Eric Alt (writer),
Chapman Baehler (photographer)
Ah, so not the scrawny bird man.
The Beak thing was everywhere, yeah, but I keep saying, "No, that's not me." The first person who puts it in a magazine correctly will be the first person to get it right. I think he may be a combination of several characters that have appeared in the comic books.
Were you, or are you, a big comic book fan?
Yeah, I got into comics through becoming friends with Elijah Wood. In New Zealand, he and I would talk about comics. I was more into English comics and he was more into your classic American comics-your Batmans, your Spider-Mans, your Incredible Hulks. Since then I kind of got more interested in American comics. I obviously read a lot of Frank Miller stuff and Grant Morrison stuff … and Y: The Last Man and Sandman and Hellboy and stuff like that. I don't think X-Men was my favorite comic, but it was certainly one that I'd read and was interested in. I like the more pulp fiction type stuff-slightly crazy, weird stuff. I read a great Japanese horror comic called Spiral that was just really fucking gnarly.
Lost. Lord of the Rings. Now the X-Men universe. Are there any geek boxes left to tick off?
Dr. Who or Star Trek, maybe? Oh, man, I don't like Dr. Who at all. I think that's rubbish. It's real rubbish TV. I know a lot of people really like it, but I can't get over the really shit special effects and the hammy acting. I don't dig it at all. Star Trek? I'll go see it, obviously. J.J. Abrams is doing the new one and I'm a big fan of J.J.'s, so I'll go see that.
Are you happy being an actor who gets to play rock stars, or would you prefer to be the real thing?
I mean, I'd like to try it on, sure. It would be fun to see what it's really like. But I think it would much more fit a more youthful Dominic. When I was younger, I was much better at drinking and not getting hangovers and misbehaving and not feeling bad about it and traveling without too much sleep. Late nights. Abusing your body. Nowadays I'm much more aware of time passing by. I get a kick out of taking care of my body now. Self-preservation is the new self-destruction.
What do you think you would have done had acting not worked out?
I still cook quite a lot. I was a chef for a while. I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed the experimentation of food. I like food, period. I think there was a chance that I could have gone back into the kitchen and learned my trade. I liked finding new things-"Capers? What am I going to do with fucking capers?" That sort of thing.
Is it true you bought a forest in India? How does one do that, exactly?
I found myself in a situation where I was fraternizing with environmentally conscious people and someone said to me, "You should be carbon-neutral with all the traveling you've been doing this year. You should see how much carbon you've used and try and offset that with trees." I thought that was a fantastic idea and I discovered that I had used a forest's worth of carbon. So I thought, How do I go about doing this? I spoke to a friend and he said, "Look, there's a mango tree plantation in Bangalore, India, that we are trying to set up and we would love for you to be the person who offsets their carbon by donating to this forest." So I said okay. So as far as I know, they've been picking mangoes and selling mangoes and, with the profits, planting more mango trees-benefiting people who enjoy mangoes. I enjoy mangoes, so more mangoes in the world I think is a great thing.
You also bring a lot of nature indoors, right?
I have a baby royal python called Mojave. I have two tailless whip scorpions-one's called Indiana and the other's called Jones. I have a black widow spider named Samantha. I have a Jerusalem cricket called Toby, and I have a praying mantis called Ninja.
So you tend toward cuddly.
Yes, I have a cornucopia of beasties. I'm not interested in keeping domesticated animals because I don't think that I can learn anything from them. What I like to do is keep an animal and understand by their wildness a little bit more about how I'm supposed to be. All of the animals that I keep don't waste any of their time at all. If they're not eating, then they're sleeping. If they're not sleeping, then they're having sex. If they're not having sex, then they're drinking water. If they're not drinking water, then they're sleeping again. They are very economical with their time. They're not concerned with any of the bullshit we surround ourselves with.
A black widow named Samantha?
There has to be a backstory to that one. An ex-girlfriend who broke my heart and tried to kill me? [Laughs.] No. I called it Samantha after the character on Sex and the City. Because she's all legs and all attitude.