Go Un­der the Dome

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

ASEA­SON play­ing a straight- shoot­ing jour­nal­ist cut off from the world by a mys­te­ri­ous, im­pen­e­tra­ble dome has made fl ame- haired Cana­dian ac­tress Rachel Le­fevre clear on one thing.

Should it ever hap­pen in real life: “I would not be one of the peo­ple stand­ing on the bridge with the signs wel­com­ing aliens.

“I fancy my­self a more prac­ti­cal per­son than that,” Le­fevre laughs.

“The fi rst thing I would do, like Ju­lia and a lot of the char­ac­ters did, would be to try to get real an­swers, like ‘ Is it the mil­i­tary? Is it science- based? Is it an ex­per­i­ment gone wrong?’ “

The 34- year- old has a prac­ti­cal­ity sim­i­lar to that of her al­ter- ego Ju­lia Schu­man in the hit sci- fi se­ries Un­der

The Dome, but in real life her sense of hu­mour is more ev­i­dent.

Granted, not be­ing a trapped un­der a dome prob­a­bly means Le­fevre has more to laugh about.

Per­haps be­cause Un­der The Dome has given Le­fevre ex­po­sure to a whole new world of fans, as well as see­ing her re­turn to the sci- fi genre in line with an­other of her high- profi le roles, as vam­pire Vic­to­ria Suther­land in the fi rst two fi lms of the Twi­light saga. The fi rst sea­son of the show based on hor­ror writer Stephen King’s novel of the same name, which sees a town sealed off from the rest of the world by a mys­te­ri­ous force fi eld, has been a hit in the US and in Aus­tralia where it has been fast- tracked hours af­ter air­ing State­side.

Un­der The Dome wraps up its fi rst sea­son on Tues­day night, with Le­fevre

teas­ing that while view­ers won’t get all the an­swers, they will get res­o­lu­tion to some sea­son- long ques­tions.

“There’s a lot of sat­is­fac­tion to be had in re­gards to ques­tions that were raised early on,” she says.

“We don’t want to leave the au­di­ence think­ing at the end of 13 episodes that they got no an­swers.”

She gives an evil gig­gle. “The prob­lem is that as it goes on. More ques­tions come up.”

Le­fevre says it’s some­thing the ac­tors them­selves dealt with all sea­son. And maybe what makes the show so ad­dic­tive.

“It has been as in­trigu­ing to make as it has been to watch,” she says.

“In the last week of fi lm­ing we were still wait­ing for an­swers.”

Le­fevre dis­cov­ered hours af­ter land­ing the role of Ju­lia that her prepa­ra­tions wouldn’t be helped by read­ing King’s novel.

“I ran out and bought the book, then pan­icked about how I was go­ing to read it in a week, be­cause it’s enor­mous,” Le­fevre says.

“Then the writ­ers told me the script was mak­ing some changes from the book, I de­cided just to read the book when I was done.”

Le­fevre’s Ju­lia has had a tough sea­son of it since the dome went down.

Her hus­band went miss­ing, she was threat­ened phys­i­cally try­ing to fi nd an­swers to the dome and its mysteries, she got ro­man­ti­cally en­tan­gled with a bloke called Dale “Barbie” Bar­bera ( Mike Vo­gel) who moved into her house, and then found out her ‘ miss­ing’ hus­band was dead and it was Barbie who pulled the trig­ger. Oh, and she’s also been

shot. That’s plenty to go on with for sea­son two if she sur­vives Tues­day night’s sea­son- en­der.

Un­der The Dome may be sci- fi in premise, but the way the res­i­dents of Ch­ester’s Mill cope with their sud­den iso­la­tion is very hu­man.

Le­fevre was de­ter­mined to bring that to her char­ac­ter.

“As a jour­nal­ist Ju­lia had to be a per­son who was not eas­ily rocked or flus­tered. She had to be even- keeled and keep a poker face,” she says.

“The more she digs, the more she has an inkling of who is on which side of the line.

“But what I love about Stephen King’s writ­ing is that you never re­ally know what peo­ple are ca­pa­ble of un­til they are in a par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tion.

“You can trust some­body for a whole episode, and in the next episode, maybe not.”

On the love in­ter­est that is Barbie, Le­fevre says Ju­lia has lit­tle time for sim­ple “phys­i­cal at­trac­tive­ness”.

“They were at­tracted to each other right away, and I don’t just mean phys­i­cally,” she says.

“Phys­i­cal at­trac­tion is easy. It’s a cheap com­mod­ity and that’s the least in­ter­est­ing thing about the re­la­tion­ship. They’re both pretty. Big deal. The most in­ter­est­ing part is they are strangers in this town. Both are re­ally out­siders. That’s what brings them to­gether.”

Le­fevre laughs in hind­sight about the sto­ry­line that re­vealed Barbie as her hus­band’s killer.

“It all gets a lit­tle bit com­pli­cated when the guy who’s sleep­ing in your house turns out to have killed your hus­band,” she says. “They might have to talk about a lit­tle bit.”

UN­DER THE DOME

TDT, Tues­day 8.30pm

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