We all know by now Dom is really passionate about the natural world and wild life, but that doesn’t just translate into the BBC America show we know and love now, and his passion started way earlier than that!
Here’s a great interview and video (click on the image below to watch the video):
You know him as Charlie from “Lost” or as one of Frodo’s loveable companions in “Lord of the Rings,” but actor Dominic Monaghan is now trekking the globe in search of exotic creatures on his new show, “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” on BBC America.
His passion for travel and exploring comes naturally and started young. “My parents moved every four years or so. I got bitten with the travel bug when I was a little kid. And I think my parents taught us a real sense of fearlessness about travel.” Monaghan says.
Monaghan was born in Berlin and moved several times before his family settled down in Manchester when he was 11. He feels this early nomadic life prepared him for life as an actor. “As an actor, you tend to pick up your life and then go dump it down somewhere else and you have to be OK with living out of a suitcase. And I am,” he says.
It’s a good thing he’s comfortable living out of a suitcase because his new show has him traveling all over the globe from Vietnam to Venezuela and Namibia to Ecuador in search of creepy, crawly creatures. But along the way, Monaghan’s choice souvenir is a little bit tamer.
“I drink a lot of tea. And I drink tea from all around the world. Any time anyone comes over to my house and I say do you want tea and they say what have you got? I’m like I kind of have pretty much everything cause everywhere I go, I’m like, ‘Do you guys have a native tea? Yeah OK let me grab five of those,’” Monaghan says.
“I’ve been in trouble a few times coming through customs with tea. Because obviously tea just looks like a very kind of ground-up dark powder and I get like four or five of them and the customs people say, ‘Can we check your case because it looks like you’re packing like five items of ground up powder’. So they like me at L.A. customs, you know,” Monaghan jokes.
In addition to his exotic collection of teas, Monaghan’s pets are also a little more off the beaten path than the average house cat.
“I keep animals that tend to stay wild. I like dogs and cats. I tend to look after a dog here and there and dog sit but the thing about dogs and cats for me, which isn’t quite as interesting is they tend to do what we do. They sleep when we sleep. They eat when we eat; they go out when we go out. They fall into our habits,” Monaghan says. “The animals that I keep are much more happy when I’m not around. As long as they’ve got food and water, they don’t want me to be around and I can just observe them and see how they naturally act. I find that more fascinating.
“In my house right now, I actually have a relatively slimmed-down little menagerie. I have a python, a chameleon and a tarantula. So I’ll usually grab a black widow at some point in the start of the year and spend a little bit of time watching the black widow, feeding the black widow and then let them go as it gets kind of warm and toasty,” he says.
Monaghan is spreading his passion not just through his new show but also in his own community in Los Angeles. When we caught up with him, he was spending the day on a nature hike with a group of school children from the Children’s Nature Institute.
“This is a combination of some of my favorite things to do. Hanging out with kids is so much fun because they keep you in the moment and they always ask really fantastic honest questions and right now we’ve come to this beautiful part of Los Angeles just to try to turn these little kids on to the natural world,” he says. “Showing them where the birds live and where these different animals live, and how trees grow and things like that. And they’re great.
“One of the greatest things to do at this particular age for these guys is to create curiosity. Because most kids at this age are curious but you continue to expose them to this type of area they’ll just get more and more curious, and then these guys will want to look after these areas cause this park is a place they can come to whenever they want,” Monaghan says.
#BeCurious and go explore!