10 Things with Dominique Columbus
Your acting career is just getting underway. What made you decide to get in to the business?
In my family, I was surrounded by entertainment and sports, so I naturally gravitated towards being creative and athletic. I also decided to get into the business to show people what is possible when you believe in your vision. I want to help people reach the highest version of themselves and the only way I can do that is reaching the highest version of myself. Growing up, my family was financially unstable, living paycheck to paycheck, but this taught me as a child to work smart for what you want and to make no excuses. I want to give hope and inspiration to those who lack it. Becoming an actor is not easy, a lot of people doubt you and thousands come to LA every day to pursue it. The statistics are just crazy but I wanted to beat the stats and show what’s possible through my own actions. Entertainment is the biggest platform there is, it has access to the entire world. In order for me to reach the masses the way I want to, this was the perfect platform for me.
Which actors work have impressed you thus far and which ones would you like to work with and why?
Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Will Smith and Woody Harrelson. Leonardo is doing something I think all entertainers should do, he is using his star power to raise awareness in the world. Yes, he is a badass actor but his involvement in climate change has helped to shift people’s minds and is improving society as a whole. He reminds everyone that he’s still human, that we all have a mission on this Earth and to not let labels distract us from that mission.
I’ve been able to work with Johnny Depp already which was a life-changing experience! I would honestly love to work Leonardo, Will and Woody just as equally. They are all great in their own way.
Last season, you were cast in Showtime’s Ray Donovan. What was it about the script that made you excited to join this cast?
The script was amazing, but I was more excited to just work with these juggernauts on set. Every one of them is on an elite level and being put into a position to work alongside them was a blessing in itself. I knew this was a chance for me to level up my game, and it did. It was exciting that I got to fight a lot in the show and bring high energy to it. I felt my character would add value to the show and give it a dynamic that boxing fans would like.
On the show, you play the role of Damon who’s a street-smart, homeless teenager with quick hands when his boxing skills are needed. What are the many facets that makeup Damon’s personality?
I’ve been boxing for 13 years so being able to act and box at the same time was perfect for me. I’m able to execute two of my passions at the same time. One of the facets that makes Damon’s personality is that he is a survivor, he doesn’t like depending on other people nor does he trust them. He secretly is a very loving kid, but due to circumstances occurring in his life, it took his innocence away. Terry is the person that brings out the good in Damon, instead of throwing him to the side like most people. Terry took him in and opened his eyes to a new world. Sometimes in life, we just need someone to show us what’s out there. If we don’t know what exists how can we move towards it? Terry gave Damon that opportunity, which gave Damon the motivation and hunger to manifest a new life.
What have you enjoyed thus far about bringing his character to life on screen?
Honestly, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is seeing how all of your life experiences can lead up to one moment on-screen. All of the years I spent struggling, going to acting classes and studying in school all led up to this performance. Taking everything that I learned throughout the years and finally being able to channel that energy was reinvigorating.
The show always has a no holds bar approach for the Donovan family. How will things develop with Damon and the rest of the family on this season?
You will have to watch Season 5 and find out! This question would spoil a lot of things for this up and coming season, and that’s something I think the DonoFans wouldn’t appreciate!
You’ve had the opportunity to play alongside Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight. What have you learned and taken away from this experience thus far?
The simple answer would be “Think Less and Do More.” I watch how Liev, Jon and Eddie Marsan operate, they’re very specific about their choices and trust their instincts. They put in the work prior and then, when they’re on set, they execute. I never really see them thinking too hard about things, as much as they know what they want and they are very good at simply letting go. For me, that was a challenge as an actor to just let go and not think. That is the biggest learning experience I’ve received from these three.
If you were not working on your acting career, what type of career would you want to get into?
I wouldn’t do anything else. Everything I do is surrounded by acting and film-making. This is what I love to do. I never had a plan B, my plan A was my plan B. Being an actor and a filmmaker allows me to access infinite amounts of creation. I love being in films, making films and creating motivational videos. My craft has now become my identity, so I never get bored.
When it comes to fashion, which designers and styles appear to you the most?
My fashion sense comes from different sources. The styles that inspire me the most is European high fashion mixed with LA street fashion. Someone like A$AP Rocky is a dope blend of both of these worlds. He and I don’t dress alike, but I can tell we pull inspirations from similar things. I don’t have one specific designer or style I’m drawn to. I’m universal, I switch it up a lot and I tend to get inspiration from art work. I’ll see a cartoon character wearing an unusual outfit, maybe they’re wearing a pair of pants that look really trippy and I’ll think, “oh those are dope, I need to get a pair of those, or make some, no one is wearing stuff like that.”
We look forward to seeing how things turn out this season on Ray Donovan. What other projects do you have coming up?
I just completed my first mainstream feature film with Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker called “LAbryinth,” directed by Brad Furman. It’s about the murders of Tupac and Notorious BIG. The story is told from the perspective of the investigator, “Russell Poole,” played by Johnny Depp. I play “Tyrell,” a witness to Notorious BIG’s murder. There isn’t an official release date yet. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this powerful story!
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