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Dominic Mafham Interview

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Clinic airs every Sunday at 9.30 pm on RTE One.

Dan's Character
. Dan is the resident plastic surgeon.
. He has used black mail and manipulation in the past but things changed when he fell for Cathy.
. Cathy's untimely death (while also pregnant with his child) - caused when Niall Boylan backed over her with his car.
. Dan sought revenge and we last saw him in series 6 - standing over Niall Boylan who had fallen down the stairs - unwilling to help him. Niall later dies.

The Clinic: Series 7
According to RTE Press "DAN (Dominic Mafham) is released by the gardai after questioning for the suspected murder of NIALL BOYLAN but returns to the Clinic only to find DAISY (Amy Huberman) still angry that he ripped off the Clinic by supplying cosmetic surgery supplies at inflated price. DAN secures LORCAN'S (Mark Dymond) backing against DAISY by reminding him of the trump card he now holds - LORCAN'S secret HIV status.

But DAN is not out of the woods yet - Boylan's brother is convinced of the doctor's guilt and is determined to make him suffer.

DAISY is left smarting by LORCAN's inexplicable backing of DAN and questions his decision to allow DAVE McGINN (Thomas Farrell) back into the Clinic despite the stabbing of his partner ANNIE WARD (Suzy Lawlor)

Meanwhile LORCAN'S daughter MADISON (Sophie Jo Wasson) has come to live with him, and when CLODAGH (Leigh Arnold) also agrees to move in, LORCAN feels a new family coalescing around him".

Last Sunday's Episode: 11th October 2009
Dan is in confident mood the morning of his Medical Council hearing. Daisy lends her support to Dan on the day. Things don't seem so good when he is cross examined by barrister Simon Lund who has discovered some unsettling information about him.

Interview with Dominic Mafham

How did you get into acting?
When I was a kid before my voice broke I was in the choir and he had various connections in London. I got an audition for Oliver in The West End. I was in the gang. Then I was in a thing called peace child which was a huge charity thing that had Susannah York and Rolf Harris in The Albert Hall. I was in the Chorus - it was massive. The guy with the main part dropped out and I got offered it. I was 13 and I had about 5,000 people watching me. It was amazing.

From there I got into the National Youth Theatre and I was in that for a few years. I found it really easy and I always felt very safe particularly as a teenager when everything else is going pear shaped - I loved it. Then I auditioned for drama school and it was the usual route from there.

Had you worked in Ireland before The Clinic?
I did the series of The Ambassador in Dublin before The Clinic.

What attracted you to the part of Dan?
It was a great part which has grown over the years. He came with history and he was running away from something mysterious. He started off in series 1 telling a whopping lie. He was always stirring things up. He is extremely good at what he does and he has great charm but he is not always as he seems. Now he has an even bigger history behind him.

Is it a real challenge for you striking a balance between nasty Dan and softer Dan?
Well I like him so I don't play him as bad. I try to understand where he is coming from and what his motives are. He is not a psychopath he has good intentions and in order to achieve what he thinks is the right thing he has to do bad things. And last year after Cathy's death the gloves were off. He is desperate and he goes through a very dark place. It wouldn't work if I played him as a baddie - but compared to everyone else on The Clinic who are way too nice I guess he does appear quite bad. But most people aren't so nice all the time.

Is there much of Dan in you?

Was it hard playing the scenes where Dan loses the love of his life Cathy?
No not hard in the sense of acting but it was really weird in the sense that I spent so long working with Aishling - who is terrific - and when it ended it took a long time to get to that place. It was hard saying goodbye to her. But the audience probably was a bit wary of Cathy getting with Dan - when they did find love there was real integrity there. It was so well written.

Dan has been implicated in Niall Boylan's death - what's to happen to him? Will he go to jail/ lose his licence?
You'll have to watch to find out. Dan is desperately worried - he has put everything into his work it gives him status and provides him with a structure for everything. He has been cleared by the police but he has to wait to hear from the medical council.

Would you call Dan a ladies man and is it true Alison Doody will play Dan's love interest?
Dan has an interesting love life - he was with Lorraine Pilkington's character, Alice, Cathy, and now Alison Doody's Character. He doesn't really like Alice in the romantic way. Alison was great fun - I think she really enjoyed her part. She plays a great character.

Do you find yourself a bit out of the loop for the success of The Clinic as when it airs you are back in Britain?
Yes I find it really odd. I hear about it but I am away from it all. I get sent a load of DVD's of The Clinic and I have a Clinic fest for the weekend. But in every respect The Clinic has been so good to me.

You write as well - what do you write?
Yes, I like to keep busy. I have written a few scripts. I try to keep myself alive and my imagination working when I'm not working. I have a writing group and I am writing a novel but not like Amy Huberman - mine is in a darker vein.

What was it like to work with Stephen Fry in Kingdom?
He was terrific to work with. I went from the wrap party of the Clinic and Saturday I was in Norfolk filming Kingdom. He is like a big telecommunications hub centre. He had an iphone before they came out but it was an American one and every call he made was an international one. One night he said he couldn't sleep and he told me he wrote on his blog. I went on it and I saw that it was about 10,000 words on some new gadget. His brain races ahead.

In the past you work with Danny Boyle - what was he like?
I worked with him on an Ibsen play. It was around the time he did the Shallow Grave film. I had huge dreadlocks. Danny was great and down to earth but I never did get a part in any of his movies.

What's next for you?
I have nothing planned. I keep my options open. Things can change so quickly. I just did an advert last week in Madrid.

Dominic Mafham