Q&A: Sam Witwer Talks BEING HUMAN

sam witwer being human

Syfy’s supernatural drama BEING HUMAN takes viewers into a world where a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire start out as roommates and then become life-long friends along the way.  But this is no average bonding tale, in their world, things that lurk in the shadows are dangerous, deadly and at times decadent.  Thus, there is a lot that haunts and torments them and their lives are frought with conflict at every turn.  In fact, the third season of BEING HUMAN began with their lives in dire circumstances with Aidan stuck in a buried coffin, Sally stuck in limbo, and Josh and Nora frantically search for both for over a year. 

Fortunately, things got a bit better once Aidan was found, Sally rescued, and supernatural roommates reunited under one roof.  But Aidan’s dark journey is nowhere close to being over as he returned to a world where virtually the entire blood supply had been infected and had killed off most of the vampire world.  So in a recent exclusive interview, star Sam Witwer gave all the scoop on what is upcoming for the tortured Aidan, as well as revealing what drinking all that fake blood really tastes like, and how dangerous it is doing his own stunts on the show.

Using one word, how would you describe where Aidan’s head is at right now?
SAM:  Confused. That’s probably the most obvious.

Aidan does seem like he’s having some difficulty re-acclimating to the world around him.
SAM:  Absolutely.  In season one, we played the drug addiction metaphor pretty strong and while that is still there and it’s definitely an element, one of the things we’re playing with this season is he is kind of like a soldier come home from war, trying to reacclimate to civilian life.

How much of this season will be about his blood-quest to find clean blood?
SAM: A good deal of it.  It’s pretty important, finding food.  A good deal of the season will be about that.  But what’s wonderful is that these plotlines really serve to create interesting character stories.  So while you will see that’s the plot, that’s certainly not what it’s about.  There are very interesting things that happen character-wise along that journey.

Do you think Aidan is starting to regret getting out of that coffin now?
SAM:  (Laughs) It might have been easier to just stay in there, right?  Yeah, he’s in a really rough spot right now because he doesn’t have a plan.  Henry had a plan. Henry had this whole system mapped out.  Aidan decided that wasn’t moral, but he had no alternative, and because of that Henry died.  So good work, Aidan.  Nice job.

It didn’t seem very clear.  So Henry is dead and he’s not coming back?
SAM:  The idea is that he is.  But I suppose, who knows? But he was dying of that disease. We had seen people die of it before.  We saw Atlee (Kyle Gatehouse) die in the first episode and Henry walked off with that disease.  So it is very likely that he is gone. 

Since the theme of this season is “be careful what you wish for,” what is Aidan’s biggest regret?
SAM:  I shouldn’t tell you ’cause we’re going to find out what his biggest regret is by the end of the season.  You’ll find out something that is central to the motivating factors of that character.  We’re going to tell a story that is absolutely at the heart of what that person is.  It’s the most ambitious flashback story we’ve ever done, and we tell it over the course of four episodes. 

Aidan feels like this severely, tormented person. It seems like there isn’t a lot for him to live for.  What really drives him at this point?  What is he living for?
SAM:  By the end of episode 3, he may be asking himself the same question and he may not have any good answers.  So we might be seeing him behaving somewhat recklessly.  Again, this is a guy that does realize that there is no one out there that he feels understands what he is going through.  He’s got a roommate who was formerly a werewolf, who before had a bad thing to deal with but he only had to deal with it once a month, and now doesn’t have to deal with it at all.  And Sally seems to have her problem all solved. So who does Aidan have to turn to?  He doesn’t know Nora that well. He’s got no one.  So he’s going to be asking himself that question.  Big time.

Does Aidan have a bit of human -envy at this point ’cause his friends were able to cure themselves of their curses?
SAM:  Certainly, and there is no cure for what he has. 

They have said before that you can’t bring back people from limbo, bring ghosts back to life and raise people from the dead, and yet the impossible has been done.  Will that hope possibly send Aidan on a quest?
SAM:  You’d think that in 260 years that if there was a cure for his condition that he would have found it.  So I think it’s very unlikely. 

What about crazy Donna (Amy Aquino)?  That witch has done some amazing, crazy stuff.
SAM:  (Laughs) She’s done some good work. She really does!   But Aidan is only barely and only tangentially aware of her.  I think the way we’re playing the show is that condition is permanent. Part of the reason why we feel strongly about it is that the condition on the show has always been this metaphor for drug addiction, as well as some other things, and once your’e a drug addict it is not like you’re ever cured of that.  It’s not like you can ever go near drugs and just do it casually. You’re an addict and any relationship with drugs is completely harmful to you as a person.  If that’s the metaphor, then I don’t think there’s anything that this guy can do about it or what he is.

Is there a chance that Aidan will run across Donna and try to figure out what she’s up to?  Some of the stuff she’s up to seems kind of dark and bad.
SAM:  There’s always a chance that characters on our show will run across each other.  The characters that have the most to do with each other this season — I say happily — are the roommates.  They are around each other almost the entire season, and that’s very satisfying for us as people because we like each other so much. We liked hanging out so much.  As characters, it works out very well too — the characters like each other.  Well, for the most part.  (Laughs)

That’s got to be more fun for all of you to have more scenes together.
SAM:  Believe me, it’s such a welcome change from last year.  Last year I feel like I barely saw those guys.  I hung out with them on the weekends and maybe had a scene with them here and there, but the stuff they have given us to do together this year is so satisfying.  It’s really, really fun stuff.  I have scenes with Meaghan [Rath] that are really kind of mind-blowing.  I have scenes with Sammy [Huntington] that are hilarious, and for the first time, I have scenes with Kristen [Hager] as Nora and that’s really fun because I’ve admired her work, and I’ve worked with her where she’s been in scenes that I’ve been in, but never where it was just me and her.  It’s really fun.

Is that a possible tease that there may be something coming up for Aidan and Nora since they are kind of the last two men standing in the supernatural world?
SAM:  There’s definitely a lot in common there, yeah.

We also saw in the last episode that there was a little scene between Sally and Aidan.  Both turned away from it at the last second, but it seemed like they were building up to something. Is that going to be further explored?
SAM:  We shall see.  You never know.  Just wait. 

Is Aidan up to taking on another supernatural fight, if the thing with Donna really starts to come to fruition?
SAM:  It is interesting.  I think he is uniquely qualified to handle conflict.  What he is trying to do is get away from that.  But I think it is safe to say that if things go down, Aidan is definitely the guy who would know the most about how to handle it. But right now, definitely the first priority is finding food.  So that’s really what’s on his mind. 

The other thing is I don’t know how you drink that fake blood.  What’s that like?
SAM:  It’s terrible! Well, it’s not as bad anymore.  In the first season, it was this think stuff that tasted like toothpaste.  I remember one scene where I drank down two bags of that stuff, which was just awful.  Then in season two, they were like, “We reworked the formula.  It’s now basically fruit juice with some food coloring in it.”  At that point, you’re kind of like, “Really?  A whole year? It took you a whole year to figure something out?!  Food coloring.  I’d eaten just all this toothpaste, and now you guys come up with this?” So it’s not actually as bad.  If I gulp down a blood bag or something like that, it’s not as unpleasant.  But for Aidan, all blood bags are tainted these days, so it’s not good.  It’s a numbers game.  Some people weren’t infected, but a lot were. 

Do you and your co-stars ever compare on set what’s the worst thing they have had you consume on the show?
SAM:   It’s funny ’cause Meaghan Rath got super competitive this year, in a fun way, where she wanted to compete about who was the most still in the makeup chair, who does the most stunts, who does this and who did that.  And, you know, I’m sorry to say, but I won those contests.  I remember one of the makeup people coming to me — and I’ve had a hell of a lot of makeup this season because — SPOILER ALERT! — Aidan gets his ass handed to him this year.  So I was in the makeup chair a lot, and at one point one of the makeup people started commenting that I was the best person that they had worked with when it came to makeup, prosthetic makeup and stuff like that because I just get very, very still.  At that point, Meaghan got really competitive and said, “I’m still too!” But they said, “She’s the worst, she can’t hold herself still.”  So Meaghan got super competitive and tried to hold super still for all these things.  Then one day one of the makeup guys said, “Hey, look.  Meaghan really wants to win this.  So I have to tell her that she’s the winner even through, by far, you are. Just be aware of that.”  I had  recorded it and then later with Meaghan, I was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s interesting. Wait a second, hold on, hold on,” and I pull out my phone and I’m like, “What’s this?” And I hit play and it was him saying, “I’m going to have to tell her … ” I just destroyed her there.  (Laughs)  We have a lot of fun with each other.

Does it drive you crazy to just sit there in the makeup chair while they are applying all that gooey stuff they put on you?
SAM:  I don’t really have a problem with it.  That’s why they said I’m the most still because I just kind of lay back and try to go to sleep if I can.  So it’s kind of really relaxing. 

So who won when it came to all the stunts contest then?
SAM:  Me. I have a lot of stunts to do and they don’t really hire stunt people anymore unless there’s something that’s overtly and ridiculously dangerous. But even then, they’ll be like, “Hey, it’s 3:00 a.m. Sam, we need you to throw yourself against that wall and slam your head into it.”  So I’ll just kind of do it.  But as I understand it from our executive producer, Meaghan is a close second.  In fact, the hierarchy goes like this, he explained it to us one night. He’s like, “Toughest guy on the set, that’s Witwer. He does all the stunts. He never complains. He just does them.” Then to Meaghan, he goes, “You’re really right behind that.  You’ve never been a complainer and you’ve always been really, really tough. So you’re a really close second.”  Then he’s like, “Then a distant third is Kristen, and then dead last is Sam Huntington.” So he’s laughingly like, “That guy [Sam H.] is always complaining about this and that.”  And, by the way, I’ve seen him do that too, where Sammy was saying something like that.  (Laughs) I even told him about this really kind of dangerous stunt — like there’s this fight scene in Season 2 where I am literally on a gravel roof with no railing and I’m 3 feet from a sheer ledge that drops off to a 40 foot drop and they had some mats down there so that we’d survive, in theory — but it was very dangerous.  Aidan and Henry were having this fight and they never showed it and there was a shot where they showed the ledge. But if you look closely you’d realize that we’re on this ledge and there’s no lip, no nothing, just a sheer drop 40 feet.  But you don’t even think about it.  You just do it.  If you think about it, you’d just think, “I probably just get nervous and fall off.”  So I don’t think about it.  And sometimes they ask me to do stuff that is very dangerous, like, “Go and grab that person and throw them near that big thing that is right there, or go throw yourself against the wall and slam your head into it.”  So I’ll do these things, and I was telling Sammy about this thing where I had to literally take a running start and then dive into a wall, and hit head first.  Really.  Just imagine doing a Superman dive into a wall and you have to hit with your head first.  From my drama class days, I’ve taken stage combat stuff, so I know how to do these things without getting hurt. So I did it and I did it pretty good. But I was complaining about it a little bit ’cause it’s 3:00 a.m. and they didn’t give me a lot of time to really prepare for that, so I had to sort of just launch in.  And Sammy’s like, “They did that exact same thing to me!” And I heard from someone else it was like he just had to fall back against the wall. But he was like, “It’s the same exact thing, man. It’s dangerous.”  And I was laughing at him saying, “Shut up, you wimp!”  (Laughs)

Do you have a favorite kind of stunt to do on the show?
SAM:  I like the fight scenes.  The fight scenes are a lot of fun.  They are a good workout.  So they’re really good.  Having said that, Huntington isn’t bad at his own fight scenes.  He’s got some stuff coming up.  He performs them well. 

It feels like the show has gone from being more introspective and in a searching-mode to kind of a more aggressive-mode this season.
SAM:  It may feel like that.  But when I say fight scenes, we have had the least amount of fight scenes of any season this season.  This a very character-heavy season.  It’s funny ’cause I’ve been hearing fan response about how all this plot stuff is happening and I’m like, “Oh that’s right. We front-loaded a lot of the plot stuff, but then we let the plot drive us into a whole bunch of character stuff for like 8 episodes in a row.”  So it’s really the most character-heavy season we’ve ever done. 

Just to round up, what would you say you love best about BEING HUMAN?
SAM:  The fact that I get to hangout with Sam Huntington, Meaghan Rath and Kristen Hager.  That’s the best thing.  They are incredibly talented, wonderful people to be around.

To see more of the struggles of the roommates as they try to carve out lives for themselves in a world where the supernatural are not necessarily welcomed with open arms, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of BEING HUMAN on Monday nights at 9PM on Syfy.  Aidan’s journey is about to take him to some unexpected places.

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).

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