How do you play a character fighting to belong to two worlds? In the SyFy Channel series “Being Human“, actor Sam Witwer has to do just that as Aidan, a 207-year old vampire who is struggling to fit in in the human world. And when we say struggling, we mean it.
By day, Aidan is a hospital employee determined to appear as normal as possible to the outside world; in reality, he is struggling with his vampire side for dominance, while also being best friends/roommates with werewolf Josh (played by Sam Huntington) and a recently departed ghost, Sally (played by Meaghan Rath). Not exactly the stuff “normal” is made of.
When last seen, Aidan found himself an unwilling pawn in the quest for vampire dominance by his maker, Bishop (played by Mark Pellegrino). The decisions Aidan makes will have not only have huge consequences for himself, but also the people he loves, as he continues to fight to be the person he wants to be, not what others try to make him.
Witwer recently joined his two co-stars at Dragon*Con, a multi-genre fan convention held annually in Atlanta, for Q&A sessions, photo ops and autograph sessions for thousands of fans. Examiner.com got a chance to speak with him to find out what makes Aidan tick, and what fans can expect from Season 2, which will premiere in January 2012.
Hanako Ricks, Examiner.com: Hi, this is Hanako Ricks with Examiner.com and again, I’m here live at Dragon*Con 2011.This time I have Sam Witwer, from the SyFy Channel’s “Being Human”. Hi Sam, how are you?
Sam Witwer: Hello! How are you?
HR: Good! How are you enjoying your Draogn*Con experience so far?
SW: It’s been really, really cool. I wish I had a chance to walk around and see more stuff, but it’s been great. All the enthusiasm from everyone who’s been enjoying the show, it’s been quite heartening.
HR: Great. Okay, I asked this question of Meaghan earlier, um, how did you hear about the project and how did you get involved?
SW: Well I, I was just – apparently they were looking for Aidan for a long time and they were having a real hard time casting him, and so I guess the uh, casting director who cast me in “Smallville” was basically like, “Why have we not seen Sam Witwer for this?” So they just called me up, and wanted to have me come in and read.
HR: And what was it that attracted you to the role?
SW: It’s an irresistable role. The fact that really, I didn’t necessarily you know, I read a few pages and saw that it was a vampire show. I’m like “well we have 15 vampire shows, we don’t need another one”. But then as I read it, I realized oh, this is a show about a man who’s battling addiction.; that’s cool. I really like that.
HR: Yeah, I – in your panels, you talked about approaching the characters from the human standpoint…
HR: …instead of the supernatural part.
SW: As people.
HR: Do you think that makes a difference with how the show is portrayed?
SW: I think it does. Yes. Absolutely. Because I mean, these – you know, we are. We’re making a show about people and their frailties and these are all – these vampire, werewolf, ghost things, they’re all metaphors for things that people deal with in real life. These are metaphors, so we really should approach from, you know, the human aspect first. It’s not to say we don’t give the werewolf, vampire stuff its due. I mean I spend a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to be 207 years old, you know? And I put a lot of effort into like, re-inventing the character in different time periods. For example, in this season we go to the 30’s.So we meet Aidan in the 30’s, and he’s a very, very different, strange, strange Aidan that we don’t know and uh, I kind of played it like this is him in his absolute prime.
HR: Do you like going back to the past?
SW: Love it.
HR: Okay, because it gives you a different angle to work from.
SW: Totally.Yeah, and we just keep adding cool layers to the character. I really dig it.
HR: Okay, so what’s next for Aidan, without giving too much away for Season 2?
SW: What’s next for Aidan? Well, trouble…ah, backsliding. Danger, suspense, love, sex, all kinds of stuff. (Turns to camera) You should tune in!
HR: Which is par for the course for Aidan.
SW: Yeah, it’s just what he does. Yeah.
HR: Okay, well I thank you for taking the time to talk to me, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Con.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the show yet, you can watch
full episodes via the official website, or you can wait until November when the DVD
is scheduled to be released.
“Being Human” airs at 9pm on Monday nights on the SyFy Channel. Season 2 will premiere in January 2012.