Dominic Monaghan has been part of some of the biggest franchises in pop culture the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings trilogy, the ABC mystery thriller series Lost, X-Men, and Star Wars. All the 45-year-old Emmy nominee cares about is if his character can be approachable and believable as someone grounded in reality. The actor spoke to Bleeding Cool about his latest project in the AMC+ sci-fi dystopian series Moonhaven, which follows Earth pilot Bella Sway (Emma McDonald), who's a skeptic in Paradise, as she's sucked into a conspiracy to gain control of Moonhaven, a utopian colony on the Moon 100 years in the future. Monaghan plays Paul Sarno, a detective investigating a murder.
Bleeding Cool: What intrigued you about 'Moonhaven?'
Dominic Monaghan: I was shown the script for the pilot episode relatively early in the experience. Living and creating a community on the moon seemed interesting. When I realized that this whole community of people on the moon had a totally different outlook on life and a totally different set of technologies that they can draw on, it seemed fascinating too, and then everything that they think about where their future is going to go gets compromised by these earth-dwelling people showing up. I just thought this is a catch that I was interested in getting to know and could and could help turn into something real.
BC: How do you describe the camaraderie on set and on the environment was compared to like your other ensemble casts?
Monaghan: We're working in Dublin, Ireland, coming towards the end of this lockdown. So when we arrived in Ireland, still a lot of businesses, restaurants, cafes, and stuff were still in lockdown, and then it gradually woke up as we're filming. It's quite a quiet time. Ireland is known for its welcoming and lovely, charming people, and that was definitely true. The entire crew was lovely, and then you got an international cast from all over the place working on the job as well. It was fun. I like working on my character. It seemed to probably work the most alongside Emma's [McDonald] character, just stayed busy and loved coming to work every day.
BC: Does working in sci-fi feel different than the other genre you worked in?
Monaghan: I don't make a distinction between the way that I approach a sci-fi job than I would with anything else. My job is to try and make characters real. Do they feel like this is a real person that could walk down the street or sit next to on a train or a bus? I don't make a distinction between if they're an alien, if they live in the future, or do they live in Sherlock Holmes' time? For me, can I make them real? Can I make them jump off the page? So everything that ['Moonhaven' creator] Paul [Ocko] talks about in terms of his particular future is something that he's invested in, and he knows. For him, it's not new concepts… his concepts, he's had since he was a little kid. So how do I make it seem like he lives and breathes? That is my real challenge.
Moonhaven, which also stars Amara Karan, Ayelet Zurer, Kadeem Hardison, Yazzmin Newell, and Joe Manganiello, is available to stream on AMC+, which you can check out the premiere on YouTube.