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 McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
View all posts by Fraser McAlpine.