Interview: Dominique Moore

Dominique Moore is best known for playing Chanel O’Grady in the ITV2 television drama Footballers’ Wives: Extra Time. She was first seen on television in the BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary series “Paddington Green”. She can also be remembered for her roles in CBBC shows The Crust, UGetMe, Stupid!, Hotel Trubble and The Queen’s Nose. She also appears in some of the sketches on the Little Miss Jocelyn Show.

In May 2008 she appeared in the BBC Three show “Barely Legal” and starred as a leading character in CBBC’s ‘My Almost Famous Family’ in 2009.

We were lucky enough to get a great interview with Dominique, enjoy…

- How did you first get into Acting? Was it from a young age?

Yes. I did my first professional job at age 8. It was a television show, and then the musical Oliver at the London Palladium at 9. I went to a school called Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. But before that, I went to their Saturday school and then auditioned and got the full scholarship for the full time school when I was 12!

-Most of our members will know you from the recent hit CBBC show “My Almost Famous Family”. Could you tell us a bit about the show and your character?

I’d say, think of the family from ‘The Sound of Music’ (the Von Trapps) meets Michael Jackson’s family (the Jackson’s)! A big musical family, half African-American and half British, with the cutest mixed race lil’ sister who joins the family together. They perform as a band on a tea time chat show called the Annabelle show so they are nearly famous but not quite just yet =) It’s a fun show with comedy and drama! We all really sing and dance and our characters have fun, comedy song outbursts throughout! If you haven’t yet watched it =)

- In the show you had to sing. Was that a new challenge?

Well, I’ve been very lucky and I’ve performed in 5 West End musicals, which I loved because it’s all singing all dancing, but since then I have mainly been doing television shows so before MAFF came along, I hadn’t sang in a long time and really didn’t have any confidence in my voice anymore. You should always be training your voice and I hadn’t for a few years, which is very very bad! So the first few times in the recording studio were awful for me, and you really have to be confident and know what you’re doing in there because there isn’t a lot of time to re-do things. You don’t have anyone holding your hand or get any special treatment from the musical director; they just expect you to be prepared and do it! So it was a big challenge for me going back and sing, especially as the character! I play Aretha who is the lead singer so I had no excuse for being bad as she sings the lead in most of the bands songs.

How did you cope with it, and ensure that you were as confident as possible, when it came to recording?

I just had to practice practice practice and sing everyday! I asked for backing tracks to all of the songs and sang along with them at home, in the car, on the way to work everywhere until I had it down. Sometimes you only have a day or two to learn 7/8 songs and when you’re in the studio you have to get them all recorded including harmonies and backing vocals for other characters songs quickly before you have to go back to film scenes.

- For some actors it’s hard switching between different roles, we know you have been in “Casualty” were you had to play a more serious character than other parts, such as children’s TV. Was that easy or hard?

I don’t personally find it hard. I think its fun and that’s the main reason I’m an actress so I can play lots of different roles. I don’t think any actor should limit themselves to one type of character because then you stop being challenged and you stop learning and it’s all about always learning new things. The type of audience that watch the children’s shows I’ve been in would not know this but I have done a lot of dramatic/serious roles over the years and I still can’t say which is my favourite but I do enjoy having different people enjoying the different characters and types of show =) Also, in every human there is a serious side and a comical/fun side so I try to bring that to every character I play, whether it’s a drama or a children’s programme, to create an all round realistic person that is believable to an audience. Just because it may be a children’s show does not mean the character is happy and smiling at all times e.g. in My Almost Famous Family, there are lots of serious/ dramatic storylines and scenes.

-Have you always known you wanted to be an actress? And did you have any other ambitions as a child?

Well my mum has told me that when I was 4 years old I was sat in front of the TV and said “mum I want to go on there, how do I do it?” Obviously she laughed and said I was too young but I was persistent and as I got older I joined every school play, musical and drama club there was. I did professional ice skating and went along to my older sisters dance class I was always making up silly shows at home to show my family so my mum saw that it was something I really wanted to do and then when I was 8/9 my mum took me to Sylvia Young’s Saturday school!

We were always told as actors to have a back-up plan just in case our acting careers didn’t work out. Mine was teaching because I had a few amazing school teachers and I wanted to be like them.

- The “Queens nose” was a hit show watched by a massive audience, what was it like knowing this? And did you get stopped in the street? Or has this occurred more recently?

It’s a lovely thing to know but then and even now it’s not something I think about, it didn’t make me nervous or anything. To me my work is fun times so I just enjoy every day and am grateful for the opportunity! It’s always lovely when people stop me and say they like something I’ve done because it reminds me not to give up when it gets hard. The funniest times are when people stop me because they think they know me from somewhere but can’t quite work out where, so I’ll stop and have a lovely long chat with them about their day, how they are, their kids etc. I’m too embarrassed to say they may have seen me on TV so I just pretend they have probably seen me in the local supermarket!

- The question a lot of people want to know is how did they create the magic with what was really just a normal fifty pence peace?

Oooo… I can’t tell you that!!

- In CBBC’s show “Hotel Trouble” which aired this year, part of the show you had to face the public when you went out on the street. What was that like? Any funny stories?

This was my favorite part of making the show. We got to dress up and literally improvise and just have fun- it was great! For one of the sketches we all had to be cheerleaders so Sam and Gary who play Jamie and Lenny had to wear a leotard and skirt. Hilarious!

- Do the arts run in your family?

Not really, my sister used to be into it when she was younger but not anymore. Now it’s just me but my cousin has just got an A* in her drama A levels so I hope she will be an actress too!

-What’s the life of filming really like?

Hard work!! Most days you leave your house between 5 and 6 am, you get to work and have to go over lines for the day and eat breakfast if there is time whilst having your make-up and hair done which you may think is a lovely treat but sometimes you would rather not have someone prodding at your face when your sleepy haha! Then you get into your characters costume which may not be to your taste but you have to remember your playing a character so you have to deal with it (sometimes your costume is awful but sometimes you want to keep it) you then travel to the location sometimes you shoot indoors, if your lucky, where its warm. Other times you are outside in the freezing cold with whatever your character is wearing. Cold doesn’t show on the camera so you always have to pretend you are nice and warm. You then shoot all of the scenes from lots of different angles until 1oclock ish LUNCHTIME!! Then after lunch you go back to work, filming scenes all the way until around 7PM when you finish for the day. I get home about 8:30 to learn lines for the next day! Its hard but a lot of fun because you get to spend every day with lovely people, eat the yummiest food and you know the end result will be great!

-A lot of people that will be reading this will want to do what you do on the TV and be in the industry. What advice could you give them?

Go for it!! Find a local drama class/ performing arts centre and volunteer for as many productions as possible to get lots of practice. Remember if you don’t get the parts you want don’t give up! Everything happens for a reason and the perfect role for you will come just keep practicing! You can do it! =)

-We always finish with this question- what or who is your main inspiration and why?

Well, I really do admire the careers of Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. I love that Jamie Foxx can do everything and is so believable in every character he plays. I also really look up to people I’ve met and worked with- Paulette Ivory, Angie Le Mar, Jocelyn Jee Esien and young actress Nadine Marshall. If I could be even slightly as good as them I’d be happy!

1 Comment

By Mark Vice on 4th September 2010 at 7:06 AM
I love it!

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