POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 9:29pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 9:42pm
KILGORE — On Thursday night at the 4 Star Cinema in Kilgore, East Texans lined up to see Bernie and some of the people behind the dark comedy starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley Maclaine.
Acclaimed "Bernie" director Richard Linklater was in attendance. He's directed movies like Dazed and Confused and School of Rock.
After reading journalist Skip Hollandsworth's article on the case in Texas Monthly, the idea sparked.
"We just started talking about it, I kind of felt it could be a movie...I grew up in East Texas so...I don't know I liked their relationship, I liked the small town part of it," Linklater said.
Also in attendance -- real life Panola County D.A. Danny Buck Davidson portrayed in the film by McConaughey...and Bernie's real life attorney Scrappy Holmes.
"I could find no one in Carthage that had bad things to say about him. Biggest problem was when I got there he had already signed a 4 page confession," Holmes said.
Kay Epperson was born and raised in Rusk. She's one of the many everyday East Texans cast in the film as town gossips.
She says when she got to Carthage in late 2010 to audition for Bernie she couldn't find where the auditions were -- so she took action!
"So I called 911. And I said 'Honey, can you tell me where they're having the auditions?'" Epperson said.
After she finally found the auditions somewhere behind the "Sno-Cone Shack"...she got a pretty good response.
"They said, 'We love your voice!' And I said 'Well honey...it's sure for sale, how much of it you wanna buy?'"
Like a nervous fan, I couldn't help but gush a little bit about her performance.
"I don't think I can find anybody who doesn't think you're the funniest person in the movie," I told her.
"Well thank you! 'That dog don't hunt!'" she said.
And for those who haven't seen the movie, "That dog don't hunt" is one of Epperson's many hilarious lines in this movie.
It should also be noted, all proceeds from tonight's premiere went to the Longview ballet.
If you want to know more about the "Real Story of Bernie" - I did that story a while back, click here to see it.