TV, film projects continue local production

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

VACHERIE — The new WGN America television series “Underground,” starring Christopher Meloni and Matthew McConaughey-film “The Free State of Jones” are two of multiple productions filming this months in St. James, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parishes.

Meloni stars in the 10-episode drama television series, which is set to air in August 2016. Filming is expected to begin April 17 in Vacherie and last several months throughout South Louisiana.

The television drama follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to their freedom.

Anthony Hemingway, who directed several episodes of The Wire and Treme, will direct Underground’s first two episodes.

Caballero Casting is casting men and women of all ages and races.

Extras Casting Coordinator Rikki Hegwood invites locals to participate as background extras. Those interested are asked to email

Shooting locations for the series include Vacherie, Baton Rouge and St. Francisville.

Another drama being filmed locally is “The Free State of Jones,” which shot scenes in Edgard last month.

The production is continuing to shoot locally this month with works scheduled in Paradis.

“The Free State of Jones” is set during the Civil War and is written and directed by Gary Ross. It stars McConaughey as Newt Knight, a defiant Southern farmer.

“His story takes viewers through the twist and turns of his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy; where opposed to slavery and secession, Knight launched an uprising of poor white farmers that led Jones County, Miss., to itself secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones,” Hegwood said.

Casting agencies are accepting submissions for rolls as barge workers in Paradis that would work closely with McConaughey. Film leaders are looking for black men between eighteen and 40 and white men in their 30s with a beard to play soldier types.

Interested parties can register at The Free State of Jones is expected in theaters in March 2016.

Another production, “Into the Badlands” is expected to film in LaPlace, Edgard and New Orleans this month.

The upcoming AMC series, which is expected to premiere this year, is based on a mighty warrior and a young boy searching for enlightenment in a ruthless territory controlled by feudal barons.

Batherson Casting is seeking background actors 6’0 to 6’1 for white, Asian and Hispanic male stand-ins and possibly photo doubles.

Filming is expected to continue until June 9. Batherson Casting is asking those interested to apply at

In another production, actors portraying high school students will be filming this month at Whitney Plantation in Wallace.

Casting companies are looking for young adults ranging from 18 to 23.

Interested parties can upload their resume and photos at Details are under “Filming in Wallace.”

— By Gladys Davis Mulkey