“The best advice someone ever gave me is, 'Throw your heart out in front of you and run ahead to catch it,” Dominic Sherwood tells us. “I took that to mean, let your heart set your goals and the pace of your life. If you love something, go for it.” It appears the UK-born actor has done exactly that, earning the role of Jace Wayland in the hit TV series Shadowhunters. Sherwood is perhaps best known for his role as Christian Ozera in Vampire Academy and for starring alongside Taylor Swift in her music video for the song 'Style'. Sherwood recounts what it takes to stay truthful in a fantasy.
Shadowhunters premieres this month. What challenges did you encounter building a character that has gone through both a film and book adaptation? Did you pull any character traits or mannerisms from those renditions or did you make Jace Wayland completely your own?
I definitely watched/read them respectively. The books were very helpful to me as I needed a vast understanding of the world, so that added to the character definitely. The traits of a shadow hunter, how they live, the benefits and shortcomings. And that all added to my understanding of what made Jace… Jace. But a lot also came from our writers room, headed by Ed Decter, as they really developed the characters and the world of Shadowhunters.
How do you manage to play your character truthfully when you're acting in a far-fetched fantasy world (Shadowhunters and Vampire Academy for example)?
For me, I find the best thing to do is envelop myself in this character. Become him and feel what he is feeling as much as possible. I do a lot of research about character traits from different places in real life to try and make them as real as possible. For example, with Jace, I looked (among others) at Marines: soldiers at the top of their game. And I took some stuff from that to add to the character.
Do you have a favorite Sci-Fi series?
The Expanse. I have a good friend/ex-co-star in it! Love that show.
Is Sci-Fi the film genre in which you feel most passionate or are there other genres you'd like to explore?
There are infinite other genres I want to discover. I've done some horror (The Other) and a little action (Take Down) and also sci-fi/supernatural (Shadowhunters) this year. Let's see what the future brings.
You come from a musical background with your band Tamarin Sky. As of late, has your focus shifted primarily to acting, can we expect more music from you in the future?
I played a little music with my friends when I was younger. But all I've ever wanted to do is act. I like to play music, but mostly behind closed doors.
Your career has taken off in the past few years. Are there any challenges you've encountered adjusting to the attention that comes with success?
A little. The attention is wonderful in so much as it's people telling me in some form or another that they enjoy what I'm doing. Which is wonderful for me to hear because most of the time I'm just guessing with life. But I do like to keep quite private. It's just about finding balance.
Taking into account all of your roles past and present, which character have you been able to relate to the most?
That's a tough one. I found something relatable in each one, whether big or small, there was always something. I guess, because I'm putting so much effort into playing him, right now I'd have to say, Jace.
Can you give us any top-secret insight on Jace Wayland and what we can expect from Shadowhunters?
Jace has a very complicated past that leads to his behavior in his present and the person he has become. And my 'top secret insight' is that we do get to learn about Jace's past in the series.
Any dream roles for the future?
It has always been a dream of mine to play Elvis. So I always have my ear to the ground about that one.
Written by Dominique Joelle
Photography by Jiro Schneider
Grooming by Samantha Bates
Styling by Gorge Villanpando