Dominic Kay has always known that he would be an actor. His interest in acting felt instinctual, and from the early age of four, he began practicing his craft. Throughout his childhood, he was the lead in school plays, requesting to read lines instead of getting bed time stories from his parents, and he would walk around the house rehearsing. Now, years later, Kay is a sought-after actor in the United Kingdom, and still feels that same passion for what he does now as he did at four-years-old.
Originally from the town of Burnley in Lancashire, United Kingdom, Kay has become a recognized name in his country’s film and television industry. His work on films such as the historical drama Allies, and the horror film White Settlers, captivated audiences. A similar pattern occurred when he acted in the television show, Hollyoaks in the City, as well as the iconic series, Coronation Street.
Coronation Street is the longest running soap opera in British television history. It premiered in 1960 and is still going strong today. It is broadcast all over the world, and is a leading show for the British network ITV. The series centers on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on inner-city Salford, its terraced houses, café, corner shop, newsagents, building yard, taxicab office, salon, restaurant, textile factory and the Rovers Returnpub. In the show's fictional history, the street was built in 1902 and named in honor of the coronation of King Edward VII. Coronation Street is noted for its depiction of a down-to-earth, working-class community, combined with light-hearted humor and strong characters
“Coronation Street is a multi-award-winning television show. Couple that with the fact that I have quite a few friends in the cast and a couple of director friends working on there too makes it appeal to me. I wanted to be a part of the show as it’s a huge success here in the UK. It’s also a nice friendly environment to work,” said Kay.
Kay first appeared in the show in 2009, playing a waiter. He was part of a small group of actors selected by a renowned casting director for a showcase that a director and producer from Coronation Street attended. Kay was then chosen for a role on the show. Kay impressed the showrunners so much with that role that in 2016, he was once again selected for another role in the show.
In his latest episode, Kay played a Police Officer. The character was a true professional at all times. He wouldn’t deviate from protocol even if it would make his life easier. Young and eager to learn whilst trying to prove his worth was a driving ambition of his.
“Even when accosted by a group of women as a sex object, I had to try to show the overwhelming professionalism oozing from him. Like it was just water of a ducks back,” Kay described. “It was challenging to say the least as we had to get a lot of shots done in a short amount of time but a hell of a lot of fun too.”
In this episode, the character of Gail organizes a bachelorette party for another lead, Carla Connor. At the hen party, things get a bit crazy, and leads to an arrest. While Kay, portraying the Police Officer, is trying to make the arrest, the other ladies take him to be a stripper and begin to take off his uniform. This scene had to be spot on, as it had to have an element of comedy whilst still keeping it in the realms of reality. Kay’s commitment to making the Police Officer as authentic as possible was evident with each take.
When Kay was in character, he constantly kept in mind how an officer would walk, talk, carry himself and how he handles his equipment. He looked into how to correctly use handcuffs, make arrests, use his truncheon, etc. He knew that each of these elements had to be spot on to ensure credibility. The Director, David Kester, gave Kay a bit of freedom with his character and allowed for the actor to implement a few ideas of his own. Everyone was thrilled with what he did and the scene was a huge success. Kay was praised by the director and was told that he added something valuable and fresh to the project and team, and that his performances were exciting.
“Dominic was at all times professional and inventive with the part in what was a difficult and busy sequence. I believe he has much to offer as an actor,” said Kester.
The focal point of the episode was this scene where the Police Officer, played by Kay, arrested Carla Connor. This was an integral part of Carla’s storyline as it depicted that she was potentially leaving the show. The scene was imperative for the show and in particular the character to move forward down a different path. It allowed for Carla’s character to develop and keep the show’s options open with what to write for her. Therefore, Kay’s portrayal of the Police Officer was vital to the episode’s success, and he pulled it off seamlessly.
“Working on Coronation Street was great. A lot of the cast members are great actors and give you plenty to work with so you can bounce and re-act of each other with ease. The directors are brilliant, they let you know exactly what they are looking for which makes your decision making pretty simple regarding your character. Even though you have a lot of work and scenes to get through in the day, it goes by really quickly as you’re having fun while you work,” Kay concluded.
Audiences can look forward to Kay on the big screen this year in the upcoming film Walk Like a Panther. Keep an eye out for it at a theatre near you.
Photo by David John