Owen Teague Read "Incel" Forums to Prepare for His The Stand Role

In Stephen King's The Stand, Harold Lauder is an important if not unsettling figure. Something of a misfit teen whose resentment and anger over a lifetime of bullying are manipulated until he eventually ends up being a part of the catalyst for the final showdown between the forces of good and evil in the book, the character as played by Owen Teague in the CBS All Access adaptation is an especially uncomfortable figure. His obsession with Frannie Goldsmith (Odessa Young) is dialed up in a way that feels both authentic and deeply unnerving as is his fixation on destiny -- specifically his own -- that makes him even more susceptible to dark manipulation. To bring this take on Harold to life, Teague put in quite a bit of research beyond reading King's novel and it's research that included reading "incel" forums on the internet among other things.

Speaking with AV Club, Teague explained a bit about how Harold's sense of entitlement to Frannie mirrors that of Randall Flagg's (Alexander Skarsgard) to Nadine (Amber Heard) and how that mindset is disturbing, but he found a lot of parallels between what he was reading on the so-called "incel" forums and what he was figuring out about Harold.

"There's a parallel between him and Flagg, where Flagg feels entitled to Nadine and Harold feels entitled to Frannie," Teague said. "This 'ownership' thing just feels bad, I think, because it's true, there are so many guys like that who think that way and act that way. It just felt really, really dirty to me. Everything about that kind of mindset is just gross. That was kind of the main thing that felt so icky about Harold."

"There's a lot of parallels on those kinds of websites between the whole misogyny mindset and the alt-right movement, which I think is where the traditionalism philosophy kind of came from in terms of me figuring out where Harold sees himself in Vegas," Teague said when specifically asked about his takeaways. "But there's also this really sad, lonely rage that all those guys have. And it's an interesting rage, too, because it's so self-directed. It comes out at the rest of the world, but it's really about yourself. It's very self-fulfilling. They'll get in these chat rooms and kind of beat each other down. But that's what they're there for, to be sadistically treated by the other people in those forums. It's bizarrely masochistic and just really, really reinforces their own belief that they are less than everybody else."

Ultimately, Harold ends up sort of comes to realize the error of his ways a little too late. In last week's "The Walk", Harold ends up dying on the way to Vegas, taking his own life rather than slowly dying from his injuries after crashing his motorcycle -- but not before taking some sense of responsibility for his actions.

"It's the only moment where he realizes how he created all of this for himself," Teague said. "The rest of the time he blames everybody else. He blames Stu and Fran, in particular, the whole committee, the bullies at his school, and his parents. The responsibility of his own downfall never lies on him until the very end. And then he's like, 'It did not have to be this way. I chose to go this route.'"

The first seven episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive every Thursday.