It's been a long year, but the highly anticipated return of "Under The Dome" is finally upon us.
It ended with the most baffling of cliffhangers: Julia (Rachelle Lefevre), the monarch, dropped the egg into the lake, thus releasing pink stars into the sky (well, up into the dome) and breaking through that darkness, just as Big Jim (Dean Norris) and Junior (Alexander Koch) were about to hang Barbie (Mike Vogel) for crimes he didn't commit. Needless to say there was a lot to take in. A lot.
HuffPost Canada TV got a chance to speak with Vogel, and he gave us some insight into the upcoming season of "Under The Dome" -- all while confounding us more. Grrr. The actor did reveal how the mythology of the dome becomes clearer, what the new series regulars bring to Chester's Mill and reassures us that, yes, he finally does get out of those handcuffs. Oh, and he also does a mean Stephen King impression, but that was for our ears only.
HuffPost TV Canada: Last we saw Barbie, he was in quite the predicament.
Mike Vogel: He was in a pickle. A pickle.
I'm going to presume he doesn't die since we're talking.
[Laughs] It's hard to keep that one a secret. But, yeah, just by the nature that I'm still working kind of blows that secret out. He talks his way out of the situation. It's not even that. We pick up the season right on the back of where we ended last season, the event that was taking place around all this with the dome sort of groaning and the stars. It was all leading up to an event that's happening that's fairly catastrophic. Things get so bad that Barbie is able to talk his way out of where he's at and buy himself some time, and events work out to where he's able to escape.
In the finale, Barbie doesn't say anything, he doesn't defend himself. Why not?
It was always my biggest thing, why am I not defending myself? But Jim was probably going to hang me anyway, no matter what I said, and now I've put Julia at risk. The logic behind it is that Barbie's kinda gonna go to the stake quietly and let everything die with him, do the courageous thing that way. And then circumstances work out so that he's able to escape.
How soon before Barbie gets out of those handcuffs? Because that had to be annoying.
[Laughs] It was a painful several episodes where my wrists were bruised up my entire arm. And it continues ... hmm, when do I get them off?
Oh my God, what? Not right away?
[Laughs] No. I'm trying to remember during the first episode when they come off. They come off in the first episode. But still a good chunk of the episode was done with them on so it was more continued life as a perp.
Stephen King makes a cameo, and he also wrote the premiere.
Could you tell the difference between his script vs. others?
You could. What I would've loved to have been able to do is read his first script. There were so many times where he would pull me aside and say [puts on a Stephen King-esque accent], "I wish you could've seen what I really wrote here in that scene that they wouldn't let me do. It was pretty spectacular." We're limited, to an extent. The morbid imagination of Stephen King, there's a bit of a harness, certainly, that's put on him and keeps him in check and with what we can get away with on network television. What Stephen does well is the grand scale of things, seeing these events across a massive span of the show. We had some really fun stuff in the first several episodes of the show and certainly this first one [of Season 2] you see his stamp on it, you see his brain working.
The premiere is titled "Heads Will Roll," which can be good or bad, depending on who you are. What can viewers expect from your stuff, the events, these pink stars, the egg?
It's a lot. Last season was very much about a bunch of people trapped in a town, trying to figure out how and where this thing came from. There were all these theories, was it the government, was it something else, was it some other life form? Things become a lot clearer as to the cause of this thing, the egg, all of it. The mythology of the dome becomes much more prevalent and with it, the chaotic events really kick into high gear. It's pulling us, it's having its way with us. This season, we'll lose a couple of beloved castmates and we'll gain a couple more that are really, really great and talented, playing interesting characters that add some really good stuff to the show this season.
Yes, Eddie Cahill and Karla Crome. What can you tell me about their characters?
Eddie plays, hmm, what can I say? [long pause] Eddie plays Junior's uncle, so Big Jim's brother-in-law, who has been dealing with his demons in the town since all this happened and will be brought to the forefront. And Karla Crome plays our resident scientist, she's a high school science teacher and a lot of what this season focuses on ... I've heard [showrunner] Neal Baer talk about a lot, is the colliding of science and faith. How do we explain this thing that's happening? Sometimes there are scientific explanations for what's happening but sometimes there are not. Sometimes we don't have an explanation and we're operating out of belief. So that's the role that she plays. There are a couple other characters that come in as well, which I probably can't mention, but they are very well-known actors.
What does Barbie make of the egg, and Julia being the monarch? Whatever the hell that means. He seems like a practical guy...
He is and that's why this season really stretches him. As everything was happening last year, Barbie didn't have to deal too much with the weird mythology that was happening around him. He's a handle-himself kind of guy, he's an experienced soldier, he knows his way in the middle of chaos and so for him a lot of last season was just trying to keep people alive and do the right thing, help people out and how do we get out of this situation we found ourselves in. This season, he's pulled into, and forced to confront, the mythology of the dome by way of ... man, there's so much I can't say. [Laughs] This is more difficult than showing up on set.
He's taken places and shown some things that he can't deny that basically show him that he didn't end up in Chester's Mill at this time, at this moment, by accident. There is an orchestrated plan happening around it and on so many levels, we're finding out things about everyone who's there, each one of them serves a purpose for something in some way. There's a reason someone wanted them there. And so the whole year is really a lot of epiphanies for everyone. But it's very difficult for Barbie, for sure. He spends a lot of this season rejecting the things that he's seeing, rejecting the coincidences, rejecting the things that he can't explain -- until a couple things happen that kind of make him go, "OK, there's nothing I can say about that. It is what it is."
We've learned a little bit about Barbie but for the most part, he's still a mystery. How has he changed since he's entered Chester's Hill, and will we learn more about him, and see more of his true characteristics come out?
Yeah, it's interesting because we're all trying to strike that balance between time that the audience feels and the actual time of the show. Because in actuality, we've been under this dome now, as of last season, for a day under two weeks. And yet to the audience, it certainly feels longer than that. So there's a tightrope we have to walk, between trying to be true to the time frame of the show and yet also realize that the audience is realizing time in a different way than we are.
So it gives us some ability to kind of play with time and play with changes and progressions in characters and there are some things that we buy and we assume. But where is that line, what's too far? I guess we'll find out how people respond to that. For Barbie, he's been to the darkest places of humanity as a soldier and the things that he witnessed were horrible so him coming back now is a chance to kind of make right on that. He's been a champion of the people of Chester's Mill and we'll see him tested even more because some people in town are proposing some pretty awful stuff in the name of the greater good, to help things survive. And Barbie is again the one fighting for the people and the town.
We also find out, and meet, some of Barbie's family this year. And I can't tell you how and when that happens but it's damn interesting when it does. So you'll see more of a glimpse into the man once that happens. That fills in more of his back story as well.
Who -- or what -- is the bigger problem for Barbie this season, Big Jim or the Dome?
Don't say you can't answer that!
[Laughs] I would say that the biggest problem for Barbie this year lies outside the dome.
That's the perfect answer. Sort of. But I don't know what it means.
Yeah. Again, damn cool when we get there.
"Under the Dome" premieres Monday, June 30 at 10 p.m. ET on Global in Canada and on CBS in the U.S.