In Season Two of THE HOUR, which just concluded its run on BBCAmerica Dominic West’s character Hector Madden has been through the wringer. In the first season, Hector was a debonair and dapper anchorman, even if he was also a married heartbreaker. This season, he’s in trouble with his boss and former lover Bel (Romola Garai), his wife (Oona Chaplin) – and the police.
It’s tough for the character, but it’s good fun for West. The English actor takes some time to talk about Hector and some of his other roles, while simultaneously admiring the music hall-style show that’s been set up by BBC America for a party at West Hollywood’s La Boheme restaurant.
ASSIGNMENT X: When you did THE HOUR Series 1, did you have any idea that there would be a Series 2?
DOMINIC WEST: Well, I’d signed for two years, so I suppose I thought they might. I thought it was a good idea, good cast, good writer, so I thought there’d be a good chance of it.
AX: A lot of times you get cast as a sneaky Spartan, as in 300, or a conquering Martian, as in JOHN CARTER, or other sorts of nefarious people in times of yore. Was playing someone of normal-scale ambitions like Hector a relief?
WEST: Yeah, it was, actually. I do get cast as evil people quite a lot [laughs]. And also, he reminded me of my dad. Not in his behavior, but just that he was in the Fifties.
AX: You played Detective Jimmy McNulty in HBO’s THE WIRE for five seasons and now you’re on your second season as Hector. Do you like coming back into a role for a new season?
WEST: Not really, no [laughs]. Well, what I did find with this, and with THE WIRE, I suppose, is that it is great when you come back for a second season and you know everybody and it’s like working with good friends and you don’t have to work too hard about establishing rapport and stuff. But generally speaking, I don’t really like doing a long-running show. THE WIRE was great, but it was only five years, thank goodness. Generally speaking, it starts getting pretty weird, because they start writing your life into the show and one of the nice things about acting is that you do something for a finite amount of time and move on.
AX: Wouldn’t it be sort of difficult to write your life into the show on THE HOUR?
WEST: Oh, yes. Boy, I hope so [laughs].
AX: Does Hector become a little more socially conscious or does Hector’s desire to maintain a certain position propel the drama?
WEST: Well, I don’t know if he becomes socially conscious, but he gets accused of beating up a girl and he’s not guilty of it, but that really, I suppose, is the end of his philandering. So in some ways he’s maybe more conscious of the women that he’s been exploiting or having a good time with.
AX: With the film roles that you’ve been doing lately – do you enjoy swashbuckling?
WEST: I enjoy swashbuckling, yeah. I like fights and I like inflated language and all that, because I love playing Shakespeare and I’m a theatre actor. I enjoy theatre, so yeah, I like all those big roles. Making sort of big, archaic language work on an intimate level is a good challenge that I like.
AX: Are you involved in any of the Shakespeare they’re doing now for the BBC?
WEST: No. I wish I was. I saw one – they’re brilliant. I just did OTHELLO and Iago and I do love doing that. I think it’s a really good, meaty thing to get your teeth into.
AX: Do you have anything coming up that we should know about?
WEST: Well, I’m doing MY FAIR LADY in England. I’ve never done a musical before. I really like that musical, so I’m looking forward to that.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with THE HOUR star Dominic West