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Dominic Goodman Becomes a Monster Hunter in Netflix’s 'First Kill'

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

On June 10th, Netflix premiered a new series centered around vampires and monster hunters called First Kill. Since its debut, the series has garnered millions of views, and fan bases have been building around certain characters, one such character being Apollo Burns played by Dominic Goodman.

Goodman, who previously starred in Netflix’s He’s All That, returns to the streaming platform as a monster hunter and older brother of Calliope, the female lead’s love interest. The series displays a degree of diversity by having the Burns family of monster hunters be of African descent.

“I have little brothers and little sisters who haven't necessarily had people that look like them on the screen when they're watching shows like Supernatural or any of the other shows that they’re fans of,” Goodman said about why now was the right time to portray the character of Apollo. “It was really important to be able to play this character and bring something to life that people would be able to connect to and be able to see themselves in and see a cool monster hunter vampire slayer that looked like them,” he added.

Goodman went on to discuss how the last time something similar to how the Burns family was represented on screen was in the Wesley Snipes Blade series in the 90s.

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

As seen in each episode of the series, family bonds, roles, and dynamics are a central core within the show and the highs and lows of brotherhood amongst Black men are displayed in the relationship between Apollo and Theo (played by Philip Mullings, Jr.). After the audience is able to look past the sibling rivalry, bickering, and competitiveness between the brothers, it is evident that they have strong brotherly love between them. Goodman was able to tap into and translate his own experiences as being a brother to his real-life siblings into his portrayal of Apollo.

“I think Apollo and Calliope’s relationship is a little bit different than Theo’s. He's kind of feeling like oh this is my annoying little sister,” Goodman stated. “But you've seen moments in the show where he warms up to her and kind of feels like a protector to her almost, especially when we're on the hunt. And, you know, we just felt like that was really important. And just being able to express all of that on-screen without just saying, 'oh, these two are angry Black men in the scenes arguing with each other.' It's like no, we're way more than that.“

Amidst the action and monster slaying, the character of Apollo allows Goodman to express a sense of vulnerability that isn’t often displayed when depicting Black male characters. ”The main thing I really wanted to showcase and I thought it was very, very important was that you can be the strongest monster hunter, you can be the most badass character there is, but you're also allowed to still be vulnerable,” Goodman said. “That was one of the most important things to me, especially being in the black community where sometimes we're told to not cry, be strong or keep your chin up and suck it up. I really wanted to just let everything go for the kids that are watching, and if they're able to connect to it or release it in any way because you see Apollo break down like he has never broken down before. I just really wanted to show that it is okay to let everything go and it is okay to cry, it is okay to release these emotions and express your feelings.”

Photo Credit: Storm Santos

Goodman was first inspired to go into acting after watching Will Smith’s Wild Wild West as a child, and while taking on the role of Apollo, he mentioned listening to Sam Cooke to tap into a soulful vibe and Kanye West's music during his workout to amp up his energy.

While First Kill is only in its first season, Goodman is looking to expand his range. “I think we're just getting started with me. I think that this show showed a lot of different variations of who I am, Dominic Goodman, as an actor, being able to do the comedic relief, being able to do the love interests, being able to do the action,” Goodman stated. “I think in the future, I really want to dive into that leading man and see how far I could take all of my skills, hone in on them, and just keep pushing myself as an actor every day.”


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