INTERVIEW PART 1 OF 2 WITH MIKE VOGEL FROM THE EARLY 2000
Before you read these 10 out of 32 questions from the Interview, let me tell you that Mike was great at answering all the questions. Thoughtfully and throughly. If he was nervous, well, he didn’t seem to be! Thanks to Mike and his family for giving me this big opportunity to share all your questions and being answered by Mike himself. Awesome. I hope you all like this big Exclusive for the Site. Ready? Put on your seat belts. You’re going on a roller coaster ride!
Note: The transcript, which was recorded, with the permission of Mike is all written down. No sugar coating, no anything. This is the real thing. I’m going to start it off with the first question of the interview. I’ll post the whole transcript when we talked about other things later on. And I’m sorry for typos! Here’s the first ten questions of the 3 part Interview.
Aaron: So, are you ready for the interview?
Mike: Yeah, let’s do it.
Aaron: There’s like 32 questions. Is that okay?
Mike: Yes, it’s perfect. It’s fine.
Aaron: Alright, okay. Do you mind if I record this?
Mike: Oh, please do!
What has been your biggest challenge when pursuing your career as an Actor?
Mike: My biggest challenge… I guess there’s been two of them. You know, one was when I was first starting out back in Philadelphia, um, you know especially being a kid from Philadelphia, like everyone out here in Los Angeles is raised with knowing how to get into the business if they want to because they’ve been around it their whole life. In Philadelphia…
…It’s quiet there ? (Low Key)
Mike: Yeah, there’s… No one grows up and says “I want to be an actor”. They grow up and you know, you do whatever your dad did or you know, not many people leave home. So the biggest challenge was for me of overcoming that mind set of letting Philadelphia… Of never leaving home. And it was tough in the beginning ’cause I would get up five o‘ clock in the morning, drive to the train station, take the train up to New York, audition all morning.
Is that far away from Philadelphia?
Mike: New york is about, I have to take the train up, so it’s an hour and a half train ride, so I get up early, and I take the train up there. I do all my auditions all morning, and then come back home around two or three in the afternoon and do plumbing with my father till ten o‘clock at night trying to make money. And you know, those are the sacrifices you make. It’s weird because all morning I’m out pursuing my dream doing you know, what i love to do, what i want to do and then i have to come home and stick my hand in toilets and it’s you know, it’s very sobering. Because it makes you really realize, i must really love what I’m trying to do here, to be doing this (Laughs).
You’re very lucky you know…
Mike: I’m very blessed and I was lucky I had my dad’s business to work at because you know, you hear the harsh stories lots of people had to switch the work schedules around and they can’t get off or this or they missed auditions. Fortunately, it was my father’s business, so he let me come and go when I had to go. Um, the second thing that is the hardest to get over is getting over what people think about you, which I don’t know if you ever totally get over. You know, everyone has an opinion, everyone likes to act like their the critics and people like that act like they know what they’re talking about half the time.
Would they tell you that you wouldn’t make it?
Mike: If I had a penny for every time someone said “Oh this movie is the one that’s going to be the big one, this movie is going to the big one”, I’d be a billionaire right now. Because, you know, everyone acts like they know what they’re talking about. And then you have people that constantly make up bad rumors about you, that say, and it’s like, you just need to learn that people are going to do that…
…You have to roll with the punches.
Mike: Yeah, makes you trust yourself. It makes you believe in holding to the truth.
Who’s your favorite Actor or Actress?
Mike: My favorite Actor, Actress. I have to say my favorite Actor of today would have to be Brad Pitt. Because I think he has, not only because he’s Brad Pitt and everyone looks at him and go, “Oh My God, It’s Brad Pitt”, but from an acting stand point, I think he’s walked the line in his career where I wanna walk. He makes really cool choices. On the films he wants to do. He’ll do a huge blockbuster like Troy or something like that, but then he’ll turn around and do Snatch or he’ll do Seven or 12 Monkeys or Fight Club, like a really cool role and he mixes things up. He doesn’t never get caught in that stereotype.
He’s not always the same person. He’s always surprising people.
Mike: Yeah, that’s a mistake a lot of people make is that they go for the money, they take the roles everyone throws at them and people get tired of seeing them because they see the same thing over and over again. So, I would say Brad Pitt is definitely one of my favorites.
Mike: Yeah, I love em’. He’s just a super nice guy. I mean Courtney and I got to meet him and Jennifer at a… They are at my agency too, and so we were at the Oscar Party last year and their agent introduced us to them and we talked for a bit. I mean, they are the coolest, down-to-earth people in the world.
I would like to meet a lot of celebrities…
Mike: Yeah, well, there are a lot of them you would like to meet and a lot of them you could do without meeting.
Did you Audition for something that you wanted so bad and didn’t get it?
Mike: Oh, about, almost every thing I could win on (Laughs). Um, that’s the tough thing about acting, is that, you know, especially at the beginning. For every one hundred things that you go in on, maybe you’ll get one of them, maybe if you’re lucky. Like right now, there’s a project I want really bad called Jar Heads, that Jake Gyllenhaal is doing and it’s a war movie. This is a war movie about the gulf war, and one of the problems about casting in this town is that, you know, like sometimes you’ll get “You’re too good looking, not good looking enough, he’s too character looking, too this”. There are plenty of projects that I love that I want to be part of… That for stupid reasons you can’t get in on.
They’ll cast you for being talented… (There’s just too much competition!).
Mike: That’s the thing though. Talent has very little to do with the industry anymore. I mean, look half of the Actors out there. A lot of them aren’t very good. It’s about money. You have guys like Sean Penn, who I think are one of the best Actors, yet they make tons less money than Brad Pitt or someone like that because Sean Penn is obviously is the better Actor, but Brad Pitt puts more people in the seat and that’s all that matters.
What film was the most fun to be in?
Mike: What film was the most fun to be in, um, I would say… I would have to say Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Because, well, first, Texas was actually the first film I ever did. I actually shot back before I ever even shot Grind, but Grind came out first. Um, and Texas was the most fun because Jonathan Tucker the kid that plays, uh… What’s his name in the movie…
Mike: Morgan, yeah, yeah, the kid that plays Morgan. He’s like my best friend out here in Los Angeles and was before the movie.
How do you guys become friends?
Mike: We became friends by um, when I first moved out here. I was friends with Neil Patrick Harris. Tucker is like kind of like this unofficial little brother. You know, Tucker’s been acting since he was twelve. And him and Neil have the same manager and so, when Tucker would come out here and he was really young, Neil would kind of look out for him. Neil introduced me to Tucker, and I start the acting class that I was going to here for a while. Tucker’s in the same class, so we got to be really, really close. You know, it came time to audition for this thing, and both of us are sitting in the room screen testing together looking at each other saying, “How the heck are we here together” (Laughs). Um, but you know, everybody in that cast from Jessica Biel and down… Were just super cool. We all still get together! just this Sunday; We all got together up at the producer’s house and hung out. It was a constant joke on that set. So, it was every weekend, while we were shooting, on the weekends we’d go rent boats and go boarding and water skiing…
You were acting goofy on the set. I saw the takes (On the TCM DVD Extras).
Mike: I was extremely goofy. I have trouble not being goofy (Laughs). Because then that would be too seriously and boring (Laughs).
You’re very funny.
Mike: Thank you.
Has fame changed you?
Mike: Um, when fame happens I’ll let you know. I still have a lot that I go through. Of course I’d like to say no; no I don’t think it will ever will. But there’s also a lot of stuff that you can’t predict. I can still live in a house with neighbors all around me and not get, not walk on the street and get mobbed. Where on the other hand, my buddy Adam by doing one Television show now he can’t even go outside because he gets attacked by fans everywhere. And so, I think a lot of people have this concept of celebrities that they say you know, “Oh they changed, they aren’t approachable, this or that or other things”. Those people don’t really understand what it’s like to lose your privacy. They don’t understand what it’s like to have a family, or to have a wife, and you guys want to run to the store and… I mean, I saw a story the other day Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston went out to do, were just out in Melrose, getting some… I don’t know, some towels or something like that. They went to the store and literally, in the five minutes they stepped into the store, the entire outside was full of paparazzi and they couldn’t get out, they couldn’t leave the store, so they called the police. It’s insane. Who ever knows what’s that like, except those people. Hopefully, if that time ever comes…
Just be careful…
Mike: Yeah and that you handle it right.
They think you’re superhuman.
Mike: Yeah, you know, like honestly. That’s the thing. It’s funny to talk to people back home in Philadelphia. I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging or anything because it’s not. But it’s like, you know, I’ll hear someone, you know someone said this and someone was talking and said that. And I’m like, it’s weird to you, it doesn’t seem to you that your life hasn’t changed. It seems it like to me, to me, I’m the same. I’m living in California and doing what I love. And I’m getting up and going to work everyday. But what you don’t see, is that people grab on to that and take it more than what it is. And someone asked me: what’s it like to be famous or what’s it like to be a celebrity, I’ll tell them I have no clue. Because in my mind, nothings changed. I’m just doing what I love and that’s the stuff you don’t see.
What is one of your best Childhood Memories as a kid?
Mike: One of my best childhood memories… Um, I would say my best childhood memories… I love the outdoors and I love the mountains. That’s one thing I miss. I miss seasons; We don’t have seasons here in California. Every Thanksgiving we used to go up to this place in the mountains with my family. My Aunt Jan, my Uncle John and my cousins and my grandparents when they were still alive. And we would go up there and go to town for a weekend. We would have Thanksgiving together and we hiked up the mountain the next day.
Would you go camping?
Mike: It wasn’t camping. It was a house. These friends of our family that my grandfather helped to built, it was called Granny’s Hideaway and go up there and it was right on the other side of the skii mountain called camelback. And so we climb up the one side of the mountain… That would take us several hours and then we made it up to the top, and you know, and it be November, so there hadn’t been snow before, but at the top of the mountain they were making snow for the skii season so it was kinda cool to go up there and have a snowball fight when there hadn’t been any snow. Anytime we got to do stuff like that with the family, it’s probably one of the greatest memories.
Who is Miss Pollyfrog?
Mike: Oh gosh! (Laughs) Who sent that?
Mike: Melissa, oh gosh. Melissa… tell Melissa she will never find out.
Mike: Ever find out. It was a game that Matt and Marji and myself used to play when we were young and we were completely, ridiculously, stupid. And to save any embarrassment, that’s all you get (Laughs).
(To Melissa reading this) Mike said to tell you – “Melissa you will never know”. LOL
How tall are you? Someone wants to be a model and knew you were doing that.
Mike: I’m 5’10. I have friends that model that are much more shorter. Don’t think you’ll ever do the run way because you wont, because that’s good. The money isn’t in run way, it’s in print work. And it doesn’t matter how tall you are. Marky Mark did print work, you know, Mark Wahlberg did print work for the longest time. 5’4, 5’1.
Mike: Well, there you go. Hit the run way.
Boxers or Briefs?
Mike: I’d go boxer briefs. The support of the brief.
Do you write back to your Fans when you get Fan Mail? along with an Autograph?
Mike: I try to. I’m completely terrible at it. I have my handwriting… Just not legible. Um, no one can never read it, so sometimes i try to sit down with Courtney and have her write for me. I tried having her write for me, but it’s been, you know, it’s been rediculous because I havent have five seconds to even sit down. But I will get back sooner or later. I promise.