The new Sky Original series Domina transports its viewers back to Ancient Rome, telling the story of the influential life of Roman emperor Augustus Caesar, Livia Drusilla.
In this eight-part series, starring as the “loyal” and “childish” character Drusus from throughout his adolescence is newcomer actor Ewan Horrocks.
Monsters and Critics was able to chat with Horrocks about his role in Domina as well as his previous experience with acting, as Domina marks his first major project. Warming up, we asked him about his knowledge of ancient Roman history prior to filming the series.
He told us that while he initially “only knew the basics,” about the time period, prior to shooting cast members would receive packets and advice from historians. Horrocks shared, “They would give us loads information about our characters and the era, which really helped us get in the mindset. I remember early on, before we even started shooting, we tried to make them feel as real as possible.”
On his character Drusus
Monsters & Critics: What can you tell us about your character and his journey throughout the show?
Ewan Horrocks: “I play a character called Druses. At the beginning of the series, he’s a 13-year-old kid, and he’s one of the two sons of Livia Drusilla. He’s basically like the golden boy. He wants the power and the glory, and everything. And he’s got very much a Roman heart.”
“It’s really about his journey. Drusus is like coming from a boy to a young adult throughout the series.”
M&C: “Do you play him through all of the ages or is there a younger actor who comes in?”
Horrocks: “I play him from 13 to 18. It’s quite weird. The funny thing is, when we started shooting, I was 17 and I didn’t have the haircut. So, they put a wig on me, which made me look quite young. Then as we went back, they all said, ‘let your hair grow on them,’ and then they were like, ‘right, we’re going to cut it.’ They literally cut the Roman hair cut on me.”
History lessons aside, costumes are always one of the best parts of a period piece, and Domina is no exception. This series intertwines elaborate Ancient Rome costume designs with its modern English and sound. Throughout the show’s teasers and production images, characters are shown in lavish robes and tunics with fine details.
Horrocks had great things to say about the costumes seen throughout Domina. He shared, “Oh God, the costumes were amazing. They were great. Nearly every scene, it’s like a different costume. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, how are you doing this?'”
“They’re all absolutely stunning. They really, really outdid themselves.”
Domina is Horrocks’ first acting project
Excitingly for Horrocks, this is his first major acting project after studying at the Manchester School of Acting. He referred to the series as “his first job ever.”
M&C: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Horrocks: “When I was young, like twelve or thirteen, I did amateur theater. Then when I was sixteen or seventeen, I got an agent and then I got Domina. In terms of my career — I know it’s very early on — but I think it really changed everything. Working with professionals really makes you ‘up’ your game, really. I think you have to match them, otherwise you’re going to sink.”
“Everyone was so lovely, like they really took care of me. You know, I think working in Rome as the 17-year-old kid from Yorkshire, it’s like it’s surreal. It’s actually surreal. And it’s an experience I’ll never forget.”
Check out our full interview with Ewan Horrocks below.
Domina premieres on Sky TV May 14 in the UK and everywhere else June 6 on EPIX.