‘On making her mark’
Written by Jemima Marriott
Photographed by Jemima Marriott
Styling: M London styling
Hair & Makeup Lauren Kay
Hi, Domenique. I had such a great time shooting with you and the team, how do you find photoshoots compared to filming? I always find photoshoots more daunting in comparison to filming – I think it’s something to do with the fact that with filming I’m not playing myself, I’m a character with a purpose, whereas with shoots it’s all concentrated on me. I’m definitely one of those actors who doesn’t like to watch or hear themselves back.
When did you first know you wanted to get into acting? Pretty early on, it was acting or a prosecutor, definitely very different paths! I was a complete book worm as a kid (still am, proud geek!) and I knew performing meant I’d be able to read a lot of different stories and I loved story-telling, so I threw myself into it completely; being in the local am-dram groups, then onto National Youth Theatre and then drama school. I also played Mary in the school nativities (so I think that gave it away as well…)
If you could give your younger self advice what would it be? Do not take yourself seriously and don’t be afraid of what others think. I started drama school straight out of sixth form, having just turned 18 and was one of the youngest in the year. At that time I wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to anyone, let a lot of people speak over me to get what they want and just accepted the decisions made around me. I wouldn’t settle for that now. It’s so vital to say your piece (respectively) and make your mark, it may not necessarily always go your way but at least you can say you tried the best you could.
Living or passed…Who has inspired you in your life in general? I’m inspired by the women in my life, daily. My mum is the most generous person you could come across but also someone who knows the difference between right and wrong; my grandma on my mum’s side taught me persistence and my Italian nonna taught me strength. I’d like to think I’m an influence of all three of them. Working with the Diana Award and their organisation tackling bullying really highlighted Princess Diana being a huge role model to me too; that determination, mixed with the power to incorporate your own lifestyle and personality into something so vast can be achieved.
If you could play any historical character who would it be? Cleopatra, without a doubt. That woman was a badass with a capital B. She had the intelligence to influence politics, countries and how men ran them, into something she believed to be better. Playing her in Shakespeare’s version would be a dream. I think Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most immovable and beautiful women to grace this Earth, especially in the 1963 version of the ‘Cleopatra’ so stepping into those heels would be hard to fill but I’m up for the challenge.
Who has been your biggest role model in the industry? I have a few role models for various different reasons; Jameela Jamil for her passion for standing up for causes – she comes from a place of honesty and doesn’t let others opinions of her alter her beliefs. Jane Fonda for her activism for Women’s Rights and bold truthfulness to be able to stand on her own two feet. Kate Winslet and Tina Fey for their inspiration to girls and women that they weren’t the cool girls in school. I struggled with my appearance and had body issues for a long time. I wasn’t the most popular kid at school, I was bullied for how I looked and that bullying continued into secondary school because I let people walk all over me. I look back at that time now and wish I could shake my younger self and say “It doesn’t matter! Other people’s opinions on you don’t mean a thing. It’s how you see yourself and the world that counts.” I get that it’s easy to say it now but I truly wish that girls in the modern generation realise that it’s okay to be quirky and wonderfully weird, because those things you don’t like about yourself now will be the traits you cherish the most -later on in life.
To read the rest of Domenique’s interview…Buy the magazine…