved the people; she found North Carolinians to largely be sweet, whereas Los Angelenos can be “snooty and snarky,” she says. When she left, “I remember thinking, ‘I’m really gonna miss this. I’m gonna miss driving on the street and people being like, ‘Yeah, go ahead! Cut in!’ It’s not like a battle everywhere you go.”
She hopes to come back, but time will tell. Cinemax announced a year ago that it had ordered a full 10-episode season, and since the channel’s programming depends less on viewership numbers than on total subscribers – barring a catastrophe – fans of the show will get their 10 episodes.
As for Season 2? There are no guarantees, though Yaitanes and the writers are optimistic, having already mapped out the series’ next chapter. “We’re just waiting on the official word to go ahead.”
Milicevic – who had to fight for the role and feels “very lucky” to have landed it – is crossing her fingers as hard as she can. “I’ll believe it when I officially am looking for another place to live in Charlotte.”