Born in Pennsylvania to a family with two grandfathers who fought in World War II, Mike Vogel now plays Army veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara in CBS’ Monday limited series “Under the Dome,” based on the Stephen King novel of the same name.
Barbie is on a mission and has plenty of secrets and angst, but Vogel is a happily married father of three daughters. He also doesn’t think much of actors opining on world issues.
“I grew up a plumber’s son in Philadelphia,” he tells Zap2it. “No one stuck a microphone in my dad’s face, saying, ‘What’s your view on gun control?’ But why would they care what I think? On paper, actors are the dumbest group of individuals essentially out there.
“Most of us have not gone to college. However, we never stop learning. Because of what we do, we’re constantly researching, constantly learning. However, my opinion versus my dad’s in Philadelphia doesn’t hold any weight.”
He’s also found that sometimes it’s difficult to swim against the tide in terms of political and social issues in Hollywood.
“All I ask for is dialogue,” Vogel says. “Let’s sit down and talk. That’s why we left L.A. My wife and kids and I, we moved to Texas last year, to Austin. It’s liberal Texas, but it’s the one place where you will see the cowboy, the hippie, the soldier and the construction worker, all sitting at the same bar, having a civil conversation.
“You’re going to get your wackos anywhere, but I want my kids exposed to discourse and to different views, but I don’t want them to be shouted down for theirs. And that’s it.”
Being in the Lone Star State may have even inspired Vogel — and maybe or maybe not wife Courtney — to add to his family.
“I’ll do it,” Vogel says. “We had three, and we’re still grossly under the quota system for Texas families.”
While he says “Under the Dome” isn’t trying to push a political agenda, it does spark conversations on the set in Wilmington, N.C.
“Trust me,” says Vogel, “I’m knee-deep in discussion around here.”
Birth date: July 17, 1979, in Abington Township, Pa.
Fashion cred: Modeled for Levi’s and Kohl’s before taking up acting
TV cred: “Grounded for Life,” “Miami Medical,” “Pan Am,” “Bates Motel”
Film cred: “Grind,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “Supercross,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “Havoc,” “Rumor Has It,” “Poseidon,” “The Deaths of Ian Stone,” “Cloverfield,” “Across the Hall,” “Open Graves,” “Blue Valentine,” “She’s Out of My League,” “The Help,” “McCanick,” “Jake Squared”
Favorite book:?” ‘Wild at Heart’ by John Eldredge. This was the first book that I had read from a Christian perspective that calls men into the lives that they were meant to live. It spoke to basest part of me, that every man has an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue and fight for. I have read it countless times.”
Favorite music: “This one is almost impossible for me to answer. I have such an eclectic taste in music. Come to a backyard BBQ at my house and I will run the gamut from Skynyrd to Sinatra to ’90s grunge, rap, R&B and classic rock. I have issues. If I had to pick one, I love this country artist named Craig Morgan. His music and his songs are so relateable and tell such vivid stories.”
Favorite movie: “I have to split this one in two. For most of my life it was ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ with Clint Eastwood … . I can quote it from front to back. That all changed, however, when I went to see ‘Saving Private Ryan’ with my grandfather, a WWII vet. Sitting next to him during that first 15 minutes and watching him bob and weave in his seat because of the memories that it brought back was something I’ll never forget.”