Friday 20 April 2018

RAW star Dominique McElligott lands ABC pilot 'Astronaut Wives Club'

Dubliner Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell in Hell On Wheels
Dubliner Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell in Hell On Wheels
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

She may no longer be in the hit series Hell on Wheels, but Irish actress Dominique McElligott has just landed a major role in a new TV drama.

The Rathfarnham native is continuing to storm the US and can next be seen in Astronaut Wives Club - a pilot being made by ABC.

Dominique, whose credits also include RAW, Leap Year, and The Guard opposite Hollywood heavyweight Brendan Gleeson, has been in demand in America since breaking to the business several years ago.

The Astronaut Wives Club tells the story of the spouses of the men involved in the space race and is based on Lily Koppel's book f the same name.

Dominique has been lined up to portray Louise Shepard, the wife of the first American in space, Aland Shepard.

In the series, viewers will see Dominique's character struggle to maintain her marriage once her husband becomes world-famous.

The Shepards, who died within five weeks of each other in 1998, were married for 53 years.

The 25-year-old Dubliner came to prominence when she stepped out as strong-willed widow Lily Bell in western series Hell on Wheels.  Her character was killed off in 2012.

The petite actress said working on the series - which is largely filmed in Canada - was one of the most challenging jobs she's ever done.

"When I was doing some of Lily's scenes, I found it so draining emotionally, physically, and mentally - more so than any other shoot or character," she said.

"I would go home with 42 mosquito bites, weighed down by 100lb clothes and corsets."

Dominique started out alongside Irish acting veteran Colm Meany, who is currently filming the next instalment of Hell on Wheels.

This year, the producers are bringing out 13 episodes and the cast are scheduled to remain on set until September.


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