BBC Three is set to enchant audiences with its latest drama, “Domino Day,” featuring the talented Siena Kelly in the lead role. The series introduces us to Domino Day, a young witch navigating the murky waters of dating apps, not in search of love, but on a quest that delves into her supernatural abilities.
In an exclusive interview with Kelly, she shared insights into her character and the captivating journey Domino undertakes throughout the series. Domino, a powerful witch in her early twenties, grapples with newfound abilities and a hunger she struggles to control, leading her on a quest for understanding and self-discovery.
The series, comprising six episodes of 45 minutes each, is the brainchild of creator and writer Lauren Sequeira, with episodes crafted by Charlene James and Haleema Mirza. The talented duo of Eva Sigurdardottir and Nadira Amrani directed the series, with Nick Pitt and Megan Ott serving as series and associate producers, respectively.
Domino’s tumultuous journey takes an unexpected turn when a menacing figure from her past reemerges, setting the stage for a dramatic showdown. As the coven of witches tracks her every move, the stakes are high – can Domino harness her powers for good, or will they lead to destruction?
Watch Domino Day on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer from Wednesday 31 January at 9pm
Kelly, who brilliantly brings Domino to life, shared her thoughts on the character and the unique elements of the show.
Tell us about your character?
Domino Day is a very powerful witch in her early twenties. She’s only very recently learnt that she’s a witch and doesn’t know anything about her heritage or how to navigate the world as an exceptionally powerful witch, including how to control her magic.
What journey does Domino go on?
We meet Domino when she’s in a bad place and it just keeps getting worse. When we meet her she’s already aware she’s a witch and is experiencing this deep hunger that she doesn’t know how to control. The only way she can satiate it is if she feeds on humans, which she doesn’t like doing. It’s scary for her that she can’t control it and she doesn’t even know what she’s trying to control. So it’s her journey of learning how to control this urge and learning where it came from and what it means.
What kind of show is Domino Day? What makes it unique?
It’s hard to say as it evolves so much! It’s very, very dramatic and it feels very cool. It’s not just a period, witchy drama – everyone’s got a really good sense of style. We explore dating apps and hook up culture so it’s more of a fantasy drama set in modern day Manchester with lots of people in their early to mid-20s.
What was your first impression when you read Lauren’s scripts?
I really empathised with Domino when I read the scripts, particularly in the first episode and the idea of the lack of control over yourself, over your mind and over your “powers”. Also with not having any knowledge of where it’s coming from and having nobody to ask for help and feeling dangerous but not being dangerous. She’s dangerous but not in a bad way and I think that would be a really, really terrifying life.
What did you find appealing about the character?
I really empathised with Domino in being desperate to change your situation but having absolutely no resources to change it. I also found the idea of being so powerful and not having realised it or not really understanding just how powerful she is really interesting and something that I wanted to explore.
Do you relate to Domino’s story?
We’re very different and our life experiences have been very different but I do know people in my life that are similar to her, which is why I could really empathise with the character as I’ve witnessed it in other people. Domino really goes through hell and back in this show and I’m fortunate that I haven’t experienced that. I’m also nowhere near as powerful!
Was it a challenge portraying someone so different to you?
Yes, because I struggle in real life to feel sorry for myself so I had to pretend that Domino is my best friend. I feel protective over her and I can get into the character by feeling like she’s one of my besties. It was also an acting challenge because Domino is at level 100, 80% of the time so it was very physically and emotionally challenging.
What relationships does Domino have in the series?
The biggest influence on Domino is her relationship with her ex-boyfriend Silas, which isn’t a great relationship. He’s another witch and it’s a really tricky, nuanced and toxic relationship where he encourages her worst traits to grow. He’s also the first witch that she’s ever met so he’s her sole way into the witching world. He gets to be the person who influences her on witch politics, telling her what’s allowed and what’s not, what laws to follow, etc, which is a lot of power to have over somebody. They do love each other but it’s not a good or healthy relationship.
The next biggest relationship is the one she develops with Sammie, who’s another witch that’s a lot kinder than Silas. Sammie recognises that Domino is far more powerful than the other witches she knows and really wants her to grow and learn to control her powers and love herself. She wants Domino to recognise that she’s not an inherently bad person, which takes a while for Domino to realise, but she only realises it because of Sammie. Sammie is a brilliant, positive influence on Domino’s life.
And then there’s the relationships she has with a few humans in her life, which are also very difficult relationships to navigate, because the humans don’t know that she’s a witch, so she has a lot of secrets with them. There’s Leon, who is a man that she meets in a bar that she develops a really beautiful romantic connection and friendship with.
There’s also Vedita, her boss in the café. They have a lot of chemistry together and they really enjoy each other’s company. But she knows she can’t really be her true self around both of them as they’re humans and she’s a witch. So there’s always a level that she can’t quite get to with them.
How did you prepare for the series? Have you taken inspiration from other film/TV series?
I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from lots of things. I’ve watched a lot of witchy stuff and know a few people in my life who identify as witches. My partner’s mother is a shaman so they were raised around witchcraft. I watched movies such as The Witch with Anya Taylor-Joy, and Bones and All with Timothée Chalamet. Bones and All is a similar concept as it tells the story of an eater who meets another eater. I also watched this amazing vampire movie with Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive, which was brilliant.
Also The Roar, a French horror film. Movies about cannibalism helped a lot for me in terms of the hunger that Domino feels. I also watched another French movie called The Five Devils, which is also quite fantastical but a very dark thriller. Those are probably the things I watched that influenced me the most.
What was your favourite scene to film?
I think doing my first ‘feed’ with Percelle was quite fun because it was such a creative and physical exploration that we had to do. For a ‘feed’ scene we always have to stretch before and afterwards, especially the people who are getting fed on as they do a lot of convulsing and arching their back. Leon was the first person we were doing the feeds on and we didn’t release how physical it was going to be so he ended up twinging his back for two weeks!
Why is Domino Day a must watch?
Domino Day is a must watch because it feels really original, exciting and thrilling. It’s also very emotional, tapping into things like mental health, relationships and community.