Dominic Adams

Humanizing an Enemy

Dominic Adams plays the irrefutable villain in The Weinstein Company’s new military drama, SIX, on The History Channel. Adams’ character, “Michael,” is a radical terrorist, and yet, as Michael’s story unfolds, grey areas are uncovered, and eventually, softened feelings toward the character are molded into actual empathy. Adams delivers a performance that paints a complex, compelling portrait of a US citizen turned Taliban terrorist. A main cornerstone of Adams’ character is that he harbors a vendetta against the Navy SEAL Team SIX operator who shot his unarmed brother. There’s a recurring theme of violence breeding violence within the series, where each side believes they’re committing acts of war for the greater good. However in reality as an actor, Adams seeks to initiate change by nonviolent means. Growing up in Bristol, England, Adams was always drawn to the psychological elements behind performing and aims to create a bridge of understanding by portraying human elements. While he can’t personally relate to the vengeful nature of the character he plays, Adams is set on portraying an authentic experience that helps the viewers to understand even a perceived enemy. In turn, Adams’ naturalistic portrayal of Michael underscores the question of what it means to be human.

Do you think violence shaped Michael or do you think there’s something innately insidious to his character?

It’s not that Michael has lost touch with his sense of humanity. He’s not, in my opinion, bloodthirsty. There’s a real sense of “I’m trying to achieve something that I believe is good, and yes there’s bad, but that has to come before we get to the good,” but it’s not just about terrorizing people. I never would condone senseless violence ever on any side. I’m pro-humanity, pro-living. As far as people losing their lives for causes that are dictated by other entities, whether that be governmental or religious belief, that’s just not how I align. But as far as Michael goes, there are just human elements. He feels like he’s been wronged in his life at various times that might give him some slight justification to how he thinks. Not necessarily with what’s involved, but how he thinks.

Were you able to draw on anything personally from this tense political climate in building the complexity of this character?

I, still, in my wildest imagination, could not think that Donald Trump would become the president of the United States. By the time we wrapped, there was a palpable air of racial tension. And ultimately, we as a society need to find a way to connect to people who have that sort of mindset and get to the root of what really causes that and realize that we’re all the same. The conflicts, the temperature of this country, the flash points for what could happen in terms of division – as we go into season 2, that’s very much going to be at forefront of my mind in how we proceed with a storyline for the character.

What’s on the career bucket list for you?

Of course there are things personally that I want to achieve, but beyond that, it’s not about myself. It’s about my role and how I show up as a person contributing in the world. We all have a voice, but when you are in a position of having people’s ears, that voice and how you use it is more important than ever. And for me, as that platform grows, it is my responsibility as a person of this world to support others and help affect a change in terms of raising the consciousness levels of the society that we’re in. So the biggest career goal would be to help support and be a beacon for integrity. Also, inspiring people to rise up and be the best that they ought to be, because that’s a daily endeavor. I think if we all took a moment to focus on that with a degree of originality, we would all rise together and the world would be a better place to be in.

Text by Elizabeth Chang
Photograph by Richard Reinsdorf

Styling by Kelly Brown
Grooming by Aleetha Clanton
Photo Assistants Tyler Demogenes, Simon Cordova & James Moy
Digital Tech Alexander Quel
Production by Keith Carhill

Dominic wears
Allsaints turtleneck
Stylist’s own tuxedo