Dominic West: ‘Fake Cigarettes Made Me Ill’

Dominic West

Dominic West

Contrary to what you may previously have thought, there’s a growing body of evidence that suggests acting might not be terrifically good for your health. OK, there are more hazardous professions, but it’s not all winnebagos and shots of wheat-grass.

Take Dominic West’s latest role. The star of The Wire has been filming a BBC2 drama called The Hour, which is set in the strange world of 1950′s TV. You know the kind of thing, sharp suits, bourbon, lots of formica everywhere, and lots and LOTS of smoking.

Of course, being ordered to smoke for your job isn’t a terribly good idea from a legal (or moral) perspective, so often TV and film companies resort to using fake cigarettes, which light up and billow like the real ones, but don’t actually contain any of the toxins. Or at least, that’s the idea.

Trouble is, the fake cigarettes were just as unpleasant as the real thing, as Dominic explained to the Sun: “The cigarettes we used were absolutely horrible. I’d much rather die of cancer than smoke them.”

“We were constantly puffing and I got this lung complaint, which in 20 or so years will make an interesting court case!”

Ah well, at least there’s the on set catering to liven the spirits, right? Oh, apparently it was mainly Spam and jello. Those poor actors…

Will you be watching The Hour? Tell us here.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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