Dominic Rains was a stranger to daytime last summer when he originated the role of Dr. Leo Julian on the General Hospital spin-off, GH Night Shift. Dr. Julian was briefly introduced to viewers on General Hospital shortly before GH Night Shift aired. Prior to his transition into daytime, Rains had a number of television and movie credits to his name, including LAX with Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood. Rains also appeared in episodes of 24 and NCIS.
The 26-year-old Rains was born in Tehran, Iran but moved to London when he was only two. Rains and his family left Iran because of the political unrest. “There were civil wars brewing and there was also a war with our neighboring country, Iraq. It was a very difficult time for a lot of people. Between 1979 till about 1985, a big majority of Iranians left the country and went all over the world,” Rains noted. Rains maintains a respect for his homeland, “I’d love to go back. I went back one time in 1999 to visit the family there. It’s a beautiful country. It hasn’t lost its beauty. It has been known as one of the most beautiful countries in the world,” Rains shared.
After spending some time in London, Rains and his family came to the United States and settled in Texas. Rains is the younger of two boys. Brother, Ethan (Leo, GH Night Shift), is also an actor. Rains attended the University of Texas, Dallas. At first he studied Biology and was planning on going into the medical profession. Rains admits his program of study was greatly influenced by his family. “The family pushes you toward a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer, very studious careers that are respected and carry a sense of honor. I studied three years of Biology and then I realized this was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to pick something I would want to learn about. They didn’t really have a theater program so I got into crime and justice studies and I loved it. I gave it everything I had. I continued until I got a call from my brother to come and audition for this film for NBC. So I went and auditioned for it. I didn’t see acting as something I would really do. For me the incentive was if I got it, I got paid (laughs). I went in as myself and it went really well. They picked me for the role and it ended up being a supporting character,” he said proudly. The film was Saving Jessica Lynch. Older brother, Ethan, also had a part in the film. Rains eventually left school to pursue acting full time. Rains credits his parents for their many influences. “My brother and I get quite a bit of our artistic half from our father. The persistence and the determination and the hustle we get from our mom,” Rains shared with Soapdom.
Rains was last seen on General Hospital in March of this year. The plan was for Rains and Dr. Julian to return for the second season of GH Night Shift later this month. Unfortunately, Rains schedule didn’t allow him to return to the role he originated.
“They called me for Night Shift 2 and they told me about all these great storylines. But I had made a commitment to the theater and it wasn’t something I was willing to sacrifice,” Rains told Soapdom.
Fans of Dr. Julian need not worry because the doctor is in good hands. Rains’ older brother, Ethan, has taken over the role. Just how did brother Ethan snag the role of Dr. Julian? “Ethan auditioned for the role. I really didn’t think they’d recast it. My brother went to the audition … and he went through an extensive casting process. He worked for it. From what I heard, he blew them away,” Rains said proudly.
Rains stressed he has much love and respect for the fans of daytime. “One of the main reasons I wanted to even continue … was the fans and all the love and support I got from them. I have the utmost respect for them. They have been such a joy. I remember when I went to Super Soap Weekend … I was overwhelmed by their love. They’re some of the most kind, most loving, most down to earth people with great hearts. I can’t express in words how grateful I am for the love that I’ve received from them,” Rains shared.
Recently, Rains has been involved in some theater projects. “This has become the joy of my life,” Rains shared in regards to working in the theater. He appeared in Glengarry Glen Ross before moving on to his current project, Desert Sunrise, which opened on July 11th. So how does the actor handle opening night jitters? “I’m nervous and I’m scared. If I’m calm then I know there’s something wrong. I don’t think I’m ever ready. At this place in my life, I never like to say I’m ready because if I say I’m ready that means I’m secure and I don’t want the security when I’m up there. I don’t want to know what’s about to happen. By saying I’m not ready, it keeps me alert,” Rains confessed.
Rains is extremely passionate about Desert Sunrise. He plays Ismail, a Palestinian Shepherd. “This has been the most challenging role. It has been the most gratifying, the most anguished, the most frustrating, the one with the most life. The one that I would die for,” Rains admitted. Desert Sunrise is scheduled to run through August 9th.
So what’s next for Rains? “I was thinking of going back to school. I don’t want my life to just be about being on TV or doing films. You can’t forget about knowledge, you can’t forget to read a book. You have to have a trade. I would like to be in a position to finish my degree,” Rains said with conviction.
Whether Rains ends up on a Broadway stage or in a college classroom, he’s sure to have continued success.
For information on Desert Sunrise, visit http://desertsunrisetheplay.com/
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