Interview with Sam Witwer of SyFy’s “Being Human”

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… 

SW: Totally. 

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.
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One-on-One with “Being Human” star Sam Huntington at Dragon*Con 2011

On the SyFy Channel series “Being Human” he plays Josh, the overly-cautious, somewhat insecure werewolf trying desperately to hide in life’)s background in order to avoid revealing his secret. In real life his portrayer, actor Sam Huntington, couldn’t be more the opposite.

In person, Huntington is funny, friendly, and generally seems to have a good time – all of the time.

Whether he is by himself or wreaking havoc during a Q&A session with his two co-stars, Sam Witwer and Meaghan Rath, Huntington makes it very clear that he loves his job, and his co-stars.

Huntington took a few minutes in-between greeting fans at this past weekend’s Dragon*Con convention in Atlanta to speak with me about his love for the show, his character and co-stars.

“Being Human” tells the story of three unlikely roommates: Josh, a hospital orderly who is also a werewolf; Aidan (Witwer), a fellow hospital employee who becomes Josh’s closest friend on account of his own secret (vampire); and Sally (Rath), a displaced ghost who finds herself an unwanted – but then welcome – roommate to the guys when they move into the brownstone in which she died. What follows is an unlikely friendship between the three which turns out to be what is probably the most normal thing in their lives.

Hanako Ricks, Examiner.com: Hi this is Hanako Ricks with Examiner.com,and I am here at Dragon*Con 2011 with Sam Huntington from the SyFy Channel’s “Being Human”.Hi Sam, how are you?

Sam Huntington: Hi, hi.

HR: You totally photobombed that picture of me and Witwer.

SH: Yeah.

HR: But it was great.

SH: Yeah, that was the idea, yeah. But see he did it to me like, 100 times today.

HR: So I heard.

SH: So he can take one. And I apologize, because he was with you. But I’m in there now.

HR: No, it’s fine. It was a great picture, it was a great picture.

SH: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.

HR: So, Dragon*Con.

SH: Yeah.

HR: Your panels.

SH: Yeah.

HR: Hilarious.

SH: Thank you.

HR: Is the chemistry between you and Meaghan and Sam like that all the time?

SH: Yeah.

HR: Really?

SH: Literally.

HR: So you guys weren’t faking it?

SH: No, no, no.

HR: Oh that’s great! 

SH: That’s why we get off on those tangents. We can do that all day long.

HR: But it’s great because it shows that you guys really enjoy being here and interacting with the fans.

SH: Yeah, yeah it’s nice. I feel like – I mean, we love each other so much and I want people to see that and know that. 

HR: Oh that’s great. Okay, so, Being Human…

SH: Yeah.

HR: You play Josh the werewolf.

SH: I do

HR: How did you find out about this role and what drew you to Josh?

SH: It was a very traditional audition process in L.A. Um, I had to audition for it a bunch of times, it’s just I think they were uncertain what they wanted for the role, so um, I really lucked out – I was the right guy for the job. So,um, and here we are and I’m still feeling so lucky.

HR: Okay, and Josh’s storyline kind of went on some highs and lows last season…

SH: Yeah, yeah

HR: Endng with the big cliffhanger of Nora being pregnant…

SH: What’s happening with Nora, yeah yeah yeah

HR: …and so, are we gonna see more of that in season 2? Are we gonna find out more about what’s going on? Is their relationship gonna develop?

SH: Oh yeah, that’s a lot of what Josh’s plot is in season 2.

HR: And you mentioned there’s gonna be more werewolves this season.

SH: Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. Different…types of werewolves.

HR: So it’s not just your basic, everyday thing?

SH: Well they…I can’t really elaborate, but it’s really amazing, yeah. You will like it, I promise.

HR: Okay, and you said the DVD is coming out in November?

SH: November.

HR: Tell us what we can expect on the DVD.

SH: I actually don’t really know. I’m hoping to get like, an advanced copy of it so we can tell you guys what’s gonna be on it. But I think there will probably be some deleted scenes, there’s definitely a lot of behind the scenes footage – lots! I think like an hour plus of behind the scenes stuff and interviews that we did throughout the season. I’m hoping there’s gonna be a killer gag reel on it, that’s always my favorite part of a DVD.

HR: There should be. If there’s not, that would be a crime. 

SH: I agree.

HR: After what I’ve seen this weekend, that would be a crime.

SH: It’s a little crazy. Um, um you’ll see that those antics are just what we do, and uh, and yeah sooo, yeah. I think it’s – beyond that it’s just the show.

HR: Okay, well the show is great. I love it, and our fans – the fans love it.

SH: Thank you, thank you.

HR: And we’re looking forward to seeing more of you in season two.

SH: We’re looking forward to seeing more of you.

HR: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.

SH: Thank you, come here. Oh my gosh, Examiner.

HR: Thank you.

SH: Thank you so much.

“Being Human” airs on the SyFy Channel on Monday nights at 9pm. The second season will begin in January 2012.

 

One-on-One Interview with “Being Human” star Meaghan Rath

 

Photo of me with Meaghan Rath and Sam Huntington from the SyFy series “Being Human”

Dragon*Con, the annual multi-genre fan convention that takes place every Labor Day weekend, has come and gone until next year.

As part of my assignment with Examiner.com, I had a chance to briefly speak one-on-one with Meaghan Rath, one of the stars for the hit SyFy Channel series, “Being Human“. The show, which is an American adaptation of the U.K. series by the same name, is about three supernatural beings – a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost – who have all become roommates sharing a Boston brownstone. Rath plays the recently departed Sally, a ghost who begins the season trapped in the home with no idea of how she became a ghost in the first place. Over the season, it is revealed that she is actually a murder victim, having been pushed down the stairs (by accident) during an argument with her irrationally jealous fiance, Danny. Along the way to discovering the truth, Sally begins to learn how to exist in the human world as best she can, with the help of roommates Aidan (the vampire) and Josh (the werewolf). At the end of the season, Sally makes a choice between her destiny and her friends, that will have emotional consequences for her to deal with in season two, which premieres January 2012.

Hanako Ricks, Examiner.com: Hi, this is Hanako Ricks with Examiner.com and I am speaking live from Dragon*Con 2011 with Meaghan Rath, one of the stars of “Being Human”. Hi Meaghan.

Meaghan Rath: Hi!

HR: Thank you for speaking with us today.

MR: Of course! I’m happy to.

HR: Is this your first Dragon*Con?

MR: It is.

HR: It is, and how are you feeling about it. 

MR: Uh, clearly I’m feeling pretty great about it. (laughs)

HR: Oh yes, you got your wings today.

MR: I’m in the spirit. Uh yeah, it’s been amazing. It’s so nice to talk to the all the fans and have fun. We’re having a good time.

HR: Yeah, you guys look like you’re having fun. So, Being Human is a television show about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost who are all roommates. How did you hear about the project and how did you get involved?

MR:Uh, I got the material from my agents and I – I never, I wasn’t aware of the U.K. series at all, and so I went home and I read the first few scripts, which is what they gave us and instantly fell in love with it. Fell in love with the character and uh, just knew that I had to be a part of it, and I worked my ass off to get it. Yeah.

HR: Without being too spoilery, because I know you guys have talked about a lot of changes coming in the second season, can you tell us a little about what to expect from your character for the next season?

MR: Um, I would say that it’s a lot darker, if you can imagine that. And um, I think we’re gonna see a lot of Sally exploring the afterlife, and the consequences of missing her door and what that means. 

HR: And is Danny like – will we see him at all in the second season?

MR: I don’t know, I cannot confirm or deny.

HR: Okay. Well I thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy time to speak with us, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Con.

MR: No problem. Thank you, you too.

HR: Thank you.
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.

Dragon*Con: 4 days and counting!

Dragon*Con begins in Atlanta on Friday, and for this Grown-Up Fangirl, this year is shaping up to be the best since I began attending back in 2007.

All of my favorites will be there: guests/panels on “Supernatural“, “True Blood”, “The Vampire Diaries“, “Being Human“, and of course, Harry Potter. I have the privilege again this year of attending on a media pass, representing Examiner.com (I am the Atlanta Sci-Fi Movies and Atlanta Sci-Fi TV Examiner), and I will also have a chance to display my love for Harry Potter by sitting on two panels this year: Harry Potter: From Page to Screen (Friday 8:30pm), and The Hero’s Journey of Neville Longbottom (Saturday 1pm). Both panels are part of the Young Adult Literature track; stop by and say hi!

Also, I have received an invite to one of the press conferences being held for Jim Beaver, who plays Bobby Singer on “Supernatural”. This will be my first press conference, and I’m very excited at the opportunity.

You can look below to see what panels I will be attending, and if you have any burning questions for any of the stars, please let me know and I’ll try to get your answers posted.

Supernatural guests: Jim Beaver (Bobby), Mark A. Sheppard (Crowley), Misha Collins (Castiel), Samantha Ferris (Ellen Harvelle), Julie McNiven (Anna) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Alistair)

True Blood guests: Kristen Bauer van Straten (Pam), Jim parrack (Hoyt Fortenberry), Joe Manganiello (Alcide Herveaux), and Denis O’Hare (Russell Edgington); Charlaine Harris will also be there (author of The Southern Vampire Series, the books upon which “True Blood” is based)

Being Human guests: Sam Witwer (Aiden), Sam Huntington (Josh) and Meaghan Rath (Sally)

The Vampire Diaries guests: Sara Canning (Jenna), David Anders (John Gilbert) and Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood)

Harry Potter guest: Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)

If you are a reader of the blog and will be at Dragon*Con, please let me know…I love meeting new people face-to-face. You can message me here or via Twitter.

Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Ticket information can be found on the official website.

You can read more about my experiences at Dragon*Cons past at this link.

Dragon*Con brings Sci-Fi TV presence to Atlanta

That rustle of excitedness you hear is the sound of thousands of geeks, nerds, gamers, fanboys/fangirls and other fandom enthusiasts preparing for what is probably the largest geek party in the United States, and Dragon*Con looms closer.

Taking place in the downtown streets of Atlanta, Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film. Every Labor Day weekend, about 40,000 people crowd the streets and take over the hotels of downtown Atlanta to meet friends, celebrities, cosplay and totally geek out. Spanning the lobbies, convention spaces and streets of five hotels, there is literally something for everyone at Dragon*Con.

As always, Sci-Fi/Fantasy television will have a strong presence at Dragon*Con. One of the fan tracks that should be very popular this year at Dragon*Con includes the Dark Fantasy track, which will have panels and celebrity guests from shows such as the SyFy Channel’s Being Human (stars Sam WitwerSam Huntington and Meaghan Rath), the CW Network’s Vampire Diaries (stars Michael TrevinoSara Canning and David Anders) and is filmed locally in Atlanta, and HBO’s immensely popular series True Blood (stars Kristen Bauer van StratenJim ParrackDenis O’HareJoe Manganiello and author Charlaine Harris, who wrote the “Southern Vampire” novels that the show is based on).

For the first time, stars from the popular CW series Supernatural will also appear during Dragon*Con: series regular Jim Beaver will be joined by stars Misha CollinsMark A. SheppardJulie McNivenChristopher Heyerdahl andSamantha Ferris for fan Q&A panels, photo op and autograph sessions.

Fans of Joss Whedon and/or the Stargate culture (SG-1, Atlantis and Universe) will find whole tracks dedicated to those two sub-genres (Whedonverse and Stargate: Multiverse, respectively), while those who mourn the loss of shows such as LOST, V: The Series, and Battlestar Galactica can do so alongside other fans of those now defunct, but still loved shows during panels such as “BSG Universe: Evolution”, “V: Find Your Bliss”, or “Lost: One Year Later”.

Dragon*Con will take place Friday – Monday Labor Day weekend; most programming will begin around 10 am with the exception of Saturday, when the annual Dragon*Con Parade will take place. Host hotels include the Hyatt Regency AtlantaAtlanta Marriott MarquisHilton AtlantaSheraton Atlanta Hotel, and the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Full details on fan tracks, celebrity guests, and membership (admission) costs can be found at the official website.