Background performers needed for two productions filming at Kingston Pen

Kingstonist file photo of Kingston Penitentiary.

Kingston will be hosting film crews again this year at Kingston Penitentiary. Two productions, Paramount’s “The Mayor of Kingstown” and Amazon’s “Reacher” will be filming scenes locally during the spring and summer of 2021.

The Mayor of Kingstown is a new series co-created by Hugh Dillon. No official details have been released, but two actors have been named for this series so far: Jeremy Renner and Dianne Wiest, according to

Set in a small Michigan town where the only industry remaining are federal, state, and private prisons, ‘Mayor of Kingstown’ follows the McClusky family, the power brokers between the police, criminals, inmates, prison guards and politicians, in a city completely dependent on prisons and the prisoners they contain, according to Hugh Dillon’s website.

“The show has parallels with Dillon’s hometown of Kingston,” the website continued, “which was named ‘King’s Town or ‘the King’s Town’ in 1787 in honour of King George III, before being shortened to Kingston the following year, according to an archived chronology by the Kingston Historical Society. And similar to the fictional Kingstown’s prison industry, Kingston has the largest concentration of prisons in Canada, which included for many years the Prison for Women (closed in 2000) and Kingston Penitentiary (closed in 2013). Kingston Penitentiary is now home to the popular Kingston Pen Tours as well as being used as a film location over the years for Star Trek Discovery, DC’s Titans, Murdoch Mysteries and music videos by Dillon’s band Headstones that include Leave It All Behind and Dimes And Pennies.”

Reacher is a new TV series based on Lee Child’s ‘Jack Reacher’ novels. Alan Ritchson will be playing Jack Reacher, and the first season is reportedly based on the first Jack Reacher novel, The Killing Floor.

Both of these productions are looking for local background performers. According to a release from Visit Kingston, filming for both productions will be happening at Kingston Penitentiary.

Film and television production has been permitted to continue in the province, according to the release. Productions are regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, which amended its health and safety protocols to include special requirements regarding access to sets, testing up to three times per week, physical distancing, and PPE requirements.

The two background opportunities are as follows:



  • Seeking men and women of all ethnicities, 18+ years of age, to play prison inmates
  • Looking for “rough and tough” appearances

Rate of pay:

  • $14.25/ hour (Actra members will be paid the daily contracted fee as per IPA)

Additional details:

  • Work dates are offered on a weekly basis, so availability is key
  • You must be available for COVID-19 tests (provided by production, you will be paid 2 hours work for those)
  • Shoots are Monday to Friday – you may be needed some or all of those days
  • A general work day on set can range from 8 hours to 14+ hours
  • If you say yes to a day of work, assume you cannot schedule anything else that day
  • Start times and wrap times vary from day to day. You will always receive your “Call Time” (start time) the evening/night prior to your work day via email
  • Tattoos are fine but you must provide a letter or email of clearance from your tattoo artist (tattoos may need to be covered if this is not possible)
  • Only those that fit the desired requirements will be contacted
  • If selected, you will be contacted by the end of April

How to apply:

  • Please email a current selfie (picture) that best represents you and include your name, telephone number, and email address.
  • In the email, please include your measurements: height, weight, waist, shoe size
  • Apply directly to: [email protected]



  • Male performers only. Looking for men over the age of 18. BIPOC, (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) and Caucasian performers
  • Residents of Canada and/or men with work visas are eligible

Rate of pay:

  • $14.25/hour
  • Full days include a one-hour non-paid boxed lunch

Additional details:

  • Filming: Monday, May 3
  • Scenes will be shot throughout the day within the prison’s interior cells and outside in the exterior prison yards. Required for some scenes: shirtless/tank tops
  • Shooting hours: vary in length from 8 to 14+ hours. Start times vary. You need to be available all day and evening for your shooting production days
  • COVID testing is mandatory by production team. This will happen in Kingston (date, time, and site to be determined)
  • Strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place: wear double masks at all times unless actual on-set filming is occurring; two-metre separation between all people unless on-set; sanitation stations will be set up and must use when moving from place to place
  • Tattoos: visible tattoos are fine. A picture must be submitted to the email below with a letter of email clearance from the tattoo artist. (Tattoos may need to be covered if this is not provided)
  • COVID-safe snacks (packaged) will be provided. Bring your own snacks and water bottles
  • You will be notified by the casting office personnel for further information

How to apply:

  • Your full name, age, address, telephone number, and email address
  • Head and full body photo shots (required)
  • Tattoo clearance letter or an email attached from the artist
  • Height, waist, chest measurements and shoe size
  • Apply directly to: [email protected]

Only those that fit the desired requirements will be contacted, according to the release.

These details are also available on the Visit Kingston website.

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