This past weekend in Carthage and Longview, TX, a cast calling was held for extras for the movie Bernie. Starring in this film is Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine.
Austin based filmmaker Richard Linklater has taken on this project. The basis revolves around a 1996 shooting and killing of an older woman in Carthage. Her killer, Bernhardt Tiede II, kept the body locked away in a freezer for months before being discovered.
Tiede was convicted of murdering 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent. Serving a life term, investigators stated the assistant funeral home director (Black) was the rich woman’s (MacLaine) companion after her wealthy (millionaire) husband passed on. It sounds quite scandalous, intriguing and very plausible. Now, 52, Tiede resides in McConnell Unite in Beeville.
Sheila Steele, casting agent, believes the casting call reached out to the Texas towns as they “want the interesting people, and we want the real people.” Filming is scheduled for this upcoming fall in Austin and Bastrop.
I’m hesitant on this project because I could rarely envision Jack Black playing a serious role of any sorts. He has embodied films that seem to be anything but serious. Maybe this is a chance for him to step out of his comfort zone, the familiarity. Curiosity could prove healthy on this film. If all else fails, it will be intriguing to see how the story will be written an executed.