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 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.’’