Britain’s hottest export: Dominic West talks to marieclaire.co.uk

The Wire’s Dominic West reveals how it feels to be a global heartthrob

Dominic West has been been propelled to Hollywood heartthrob status, thanks to his irreverent Baltimore detective character in sleeper hit The Wire.

The show has garnered an obsessive following, receiving huge critical acclaim, but how does it feel to be stopped in the street these days?

‘It feels very ratifying,’ admits West. ‘We worked hard for five years with very little response or recognition, so it’s great how lots of people now appreciate what we always thought was unusually good television.’

The show revolves around a drug war in the port city of Baltimore, America, and West’s character, Jimmy McNulty, though arrogant and obnoxious, is something of a loveable rogue (prompting swooning fans following every episode).

The Baltimore drawl is like nothing the UK audience has heard before – almost requiring subtitles to be heard. So how did the Eton-educated, peer of David Cameron, perfect his accent?

‘I just repeated the phrases: ‘Or yew gewing dewn the ewshun haun?’ (Are you going down the Ocean hon?) and, ‘It’stew dorrs tew see the Orals’ (It’s two dollars to see the Orioles). Oh, and watched the original Hairspray – a lot,’ explains West.

While West is eternally grateful for  the door-opening ability The Wire has given him, there is that fear of being typecast.

‘It’s opened the door on a lot of cop roles, but not the dashing, young athletic role that I feel more suited to!’ jokes West.

‘I am doing a great Spanish play called Life Is A Dream at the Donmar theatre in London in October, which is a fantastic gut-busting part and I can’t wait.’

So, ladies, if you fancy a little West in the flesh, then book your tickets sharpish!


Dominic is taking part in the Carte Noire Readers campaign which gives people the chance to watch their favourite actor read a love scene from a classic novel, with a cup of Carte Noire coffee.

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