Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris turns dictator for Under the Dome

Watch a video interview with Norris, who says playing Big Jim in the Stephen King adaptation was a welcome departure from his Breaking Bad character Hank

As Breaking Bad heads towards the end, and you get ready to sob yourself to sleep in front of your Netflix account, there’s some good news… Dean Norris, the show’s tough-but-vulnerable cop Hank, is already back on our screens.


Yes, Norris has swapped the crystal meth world of Breaking Bad for a spin as James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie in an adaptation of Stephen King’s sci-fi novel Under the Dome.

It’s the story of a small town, Chester’s Mill in Maine, which suddenly and inexplicably finds itself trapped beneath a dome-shaped force field. 

“Stephen King and Stephen Spielberg are producing it – at that point you only really have one answer, which is yes,” says Norris about taking on the role.

“And it was completely different from the character I’m coming off in Breaking Bad. The character was 180 degrees different and the genre was a whole different thing, so it was really appealing for me to do something different.”

Norris explains that while others (quite rightly) see the dome as a bit of a problem his character sees it as an opportunity.

“It brings out the best in Big Jim,” Norris explains. “He’s a used car salesman and wannabe dictator who finds the dome to be his opportunity to take charge. He doesn’t see himself as bad or evil. He sees himself as the guy that’s going to keep order and keep peace and that’s important in this little microcosm.”

Apparently, you also see a few cows getting cut in half and a man losing his legs. So, er, something for everyone, eh?

Watch the full interview below and catch Under the Dome tonight at 10pm on Channel 5