Wilmington, N.C. — The cast of the CBS sci-fi drama "Under the Dome" is definitely enjoying some of the perks of filming in North Carolina.
The show, which is based on a Stephen King novel about a small town that becomes trapped inside an invisible dome, is filmed entirely in the Wilmington area.
The North Carolina coast might not have the glitz and glamor of California, but Rachelle Lefevre, who plays Julia Shumway on the show, says she prefers the beaches here.
"The temperature is better, and I love the sand here," Lefevre said.
Another North Carolina staple has captured the attention of Mike Vogel, who plays Dale "Barbie" Barbara on the show: the barbecue.
"I'm quite a fan, yea," Vogel said. "My wife will just sit there and drink the sauce out of the jars."
A single episode can take as long as eight days to film. Many of those are 12-hour workdays.
"The experience of working can range from what feels like a normal day at work to being part of this clandestine subculture of, you know, carnies who are up at three in the morning making TV," said Eddie Cahill, who plays Sam Verdreaux on the show.
"Under the Dome" is filmed at EUE Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, as well as in Burgaw and Southport. Visit NC has a breakdown of several stops to make if you are in the area and want to see where the show has been filmed.
The actors are giving out few hints about what is to come in the upcoming third season.
"We'll find out why it (the dome) came down. We'll find out who brought it down," Lafevre said. "And this season, a lot of answers are going to be given to fans, cause, like I know it can be a little tiring after a couple of seasons."
Alex Koch plays "Junior" Rennie, a young man who feels estranged from his domineering dad, "Big Jim," self-proclaimed leader of the fictional town of Chester's Mill.
Koch thinks the mystery of the dome and why it's there has really captured viewers' attention.
And this year, there is a new, mysterious character – Christine Price, played byformer "CSI" star Marg Helgenberger. Price is a therapist sent to Chester's Mill to help, but that doesn't appear to be her real motive.
"I guess some people would call her a villain. I don't necessarily see her as such, but the kind of character that people might have a love-hate relationship with," Helgenberger said.
The third season will be filled with trysts and triangles. Another new character Eva Sinclair, played by Kylie Bunbury, bonds with Barbie.
"I am an anthropologist who's come into the dome for...I don't know if I can tell you why," Bunbury said.
Another new element is that Chester's Mill's town hall will be converted into a communal living space, complete with bunk beds during this season.
The 13-episode third season of "Under the Dome" starts Thursday night on WRAL-TV.