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Dominic West on ‘Les Miserables’: It’s ‘incredible’

Dominic West poses during a photocall for the television series "Les Miserables" during the annual MIPCOM television programme market in Cannes, France. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Dominic West on ‘Les Miserables’: It’s ‘incredible’

Dominic West on ‘Les Miserables’: It’s ‘incredible’

Whether he’s playing Detective Jimmy McNutty in ‘The Wire’, or adulterer Noah Solloway in ‘The Affair’, Dominic West continues to deliver authentic performances, this time as the heroic Jean Valjean, the protagonist in the upcoming miniseries, ‘Les Miserables’.

The ruggedly handsome Dominic West chats to MiNDFOOD about the challenges of his latest role.

We’ve seen many productions of ‘Les Miserables’. What makes this different?

Well, we have something else to offer. This is a six hour, in-depth treatment of this incredible novel that has never been seen before.

What did you like about playing Jean Valjean?

Firstly, I think Les Miserables is the best book ever written and dealing with the genius of Victor Hugo was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. And as far as Jean Valjean, I just fell in love with him! I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play such a good guy, a true hero, someone you believe in. That makes things so much easier and Valjean is the kind of character I rarely get to play as I’m usually playing villains. But I have to tell you, it was a physically demanding part and we often shot at 2am in freezing conditions. Shooting in Belgium, it was minus three, and actually, we got hypothermia. (laughs) But it was invigorating!

You play an iconic French character – as a Brit did you think about that?

I know what you mean. The French don’t like it when the British people do their history (laughs).

And there’s a lot of history between the English and the Irish. You’re born in London and your wife is Irish – is there a healthy rivalry between you both?

You’ll have to ask her (laughs). My mother’s parents were both Irish, so that’s my get out of jail. And we met at University in Dublin. Actually, all of my cousins and two sisters are in Dublin, so I sort of consider myself an honorary Irishman.


Les Misérables will be screening April 21st on TVNZ 1 at 8.35pm, the full series will go up on TVNZ OnDemand at the same time.

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