SE­RIAL CHILLER

Do­minic Mon­aghan plays a dis­turbed in­di­vid­ual on Bite Club but he’s an hon­orary Aussie knock­about when re­lax­ing off-set!

TV Soap - - Interview -

We loved Do­minic Mon­aghan in Lost and now he’s chew­ing up the scenery in new Aussie crime drama Bite Club. He has per­haps the most de­mand­ing role as the dark, com­plex de­tec­tive wannabe, but when the cam­eras stopped rolling he was up for fun, Aussie-style!

How did you get in­volved in

Bite Club? I read a script prob­a­bly four months be­fore­hand, sent through to me via my agent and I thought the role was in­ter­est­ing. I play a lit­tle bit of a chameleon, a lit­tle bit of a joker in the pack and ob­vi­ously com­ing to Aus­tralia was a nice draw for me. I’ve worked here be­fore, I love the coun­try, I love the peo­ple, and then we started to ex­plore how it would all work.

So you were happy to re­lo­cate for a while?

Yeah, it was for two months and a lit­tle bit.

What’s your char­ac­ter Stephen Lan­g­ley like?

When we rst meet him he’s a [po­lice] dog han­dler but very keen to be a de­tec­tive. He’s got quite a bit of in­se­cu­rity about it; I think he wants to be in the gang of de­tec­tives and he’s not re­ally ac­cepted by those guys fully. He’s got quite a few anger is­sues and I think he’s had a trou­bled child­hood and doesn’t do well when things don’t go his way –so he’s de nitely a com­plex char­ac­ter.

Ob­vi­ously he goes from cop to per­son of in­ter­est...

You nd out at the end of episode one that he’s the per­son the cops are ul­ti­mately look­ing for, so he’s kind of hid­ing in plain sight. One of the things we spoke about was that no-one would sus­pect that he’s re­ally a bad guy be­cause he hangs out with all the good guys, and he’s charm­ing and peo­ple like him and he’s fun and funny and all that kind of stuff...

So what drives his darker and more ex­treme side?

He’s quite im­ma­ture and we talked a lot about him be­ing im­po­tent in a lot of ways – so­cially, sex­u­ally – and he wants deeply to be ac­cepted, to be nor­mal, but try­ing to go about that in ab­nor­mal ways. He’s also some­one who doesn’t like hear­ing “No”, so when that hap­pens he tries to make an ex­am­ple of who­ever said it. What drives him is a deep frus­tra­tion about not be­ing ac­cepted and a com­plex child­hood and up­bring­ing which has ob­vi­ously shaped him into some­one who doesn’t do well with not get­ting what he wants, and has a lot of anger is­sues.

What draws him to Am­ber?

He likes the idea of sav­ing peo­ple and... pu­rity, things that haven’t been touched, things that are in need of help, and Am­ber’s (Marny Kennedy) ob­vi­ously been bit­ten by a shark and he meets her at a time in her life where she’s ob­vi­ously a lit­tle more vul­ner­a­ble than nor­mal. Ob­vi­ously she’s beau­ti­ful and blonde and blue-eyed and rep­re­sents that kind of an­gelic qual­ity.

What prepa­ra­tion did you do to play Stephen?

With­out want­ing to be too much of a freak, I’m kind of in­ter­ested in se­rial killers. I do nd them in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters be­cause they af­fect a lot of be­havioural traits that seem to be nor­mal in hu­mans; you know, they have jobs, they go to work, they’re adult, they take the train or the bus; but ob­vi­ously they do things that are ab­hor­rent to the rest of the hu­man race. I’ve al­ways been fas­ci­nated to nd out what that switch is. I’ve read a lot about Ted Bundy and Jeff

Dah­mer and Ed Kem­per and An­drei Chikatilo – these are all iconic se­rial killers in terms of try­ing to un­der­stand what it

means to be a se­rial killer. I love what An­thony Hop­kins does in

Si­lence of the Lambs: he tends to go very still in those places as if all the other times in his life he’s slightly out of con­trol – and when he moves into ar­eas where he’s go­ing to be vi­o­lent to­wards some­one he’s in com­plete con­trol and goes very still, and very much in con­trol. And I kind of adopted some of those traits as best I could.

What did you most en­joy about play­ing the guy?

I have to men­tion the cast and crew here who have been so sweet and so wel­com­ing. Ob­vi­ously I’m a long, long way from home. I love Aus­tralia! I’ve been quite a few times mak­ing movies, mak­ing TV shows; I love the an­i­mals here, I love the coun­try here, I love the peo­ple and the life­style. Play­ing the ac­tual char­ac­ter it­self, he’s tricky... it’s a lit­tle bit like a role inside a role inside a role be­cause ob­vi­ously there’s the Dom ac­tor play­ing Stephen, but then there’s the Stephen char­ac­ter who’s play­ing var­i­ous

dif­fer­ent Stephen roles: the charm­ing, sweet guy, then the guy who’s des­per­ate to be a de­tec­tive and who wants to have a girl­friend and then ob­vi­ously he plays a mur­derer and then he plays a mur­derer keep­ing a se­cret – and then he plays the help­ful cop and then he plays he en­vi­ous de­tec­tive. It was a real chal­lenge but it’s prob­a­bly been the most amount of fun.

Has there been a favourite Bite Club scene?

I love work­ing with Ash Ri­cardo and Todd La­sance – those two are re­ally lovely peo­ple and we have a good time to­gether. We’ve be­come fast friends but ob­vi­ously I’m the per­son they’re look­ing for, so it’s very del­i­cate. One day we went to a mur­der scene, a mur­der that I ac­tu­ally com­mit­ted, and we’re just to try and garner a lit­tle bit more in­for­ma­tion. I’m with Ash to start off with and I’m ask­ing her to ba­si­cally ex­plain to me what type of per­son can do this and ob­vi­ously it’s me, so I’m kind of tick­led by the fact that she’s ex­plain­ing to me traits about me and then I stand be­hind her when she bends down to have a look at a clue and the idea is that at any given point I could just bash her over the head and she could be another vic­tim! And that’s re­ally fun to play those scenes when you’re the per­son that has all the in­for­ma­tion in the scene and the other peo­ple are try­ing to work out that it’s you!

Who have you bonded with most in the cast?

It’s hard to pick any­one out be­cause they’re all such lovely peo­ple and I like them a lot. We spent time at [Syd­ney’s] Bronte Beach for a lit­tle party that Ash threw and that was a great ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause I got to meet ev­ery­one’s boyfriends and girl­friends and wives and hus­bands and stuff. Todd showed up with his wife and daugh­ter, who are both gor­geous peo­ple, and Pia (Miller) was there and Dar­cie (Ir­win-Simp­son) was there and it was just a nice ex­pe­ri­ence. I’m the only non-Aussie so I think they all think, We’ll show you a good time while you’re here and make you feel spe­cial and they’ve de nitely done that!

Shark at­tacks fea­ture promi­nently in the show. What’s your re­la­tion­ship with sharks?

They’re amaz­ingly spe­cial, signi cant, beau­ti­ful crea­tures that de­mand our re­spect and con­ser­va­tion; they’re one of the more im­por­tant shes in the whole ocean. They tend to be a key­stone species in a lot of dif­fer­ent places so in places where there are sharks there’ll be other sh, but places where there are not sharks you won’t nd other sh. I’m not stupid: ob­vi­ously if I was swim­ming in the deep ocean on my own and there was a shark fol­low­ing me it would be a scary ex­pe­ri­ence, but I don’t have any fear of them. I’ve dived with tiger sharks be­fore, gone in a cage and dived with bull sharks; I’ve dived with nurse sharks. I have zero fear of those crea­tures – I think they’re spec­tac­u­lar an­i­mals and just a priv­i­lege to be around.

What else did you get up to in Syd­ney?

I went to a few nice restau­rants and I went to the beach, I’ve surfed a cou­ple of times, I’ve worked on my sun­tan a lit­tle bit. I bought an elec­tric skate­board called a one-wheel over with me so I’ve been buzzing my one-wheel around with me on-set and giv­ing peo­ple a go and tak­ing it around Manly Beach. That’s the great thing about Aus­tralia: ev­ery­one works hard but then when it gets to the week­end, you guys play hard as well, and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that as a cul­tural thing. TVS

TRUE BLUE Ash Ri­cardo, Do­minic and Todd

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