Ecorazzi’s interview with Dominic Monaghan

wild-things-dominic-monaghan-on-location-0018.jpg.rend.tccom.1280.960Ecorazzi has posted an interview they did recently with Dominic Monaghan about his new season of Wild Things:

Actor, animal lover and travel enthusiast Dominic Monaghan is returning to TV with his nature show, “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan,” which premieres on the Travel Channel next week.

Like his previous seasons on BBC America, Monaghan travels around the world in search of the weirdest, most wildest creatures alive, in the hopes of educating and entertaining viewers for the animals that many of us never knew existed.

This season he journeys to such exotic locations, like Bolivia, Brazil, Madagascar, Mozambique, Palau, Peru and the Philippines in search of these incredible species.

Ecorazzi chatted with Monaghan to discuss his passion for wildlife, his favorite experiences of the season and whether an experience has ever been too wild for him.

What first ignited your passion for wildlife? Were you always interested in nature?

Yeah, I have been always interested in animals. I can’t remember not being interested. I grew up watching “Survival”, Jacques Cousteau, that kind of thing. Whenever there was an animal or insect featured, I always prided myself on knowing what it was. In a lot of ways, it’s something that is in my D.N.A. I thought everyone was interested in animals, so I found it very bizarre when people weren’t. I think everyone should love animals. They live around us, they’re here with us all the time. They are incredible creatures.

Yes, they are. What made you want to do the show initially? How did it come to be?

It happened because of my holiday. When I go on holiday, between acting jobs, I will pick an animal somewhere in the world that I want to see and then go to the city and ask the locals during the daytime or nighttime how I can find the animal. “Do I need to take a bus or a boat, or another plane?” And then I would head down and find a guide. So, anytime I would come back from these trips, I would tell my agent about them, and he said, “You know, this could be a TV show. You just need a camera crew to follow you around.” So, I ended up pitching it to a few different people, and then one of them took it on and we were off to the races.

Tell us a little bit about this new season. What makes it different than the others?

I think this season we are lucky enough to be working with the Travel Channel, so we can dig a little deeper, go a little bigger. Travel Channel prides itself on doing big expedition-type trips. I loved working with BBC America, and I hope to work with them another time, but we probably didn’t have the budget to go to Madagascar, to go to Africa, to go to Brazil, and this year we did. We were able to really push ambitious ideas this year, so the trips are a little bigger and the animals that are targeted were a little harder to find, so the show dealt with a bit more drama. “Will I find the creature?”

Which experience really stood out for you this season?

In terms of this year, I think being in Madagascar was quite special. These people are quite poor and I would see these kids on the streets, who don’t have a lot of money, so that image stuck with me. And then there was the safari in Africa where we saw the white lion, which are extremely, critically endangered and have the potential in the next few years to die out altogether. One of my most favorite countries in South America is Peru and we were able to go there twice this year.

Has there ever been an instance or experience in which you thought, this is just too wild even for me?

No, not really. In terms of animals, never. I have been bitten, stung and mauled by a few different things, and in some ways it’s worth it for me in terms of experience. I have a few scars, but the scars are nothing compared to what the animal is going through. The things that get me down is the travel time. A lot of times we leave Los Angeles and we travel for a day and a half, or two days, to get to the location. Once we get to the country, we might have to travel for the whole day. That can be taxing. In terms of animals, I might be put in situations where I might get hurt but I trust my instincts in not getting too hurt and I trust the animal’s inclinations to not kill me if I am approaching it correctly.

Was there anything that you set out to do with these new episodes that you couldn’t do or get to?

There are always animals that we are looking for, but we aren’t able to see. I’m the entomologist of the group. I love insects as much as I love animals, and I also love reptiles. And I’ll say to the group, let’s find this bug, let’s go find this animal, let’s go find this creature. And we just can’t find them. We have been lucky and we have been unlucky. We have tried to find animals who haven’t been seen in the wild for fifteen years, and we think we won’t find it. And that’s the part that adds the drama to show. It’s like a treasure hunt.

What are you most excited for the viewers to see this season? What’s something that you think will blow their minds?

I think the cobra of Sri Lanka is a great episode. It is a snake that everyone knows, and it raises its body like it does – everyone knows what that posture is. In Madagascar, there is an extremely bizarre and charismatic primate who I think people will get a kick out of. What we are trying to do is inspire curiosity. You think you are animal lover, then suddenly you seen an animal that you didn’t even know existed. That’s the whole point of the show.

“Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan,” premieres on Travel Channel on Wed. January 27th!

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