How do I look? Dominic West Actor, age 35

I'm enjoying getting older; I think I'll really come into my own when I'm 70

I HAVE been mistaken for another actor before. A friend of my mother's rang her up a few years ago and said, "Do you know, Moya, I've seen everything Dominic's been in and I have to admit I haven't really liked anything, but I think Hornblower [which really stars Ioan Gruffudd] is magnificent."

In America I'm more recognised because I'm in a TV show that's been on for three years [West plays detective James McNulty in the HBO drama The Wire]. I'm quite big in the 'hood and with uniformed people, the police, the army and immigration officers. They always come up to me and say, "Hey you're McNulty, what's goin' on man; can I have a photograph?" Being in America is a complete fantasy for me. I'm a fool in England, but I go over there and I'm this working-class hero.

English actors are usually cast as the baddie, the drunk, or the gay man. I'm usually cast as the drunk arsehole boyfriend. In the past it's happened because I've been supporting a well-known actress [Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile, Renee Zellweger in Chicago, Sandra Bullock in 28 Days] who needs to remain single at the end. So I have to prove that ultimately men let beautiful women down or something. In my last film, The Forgotten with Julianne Moore, despite starting off as the drunk jerk I ended up being the hero; it was a major step forward for me.

I went to America to get away from constantly being cast in costume dramas, playing posh people. It's interesting that I've been cast as a working- class cop because I doubt that would happen at home. The films I most enjoy in England are by Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, but it's very unlikely I would be cast in them; I've tried a few times, but I'm perceived as posh.

I'm from Sheffield and I'm very solidly middle class, one of seven Irish Catholics. I was the show-off in the family. I suppose I felt I had to compensate for people's indifference, it happens quite a lot with actors.

I'm not unduly vain; I don't mind looking foolish. It's nice looking good, but it usually just doesn't work out that way, there's a certain resignation about me. I'm enjoying getting older; I think I'll really come into my own when I'm 70. I suppose in my twenties I was a bit awkward, so the older I get the more I come into my self. I'm definitely a bit of a fogey at heart.

Usually I wear ill-matched clothes. I wear actory things too often, like velvets and cords and all those ghastly things; I suppose I'm a bit of that English actor cliche. I've realised I'm becoming more and more embarrassing the older I get. I keep turning up to my six-year-old daughter's school in cycling shorts. I thought she was amused, then today she said, "Please don't pick me up in those shorts any more." I'm fairly unconsciously lacking in taste and style. I do love dressing up smart, but it's better if someone dresses me up rather than me doing it myself, or it ends up in me looking silly.

I shave my head as regularly as I can but it stops you getting parts because people don't believe you can wear a wig or grow hair, and I look pretty severe with a skinhead. I had hair extensions in when I was filming Rock Star [with Mark Wahlberg] and people treated me with such contempt. I think they just thought I was a bit of a dork, which was quite amusing. I was in LA as well and there's not a hell of a lot of sense of humour about your image there. Admittedly I did look like a Springer Spaniel.

`The Wire' starring Dominic West is on the FX289 channel on Wednesdays at 10pm

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London