Kevin Tall: So, how’s life in The Shire?
Dominic Monaghan: Life is pretty good. Everything is ticking along pretty well. I am trying to avoid this crazy Los Angeles sun and get on with stuff. It’s the start of the Premier League football season in England so I’m pretty excited about that, but for the most part, yeah, no grumbles.
Talk to me about your latest project, The Day.
So, The Day is a post-apocalyptic siege movie in which our five heroes, for want of a better word, are trying to get from one part of America to another while the basic standards and rules of society have kind of broken down. There’s no electricity, there’s no running water, there doesn’t appear to be any food or animals to eat and it’s what happens to society when things start to fall apart.
You had kind of an unnatural relationship with those jars of seeds; is there something we should know?
Well I think the seeds kind of symbolize everything that my character, Rick, is trying to achieve. He calls these seeds “Hope” and “Faith” and I think he has a dream, everyone has a dream, and his particular dream is for everyone to get to a particular place where it’s safe enough and contained enough where they can plant those seeds and grow some food and get back to a sense of a normal life. So the seeds are almost a symbol of where they’re headed.
The movie never really makes it clear what exactly these people actually survived; is that something you discussed with the director and the writers?
I think they wanted us to make up our own ideas and I think that’s the hope with the audience as well. A lot of times, when these large events occur, unless you’re able to get to a television or read a newspaper, you don’t now what’s happened; you just know that something has happened. You’re not too sure of the events and if an apocalyptic thing happens where all electricity is wiped out and a lot of human are wiped out, there probably won’t be the chance to actually read and learn what happened. And not only that but after the course of a week or two of trying to work out what happened, you just forget about that because it’s not quite as important; what’s important is finding shelter and making fires and finding food.
Have you seen the final cut of the film?
And what did you think?
I like it. The Day is going to be one of those films that, I think in a few year’s time, someone will ask me, “Hey, what’s a film of yours that I might not have seen that isn’t quite as wide-reaching as something like Lord of the Rings or Wolverine?” And I would say, “Go watch The Day.” I’m proud of the feeling of the film; it doesn’t pull any punches, it doesn’t have any real Hollywood elements to it. It feels like that, potentially, could be what really happens to those people.
Stylistically, it’s very minimalist on color and use of non-diegetic sound. What did you think?
I think they were attempting to kind of strip away all the glamour from the world, so there’s no animals. There’s certainly no blues or yellows or reds. There’s nothing really about the world anymore that is attractive or comforting or fun and I think they also did that in the moves with the camera. It kind of jolts about, it’s handheld a lot. It makes you feel uncomfortable; it makes you feel like you’re going through something traumatic. So all those things will hopefully help to make the audience feel a little uneasy.
With Charlie Pace on LOST, Chris Bradley in the Wolverine movie and now Rick, your career has kind of an alarming trend of characters that die way too early. What the hell man? Couldn’t Rick have just stubbed his toe or gotten his foot caught in a bear trap?
I guess he could. I do projects based on the strength of the script; I don’t really have too many problems sacrificing my character if it makes sense for the story. It also gives you an arc; it gives you somewhere where you’re headed. It gives you a full stop at the end of the work you’ve done. So it’s just kind of happened that way. I’ve probably played more characters that have survived throughout the course of projects that I’ve done but maybe those characters are not quite as popular as the ones that croak.
On a completely unprofessional note, how was spooning with a topless Shannyn Sossamon?
Yeah, that was fine. Shannyn’s a friend of mine; we’ve been friends for a while so it was obviously a scene that we knew was on its way and I was glad that we were friends enough, the two of us, not to feel weird or uncomfortable about it. Those type of scenes are never quite as much fun as they look on camera because, obviously, you’re doing a job and there’s a lot of technicians around watching what you do, but I think we made each other feel as good about the whole thing as possible.
Not to mention eventually somebody’s going to yell, “Cut!”
Certainly, and then you have to stop doing what you’re doing. I mean, that’s a little inconvenient.
So, Dominic, what does the future hold for you?
Oh man, who knows? That’s a terribly open-ended question. What does the future hold for you? I want to be happy; that’s about as much as you can ask for, right?
All right, more specifically, talk to me about The Unknown, a project you’ve got on the horizon.
The Unknown was a project I did for a guy named Chris Collins, who’s one of the creators and producers of Sons of Anarchy. We met and he pitched me this idea which I liked and I’ve also done a couple of projects strictly for online releases because I think that, sooner or later, that’s the only way that we’re going to be watching our media. And I wanted to support that movement in its infancy rather than trying to get on the bus years down the line. So that was the reason why I did “The Unknown” and I spent the rest of this summer finishing off a show that I created called “Wild Things,” which is me going around the world, attempting to change people’s ideas about animals that most people are scared of.
What was the last great movie you saw?
The last great movie I saw was Moon… a film directed by Duncan Jones, his debut film, I think. It’s the story of Sam Rockwell mining for ore on the moon and coming to terms with the fact that his life is spiraling out of control.
Something that’s kind of been bothering me is why is there no Lord of the Rings amusement park, and, I think, is it just discriminatory against hobbits, with the height requirements for the rides?
Probably, yeah, because, you know, not that many hobbits would have the opportunity to ride any of those roller coasters. But, I think the whole Lord of the Rings world is owned by different people. Obviously, Peter Jackson owns elements of Lord of the Rings, then the Tolkien estate owns elements of Lord of the Rings. MGM owns some of it, Warner Bros. Time-Warner Cable, so I think it would just be difficult to make a theme park because who would benefit from the revenue from that particular park?
Wow; I didn’t expect you to take that question so seriously…
Oh, I take every question seriously.
Well, then, in a very serious final question, could Frodo and Sam survive as a couple in the modern American social climate?
I would hope so. I always thought that I was living as part of a generation that didn’t think that sexuality or color of people’s skin or sex in general was a factor, but I find, every so often, little things occur in our society where you think, “Oh, actually, people still seem to have a problem with the color of people’s skin or the creed that they follow or their sexual proclivities. “ I mean, I would love to live in a world where Frodo and Sam could get married and live a free life, but I still think, unfortunately, we still have a little ways to go.
Hence the "ish" at the end. I was trying to get across that Sauron hadn't…
(pushes nerd glasses up bridge of nose) "Young-ish" Sauron was actually several thousand years old…
No love for subtext here at the CL? If you want a film that "goes…
Looks amazing. Great job, you guys!