Dominic Andersen: At Home with Acting
Dominic’s competitive nature fuelled his start in acting after seeing his sister in ‘Oliver’ in the west end. “I’m naturally from a competitive family with my younger brother and I constantly competing against one another”, says Dominic. “I’ve always done singing, shows at school and acting lessons but I never really seized on it professionally until I turned seventeen when I got a scholarship to an acting group now known as the British Theatre Academy”, he continues. Having appeared in productions of Cats, Heathers and, perhaps most famously, The Rocky Horror Show; Dominic is going from strength to strength in his already impressive career. Before his next big move Dominic takes some time to talk with Craig Andrew James all about his career, his goals in acting and of course he lets us in on how he manages to keep his mind and body in shape through it all.
I wish people could see past Rocky Horror and me as a body but I’ve accepted that I am young and fit
How did your younger years growing up shape you creatively, and as a person, and do you find that still plays a part in shaping your work today?
I guess my brother’s relationship with me created a super competitive part of my personality. I have always been unable to sit back on anything and am always looking out for the next big thing or coolest class to get involved in. I want to be the best (laughing). This is also my curse! That cherry blossom is impossible to find.
Most people will recognise you from the iconic role of Rocky in the Rocky Horror Show. How was that experience and what did you try to bring to the role to make it your own?
Rocky Horror was amazing. I developed as a human being physically and mentally through the sheer exposure and having to accept the person I am entirely night after night.
As Rocky there’s obviously an expectation to show off your body. Is that something that comes naturally to you or is it something you have had to learn to be okay with over the years?
I worked for years on my body. It’s a constant work in progress. I’m never ok with it but I guess that’s why I’m always working on it! I’m naturally strong but I really have to watch what I eat and how I train.
It’s clear you stay in great shape though. Is that something that you find especially important being a an actor and performer and how do you try to maintain a healthy mind and body?
I think the most important thing as an actor is to be in good health. It directly affects our body, mind and soul. It is hugely balancing but can also send you into turmoil when you get obsessed and I have spiralled on many occasions. I’m learning the balance now and to enjoy myself as well as just burn out week after week!
Despite that, you’re also conscious that your physicality doesn’t overshadow the years of training you’ve done as an actor.
I want to create without the constant stigma of just being a body. I appreciate that roles I take on will probably suit my physicality and structure, however I know that I didn’t train for years and come away with just a good body. I am permanently in class and hungry to understand how to be a more truthful actor.
I think that having a part based on the way I look sets me up for prejudice. It’s natural.
Are there any other moments in your career so far that stands out to you and what makes them also special?
Doing Rocky Horror for cinemas across Europe and having my mum watch me in my hometown Odeon will stick with me for a long time. Being part of Cats early in my career created a constant drive in me to stay on top form physically whilst learning to take control of my body for effect. Heathers was an experience that I’d like to repeat for a whole year at least and that is super rare in a job so I really want that to happen again! The script is great, the songs are awesome and the cast were unfathomably talented.
What’s one thing you wish people could know about you that they maybe don’t get to see all that often?
I wish people could see past Rocky Horror and me as a body but I’ve accepted that I am young and fit and that’s where I’m at right now and that’s cool! I can act too 😉
Do you find there is pressure to continue to develop your skills in such a competitive industry? Do you think as an actor it’s important to continue to find different things that inspire you and keep you fresh creatively?
I think that having a part based on the way I look sets me up for prejudice. It’s natural. People expect me to be less talented so I naturally work extremely hard and take all the classes to assure I can also deliver.
So as you continue to develop and grow as an actor and performer what’s your goals for your career over the next few years?
My goal is to be recognised as a serious actor and really develop a deep understanding of my abilities and connection to the planet I live on… deep.
Finally, where can we see you perform next? Is there anything coming up we should be looking out for?
Top Secret… Watch this space.
Model: Dominic Andersen
Photographer: Owen James Vincent
Creative/Styling: Craig Andrew James
Grooming: Natalie Doke