Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 February 2015

West: Baltimore is like Sheffield

Dominic West joked that Baltimore was like Sheffield
Dominic West joked that Baltimore was like Sheffield

Dominic West has joked about his introduction to the "mean streets" of Baltimore, where The Wire was set, saying he thought it was little different from his home town of Sheffield.

Dominic made the quip as he accepted an honorary degree in the South Yorkshire city from Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of his services to acting.

He told the audience of students and their families The Wire writer David Simon took him around the desolate housing projects of Baltimore and showed him the failing football team and derelict steelworks.

"David turned to me and said 'It's depressing, isn't it?'," he told Sheffield City Hall. "I thought, 'not at all ... it's just like home'."

Dominic said his grandfather and great-uncle were doctors in Sheffield as his sister now is.

"It is with great pride and a certain feeling of being an impostor that I thank this wonderful university for this great honour of making me also a Sheffield doctor," Dominic said.

Speaking outside the ceremony, the actor said he is still able to walk the streets of Sheffield relatively unnoticed.

"Unfortunately, that's the case all over the world," he said.

But the Old Etonian said: "I always miss out on the TV shows and films that are set in Sheffield. They never cast me in them because they think I'm posh or that I don't know anything about Sheffield. So it means a lot that Sheffield remembers that I'm from here."

But he said he does still get many offers to play drunk cops following his portrayal of Jimmy McNulty in The Wire. Asked how McNulty would have reacted to an honorary degree, he said: "He'd probably say 'let's go for a taste'."

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