“BEING HUMAN” cast speaks

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on March 26, 2011

NYC’s Paley Center held a panel this past week featuring the cast of the hit Syfy supernatural series BEING HUMAN, just renewed for a second season on Syfy after a stellar ratings debut. Though the show (a remake of an identically-titled UK program) is about a ghost, a vampire and a werewolf sharing digs, the themes explore how these characters struggle with their emotions, addictions and relationships. Sam Witwer (vampire Aidan), Meaghan Rath (ghost Sally) and Sam Huntington (werewolf Josh) play BEING HUMAN’s offbeat leads.

”Doing this show was not an easy decision,” says Mark Stern, president of Syfy’s original content. “This started two and a half years ago, when I got a DVD on my desk, which were mostly British series to adapt. The letter said it’s a show about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost living in an apartment. I said, ‘Yeah, no way. This show sounds terrible.’ It sat there for months. Someone in my office said you really do have to see this. The minute you saw that show, you realize it’s not a one-joke premise. It has a real interesting tone. It’s a show we can do something new to.”

Witwer also acknowledges being initially hesitant about donning Aidan’s fangs. “I closed the script after three pages,” the actor says. “There’s plenty of vampire stuff out there; we’re doing fine. A friend kept telling me to read the script. As soon as I did, I felt feeble-minded and stupid; I realized I had to play this role. The second script was just as good. I really loved the discussion in these scripts.”

During his “hairy” audition, Huntington, also featured in next month’s DYLAN DOG movie DEAD OF NIGHT, jokingly mentions, “I was delivering pizzas, I showed up, and they were all like, ‘Wow, you look great!’ ” Huntington did realize the chemistry was instantly connecting with his fellow cast members. “It was in that waiting room that we actually first clicked. We were just riffing. It just kinda worked.”

Rath describes how she created her paranormal identity Sally. “I never thought about playing it as a ghost,” she says. “I decided to play her as a normal person. Sally is the same person that she was in her other life. It’s just more complicated because everything’s been stripped away from her. I really connected to her loneliness. I think everyone sometimes, at some point in their life, feels isolated and invisible. I really wanted to embody that.”

At first, the cast stayed away from watching the original British series. When filming wrapped, they started catching up on the original as fans. Witwer recognizes his character is named after the actor, Aidan Turner, who plays the vampire in the UK originator (which air on BBC America here). “We are trying to do right by our British brethren,” he says. “We really are trying to compliment them and bring more viewers to their show, which they deserve. It’s an incredible concept. It lived up to its potential immediately.”

Even though writing hasn’t begun for season two, Stern mentioned the American series will diverge from the UK edition. “We are already in that territory,” he says. “We did do an actual chart. How much is the British version and how much is ours? And you’ll definitely see the difference by the middle of the season. It’s just going to continue.”

With three episodes remaining, fans can catch Syfy’s BEING HUMAN on Mondays at 9 p.m.