You can’t wade onto Twitter without coming into contact with the dredges of toxic fandom, a subject that has been skewered in everything from 2022’s Scream reboot to Donald Glover’s newest series Swarm. Dominique Fishback stars as Dre in the Prime Video series, a young woman obsessed with the Beyoncé-esque pop star Ni’Jah. Dre’s sister Marissa is played by Chloë Bailey of pop duo Chloë x Halle in a delicious bit of meta casting. While both Dre and Marissa love Ni’Jah, it is Dre’s life that is eventually upturned by her obsession.

Glover might be best known as the creator of Atlanta, but his music career under the moniker Childish Gambino has made him all too aware of the ills of pop stardom. Glover created the series with Janine Nabors, who has worked on everything from reality TV satire UnREAL to HBO’s acclaimed Watchmen series.

Related: Atlanta: Where To Find The Cast On Social Media

Ahead of the premiere of Swarm, Screen Rant sat down with Fishback to talk about the show and the actress touched on why she had trouble accessing the psychology of her character, if she has her own favorite pop star, and what’s in store for her upcoming role in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

Dominique Fishback On Swarm

Screen Rant: I’m so excited to talk about this show because I went in blind, and I was blown away. So, first and foremost, I’m just so curious: who is your Ni’Jah in real life? Who do you love?

Dominique Fishback: It’s so funny that I would play this role because I don’t stan. My first concert ever was in 2018. I really don’t follow that much. Maybe when I was younger, when I was like 10 [or] 11, I loved Aaliyah. She was all up on my walls. Michael Jackson, I loved him too.

But again, I don’t even think I had the capacity to think I could actually see this person. I never was like, “Mom, can I go to a concert?” It just never crossed my mind.

Fandom is this huge beast when it comes to music, but also with film and television. Have you ever had that experience as an actor? Have you ever had a moment where you see a fan, and it toes that line of adoration and creepiness?

Dominique Fishback: No, no, not yet. Everybody’s pretty respectful and kind. And sometimes they’ll be like, Oh, I didn’t want to say no, because I don’t want to interrupt your day. They’re very nice like that. So no, I haven’t had that.

I love Dre, but she’s a bit of a cipher. Her personality is kind of filtered through this love she has for Marissa and for Ni’Jah. Did you build the backstory for her? What can you tell me about her that I maybe wouldn’t have gleaned from watching the show?

Dominique Fishback: Normally, for all of my characters, I usually journal. I’m very psychological [in] how I approached them. With her, I couldn’t, because I didn’t understand her on paper, really. It wasn’t something I could prep for in advance. I had to actually just be present and allow her to show me who she was in the moment. I started learning about repressed memories, and how, when things are so traumatic in your life, sometimes you can’t even remember them.

I often equate that to Dre’s process and that, later on in the series, [there] is a story that she tells. You kind of believe it, but then you hear it again, and you’re like, “Oh, that was not the story.” I feel like Dre has so many repressed memories from the trauma that she experienced growing up, that she even repressed them from me. I don’t even have access to it, and I think maybe that’s how the creatives wanted it to be. Because whatever you think about Dre is okay, and whatever somebody else thinks about Dre is okay.


I only saw the first two episodes, but is there anything that you can tease about the rest of the season?

Dominique Fishback: I think it’s definitely shocking. I think, for me, one of the harder things was the fact that, as an actor in school, you’re always taught to never judge your characters. You have to have a clean slate for them in order to do them well and to do them justice. And so that was a really interesting dynamic. The finale was probably the hardest one for me to do. That was really hard. So, now I teased the fact that the finale was hard.

You’ve got another exciting project coming up with the Transformers movie. What can you tell us about your character, and how it’s different from the franchise?

Dominique Fishback: I’m excited because my character is from Brooklyn, and I’m from Brooklyn, and Anthony [Ramos is] from Brooklyn. We never had that Brooklyn juice meet the Autobots. I think that’s kind of fire, and it’s going to be interesting to watch.

About Swarm


From co-creators and executive producers Janine Nabers and Donald Glover, Swarm, set between 2016-2018, follows Dre (Dominique Fishback), an obsessed fan of the world’s biggest pop star who sets off on an unexpected cross-country journey.

Check back soon for our other Swarm interviews with:

  • Co-creator Janine Nabors
  • Chloë Bailey (Marissa)

Next: Community: What Donald Glover Has Done Since The Series Ended

Swarm premieres on Prime Video on March 17.

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