Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan isn’t only about insects. But Dominic Monaghan does want to put a bug in your ear.
“It irks me, to say the least, when people just dismiss them or kill them,” Monaghan said. “A spider, ew, they kill it.
“It wasn’t doing anything to you. It doesn’t really know you exist. It wants to be in shadow, it has come out into the light, it’s trying to get back into shadow, and for some reason you think it’s coming to kill you. It’s not, it’s just trying to find a safe place where it can stay alive.
“I’m just keen on breaking the myths that a lot of people think about insects, which is that for some reason they’re out to get us, that they’re evil little animals who wake up in the morning and say, ‘Kill the humans!’ That’s not their path.”
Monaghan, an actor well-known for his roles in Lost and The Lord of the Rings, is passionate about all kinds of animals. Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan – which debuts Monday, Jan. 21 on OLN – is an extension of Monaghan’s regular life, and even his home movies.
“Wild Things essentially is the way I’ve always vacationed as an adult,” Monaghan said. “I’ll usually look for an animal I’m interested in seeing, and then I’ll go to that particular place. That was the pitch (for Wild Things) that I gave out to companies.
“The show obviously has a deep correlation with the natural world, but it’s also a little bit of a travelogue, mixed with some food, it’s just about me and what I did.”
And it’s not just about the creepie-crawlies, even if Monaghan doesn’t find them creepy.
“We obviously used a lot of insects in the show as target animals because I’m a big fan of the underdog and the misunderstood,” Monaghan said. “They’re easy to find and they’re everywhere. But we also do a lot of stuff about snakes and lizards and certain types of mammals. If we find it, we usually film it.
“But as an order of animals, insects are the most important on the planet, by such a huge degree. The only thing that distinguishes us, humans, making us think that we’re in any way important is our ability to create art and technology. Apart from that, we’re the most destructive species on the planet. Worms and beetles, they create the planet, they continue to allow it to live and breathe.”
So if Wild Things speaks directly to Monaghan’s interests, has acting been something of a diversion?
“I always wanted to be an actor, but like a lot of people, I’m a lot of things,” Monaghan said. “I’m a huge (English) football fan. I’m a fan of food and travel and animals and movies. This is just one of the other things I’m passionate about, although you probably see more of me, because I’m not playing a character.
“If someone didn’t like me in Lost, I could say, ‘Well, they didn’t like Charlie.’ But if they don’t like this, then they probably don’t like me. That’s what I have to come to terms with.”
No worries, Dominic. You’re as likeable as a spider.