After watching the debut installment of CBS’ new summer smash Under the Dome, one thing was abundantly clear: Maybe-murderer or not, Mike Vogel‘s Barbie is the man you want on your side should your city find itself trapped beneath an enormous invisible barrier.
But what’s the real deal with the mystery man? Will he be able to embrace Chester’s Mill as his own? Is Julia safe under the same roof as the man who probably killed her hubby? Can Barbie hold his own against young (psychotic?) Junior? And what’s with that nickname?!
Here, Vogel answers TVLine’s burning Dome questions and reveals what surprises lie ahead on the thriller (which airs Mondays at 10/9c).
TVLINE | Congrats on that huge debut! What was the mood like on set when you got the news?
We’re pretty excited about it. I’d like to think that we’ve caught people’s attention and now we get to [start] deepening all those relationships.
TVLINE | Having just finished watching you on Bates Motel, I’ve got to say that it seems Barbie’s journey will be the exact opposite of what Shelby’s was: from ne’er-do-well to unlikely hero instead of the other way around.
That’s a really good assessment. [Laughs] Barbie is just caught walking a tightrope for this entire series. He’s having to balance his actions, which speak volumes as to who he is as a person. But he’s also battling the town and some other characters who have ulterior motives. Being the outsider, he becomes a scapegoat for a lot of things and has to use his skill and his wit to overcome it all.
TVLINE | Murderous secrets aside, should we expect to see Barbie and Julia working side by side moving forward?
There certainly are some things starting to bubble with Barbie and Julia. There’s always that underlying skepticism, which continues to get played even more so in the next episode. This week we have a big fire that breaks out, and in a normal circumstance that’s a difficult situation — but you put it in a small town under a dome where your fire department is stuck on the outside? Now you’re faced with a situation where the entire town could go up.
TVLINE | And what is Barbie’s role in all of that? There’s really nothing tying him to the town or its preservation.
Escaping [the dome] is left to some other characters. Barbie’s just trying to cover his tracks. He’s in a town that he wants to avoid and disappear in as much as possible, but he keeps finding himself drawn into these situations where, because he is a good guy, it’s innate in him to protect and to defend. As much as he tried keep a low profile, things keep happening that force him to intervene.
TVLINE | So, basically Junior keeps happening. How does that uncomfortable dynamic progress?
[Laughs] To my knowledge thus far, we’re going to deepen that dynamic and both parties will be very wary of the other. Barbie is a good judge of character and it’s quite clear, in his mind, the kind of person Junior is. But again, things shift over time with Junior — not necessarily between Barbie and Junior, but he does start to get some more answers as to what’s behind Junior’s motivations and why he’s acting how he’s acting.
TVLINE | Was that quick moment of bonding with Angie enough for Barbie to notice she’s missing?
There is more to come with those two, but the whole point of that moment was for Junior to misconstrue a harmless encounter, which, in turn, was enough to cause Junior to act out. As we’ll see, it’s another situation that Barbie’s thrown into [where he’s] going, ‘What the hell is this guy’s problem?’ [Laughs] Barbie and Angie’s paths diverge for a time, but we will see them come back together later.
TVLINE | Last but certainly not least, will we learn the origins of that nickname?
Yes, and in fact, you’ll find out this week. It’s done in a really good way. He doesn’t just have an obsession with Ken dolls and red Corvettes… That would be weird. [Laughs]