Sunday 30 April 2017

Dominic West: 'My wife hasn't watched The Affair yet and I don't really want her to'

Dominic West and wife Catherine Fitzgerald
Dominic West and wife Catherine Fitzgerald
Catherine Fitzgerald (L) and Dominic West attend the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Family man: Catherine Fitzgerald and Dominic West with their children on their wedding day in Limerick in 2010
The Affair, Showtime 2015
Dominic West: Desmond was the last Knight of Glin. He really inspired me and I'm very proud to be connected to such a great Irish family. Photo: Getty

Patricia Danaher

Best known before now for playing hard-drinking Detective Jimmy McNulty in gritty drama The Wire, Dominic West has found new fame - not to mention female attention - playing teacher Noah Solloway in The Affair.

The 46-year-old actor hails from a large Catholic family in Sheffield. After school at Eton, he studied English Literature at Trinity College in Dublin, where he met his wife Catherine Fitzgerald. The couple split after college but later rekindled their romance and became engaged in 2007. She is the daughter of the late Desmond Fitzgerald, who was the 29th Knight of Glin.

Desmond gave Catherine away at her wedding at the family seat, Glin Castle in west Limerick, in 2010, and sadly passed away the following year. With him died the title of Knight of Glin as he had no sons to inherit it. Catherine, a landscape designer, and her sisters all live abroad and have said that the castle was too much for their mother, Olda. Last year, it was decided to put the Castle and its estate up for sale, with an asking price of €6.5m.

Dominic and Catherine live in London. They have three children, and Dominic also has a daughter from a previous relationship. In 2013, he walked to the South Pole alongside Prince Harry to raise money for charity. Last year, Dominic was nominated for a Golden Globe for best actor in a TV series for his role in The Affair.

A lot of the sex in The Affair is worked out in quite a detailed way by the writers. God knows what else they think about all day and night, but we seem to have done most things by now.

It's mostly a battle between me and Ruth [Wilson] as to who's on top. I always want to be on the bottom - and the other battle is over what position we haven't done yet. I think porn is calling!

At the start of this season I was in the writers' room and they weren't there. There was a transcript of one of their meetings talking about an episode. I thought, "Oh, that'll be interesting", so I nicked it and went and read it in the car. God, it was torture!


I'm glad I don't have to be in that room! They talk very frankly about their own experiences and their love lives and marriages. One of the writers said, "Well, this actually happened with my husband last night" and then a few days later I was in the cinema when she walked in with her husband. I found myself looking at him in a completely new light.

My wife hasn't watched The Affair yet and I don't really want her to. It's embarrassing. I don't have parents, but I've got five sisters and a brother and they haven't watched it. My sisters were saying, "Yes, we heard it's good. We heard you do certain things there and we decided not to watch it." Maybe they have watched a few but my wife wisely hasn't. I mean, it's not something I'd like to watch her doing.

Catherine is a wonderful woman and she belongs to an amazing family. They have an amazing history and that's something I treasure very much. I find it very romantic and appealing and I hope to do whatever I can to continue that history.


Desmond was the last Knight of Glin. The title goes back 700 or 800 years before the Brits got to Ireland. It was a very romantic family, which sadly has now reached its end in me, I suppose, and our marriage.

Much as we love Glin Castle, and the children have loved it, we don't particularly want to go and live in it. It costs a lot and it rains a lot. It's been a lovely thing to have.


Glin Castle is a living piece of Irish history. So, we had thought that the University of Limerick should get involved and make Glin Castle a link between art and architecture in Ireland that's absolutely steeped in culture and heritage.

I care an awful lot about buildings. The guy who knocked down Penn Station in New York and those who ruined the City of London should be in jail.

I am good at calligraphy. I've always been interested in it. My brother was educated by monks in Yorkshire, and I took it up when he did, in my teens.

All my money goes on eBay. Usually useless things. I bought a toolbox with a whole range of antique tools which are absolutely useless and take up a lot of space.

There's a lot more recognition on the street now since The Affair. Unlike last year, when I could go around quite freely. I was in Dublin during the summer and I was taking my kids to a soccer camp and there were a lot of mothers there and they were all sort of looking at me as if to say, "We've been watching you!" It's a bit weird.

Desmond was one of a kind, so devoted to Glin. He really inspired me and I'm very proud to be connected to such a great Irish family.

The second series of 'The Affair' is available on Sky On Demand

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