Dominic Adams, the hunky newcomer on Lifetime’s hit series Devious Maids, turned to acting at a very young age as an excuse to skyrocket himself to the center of attention. An extrovert at heart, Dominic sunk his teeth into theater as a teen and was hooked from there… and thank the Gods for that.
The half British and half Persian actor has captivated the eyes of millions of women across the globe playing Tony Bishara, a cunning and attractive security guard with unsettling ties to the Mossad. Dominic, who can be seen on the show quite frequently with his shirt off, has joined in its second season; the fastest-growing scripted series ever, which happens to be produced by none other than Eva Longoria.
I caught up with Dominic about his new role on the number one series across cable in its Sunday time slot among women, and we talked not only about sex tapes, his favorite books, and fan interactions, but about his foolproof secret to staying in shape for those raunchy shirtless scenes us women (and some men) tune in for.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: You play Tony on Season 2 of Devious Maids. What was it like coming into an already successful show and did you feel pressure to fit in on and off set?
DOMINIC ADAMS: First of all, it’s great joining a show that is successful because there isn’t that trepidation that you have when you’re doing a pilot or you’re doing a new show and you think, ‘gosh, is this going to work? Are people going to like this? Are we going to last more than a couple of episodes?’ I saw the show going very well and grow steadily over the course of first season and it’s very exciting to join it. Everyone was great and kind and welcoming. I love everybody who’s involved, the cast and crew is very tight, a tight unit and they welcomed me with open arms and made me feel really comfortable.
Tony is being hailed as the suave and sexy newcomer. If you had to choose a few words to describe him, what would they be and why?
To describe Tony… my goodness. [laughs] He’s savvy, dangerous and opportunistic.
Definitely. And are we going to see some devious side of Tony moving forward with the season?
I think that you could bet your mortgage on it. I think it’s very safe to assume on the show that we all have this duality—it’s what I love about the characters—they all have this duality in them where they have some good versus evil and you get to see the good side and you also get to see the devious streak to them also.
I agree. Now, do you have any audition horror stories where things just maybe didn’t go quite your way or maybe surprised you?
I have an audition horror story where I had such a bad migraine that I didn’t even get inside the room because as I sat outside my eyes were streaming uncontrollably. Streaming, not that I was crying, and I literally had to go in and tell them that I was so sorry, I had to go home because I really wasn’t feeling well. So that was pretty awful. That was pretty horrific, without being funny. In terms of when I’ve actually been in the room, I think it’s just there’s always times where we go to an audition and we just plain suck. It just happens sometimes that you go in and it’s not your day and things just don’t go the way you thought would’ve been best for them to have gone. Sometimes it happens, thankfully and hopefully it’s very rarely, but sometimes.
With a show like Devious Maids, where you are showing off some skin on a regular basis, what sort of activities do you do to stay in shape and are there any particular foods you eat to keep you energy up?
Well, in Atlanta they have lots of donut factories everywhere and there’s a Krispy Kreme donut factory where they actually make them right there and then in front of you and they actually come out boiling hot. So obviously, my diet mainly consists of freshly baked Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts. But when I’m not doing that, I tend to stick to a strict diet. I’ve tried to tinker with it and make it my own, so I won’t attribute it to any one particular food. I do eat lots of protein and vegetables and my carb intake is very low. I tend to keep my carb intake pretty low. And that tends to be how I balance my diet—just make sure I’m getting protein and as much vegetables and salad as I want and then I only really put some carbs into my body when I feel like I really need it. I’m a pretty active guy, always being a sportsman, playing soccer and rugby, I run, I lift weights and also mixed martial arts. I do those kinds of workouts too. I like to have a mix.
To switch gears a little, you started out doing theater. Would you ever consider pursuing a role on Broadway?
Oh my gosh, I would absolutely, I would. It’s a dream that I will make a reality.
Now, would you do a play or a musical?
Definitely a play. My background and where I come from, it’s just a natural thing to do as an actor to be on stage and to be living something every day. You’re living the same role, but it changes every single day, it’s never the same. You’re interacting with the audience, you can feel them. It’s such an intimate thing to be able to feel the energies and the emotions of hundreds of people in an audience. It’s a very special thing to be on stage as an actor and I’d absolutely love sometime soon to get cast in a great play.
How has that been on Twitter and other social media outlets? Have the Devious Maids fans welcomed you with open arms? Have there been any weird things that they’ve said to you?
[Laughs] I try to be objective on social media with my Twitter, I really try to interact with people. I’ve always loved people. I’ve always been interested and fascinated with people, with dynamics and relationships. I try my best to really respond and answer questions and start conversations and entertain. So people on Twitter really tend to be fantastic. They are referred to the Devious Army, the Devious Maids fans. They have been really supportive and really taken to me and to my character and I’m very grateful. I tend to go on my Twitter and see lots of screenshots of myself without my shirt on, which isn’t always what I want to see first thing in the morning but, you know it’s fine [laughs]. They’ve been great. And my Instagram too. I’ve only just opened that up because it was private. I’ve opened that up to people and I’ve been getting great support on there too so. I think it’s great that social media has been able to create a relationship between people who are in the public eye—actors, politicians, whoever it is— and people have questions to ask these people. I think it’s great that that dialogue has been opened through Twitter and Instagram, so I’m happy to be a part of that.
Definitely. And I mean, being in the public eye, there have been a lot of people who have maybe had some snafus on Twitter or Facebook or whatever social media it may be….
Or sex tapes.
[Laughs] Or six second sex tapes.
Or sex tapes to create themselves a career… not mentioning any names…
[Laughs] Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. Do you feel you have to censor yourself on Twitter or do you kind of just wake up and if you have something to say you say it?
Well as an individual, I’m not usually offended, so I often speak in a manner that relates to that. Because I’m not easily offended, sometimes I assume that other people won’t be either and that’s kind of been something that’s followed me throughout life. And I never mean to upset people or be offensive, I just have pretty strong opinions and I say what I think. But, there is a slight responsibility if you are going to air views or opinions or make comments that can be deemed as salacious when you have thousands or millions or whatever it is listening to you. There is a responsibility. I think you have to watch that a little bit because it is my opinion and because being on television or releasing albums gives you a platform that people listen to what you say, that doesn’t just mean that you should take that as license that what you say is right and you can say whatever you think all of the time. Because if that’s what you’re going to do you are going to end up upsetting people and maybe look like a bit of an asshole. I think it’s kind of balancing the two. My friends can think I’m an asshole, but the fans maybe should not think that I’m an asshole and hopefully they don’t, because I’m a reasonable and really friendly guy.
If you could guest on any other show what would it be?
Breaking Bad has a huge place in my heart. Good gosh I love that show and the work that people did on it—the writers, to Bryan Cranston… it’s just phenomenal. As for now, Game of Thrones, I mean I could totally be running around with a sword. I could see that. Otherwise, I’d like to be a political schemer on House of Cards. Getting to do political scheming on House of Cards would be lots of fun.
That’d be awesome. Those are all great shows. Now, do you do any reading? Do you have any favorite books?
Yeah, I read a lot. I tend to read books about ideologies and ideas and I tend to go back to those books and feel like it’s a linear… In terms of novels, I just finished The Goldfinch. Have you heard of that?
Yes, I have, I heard it was great.
Yeah, it’s good. I’ve never read Donna Tartt’s stuff before. She has a very distinct style but I really enjoyed that. I thought that the way that she paints and creates images the detail to which she does that in her writing is pretty amazing. So, I just finished reading that. I’m a big fan of a book by Viktor E Frankl called Man’s Search for Meaning. He was a philosopher. He was in a concentration camp throughout the war— very interesting life story and he was a psychologist and really came up with some interesting ideas on psychology and the male. One of my favorite quotes of his is “that which is light must first endure burning.” That really kind of makes sense to me. So, I read a lot of that kind of stuff. I’m reading some stuff right now which is a mystical way of thinking. It’s pronounced “dow-ism,” but it’s spelled T-a-o-i-s-m. I like to keep my brain and my mind healthy and active and for me, reading is about learning and the more information you consume the more I learn about different ways of thinking and ideologies and aspects of individuals lives, the better, I find.
I agree, there’s always room for improvement and to learn some more. So, now we kind of enter the random, kind of fun-ish questions. So hypothetically speaking, the world is ending and you have to choose between zombie apocalypse and alien invasion. Which would you chose?
Oh my goodness [laughs]. Both of them sound fantastic. I think I’d have to go with alien invasion, only because I’d be so interested to see what they look like. What sort of clothes do they wear? Do they wear any clothes? Are they naked? Do they have the same body parts as us? And what do the spaceships look like? All of those reasons are reason enough that it’d have to be alien invasion.
[Laughs] I like that. I like your thinking behind everything. Now can you say something in your best American accent?
That is amazing. You do a really great American accent.
Thank you. I found I’ve neglected it a little bit, but when I’m on top of my game, I’d like to think that people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and wouldn’t realize that I’m not American.
Right? I know, that’s the point. I know you said that you kind of neglect the American accent when obviously right now you’re working in your normal accent. Do you find it easier when you are shooting a show that you don’t have to work as hard to kind of make yourself have an American accent since you can kind of just talk the way you would normally talk?
That’s a really interesting question you ask, McKenzie, really, I have to say. It’s a very different thing because energies are different. But I would say is the approach that I have to character acting is that it’s more about that individual, where they’re from. If that means they’re from South Africa, if that means they’re from Louisiana, if they’re from wherever it is, you have to be true to that so the accents tends to become part of who you are as a character. So, it’s obviously extra work, but it has to be done. It has to be done. And it’s something I enjoy. You find new parts of yourself when you’re having to do— I don’t walk around, I wasn’t born, I haven’t lived my life as an American man, so when I have to do that, there’re new parts of me that I find as a result of it.
Right, it’s always awesome to find different layers of yourself.
Absolutely. That’s what the whole thing is about to me.
So, now we’re getting to the final question. Basically it’s: do you have any other projects in the works or does portraying Tony keep you pretty busy for the time-being?
Tony has my attention right now with his antics. But you’re always looking for what else is going on and I think that’s the very definition of an actor. We come from a lineage, a heritage of unstable people and unstable in terms of their work, because it’s not like you’ve got a 9 to 5 and you’re going in everyday and you’ve got an office. You haven’t, so you are always wondering what your next project is—okay I finished something at this point, what am I then going to do, what’s the next thing I’m doing? How am I keeping the machine moving? So, I think we’re always looking for the next things to move on to so myself, and my team are exploring things right now and looking at what’s the next step for me to make.
Wonderful. So those were all the questions I had for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me and we’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the season and what’s in store for you.
Great, thank you so much.
You can catch Dominic on Devious Maids on Lifetime, Sunday’s at 10pm (ET). Or show him some love over on Twitter.