Former “Lost” star Dominic Monaghan didn’t opt for the first class experience while making his new series for BBC America, which finds the actor showcasing some of the world’s most dangerous and reclusive animals and insects.
In fact, he spent quite a bit of time roughing it throughout the adventure-themed eight-episode series – “Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan,” which premieres Tuesday night at 10/9c.
“We would camp in the jungle at night in tents and we’d have to clear the forests,” Dominic told AccessHollywood.com, of the uncomfortable parts of making his new show. “You’re talking about a lot of uneven ground with obviously animals and rocks and things like that.
“We slept in a brothel for two nights,” he continued. “We actually slept on the second floor. I think the floor above us was a working establishment, with people coming and going throughout the night.”
Unique sleeping conditions aside, on the show, viewers will find a bit of a daredevil side to Dominic as he heads out on small boats into caves seeking out venomous spiders, or climbing trees to get up close and cuddly with a python.
The actor’s message for the show? Just because the animals are dangerous doesn’t mean they should be feared.
“My hope for the show is that it will make people think a little differently about the space that they share with these animals that they have fears of,” he said. “My hope is that people will watch the show and realize these animals aren’t out to get us.”
There was a close call with at least one creature the “Lord of the Rings” star came into contact with, while filming the series.
“I got pretty close with one of the more dangerous animals that we worked with. We worked with this green Lip Tree Viper in Laos,” he explained. “I had it coiled around a stick, like a noodle, like a piece of spaghetti, and as I’m talking to the camera, it very, very quickly uncoiled itself and came towards my hand..
“They’re extremely fast striking… If that viper had hit my hand, I would certainly have lost a couple of fingers, maybe my hand, possibly even my arm and I would have headed to hospital to try and save my life,” he continued. “So, it’s scary, potentially, but it’s also beautiful, and I wanted to show that these animals can be extremely dangerous at times and beautiful in the same breaths.”
Dominic developed a love for animals as a youngster – his dad was a science teacher, his mom, a nurse – but despite knowing their son’s penchant for animals, his folks still worried about their son during the experience of filming the television series.
“They wanted me to check in. I was in Venezuela for three days completely uncontactable because I was in the jungle and they got told that I had died, so they had a pretty rough time because they couldn’t get in touch with me,” he revealed.
“That was obviously a little sketchy and then the satellite phone wouldn’t work because we were in the jungle and they couldn’t e-mail me and they didn’t hear from me,” he added. “Yeah, they were concerned, but all they want from their kids is to be happy… and it’s clear [to them] that I’m happy doing this show.”
“Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan” airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on BBC America.
-- Jolie Lash