PRO­FILE Mike Vo­gel

Any­one who has ex­pe­ri­enced sep­a­ra­tion from their loved ones will find com­mon ground with the char­ac­ters in the lat­est adap­ta­tion of a Stephen King novel, writes Zoe Nau­man.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -

THE idea of be­ing in­car­cer­ated in­side a clear plas­tic force field cut off from so­ci­ety may seem very much the realms of science fic­tion.

But Mike Vo­gel, who is one of the stars of the lat­est TV adap­ta­tion of a Stephen King novel, Un­der The Dome, be­lieves it is some­thing peo­ple have ex­pe­ri­enced in the world to­day.

Star­ring as for­mer lieu­tenant Dale ‘‘Barbie’’ Bar­bara in the drama, he says those who went through the split of the Ger­man city of Ber­lin in the wake of World War II would have had an idea of what it felt like to be sep­a­rated.

‘‘With the wall be­ing erected, there was a di­vid­ing of fam­i­lies. That in a sense was like the dome – you had sis­ters, mothers, broth­ers and cousins on one side and the next day you were sealed off.’’ Vo­gel’s char­ac­ter is on his way out of Chesters Mill, the US town which is cut off from so­ci­ety in the Chan­nel 10 show, when the dome comes down. The drama is set in an un­spec­i­fied year in the fu­ture, not far from now.

At 11.44am on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 21, the small Maine town is abruptly and vi­o­lently sep­a­rated from the out­side world by an in­vis­i­ble bar­rier of un­known ori­gin.

Vo­gel says he has been fas­ci­nated by the con­cept of how it would feel to be cut off from ev­ery­thing you know and love, and be­lieves with the state of the world to­day, it is some­thing many peo­ple worry could hap­pen.

‘‘I think peo­ple are grav­i­tat­ing to ma­te­rial like this now,’’ he says. ‘‘I think with the in­sta­bil­ity in the world at the mo­ment, I am not say­ing it is go­ing to hap­pen at all, but ev­ery­one is ask­ing the ques­tion, ‘Could it? What if it could?’ Ev­ery­one wants to see how they would re­act and that is why I think they will want to watch.’’

With his char­ac­ter hav­ing a back­ground in the mil­i­tary, Vo­gel used friends in the spe­cial forces for in­spi­ra­tion. ‘‘You walk past a lot of th­ese guys on the street and you would think, ‘he’s a com­puter pro­gram­mer’. I think what we wanted to toy with was the vi­o­lence that they are ca­pa­ble of, and the fact that Barbie is at home in chaos.

‘‘We have all seen the story of the guy that comes home from war and is messed up, and deal­ing with PTSD (post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der). All of that is for real and I don’t take away from that, but there is also some­thing in th­ese guys. Un­less you sleep next to them, you never know they have ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing bad.

‘‘We wanted to touch on that in the show. It’s not heavy, but we touch on a lot of the mil­i­tary stuff to jus­tify the skill set that Barbie has.’’

He also drew on the love of his daugh­ters, Cassy Re­nee, six, and Charlee, four, to il­lus­trate how some­one would be­have if they were cut off from some­one they love be­yond mea­sure.

‘‘I cer­tainly think be­ing a fa­ther adds a whole other level,’’ he says.

‘‘It wasn’t un­til I had chil­dren I re­ally knew what that felt like – that you saw that re­ally well up in­side you.

‘‘That feel­ing you would lay your life down in a sec­ond for some­thing that you love so much.’’

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