Dominic Monaghan has starred in not one but TWO classic geek franchises - Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" films (as Merry the Hobbit) and "LOST" (as Charlie Pace, guitar god.) Now he's following his passion for animals and travel by creating the BBC America nature show, "Wild Things," in which he stalks some of the world's most rare and fascinating insects.
On the day of the show's big premiere, Dom stops by What's Trending to talk with host Shira Lazar and co-host Jackson Harris about his adventures making the show, the most dangerous animals he's come across, what animals scare him and more. Plus he answers questions from the Ultimate Dom fans in the chat room and plays a rousing round of Insect Trivia!
Luckily for Dom, his newest gig feels like more like vacation, considering all of the traveling he gets to do. "If I go on holiday on my own," he says, "I'll pick an animal that I want to see and then I'll land in that particular country, ask people about that animal, where are the best places to see it [...] and then hopefully have that experience."
That's not to say that he doesn't have some snakes, spiders, and chameleons at his home in L.A., too.
But there are definitely risks involved. Along with encountering potentially dangerous and poisonous animals, he says, "I climbed like 130 feet into a tree to get close to two-and-a-half million bees at one point." The bees weren't the problem, though. He's afraid of heights!
While immersing himself in various cultures, he's also eaten insects that might seem strange to us, as a custom, such as baby bees, an ant omelete, and beetle lava. (Remember that time Shira ate a cricket on the live show?!)
As an animal lover, though, he does this so he can "change people's ideas about snakes and spiders and scorpions. I want people to understand that they're not out to get us, that they are amazing creatures."
Now, as a travel show host, he cites Anthony Bourdain, Steve Erwin, Michael Palin and Jacques Cousteau as inspirations.
And for those "LOST" fans waiting for Dom's take on the much-debated finale, we hate to disappoint but Dom's never seen it! But the real question is, who's crazier - "LOST" fans or LOTR fans? "I would say right now 'The Lord of the Rings' fans are a little more rampant," he says, noting all of "The Hobbit" buzz right now.