Jolene Purdy's Under the Dome character Dodee has proven to be one of the brainier characters inside the dome. What she lacks in people skills, she makes up for in radio smarts, and that's already proven to be useful in the efforts to unlock the mystery of the dome. We spoke with actor Jolene Purdy this week about her character and what's ahead for the residents of Chester's Mill, including the butterfly twist and whether or not there's a romantic future for Dodee and Phil.
This interview is mild on big spoilers, but Purdy does discuss the show, with some vague hints at what's ahead, so read on with that in mind!
During last Monday's episode, we got our biggest clue yet that butterflies play a mysterious role in the dome's existence. What does "The Monarch will be crowned" mean? We don't know yet, but Purdy did talk about the butterfly connection within the series:
There's butterflies all throughout, which I love. And now when I see butterflies it's kind of cool, because it reminds me of it. I can't really say much about that. I think that was a really good tease that the writers gave, with the monarch thing, because it is a theme that's been running since I feel like Episode 1, I think you see Angie's tattoo. and then it brings it back around in Episode 8. The butterflies are on the dome on Visitors Day, so the monarch theme has been coming through in almost every episode.
Purdy credits the writers for keeping the viewers guessing, but the characters are also in the dark, and from what she tells us, they'll be wondering what the "monarch" clue means:
I think everyone starts guessing what they think it means in this next episode, but it doesn't really start to… The show's like a little onion and there's layers that keep being exposed. As cast members, we were reading the scripts and trying to guess what this monarch thing is and where they're going with it. We thought we had it all figured out, and then we'd read the next script and we'd go 'oh! Totally wrong. The writers are amazing."
Those who've read the book know why it's a good thing Dodee hasn't really come face to face with Junior Rennie. In Stephen King's story, the "Dodee" character crosses Junior Rennie's path just once and things did not go well for her at all. Fortunately for the TV show's Dodee, it doesn't sound like she and Junior will meet anytime in the near future. "I love Alexander Koch," Purdy told me. "He is amazing. Me and Nicholas Strong, who plays Phil and Alex, we would hang out so much. And I really wanted to do scenes with him and it just kind of never happened. I mean, there's crossing of paths but so far we haven't really interacted much as Junior and Dodee. Which I'm thankful for, because he's a little crazy on the show."
As for what happened to the Dodee in the book - book spoilers/comparisons ahead - Purdy admitted she only read the beginning of the book. If you're familiar with King's story, you know she wouldn't have needed to get that far into the novel to learn her character's fate. Fortunately, the Dodee in the TV show has lasted much longer, but Purdy was a bit alarmed when she discovered how brief book-Dodee's appearance was:
"I packed for six months to be in North Carolina. And I called my manager and I was like, 'Uh, are you sure it's six months? Six weeks sounds more plausible.' I don't know. But yeah, it's a lot different, so that's when I actually stopped reading the book. Because I tend to fall in love with books. And then, I get a little bit disappointed or I like hold to the book and I can't let go so much. So I decided that I wanted to discover this whole dome situation through the eyes of Dodee and the writers of the show."
Of everyone in the show, Dodee seems closest to Phil Bushey, the radio station DJ. We've seen them have some great moments together since the series started, which made me wonder if maybe there was something more developing between these two. Alas, it's not meant to be. At least not anytime soon. Purdy says they're like brother and sister. "You know what, they're just best of buds," she said. "Like brother and sister. They compliment each other so well. Dodee isn't really a people person. I love people, but Dodee loves technology. So we're a little bit different in that way. But Phil is her go-to person. The person that she can really let down her guard with and be honest with. They have this love that's not quite romantic."
Purdy also credits Phil for exposing Dodee to music. "We met her mom," Purdy said. "And her mother is deaf. And so that is a little side to her character, because she works in a radio station and if her mother was deaf growing up, what kind of music did she listen to growing up as a hearing child of a deaf mother. Phil also exposed that kind of world to her, which is another reason that their friendship is so strong."
One of the things Purdy mentioned more than once was that Dodee's more comfortable around technology than she is around people. "It's Dodee's battle between people and technology and the dome," she told me. "And she's really trying to figure out interpersonal relationships with people other than Phil."
Will we see Dodee back in Season 2? Purdy couldn't say one way or the other, but she sounds optimistic, saying, "I haven't heard that I'm not so, I hope so."
Here's the episode info for Monday night's "The Fourth Hand".
“The Fourth Hand” – Big Jim and Barbie discover their lives are more intertwined than they knew when a mysterious woman, Maxine, shows up unexpectedly in Chester’s Mill, on UNDER THE DOME, Monday, August 19(10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Natalie Zea (“Justified”) guest stars as Maxine.
Watch the preview for the episode here.