Interview - Being Human, Season 2 Actors

Interview - Being Human, Season 2 Actors
Now that season two of the North American version of "Being Human" is airing new episodes again, Monday evenings at 9 p.m. ET, we thought it might be nice to get an actors' eye view of what's coming up for our favorite supernatural trio: Josh the werewolf, Aidan the vampire and Sally the ghost. The following is an edited transcript of a press conference call arranged by the SyFy channel.

Q. What was it like to film season two--was it different playing these characters in the second season?

Sam Huntington: We loved the show so much; I think I can speak for all of us when I say that. So we were really, really excited to get back. And the funny thing is, I personally expected it to feel a lot like just one giant bout of deja vu, and to be honest, it really just felt as though we had never had the hiatus. Because it was all the same crew and a lot of the same cast, it just felt like we had maybe a two-day break and then we just rolled into season two. It was bizarre. But at the same time it was great, because I felt like we were able to just pick up right where we left off, which was a really cool spot.

Sam Witwer: There’s me and Sammy and Meaghan, and we bonded, I think, all the way back during our first audition together. But...we were so exhausted after the first season, for months afterwards even the thought of doing season two would make me sleepy. When we got back, I guess I hadn’t expected to be as happy to see everyone as I was, the crew and directors and everyone. And that carried me through the season.

Meaghan Rath: I think, just script-wise, it was a lot easier to just fall back into it this year, because there was no establishing who are characters were and what our circumstances were. We just jumped right into it.

Q. What can you tell us about the storylines in season two? What kind of stories are you getting to tell?

Sam Witwer: It’s extremely different. If season one was about putting these people who are at risk into a safe environment, well, season two is all about, what is that risk about? ...These people are in trouble, and we’re going to see a lot of that trouble this year. We’re going to see why they need so badly to have a sanctuary, because things get a little bit darker this year. 

Q. How do you maintain your character’s humanity when playing the darker bits of their nature, since we see more of that this season?

Meagan Rath: For me, it’s important to keep in mind that these are real people, and not get sucked into the supernatural element of the whole thing. What makes the show different is that we’re not playing into the supernatural stereotypes. We are trying to play these as regular people. So for me, it’s about just keeping in mind what I would do in this kind of situation. And what’s great about the show is that it’s really acting (out), what would you do if you were put in this situation? I think that’s where the humanity comes from, just being a good person and being with these challenges that question your morality and your values. 

Sam Witwer: What we’re trying to do as three actors is, we’re trying to bring as much humanity into those events as possible. For example, if someone dies, hopefully we’re going to tell a story where you realize that this is an awful sacrifice or that something has happened that is really, really terrible. It’s all about the characters‘ reactions. I mean, these three characters are the eyes through which the audience watches the show. So we’re really trying to keep our reactions to all this giant supernatural stuff very grounded. And in terms of the dark stuff that comes up, the messed up thing is that at first you’ll see our characters react with horror and shame and all this awful stuff. And then as time goes on, you might see them get used to it, and that, hopefully, will be a very sad thing to watch.

Q. Was there anything specifically that was really challenging for you as actors in the second season?

Sam Huntington: That’s what’s cool about the job, to be honest. You’re challenged every day you go to set. You’re always challenged by this wonderful material, this material that makes you really, really think. It forces you to just basically become a better actor. I had several moments this year where I got to places emotionally that I’d never gotten to before on a set. 

Meaghan Rath: For me, every single day I felt like I was being pushed by the writers and the creators just for what they had planned for me. I have the feeling so often where I came to set and I’m looking at the scenes and I’m like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this, when I read the script. I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I think that is where you really grow as an actor--when you’re scared. And there was definitely a lot of that this season. 

Sam Witwer: Yeah, the real challenge I think this year was, we’ve lived with these characters for a season now, and so it’s like, okay, what new sides of these characters can we show? ....We do get to know these different sides of these characters in big ways. And the other big challenge this year is that we shot everything a little bit faster. We had less time to do stuff in, for various reasons...and so that was a little frightening but I think it all turned out all right.

Q. Has there been anything you learned about yourselves as you develop your characters? 

Meaghan Rath: It’s a strange thing, but every new experience you go through, every different set, every character, I feel it forces you to find something in yourself that has been there, but you never knew it existed, so you’re just trying to access different parts of your emotional life, or feelings that you’ve suppressed over the years. And it changes you, especially when you connect to a character so much and you love that character. It really forces you to question, what would I do in this situation, and what does this mean to me, and how can I put this situation into my own words? And that’s for me, how I mature and grow.

Sam Huntington: We’ve all been at this acting thing for quite some time and done a lot of different work, different jobs. Everything presents different challenges. And it’s a fun gig, but it’s really hard. I’ve got to say, this year for some reason more than last year--and it’s probably because of a lot of the stuff that I was given to perform--I really felt like my range broadened. I felt like I learned a lot of things about myself and about where I’m able to go emotionally, and these are lessons that I’m going to take through the rest of my career.

Tune in next week for the second part of this interview!

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