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Interview with Sam Witwer of "Being Human"
on Syfy February 11, 2011.
My phone accidentally gave out during part of my call,
but at least I did get one question in! I love Sam Witwer. He was
so great in "Battlestar Galactica" and "Smallville", so it is awesome
that they gave him the lead in this new show. I love the UK version, but
the new Syfy version is very good, too. Witwer plays a vampire, and he
does it very well.
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing
by and welcome to the Being Human conference call.
During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode.
Afterwards, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. At that time
if you do have questions, you may press the 1 followed by the 4. If you
require operator assistance at any time, you may press star 0. As a
reminder, this conference is being recorded Friday, February 11, 2011.
It is now my pleasure to introduce Stephen Cox with Syfy. You may
Stephen Cox: Thank you everyone for joining us today. Weíre really
excited to have Sam Witwer on the phone in anticipation of Mondayís
Being Human. Being Human, as you now, airs on Syfy at 9:00 pm on
Mondays. And without - with that, weíll turn it right over to your
questions so you can get talking to Sam.
Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register
for your questions, please press the 1 followed by the 4. If you would
like unregister your question, you may press the 1 followed by the 3.
Our first question from the line of Pattye Grippo with Pazsaz.com, you
Pattye Grippo: Hi, Sam. Thanks for talking with us today.
Sam Witwer: Hi there.
Pattye Grippo: So let me ask you, one of the things that really makes
the British version of the series work is this great chemistry between
the cast, and I was wondering how well do all of you guys get along?
Sam Witwer: Ridiculously well. In fact, on Sunday morning weíre all -
the cast - pretty much the entire main cast and Mark Pellegrino and
Sarah Allen, weíre all going to Hawaii together. So, that...
Pattye Grippo: (Wow).
Sam Witwer: ...I donít know if that answers your question, but yes, it
was an instant thing with me and Sammy and Meaghan, and also Mark and
Sarah. Iíve been in a lot of casts and this was probably the one that
really gelled the most. And in fact, it went so far that we had the
producers take us aside on a few occasions in the early episodes and
said, ďListen, weíd like you to tone back the chemistry,Ē where you
usually get the opposite note.
You usually get someone saying, ďOkay, remember you like each other and
this is a funny moment,Ē but in our case I think our timing was a little
bit too sharp for their taste. Because one of the things - Iíve only
seen one episode of the British series and I stayed away from it after I
enjoyed immensely because I didnít want to get - unintentionally mimic
anything Aidan Turner was doing because I thought he was wonderful.
So, but one of the things I remember is you start with those characters
in the apartment and theyíre bantering and theyíre fun and they have all
that timing, and you really started with them there. Well...
Pattye Grippo: Right.
Sam Witwer: ...what we wanted to do was show the journey of how they get
to that kind of place, so it wouldnít make sense. In fact it would feel
quite sitcommy if we already had all that timing and all that - and all
that banter, because no, Josh and Aidan arenít entirely comfortable with
each other and they donít know Sally at all.
So, they - for realism sake, they said, ďNo, really we want you guys to
work into this,Ē and by - around halfway through the season they kind of
just said, ďOkay, do - weíll do whatever you want. Go for it. Weíre -
youíre entertaining us. Go.Ē But I think the note was absolutely right
because you do want to get a sense of - especially for Aidanís journey,
a guy who was keeping so many secrets from everyone, including Sally and
Josh, he couldnít warm up too fast to these two.
And so, I thought it was a really good note and Iím glad they gave it to
us for the sake of storytelling, to be a little bit patient.
Pattye Grippo: Well, it sounds like its working though. So tell me also,
in what ways are you most like and least like your character of Aidan?
Sam Witwer: Well, Iím a little bit more of a goofball than Aidan is I
think. Heís a little bit more cool and collected and I supposed that
comes from him being a little bit older than I am. Heís 250-something
years old, so Iíll give him that. We look a lot alike. Iíll give him
that as well. We virtually look exactly alike, me and Aidan. Weíre about
the same height. Heís a little bit faster of a runner than I am, but I
also play video games better than he does. So, thereís a lot of
similarities, a lot of differences.
No, but really I think what I related to in this character was the fact
that he was a man of conscience and I loved that. I really loved that at
the core of this guy whoís been really a terrible person for the past
200 years there was a conscience at the center of all that, and I liked
how the script dealt with those issues.
Pattye Grippo: Well, thank you very much and have fun in Hawaii.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Troy Rogers, The Deadbolt.
Troy Rogers:: Hi, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Hey, how are you doing?
Troy Rogers:: Not too bad. Thanks for taking the time.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Troy Rogers:: Now, how do you feel Aidan stacks up against the other
vampires on TV and in film right now?
Sam Witwer: Oh, youíre going to be very disappointed in me, sir. I have
not seen the other vampires. I donít know what theyíre doing. I havenít
seen any of the shows. I havenít seen any of the Twilight Series. In
fact, someone said, ďHey, so you guys sparkle?Ē And Iím like, ďWhat?Ē
ďDo you sparkle?Ē Iím like, ďWhat do you mean, do we break into dance
numbers and use jazz hands? What do you mean?Ē And theyíre like, ďNo,
like the vampires in Twilight.Ē And Iím like, ďI donít know what that
So, really if - I donít if I have an original take in it. I heard from a
few people that I kind of do, but Iím just kind of crossing my fingers
and doing my own kind of unpolluted take on the vampire thing. Because
really the last real exposure Iíve had to it is Bťla Lugosi from back in
the day, and thatís...
Troy Rogers:: Wow.
Sam Witwer: ...that movie Iíve seen a lot of.
Troy Rogers:: Okay.
Sam Witwer: But, thatís it. So this is my take, and so I guess if I got
it wrong itís entirely my fault.
Troy Rogers:: Okay. Well, just a second ago you mentioned Aidan Turner
from the British series...
Sam Witwer: Yes, assuming - again, I thought was doing a really
interesting job, which is why I really had to stay away from it, but I
Troy Rogers:: Yes...
Sam Witwer: ...a little bit. I just bought the bought the Blue-ray and
Iím going to watch it. Itís going to be - I was very excited to get my
hands on it.
Troy Rogers:: Itís really good. Iíve seen it up until the middle of
Season 2. But, what I wanted to know was, is your name Aidan, is that
intention or is that just coincidence?
Sam Witwer: Well, you know whatís funny is it was - it started as a
coincidence. It started as a - basically they wanted a name that had a
certain bit of history to it and an old school feel, so they went with
Aidan and discovered immediately afterward that, yes, Aidan Turner
played the role.
But, they kept it that way, and this is the intentional part because
they thought, ďWell, isnít that entirely appropriate? We like that name
and we like that series. And weíre here to do honor to what theyíre
doing and to create something that compliments what theyíre doing, so
why not? Letís keep it.Ē
Troy Rogers:: Excellent. One more quick thing, you mentioned somebody
asked you if you sparkled or not. I want to talk...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Troy Rogers:: ...how does Aidan walk around in the daylight?
Sam Witwer: Well, itís uncomfortable, but it doesnít necessarily harm
him. The way that we play it out is, and I think I actually - I talked
to Sally about this in, I think, Episode 3, but I - the vampire is just
like every living thing on this planet have evolved that early on they
may have been Nosferatu or one of those early on visions of the horrible
pharaoh vampire, and as theyíve gone on theyíve adapted.
And so yes, they can actually walk around, but they donít necessarily
like it, which is why you see our vampires wear sunglasses a lot in the
daytime. It isnít that weíre trying to look like weíre in the Matrix,
itís - we actually need them.
Troy Rogers:: Excellent. Thanks, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question from Jamie Ruby with Sci-Fi Vision. You may
Jamie Ruby: Hi. Thanks for taking the call. Itís nice to talk to you
Sam Witwer: Thanks, Jamie.
Jamie Ruby: So, you have your band, Crashtones, are we going to get to
hear them on Being Human at any point?
Sam Witwer: Whatís funny is I havenít pushed that at all. I...
Jamie Ruby: You should.
Sam Witwer: ...donít know, I mean my - I would love to. I actually - Iíd
love to hear it. I just - yes, my music is weird. My music, I mean, some
of it is - you know, some of it is little bit excessful, but a lot of it
is very strange and doesnít conform too much to what people are doing
And so, I guess I always doubted whether it would have any play, so now
- Iíll talk to Adam Kane about that and Iíll start pushing it. Iíll
start pressuring them. I mean, thereís some other stuff that Iím working
on now, some of the music that Iím working on now could definitely fit
Jamie Ruby: Well, thatíd be cool.
Sam Witwer: But, yes. Thank you for asking me...
Jamie Ruby: Okay.
Sam Witwer: ...and thanks for planting that idea in my mind.
Jamie Ruby: Sure.
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Jamie Ruby: So, you could talk about how you got the role on Being
Sam Witwer: Well, this is - to talk about how I got the role is to have
to face how feeble minded I can be at times. Basically, I get this
script, right, and I - well ten scripts, I mean Episodes 1 and 2 they
presented both of those.
And I flipped through the first three pages and I see that Iím playing a
vampire and I go, ďEh, I donít want to. I donít want to.Ē And not
necessarily because I have anything against vampires, but I also donít
necessarily have a particular love for the vampire thing, and moreover -
more than anything, thereís just so much of it, you know? Itís
absolutely everywhere. And I thought, ďWell, I donít want to do it. Do
we need another vampire show? I donít want to do that.Ē And so, that was
the end of it.
And I contacted my agent and said, ďYes, Iím not going to go to that
audition.Ē And then, a friend of mine, (Laura Terry) who is like - may
as well be part of my management team, sheís helped me out so much in my
career. Sheís a good friend of mind and she just happens to know
everything about whatís happening in the business everywhere. She just
is a - I donít know, a network of information finds its way through
here. Sheís like a database.
And she contacts me just on a whim. She goes, ďDid - I had a bad feeling
today. Did you turn down the Being Human audition?Ē And Iím like, ďYes.Ē
And sheís like, ďOkay, you read the script, right?Ē And Iím like, ďOh, I
mean, yes. I mean, I read three pages.Ē And she got very, very angry at
me and she goes, ďAll right, do me a damned favor, would you - how about
this, I have an idea. Why donít you do your job and read the script. Be
an actor for a change and do what actors are supposed to do and actually
make an informed decision.Ē
And so, she shames me, right, and I - and then I sit down and I start
reading the script. And then, I became even more ashamed because Iím
reading this amazing script, which I just at first glance, because Iím
going through Page 3 and Iím like, ďYes, see I donít want to do it.Ē And
Iím around Page 10 and Iím like, ďYes, heís still a vampire. I really
donít want to do it.Ē And then, around Page 15 Iím like, ďBut, whatís
going to happen?Ē
(Unintelligible) and Iím like - and I just became very invested in these
characters and in Aidan in particular, and I actually - the way I felt
about it is Iím like I find Aidan easily the most interesting, okay, Iím
biased of course, but I mean found him to be the most interesting to me
personally. And then I read the second script and it was consistently
excellent, and I just fell in love with the project. And then, she hits
me with Episode 1 of the British series and I watched that and Iím like,
ďOkay, Iím an idiot. Iím a real idiot.Ē
So, hat in hand called up my agent and said, ďHey, I said I wasnít going
to go to that, Iím definitely going to that. Iím absolutely - Iím in
fact already there.Ē Just like the kids lined up for Star Wars Episode 1
outside of the audition place, so I was really just excited to audition.
And then after that, I went in and read for them and, so thereís this
long audition process, but it started with just one audition.
And then after that, I had this - because anytime someone puts like a
contract in front of you that could last several years you get a little
bit nervous, and so I wanted to know like what is this - how do you guys
see this show? So, we all got together, me, the director, and the
producers, we sat down, we had a meeting and just talked for an hour
about what we saw this show. Like how we saw this show, how we saw it
shot, what it was shot on, how the sound design worked, and how are the
characterizations, and how you see the humorous fitting in against the
drama, and all this stuff.
We had a huge discussion, because I feel like as wonderful as those
scripts are theyíd be very easy to mess up, and you could really get
them wrong. And they really talked a good game, and then fast forward a
few months and actually when I started seeing the episodes they actually
had the talent to pull it off. So, I was - Iím kind of in awe of our
I think Adam Kane and Jeremy Carver and Anna Fricke are geniuses,
especially with how - I mean as you see in the later episodes, and you
havenít - we havenít gotten there yet, but the show gets a lot darker
than where we start; a lot darker. And the people were saying about
Episode 4 like, ďOh, the showís starting to get really dark.Ē Iíd be
like, ďNo, no, it hasnít yet, not at all. You guys have no idea.Ē
And the thing that I just keep being - that Iím impressed with
consistently is how they can put humor in against how dark the show
gets, and to not undercut the drama with the humor.
So anyway, that was a long answer to your question.
Jamie Ruby: Thatís okay. Okay, thanks a lot. It sounds great.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Sandra Sadowski from
Televixen. You may proceed.
Sandra Sadowski: Hi, Sam. How are you?
Sam Witwer: Good. How are you?
Sandra Sadowski: Hello?
Sam Witwer: Hello?
Sandra Sadowski: Iím well, thanks and I just wanted to say I really,
really love the show and what youíre doing with it. And my first
question, because going back to the kind of character that Aidan is, I
love that heís such a good guy, and (well) whatís happening - everything
with Josh and Ray, I just wanted to know where you see their friendship.
If itís coming out of - just unscathed, and how is it that heís so easy
going with werewolves because he brings Ray to Josh at the hospital. So,
it says a lot about Aidanís character that heís just such an outstanding
kind of guy. So...
Sam Witwer: Yes, youíre going to see - later in the season youíre going
to see context for how vampires truly feel about werewolves. Youíre
going to see a lot more of that.
Itís one of the things we sometimes donít necessarily explain a lot of
things. And I actually like that about the show that there are very
specific rules about how all of this stuff works and we all talked about
it on the set, but then we donít necessarily go out of our way to have
an exposition paragraph, you know?
In movies, youíll see two guys and theyíre like, ďWeíve been best
friends for ten years and youíre telling me that,Ē youíre just like,
ďWhy would you say that? You donít have to - we know. Youíve been best
friends for ten years. Get on with it,Ē you know? And we donít actually
have a lot of those moments where we explain what everyone knows.
And therefore, the audience has some room to interpret, which I think is
Sandra Sadowski: Yes.
Sam Witwer: ...the - as for Ray and Josh, and does our relationship get
frayed by the Ray thing, it does a little bit. And in fact, it gets
frayed by a lot of things throughout the season. Itís because Ray is
telling Josh some truths actually about the nature of vampires, and
while Aidan is an outstanding guy, he is in fact one of these people
that fit into the category that Ray is describing and he still has a lot
of these traits.
I mean, if you watch closely there are certain moments where you can see
Aidan - like for example, in the beginning of, I guess itís Episode 4,
thereís a moment where Aidan is in the bookstore and he sees a - the
woman whoís ringing people up and thereís a moment where heís working
out how heís going to do this. How heís going to lure her, how heís
going to this, how heís going to that, and how heís going to dispose of
the body and all of that. Heís working it out like a chess game.
And it - only at the last minute does he go, ďWhoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,
whoa, whoa, whoa, thatís not - no, Iím - thatís - no, thatís not what
Iím - Iím trying to do the opposite.Ē But, heís being doing these things
for 200 years and the very nature of our vampires are to be deceptive,
not necessarily to each other, but to everyone else to hide what they
are, to hide what theyíre feeling, to hide everything.
And so, Aidan lies a lot to his roommates, all the time in fact.
Throughout our entire season he is constantly lying to just about
everyone, and you only see whatís really going on with that character
when heís alone or when heís with certain company. And what I love about
that is that it really reinforces the metaphor that we make no secret
that weíre actually discussing. No secret about the fact that we are
discussing addition, we are discussion a man who is battling drug
addiction and trying to stay clean.
And bringing Joshís friendship with Josh is a friendship of desperation.
He has no one who could support him...
Sandra Sadowski: Right.
Sam Witwer: ...except this guy. And so they move in so that they can
kind of watchdog each other, but the fact of the matter is he still
doesnít share with Josh half of whatís going on. And I think that people
could definitely relate to that. Something thatís going on in their life
that they feel like they can really turn - they canít turn to anyone for
it, and they keep that secret and they hate themselves for it.
And I really love - the entire - our whole mythology for vampires is all
based around that metaphor, everything that weíve done. In fact, even
the casting of vampires has been about that. Thereís a scene in a later
episode where thereís a big gathering of vampires; giant. And we looked
around, me and Mark Pellegrino, and weíre just applauding their casting
choices because it wasnít a bunch of dudes and women in like black
leather pants and long trench coats.
It was a woman who a mother, and then a guy who looked like a school
teacher, and a kid who looked like just an average college student. It
was just people. It was just normal people and the point being that any
one of these people could have a problem with addiction and hide it from
the people that theyíre closest with. I thought that was fascinating.
Sandra Sadowski: Yes, and that kind of leads into sort of my second
question. In the last episode, the whole thing with Rebecca to me was
really reminiscent, sort of like of a Sid and Nancy-type kind of
relationship where theyíre like failing and struggling and youíre trying
to help her and sheís sort of dragging you down, but you keep trying to
help each other.
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Sandra Sadowski: And it was like very much about two - almost like two
drug addicts, but you know, theyíre blood addicts, you know...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Sandra Sadowski: ...trying to help each other out and she bails on you,
but then - you know, Iím - I was wondering, in preparing for the role
for Aidan did you look a lot at - into like that addiction and like how
did you prepare for playing that kind of a thing?
Sam Witwer: Yes, to answer your question, youíre hitting the nail on the
head. Thatís exactly - thatís all we talked about. Me and Sarah Allen
thatís all we ever discussed was drug parallels and addiction and all
that, and that was what the producers wanted. So, everyone is on the
same page about this metaphor. We even blocked the scenes and shot them
in such a way that they were suggestive of other things. Iíll just kind
of leave it at that.
Sandra Sadowski: Yes.
Sam Witwer: But, because thereís definitely all kinds of stuff going on
there, including a very strong sexual element, the tragedy of what
happens in that episode and what happens in the episodes following that
episode is that sheís sincere in her intention to beat this and so is
Aidan. But, they both have the same problem, and therefore maybe theyíre
not the best people to support each other because if one...
Sandra Sadowski: Yes.
Sam Witwer: ...goes down the other oneís going down with them. And the
other problem that Rebecca has is that she is also surrounded by -
because one of the things that people maybe didnít necessarily synapse
with is that the first episode takes place over a month. Our Episode 1
is one month. When we catch up with Rebecca she was turned almost
immediately after she died, right?
Sandra Sadowski: Right.
Sam Witwer: And then, for a month she was forced into this really messed
up culture and society where if you look at it from a genre point of
view she was forced to murder a lot of people and she was forced to take
part in a lot of really messed up things, so sheís out of her mind by
the time that we catch up with her in Episode 2.
But, from a metaphor point, she was thrown into this drug thing and has
been heavily involved in it for a month straight before Aidan can have
any influence. So, Bishop isnít working on her hardcore, and of course
heís working on her because he knows that this could be a lure to bring
Aidan back into the fold. So...
Sandra Sadowski: (Unintelligible) him. Yes, okay. Thank you. Thank you
very much. That was great.
Sam Witwer: Yes, thank you.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Aaron Sagers from
McClatchy-Tribune. You may proceed.
Aaron Sagers: Thanks. Hi, Sam, and hey to Stephen out there as well.
Sam Witwer: (How you doing)?
Aaron Sagers: ...wanting to - you know, weíre talking a lot about
addiction, you know, part of the themes about addiction is that, you
know, as a guy thatís trying to recover it seems like the character of
Aidan is experiencing a lot of stuff for the first time. Itís sort of
like new to him...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Aaron Sagers: ...because heís clean...
Sam Witwer: Yes. Exactly, yes.
Aaron Sagers: ...but thereís also, you know, going to be this thee of
backsliding a lot, you know? Despite the fact that he has these friends
and he has this good situation, you know, heís going to backslide. So,
you know, like the other characters that youíve been known for playing,
is this character like Darth Vader, like The Apprentice, like you know
(David), but - is he just doomed to fail? Is he just going to be a
failed character? Itís going to be a failed redemption story?
Sam Witwer: That is a very, very interesting question. First of all,
youíre hitting the nail on the head when it comes to how new things are
to him, because Iím trying to play him and youíll see a lot more of this
as the season goes on, Iím trying to play him like this is all
ridiculously new to him. That this is going clean with something that
has occurred to him in the past and heís tried on a few occasions, but
this is the first time that heís really made a go of it and had any real
And because heís been a drug case for 200 years he doesnít have the
tools that you and I have to deal with humanity on humanities own terms.
So, heís been relying on the substance abuse to get him through. So now
we have what is in very strange ways - I mean on one hand heís a very
wise old character whoís accrued a lot of wisdom, and on the other hand
heís a kid who has not developed - heís not developed normally.
And his emotional state is extremely volatile and he tries - and which
is why he tries to keep cool so much. He tries to maintain this very low
key veneer to try to contain all the stuff thatís going on inside, and
youíll get to see more and more of that as the season goes on, in terms
of backsliding and is he destined to fail?
In terms of ultimately is he destined to fail? That is a question that
we will answer by the end of the entire series. But in terms of the
season, yes, we do see some failures and we do see some moments where,
yes, he starts backsliding and itís some pretty ugly stuff. In fact,
thereís one scene in particular, and I wish I could tell you about it
because Iím very excited about it.
(But, I remember) producers and the director being very excited with
what were shooting while at the same time saying, ďGod, I hope we can
get some of this through censors because itís really not pleasant,Ē you
know? The metaphor was hitting a little bit too true and I was going a
little nuts, and they were saying, ďHey, youíve got to be careful.Ē
But, one of the things that I played with with Aidan is that I felt itíd
be interesting if in the first two episodes the only real joy you see
this guy experience is when he goes back to the blood den. Thatís the
only time that we really see him experience true joy is when heís back
in the fold messing up.
Every other time heís kind of grim and quiet and this and that, but when
you see him go back to the blood den and take that first drink heís
actually laughing for real and heís actually really feeling wonderful
for the first time in a long, long time. So...
Aaron Sagers: Yes.
Sam Witwer: ...scary, scary stuff.
Aaron Sagers: And, you know, I guess maybe a lighter question is some
vampire fans are known for being a little bit passionate, is a good word
for it, has there been any conversations or have you received any fan
reactions about, I donít know, Team Aidan Turner verse Team Witwer, or
(get attention to where you)...
Sam Witwer: I havenít read anything like that. Is there such a thing? I
Aaron Sagers: Iím sure itís out there. Iím sure itís already begun. So,
youíre not (getting)...
Sam Witwer: I remember there was something - there - I saw some people
wearing Team Aidan Versus Team Josh shirts, which I thought was
hilarious. When someone explained, by the way, I didnít really know what
that meant up until Iím like, ďThatís cute. What is that?Ē And they
explained to me the whole Twilight thing. Iím like, ďOh, thatís cool.Ē
Aaron Sagers: And do you have any like actual supernatural interests? I
mean aside from being on the show as a vampire with a werewolf, you
know, and a ghost, do you buy into any of it? Do you - are you
fascinated by any of the supernatural pursuits?
Sam Witwer: Iíve always been fascinated by supernatural mythology,
definitely; ghosts and such. But, I mean I donít know that I necessarily
believe in them, but I certainly love reading about it. Itís really,
really fun. Then, in terms of my interests in terms of genre stuff, I
have a broad variety of interest when it comes to genre television and
film. Iím a hardcore Star Wars guy, love Star Trek, love all that stuff.
Aaron Sagers: Yes. And - well, you know, you - I mean, youíre obviously
known for doing The Force Unleashed video games, and then recently the
Son on The Clone Wars of Star Wars. I mean...
Sam Witwer: Star Wars, yes.
Aaron Sagers: ...do you prefer Sci-Fi over fantasy or I mean, which do
you think is more of your - you know, where you would see yourself
ending up in in the end? Is it more Battlestar, Star Wars, Star Trek, or
is more this kind of thing?
Sam Witwer: Well, whatís funny is that Star Wars isnít really Sci-Fi.
Star Wars is more of a fairy tale. Star Wars is fantasy really, with
Sci-Fi trappings. For me, so long as the subject matter, in terms of
what theyíre really talking about, is interesting everything else is
really just fun window dressing.
The vampire thing for me is ridiculously interesting because of the
topic of discussion; the whole addiction thing. The Star Wars thing is
interesting to me because itís an entire discussion about morality. And,
I think the reasons why people lock into these things and why they stick
around for years and years and years, so thereís really is some
The fun thing about doing genre, be it Sci-Fi, fantasy, whatever, is
that you can have these discussions and sometimes go extraordinarily far
without censors coming down on you. Weíve shot a few scenes in Being
Human that if we had even hinted at a needle being present the whole
scene would have been shut down with the way we were shooting it.
And for example, Battlestar, their Season 3, almost the entirety of it,
is quite literally shot in terms of -itís a discussion about the Iraq
War and a lot of things surrounding it. And they shoot it pretty
literally, and it looks very similar to what was happening over there
and I love that stuff.
I love that people can go even further with the trappings of throwing a
ray gun in there and suddenly people are thrown off the scent. But, in
terms of the audience, which his very intelligent, theyíre not. Theyíre
not thrown off the scent at all.
Aaron Sagers: And finally, just one last question, I mean - but when
youíre dealing with werewolves, vampires, ghosts, other supernatural
elements, things can get very cheesy very quickly. Was there anything
really worried about, you know, any kind of tropes that you were kind of
concerned about or glad that the show has avoided with any of those
kinds of creatures?
Sam Witwer: Never once that I read a script where I was concerned that
we were cheesing out, thankfully. Iím very, very happy to report that.
The scripts were consistently - there wasnít a bad script in the bunch,
and I was happy about that. So no, we actually steer clear of that
Aaron Sagers: Okay. All right, well, thanks so much for your time and I
appreciate the show. Itís really good.
Sam Witwer: Thank you very much.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Erin Fox from SqueeTV.com.
Erin Fox: Hi, Sam. How are you?
Sam Witwer: Iím good. How are you?
Erin Fox: Great. Iím a big fan of the British series, but also of your
sort of redux of it. I think youíve got such amazing chemistry. I really
wanted to know though, even though, you know, Aidan is a dark guy and
weíre - you know, heís lying to his roommates and his friendship with
Josh is strained, you know, upcoming episode is all about some pretty
big reveals for Sally and Josh...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Erin Fox: ...and I wanted - do you think that, you know, your characters
are going to become more bonded because of this or more torn apart
because of the revelations?
Sam Witwer: You see both. You see both, absolutely. They rely on each
other more while at the same time certain revelations and I think Iím
not spoiling too much by saying that there are moments where Josh and
Sally pickup on the fact that Aidan is not being honest with them, and
that doesnít do much for their relationship.
I think one of the themes of the first season though is how these three
people resolve their relationships with each other, in terms of working
together or apart, because as you see we are quite a bit apart in these
early episodes. We are kind of wandering off on our own and exploring
these problems and in most cases, in fact maybe in all cases, failing
And I think one of themes is, are these people going to learn to start
working together on this or are they just going to continue to flounder
out in there - out in the wilderness by themselves?
Erin Fox: Got you. Like, thereís like a moment where this is kind of the
moment, you know, especially for Sally who, you know, finds out kind of
more about her fate and Josh about his background and stuff. I mean,
this is like kind of the time where they either can become friends or
just be roommates, you know?
Sam Witwer: Yes. Well, and the thing is is that itís not as if Josh and
Aidan would be friends if they didnít need something from each other.
Erin Fox: Right.
Sam Witwer: ...theyíre really not two compatible personalities quite, so
weíll see how that goes.
Erin Fox: And I thought it was really interesting to bring Joshís family
into the series early on. Will we see anymore family members pop up
(while theyíre) (unintelligible) Josh or, you know (anybody)...
Sam Witwer: Yes. I hope Iím not spoiling too much by saying absolutely;
totally. And in fact, youíre speaking about one of my favorite episodes
from our season.
Erin Fox: (Right one). Thank you so much. It was a pleasure talking to
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Alan Blair with Airlock
Alpha. You may proceed.
Alan Blair: Hi, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Hey.
Alan Blair: Thanks for doing the interview.
Sam Witwer: Thanks.
Alan Blair: Iíve just got one question. Is - on Smallville you played a
human (sitonese) and a beast, and now (youíre cast) in the same on Being
Human. Have you taken anything from the role of Davis Bloome and applied
it to Aidan on Being Human?
Sam Witwer: Thatís a very good question. Davis didnít necessarily have
Aidanís sense of humor, and you see definitely more of Aidanís sense of
humor as the series goes on. But, they are in a very similar position,
Davis, I think, kind of slid out of control faster. But, I suppose the
answer would have to be yes that I had some experience playing the - I
suppose Iíve played a lot of characters that have kind of a duality.
The - Darth Vaderís apprentice, the Starkiller character in The Force
Unleashed games had the same problem that he - his nature was to be a
very good person, but his nurture was very different. Having been raised
by Darth Vader he was trained to be this assassin and he had to find his
way out of that. And Davis was a very conscientious person, but when he
blacked out became Doomsday, and thatís no good. Aidan was a man of
conscience who was turned into a terrible sociopath for 200 years.
So, I donít know why they keep hiring me for these things, but clearly I
must have troubles and problems that Iím not looking at or something,
and that they see. I donít know.
Alan Blair: And the other thing I was wondering is the series so far has
remained very loyal to the original BBC show, itís just been given kind
of an American spin. Are there any stories coming up that you think, or
that you know of, are directly inspired by the BBC show?
Sam Witwer: Are there any stories that what now?
Alan Blair: Are being like directly inspired by episodes of the BBC one?
Sam Witwer: Oh, thatís hard for me to say because Iíve only seen the
first episode of the BBC series. However, I do know that there are - the
- our general blueprint is their first season. Their season was six
episodes for the first season. Ours is 13. So, we inevitably go in
different places and have different spins on stuff, but we do use the
scaffolding of their season and some of their plot lines show up in
However, sometimes our take a very different turn. There were certain,
for example, storylines where Iíd ask the producers, ďHey, did they do
this on the British series and how did they handle this?Ē And I found
they would tell me and it turns out that ours went in a very, very
different direction or the conclusion was very different. And youíll see
a lot of that in the mid-season. Youíll see some stuff that you think is
familiar, and then youíre going to see that we take it in a different
But, weíre very lucky to have such a wonderful series to draw from for
our ideas. And the great thing is that the British series isnít going
anywhere, so no matter what we do itís a big win-win for them. As a
matter of fact, I had this discussion with Rob Pursey, one of the
creators of the British series, he came and visited our set.
And, he says, ďThis is kind of great for you guys, because hey if we go
out there and we fail your series is going to get a little boost, in
terms of people knowing about it, and youíll go on your way and weíll
get canceled and thatís great.Ē ďBut, if we succeed you guys are going
to get a lot bigger audience than you ever had - would have had alone,
so is that sort of your perception?Ē And he kind of smiled and laughed,
ďWell, yes, that is sort of whatís kind of great about this situation is
that this helps us no matter what.Ē
And the great thing is they deserve it. They deserve us passing viewers
over to them and having more people know about this wonderfully original
show that they created. I thought their - again, even though Iíve only
seen one episode I was really taken in with it and Iím looking at the
Blu-ray of their first season right now, which I intend to burn through.
Alan Blair: Okay, great. Thanks very much. Have a good weekend.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Suzanne Lanoue with The TV
MegaSite. You may proceed.
Suzanne Lanoue: Hi, thank you for speaking with us today.
Sam Witwer: Well, thank you.
Suzanne Lanoue: I was going to ask you, when youíre about to film the show...
is there anything that you personally do as an actor, physically,
emotionally, intellectually to prepare when youíre about to go on
Sam Witwer: Oh, yes. Thereís all kinds of little tricks, I suppose, you
learn as an actor. I mean, it really - I donít know that I use any kind
of specific techniques that has been - that have been specifically
taught. I think a lot of actors kind of learn their own way through
things and come up with an acting technique that is theirs and theirs
alone. I mean, I couldnít even really describe it.
But, definitely for some of the more difficult scenes, you have to bring
yourself to an emotionally and, often times, physically very difficult
unpleasant place, so those arenít the most fun scenes to shoot. However,
Being Human has such a wonderful comedic element that it kind of keeps
And in fact, itís one of the things that I love so much about this
series is I was known - when I was going to Juilliard, way back when, my
classmates - I was like the comedian of the class, and thatís like all I
did. Itís all it was interested in doing was making people laugh, and
then suddenly everyone was just like, ďOh, youíre just going to do a
bunch of comedy. Itís going to be great.Ē And then years later, all I
ever did is drama and thatís what Iíve been doing for the past ten years
is drama, drama, drama.
And so itís so wonderful to be on a series now where there are
opportunities for humor and thereís opportunities to lighten up and
smile and do all kinds of fun stuff. And the greatest thing is that Sam
Huntington is the guy who really handles most of that, so really any
humor I bring to it is just bonus humor, because that guy is a master,
and so is Meaghan Rath for that matter.
But, itís just great to be on a series that has some levity to it,
especially with as dark as we get. I mean, really as the series goes on
the sad stuff gets sadder, the funny stuff gets funnier, and the dark
stuff gets darker. Itís just more and more - itís just the dynamic range
of the series astounds me.
Suzanne Lanoue: Right. Thatís actually - thatís whatís so good about
both of the series is...
Sam Witwer: Hello? Hello? Hello?
Operator: Hello, maíam, your line is still connected. You may proceed.
Sam Witwer: Hello?
Operator: Okay, weíll proceed with the next one, sir.
Sam Witwer: Okay.
Operator: All right, our next question from the line of (Erika Balky)
(sic) from Multipleverses.com. You may proceed.
Erika Blake: Hi, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Hi.
Erika Blake: I just wanted to say first off, one of the things that I
loved most about the series is I kind of - I like the way that Aidan
seems to, even though heís got his own issues, heís kind of mentoring
the - his younger roommates, if you will...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Erika Blake: ...with getting assimilated with their new lives. I was
wondering if you could talk to us a bit about his relationship with both
Josh and Sally?
Sam Witwer: Yes, weíll youíre dead on. Heís kind of the anchor in a
weird way, which is funny because heís also in many ways the most out of
control. He tries to keep that away from them. With Josh, yes, he is
kind of an older brother. Heís constantly trying to calm that guy down
and itís not like that their personalities are inherently compatible. In
fact, as much as I love Sam Huntington, I think I played Aidan most of
the time just that heís starting to learn to find humor and pleasure in
the way Josh is.
Whereas, I think for probably the years beforehand it was severely
annoying to him and irritating and really hard to deal with. And
actually, we do have, I believe coming up, provided it doesnít get cut
from the episode, some flashbacks where we see them early on in their
relationship, and itís not necessarily exactly the same thing.
But yes, it is definitely an older brother, younger brother thing and
Aidan is trying to impart pieces of wisdom and knowledge. But, we have
to remember that everything that Aidan knows about werewolves is colored
from the fact that heís probably killed a few in his time, and he hasnít
necessarily had a warm relationship with them.
Sally is interesting because I kind of - the way I conceive it is not
just younger sister, but kind of a daughter in a weird way, because
after all Aidan is an old, old man. I mean, he comes off as a young man
by design. We - that me and Mark Pellegrino discussed a lot that these
characters should blend into whatever time period that theyíre in. And
if he appears to be 25 in 2011, then heís a twenty-first century
20-something, but in the 50ís, he should come off as a 50ís
But in any case, there is somewhere between an older brother and a
father thing with Sally. And for that reason, I found it interesting
that Aidan reveals a little bit more to her than he does to Josh. Heíll
actually give her pieces. Heíll never give her a full picture, but heíll
give her pieces of whatís actually happening with him, and actually
every now and then discuss certain things and share certain things that
he - we just donít see him share with Josh. And I find that really very,
But, heíd like to help both of them, but at the same time he realizes he
himself needs maybe more help than either one of them. Anyway...
Erika Blake: And this is a follow-up, how difficult is it when youíre
working with Meaghan to remember that, because sheís a ghost, not to
Sam Witwer: Very difficult. Itís very tough. I think for the most part
we stayed with that, but sometimes you completely forget and they had
very strict - they had all kinds of things. They had people - they had
like the DP, for example, watching over me to make sure that I donít
stand in direct sunlight because that would be uncomfortable for me.
They had people watching the whole Sally, touching thing.
They were very, very serious about this. And then you got us goofballs
on the set sitting next to each other maybe sitting just too close and,
you know, brushing up against each other and ruining brilliant takes;
that type of thing.
Erika Blake: All right. Well, thank you. I really love the show.
Sam Witwer: Well, thank you very much.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Lillian Standefer from
Lillian Standefer: Hey, Sam. How are you doing?
Sam Witwer: Good. How are you?
Lillian Standefer: Iím good. Thanks so much for taking the time today.
Sam Witwer: Oh, no problem.
Lillian Standefer: Well, for me, one of the best parts of the show Being
Human is the dynamic between Aidan and Bishop. Weíre seeing the plot
lines keeping pretty parallel in spirit to the original series, will
this relationship break course and go somewhere different?
Sam Witwer: I donít know, because I havenít seen the original series.
Lillian Standefer: Oh, rats.
Sam Witwer: ...I have no idea. What I do know is that that relationship
is one of my favorite things in our series. And we get to see them in
different time periods and learn that theyíre perspective and their
opinions have been very, very different at times in history.
We - even though thereís so much animosity between these two and things
get really ugly, I think you get a sense that these two guys love each
other and have been through a lot together. Thereís 200 years of a
relationship there and a very intense friendship, and Mark and I talked
about that a lot. Mark talked about a lot of interesting things. He kind
of looked at Aidan as a wayward son. I looked at Mark as my ex-drug
buddy who I canít hang out with anymore.
There was a lot of stuff. He said something very interesting also that
Aidan - because Aidan is really disrespectful to Bishop...
Lillian Standefer: Yes.
Sam Witwer: ...and what we will learn as the series goes on is that
thatís even more serious than weíre thinking. You - thereís a code of
honor with these vampires and Bishop being Aidanís maker, Aidan is
really pushing it, really, really pushing it. And we may not realize
that at first, but heís really just asking for it and Bishop kind of
gives him a wide berth; kind of just lets him do it.
And there are other vampires that question Bishopís wisdom on that. And
one of the things that Mark Pellegrino said to me, which I thought was
fascinating, he said, ďI feel that even though Aidan is weakened, and
heís not drinking live blood so heís not as fast, not as strong, not on
his game, heís completely off balance, and one would think heís less of
But, I think Bishop looks at him as even more of a threat, and then so
why Bishop gives him a wide berth, but at the same time keeps tabs on
him constantly because if Aidan ever decided, this is - as Pellegrino
says, ďIf Aidan ever decided to go against Bishop that would be a major
liability to him.Ē That Bishop really feels like what heís trying to
accomplish would work so much better if Bishop - if Aidan was on his
side. However, if Aidan does turn on him and actually tries to undo
whatís happening that is a major, major threat that Aidan, even at his
weakest, is ridiculously dangerous.
And thatís one of the things that I also enjoy about the Aidan
character, which we have not quite seen yet, but we will in the season,
Aidan was a lunatic. Aidan was out of his mind. He - Aidan was
sociopathic, psychopathic, he was beyond what we - youíd consider sane.
And we get to see moments of that breakthrough where our nice Aidan does
something that you just donít see coming, and itís really, really kind
of hard to watch.
And thatís one of the things that we really like to play with on the
Lillian Standefer: Well, good. I canít wait for that. Well, and also the
werewolf and the vampire feud that wasnít really featured prominently in
the original series, but is here. How will this colorization of the two
sides help the show and how will it affect Aidanís relationship with
Sam Witwer: Well, I donít know how to answer that without spoiling a
whole bunch of really cool stuff.
Lillian Standefer: Oh, no.
Sam Witwer: Really, itís - it underlines how desperate Aidan is, in
terms of seeking someone that he can ally with. I mean for one thing, we
do play that Vampires have no interest in feeding on werewolves. Thatís
just something that isnít done and you canít do it and itís not good for
So Josh, he is really one of Aidanís only available friends. Heís not a
vampire. He meets a werewolf and heís like, ďWell, Iím in no danger of
killing this guy, so this has got to be - okay, this is my friend, I
guess. Itís not that I like this guy, itís that this guy is in no danger
of being killed by me; therefore, he can be a friend.Ē
Same thing with Sally; sheís in no danger. Therefore, he can be around
her and be at ease. But everyone else, every other human being on the
planet, Aidan is in danger of victimizing and he - and so he canít ever
be truly at ease.
But in terms of that rivalry, what will we see? Well, I guess weíre
going to see later on in the season drive a major wedge between Aidan
and Josh. And youíre going to think itís right away and itís not, it
gets worse. Again, the assumption that Iíve had about Aidan is that heís
killed quite a few werewolves in his time. So...
Lillian Standefer: Got you. Well...
Sam Witwer: ...you know?
Lillian Standefer: ...Iím from land of werewolf killing side of the
camp, so - but anyway...
Sam Witwer: Awesome.
Lillian Standefer: ...but okay, on an unrelated question, how does it
feel to be a part of not only the Smallville legacy, but also Star Wars
with your recent voice work as the Son?
Sam Witwer: Oh, God, it was - now that itís complete and people are
enjoying it and people are sounding off as really enjoying the
character, now it feels great. Up until then, I mean, be it The Force
Unleashed games or The Clone Wars, you just get really nervous until its
release. The Force Unleashed, when we were working on that character and
we were establishing him, I mean I couldnít sleep.
I take this stuff very seriously and I know how vocal Star Wars fans are
because Iím one of them, so I didnít want to let the fans down and by
creating a character that was just lame. I mean, for Godís sakes, if
itís Darth Vaderís secret apprentice itís going to be a great character.
It has to be. You canít really afford to have this guy be just kind of
lame in some way.
When it comes to the Son, the pressure was on all over again because, I
get called up, out of the blue by my agent and they go, ďHey, they want
to you do The Clone Wars.Ē Iím like, ďOh, fun, great. I love The Clone
Wars. Letís do this.Ē And they said, ďYou know, they say itís a great
character,Ē and Iím like, ďYes, I already said yes. Letís do it.Ē
And Iím just sitting and Iím thinking theyíre going to have me do a few
lines and itís kind of like a Force Unleashed reference, and that
thatís, right? And then, I get called by Lucas Film, ďOh, youíre going
to do The Clone Wars for us. This is great. And itís a really cool
character.Ē ďWell, what is the character?Ē ďOh, we canít tell you, but
itís really cool.Ē And Iím thinking, ďWell, I already said yes, so you
donít have to sell it.Ē
And then, I get another call a little bit later explaining a few other
things like logistics that I need to know about and how they record it
and, ďOh, itís a really cool character. Weíre really excited. Itís three
episodes and itís really cool.Ē And Iím like, ďOkay, theyíre saying itís
really cool. This is the third time Iíve heard this, maybe they actually
mean this. Theyíre not trying to get me excited, they actually are
excited about this. Okay, cool.Ē
And three episodes, I thought it was just going to be like one and a few
lines, but at the same time no oneís telling me what Iím playing. So,
the day before, they give you the script the day before, itís
watermarked, it has your name all over it, so if you leak it they know
who to go after...
Lillian Standefer: Cool.
Sam Witwer: Yes. And - no, of course thereís like all this - all these
NDAís you have to sign every time you do a job for Lucas Film, which I
was no stranger to since The Force Unleashed, which by the way, Force
Unleashed I had to keep that secret for like a year before anyone
Lillian Standefer: Wow.
Sam Witwer: ...announced that I was involved in it, so that wasnít fun.
But, so I get this script the day before and I look at it and it - I
read it and I realize just to my horror that Iím going to be playing the
dark side of the Force. Itís not just some character or some cool bounty
hunter, no, no, Iím playing the dark side of the Force.
The personification - the characters go off to this planet where the
entire planet you donít really know where it is in time, and itís sort
of like the vision quest that Luke goes on in Dagobah and he sees Darth
Vader and he sees himself in the helmet. Itís like that scene only three
episodes long where all kinds of weird stuff is happening. And thereís a
character there who is the dark side of the Force.
And so Iím like, ďHow that - what - I - no. How am I supposed to play
the dark - if I get this wrong, the dark side of the Force was
introduced to audiences in 1977, itís kind of an important part of the
Star Wars Universe, so if I get this wrong, people are going to be very
upset with me.Ē I...
Lillian Standefer: (Lots of pressure)?
Sam Witwer: Yes, Iím like, ďThis is not going to go well.Ē And so, I go
in and weíre recording and Iím trying to find the voice for the
character and I say to Dave Filoni as Iím feeling very insecure, I said,
ďHey, are you concerned that Iím - that I might sound a little bit too
much like The Force Unleashed character, the Starkiller character that I
played? That this guy might sound a little bit too much like him?Ē
And Dave Filoni goes, ďWell, you know, even if he does itís fine,
because youíre playing the dark side of the Force and Starkiller had a
connection to the dark side of the Force. So, that works. Itís kind of
part of the reason youíre here.Ē And as soon as he said that I was like,
ďWait a second, so heís saying since Iím the dark side I can sound like
Starkiller, well then shouldnít he sound like everyone? He should sound
like Starkiller, he should sound like Darth Maul, he should sound like
Darth Vader at times, and he should sound like the Emperor.Ē
And so, the next time we came in to record, the first episode he was in
it just a little bit, and then the next episode and the next episode
after that, the next two heís all over the episodes. And then I just
kind of went nuts.
If there was a line where he said, ďJoin me and together we can do
something,Ē it was ďJoin me and together,Ē you know? And then, just dip
into the Vader voice or for example if it was a moment where the line
is, ďSo, I see that youíve brought a friend,Ē Iím sorry, ďYou are
trapped here, both you and your friend,Ē or something like that it would
be, ďYou are trapped here, both you and your friends,Ē you know, just a
little bit of the Emperor.
And so, Iíd just dip into these different Star Wars characters
throughout the entirety of these episodes, and the wonderful thing is
people seem to be picking up on it. People seem to recognize that thatís
whatís going on. Thereís a kind of understanding that this character is
all of those villains, and so you just hear little touches of all these
different characters in that one guy, which is fun.
Lillian Standefer: Wonderful. And it certainly doesnít hurt that your
dark side voice is awfully sexy.
Sam Witwer: Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Lillian Standefer: Well, Sam, thank you so much.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Lillian Standefer: Rock on.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Curt Wagner, The RedEye
Chicago. You may proceed.
Curt Wagner: Hey, Sam. Howís it going?
Sam Witwer: Good. How are you doing?
Curt Wagner: All right. All right. So, I was wondering if vampires were
a big deal at Glenbrook South when you were growing up?
Sam Witwer: Back then I donít know that they were. God, were they - I
know that they did, what was it? They did Dracula as a play, but that
was like a year before I got there, and that was a big deal. I donít
remember even - I donít even think I knew the students that were in
there at that time.
But I think vampires have always been a fascination with the public
since the original Dracula, or since Nosferatu or any of those and - but
in terms of Glenbrook South, I donít know that they were necessarily on
my mind that much.
Curt Wagner: Did you do theater in high school (unintelligible)?
Sam Witwer: I did. I did. I never really took the acting thing seriously
in high school, but I did it a lot for fun. I took a lot of drama
classes and I did plays and stuff, and then all my other time was just
spent playing with my band. So, somehow - I wasnít necessarily crazy
about the class portion of high school, but everything else, all the
activities, all the plays, and the music performances I became very -
like very involved in, and it ate up a lot of my time.
Curt Wagner: Yes. Speaking of the band, did you - will Love Plumber ever
get back together?
Sam Witwer: What about Love Plumber?
Curt Wagner: Will it ever get back together?
Sam Witwer: Well, whatís funny is in my album Colorful of the Stereo,
the Crashtones album that you can find on iTunes or CD Baby, my buddy,
Chuck Hirstius plays a little bit of guest guitar on a few tracks and
the drummer for Tim Hibben is also the drummer for the Crashtones. So,
the good news is Love Plumber lives on through the Crashtones. All you
need to do is go to iTunes and little pieces of Love Plumber are...
Curt Wagner: Still exist.
Sam Witwer: ...in there.
Curt Wagner: Okay.
Sam Witwer: They still exist to this day...
Curt Wagner: All right. All right. So, I wanted - you talked a little
bit about Bishop and Aidan, and I was wondering could you talk about the
- doing the flashback scenes, you know, with the different costumes and
the different time periods, and everything, and how you approach that
differently from the present, I guess?
Sam Witwer: Yes, it was just important to both me and Mark that they
felt like different versions of characters you were familiar with. And
the good news is that these flashbacks donít take place until youíve
really spent some time with the characters a little bit.
But, man, I would be spoiling some really great surprises if I told you
exactly what happens in those flashbacks and how important they are, and
also where these characters were in their development. But I will say
this, that Aidan was not a very cool guy always. He was definitely a
little bit out of control and was feared by many. We get to see pieces
of that. We donít get to see a lot of it, but we get to see some pieces
of Aidan at his worst, which I think is just wonderful. That was really
fun to play.
But, after all this guy only for the past two years has he had any
success in staying clean and living in a way thatís compatible with his
Curt Wagner: Right. Was it hard for you and Mark to sort of check
yourselves in those scenes, as opposed to the present time scenes in the
way you interacted with each other, or was it not really that big of a
Sam Witwer: Not really. The key with me and Mark is that me and him are
buddies. So, it was not the first few times we shot together, it was not
difficult to fall into whatever that relationship was, because the
relationship does change over the years. But, no matter what the
relationship was, the fact that me and Mark are close made it very easy
to fall into whatever that new dynamic was that we were playing.
Whatever the dynamic is different, it was foreign to us, but at the
heart of every dynamic between Bishop and Aidan is an incredibly strong
friendship and love and respect for each other. And I suppose that
respect erodes with Aidan and possibly with Bishop as they get older,
but the love doesnít go anywhere, and itís still there.
And so, for that reason I think me and Mark understood how to play those
scenes because we just like hanging out with each other, so thatís
always kind of there.
Curt Wagner: All right. Last thing, do you ever get back to Chicago?
Sam Witwer: As often as I can. As often as I can. I was actually there
for two weeks during Christmas and hung out with all my old friends, and
stuff. I mean, everyone gets back in town for Christmas and we end up
just doing stupid stuff together and hanging out and watching movies,
and itís like high school all over again.
Curt Wagner: All right.
Sam Witwer: And Iím fortunate enough to have some friends from a very,
very early age, like a buddy mine, (Matt Aliff), whom Iíve known since
we were three years old, so itís always really important to link up with
him when I get back in town. And he lives elsewhere too, but we all
return home for Christmas.
Curt Wagner: Cool. All right. Well, thanks.
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Operator: Our next question from the line Joe Diliberto with Soap Opera
Weekly. You may proceed.
Joe Diliberto: Hey, Sam. Thanks for doing the call.
Sam Witwer: Hey, no problem.
Joe Diliberto: Youíre giving a lot of really great answers. Thatís great
Sam Witwer: Itís too much, right?
Joe Diliberto: No, itís never too much. I always need quotes. I wonder
if you might just sort of expand a little bit on that kind of addiction
theme that you have. It seems like almost like Rebeccaís kind of an
enabler with him with the blood stuff, and does he maybe see Josh and
Sally as maybe more of a support group to keep him straight?
Sam Witwer: Sally and Josh are definitely a support group. He hopes to
be a support - to form a support group with Rebecca and hopes that he
can sort of drag her out of it, but the problem is he is not safe
himself. Then the thing that weíve discussed, me and Adam Kane, about
the Rebecca character is that Adam put it really, really well. He said,
ďRebecca is bad for Aidan because sheís so potentially good for him,
because he cannot control himself with her.Ē
I mean, we discussed at length - itís a quick scene in the beginning.
The first episode, the first scene we see Aidan is heís finishing up a
date Rebecca and itís very quick, but me and Adam Kane and me and Adam
and Sarah Allen all had very, very detailed discussions over how did
that date go and what exactly is the significance to this when it comes
to these two characters?
And we figured, okay, well theyíve worked together, they know each
other, theyíre friend, but now theyíre actually going on a date. And
Aidan, as we learn throughout the season, is absolutely capable of being
superficially charming and as a tool to maneuver someone into a position
where he can victimize them. Thatís something he is capable of doing and
itís something that he even does when heís not thinking about it.
Heís so used to - for the past 200 years this has been the order of the
day, so heís - he sometimes even maneuvers people into vulnerable
positions without even thinking about it, and then is horrified when he
sees, ďOh my God, I nearly killed that guy. Oh, thatís bad.Ē But with
Rebecca, the interesting thing that we keyed in on is that in that first
scene Aidan is sharing this whole thing about Prometheus and not being
allowed to die and that living thing taking its last breath, and that
Itís a very, very person thing for Aidan and the Aidan that we know from
this season is not someone who shares personal information. He may act
like he is and he may say certain things, but itís not real. Itís always
- thereís always a tactic behind it. Itís all a rouse. But in that case,
he was saying something that was actually extremely important to him and
meaningful to him, and he was sharing this with this girl on their first
So, weíre like, ďAll right, well this tells us all we need to know,Ē I
mean this is for Aidan potentially the real deal; this girl. And this
really could have turned into something, but then it goes horribly wrong
and he kills her. And he kills her - he loses control because she had
such a profound effect on him. And so now itís a month later and she
reappears, and for a month sheís been with the bad guys and theyíve been
filling her head full of bad stuff and sheís killed people, and all
kinds of terrible stuff.
Bishop is correct when he says, ďWe wanted to know - we wanted to see
what was so special and blah, blah, blah, I mean because he realizes,
ďOkay, if Aidan lost his mind for this girl, then yes, sheís a tool for
bringing Aidan back. We can use her to get Aidan back.Ē And we see
several tactics throughout the season where they use her to try to get
to him which is very sad for her because she has feelings for him and
sad for him because he has feelings for her.
But, what heíd like more than anything is just to pull her out and have
as close to a normal life with her as they possibly could have. But, as
we see even in - or even early on in Episode 4, thatís easier said than
done, and much easier to conceive of than to execute.
Joe Diliberto: Now, Iíve noticed in some of the other characters that we
see like Ray and then other ghosts, they seem to have like a really kind
of dark side so that we donít really see so much of like in Josh and
Sam Witwer: Right.
Joe Diliberto: ...so is there kind of that idea that theyíre also trying
to resist their darker impulses?
Sam Witwer: That definitely comes up, absolutely. I would not want to
spoil how that comes up, but Iíll say this for Josh and I wonít say
anything about Sally just yet. Weíre going to leave that, but that goes
in interesting places. And Josh, this is a guy whoís pretty angry about
whatís happened to him because this is not something that he asked for
and he had a normal life and it was going pretty well, and it was all
taken away from him.
And for example, we see a little bit of that in Episode 3 when heís
talking to a kid thatís kind of like who he was before he was turned
into this. He was saying, ďYes, Iím going to be your resident at the
hospital. Isnít that great?Ē And Josh is like, ďYes. That was supposed
to me,Ē and then immediately afterward he strangles a tiger. This is a
guy who is definitely dealing with some stuff and we see him deal with
it even more so. Josh has got some anger issues to work out.
Joe Diliberto: All right. Well, thanks a lot, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question is from the line of Kelly West from Cinema
Kelly West: Hi, Sam. How are you?
Sam Witwer: Good. How are you?
Kelly West: Not bad. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit
about Aidanís tattoos, Celine, and if weíre going to meet her, if we
would be able to meet her?
Sam Witwer: The tattoos of Celine. Thatís extremely significant and ties
in in many ways to elements that weíre already aware of and characters
that weíre already aware of, but we do not know that just yet. What can
I say without spoiling it? Extremely significant. For a vampire to
tattoo a personís name on his chest, youíve got to take that person
pretty seriously. So...
Kelly West: Okay, and then the other thing, just real quick. Thereís
something in this Mondayís episode that I thought was interesting. The
way that Aidan reacts when Sally reveals to him what sheís learned about
herself, his immediate reaction is to take action. And Iím wondering if
Sam Witwer: Are you talking about - which - oh, the one that hasnít
aired yet? Are you talking about this Monday?
Kelly West: Right.
Sam Witwer: Oh, okay. I got you.
Kelly West: Yes, Iím trying not to be too specific...
Sam Witwer: Yes. No, okay, I know the scene youíre talking about, yes.
Kelly West: Right. So he - you know, his immediate reaction is to do
something. Do you think that thatís a trait that comes from who he is as
a vampire? Is that maybe who he is as a person; as a man?
Sam Witwer: Okay, to not spoil it too much for everyone else, Iíll say
this. Itís both. Itís both because this is a man conscience, but itís
filtered through some pretty twisted stuff. I mean, we actually worked
out one time, and I donít have the number handy, but we actually sat
down and worked out how many people Aidan has killed face-to-face. Not
press the button and have him go away or shot from a distance, I mean
And we were shocked at the number of how thereís some moments where it
became necessary for us to know how deep in this guy got. So, this is a
guy who does not - he would like to respect human life and he would like
to have the same aversion in horror to killing as everyone else, but he
just doesnít. Heís done it way too much.
So, he doesnít not conceive of it the same way that you and I do and it
doesnít take a lot for him to come to the conclusion that, ďOh, this
person needs to die? Fine,Ē you know, thatís everything. And also, letís
not forget he serves to benefit. If ever there was a righteous way to
take someone out, he then gets to drink live blood, which also he
realizes is a bad idea.
So, itís a really messed up thing right there. It does come from a good
place, but itís filtered through so much, you know, twisted pathos that
itís not good.
Kelly West: Itís a little bit like Dexter, you could say...
Sam Witwer: Itís...
Kelly West: ...you know, that (unintelligible)...
Sam Witwer: You know what, there are a lot of similarities, actually,
between those two characters. In fact, I - just intended that Aidan
would be - for example, I think we see in Episode 3 when heís talking to
Garrity, thatís about as open and friendly as we ever see Aidan and itís
done as a lie. Itís done to get information.
We donít necessarily see Aidan smile at people as much as he smile at
Garrity, ďOh, yes, howís it going? Oh, youíre come to this bar too?
Great.Ē But thatís all done as a tactic. Itís Aidan, like Dexter, was
sociopath for many, many years. So, this is not a person who has a very
Kelly West: All right. Well, thank you very much.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question...
Stephen Cox: Weíll leave time for two more questions.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Sheldon Wiebe from
Sheldon Wiebe: Hey, Sam. Appreciate you doing this?
Sam Witwer: (Unintelligible), cool. How you doing?
Sheldon Wiebe: So far so good. And yourself?
Sam Witwer: Good.
Sheldon Wiebe: Now, earlier when you were talking about the relationship
between Josh and Sally and Aidan and Aidan and Bishop, you said that
Josh and Sally are in no way in danger from Aidan, so it makes it
possible for them to be friends. That kind of suggests that because both
Bishop and Aidan are a danger to each other in at least some ways,
theyíre relationship is probably the most human of the bunch, and
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Sheldon Wiebe: ...kind of odd and ironic. Could you speak further to
Sam Witwer: Well, I didnít intend it to mean that they were in no way in
danger for Aidan because actually just knowing the guy is pretty
dangerous. Thereís a lot of things that can go wrong in there. What I
meant to say is that they are not in direct danger. He is not going to
grab Sally and, you know, drain her lifeless. He canít. Heís not going
to do the same thing to Josh. Itís just possible.
So, in the direct way theyíre safe, but thereís a lot of bad things that
can happen through knowing a vampire. Iím sorry, restate the question.
What was it that you wanted me to discuss?
Sheldon Wiebe: Okay, because Aidan and Bishop are both in positions of
direct danger to each other...
Sam Witwer: Yes.
Sheldon Wiebe: ...in some ways, in an odd and ironic sort of way their
relationship is probably the most human of the bunch and I was just
Sam Witwer: Well, thatís true...
Sheldon Wiebe: ...about that.
Sam Witwer: ... he can be more honest in many ways with Bishop, and also
with Rebecca in a lot of ways. I mean, he can kind of drop a lot of what
he hides. I mean, he - with Bishop - the things he hide from Bishop are
very different that what heíd hide from Josh and Sally because heís
trying to just not give Bishop an advantage. Itís more of a chess game.
In a strange way, the person that probably gets most of who Aidan is is
Rebecca, you know? But again, I donít know that anyone ever really gets
the full picture from Aidan, in terms of getting all of who he is. Heís
just so used to hiding and deceiving. But in terms of the Aidan-Bishop
thing, there is a brotherhood there and there is a humanity to that
relationship that I find extremely satisfying to play, and when Iíve
seen the scenes to watch Iím really enjoying that relationship.
Under different circumstances these two guys could have just been two
pretty wonderful conscientious people because like I talk about how Josh
and Aidan arenít necessarily suited to just be normal friends if it
werenít for this mutual need. I feel like Bishop and Aidan kind of were.
There are enough similarities there, in terms of their personalities and
who they are, and Aidan - and Bishop is not a man without conscience
itís just a different type of conscience, that these two guys, yes,
absolutely could have been the truest of friends,. And in fact, for
many, many years were.
Sheldon Wiebe: Terrific. Thanks very much.
Sam Witwer: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question is from the line of Jamie Ruby from Sci-Fi
Jamie Ruby: Hi, again. Iím glad I get the last questions, I guess.
Sam Witwer: Awesome.
Jamie Ruby: So, youíve talked - Iíve talked to you before about a lot of
the different shows youíve done, but the one show Iíd like to hear you
talk about is when you worked on NCIS years ago.
Sam Witwer: Awesome. What would you like me tell you about that?
Jamie Ruby: Just the experience.
Sam Witwer: Oh, the experience. Well, that experience dictated
Crashdownís haircut for Battlestar Galactica. I can tell you that. My
head was shaved for NCIS and I was shooting that, and as I remember -
Iím trying to remember what exactly the plot line was. I was helping
with some sort of gun running and I remember the set was very nice.
There was - I think the chickís name was (Sasha) something that I was
working with. I canít remember exactly what her name was, and Michael
Weatherly showed up at some point.
Michael Weatherly who was very kind to me, because he remembered me from
Dark Angel, and weíd never actually - neither in NCIS or Dark Angel did
we ever work directly with each other, but he came up to me and
remembered me from that and said, ďHey, itís great to see you, Sam,Ē and
all this great stuff, so he was aces in my book.
And while I was shooting that, my hair was all shaved because it was
military, and got a call saying, ďHey, I live and sing - have been
mulling over for months whoís going to play Crashdown in Battlestar
Galactica and fly off to Vancouver. Well, they want it to be you and
they want you to fly out tomorrow,Ē so Crashdown had a shaved haircut
But, the interesting postscript to that is that at some point after that
at Lucas Film they were trying to figure out - you know, because I was
sticking with the shaved head thing. It was like, ďOh, itís kind of
neat,Ē after Battlestar Galactica. And Lucas Film was trying to figure
out the visual concept and they were talking to George Lucas about who
Darth Vaderís apprentice might be. How he would be trained. What he
might look like.
This artist Amy Beth Christenson, incredible, incredible artist, Amy
Beth Christenson, creates all these images of what Darth Vaderís
apprentice could be, and finally they settled on one and she created
this painting of the character. And guess what, she painted me. She
didnít know me, sheíd never met me, never saw me, but she painted a
character that looked exactly like me, who also had the shaved head,
which I had at the time.
So as soon as that happened, a friend of mine, David Collins looked at
his immediate boss, Darragh OíFarrell and they both said at the same
time, ďThat looks exactly like Sam Witwer. We got to get him in. This is
insane.Ē And so, the moment I walk into the audition everyone is looking
at me like, ďOh, my God. Itís the apprentice.Ē
So, somehow NCIS...
Jamie Ruby: Your shaved head is the look.
Sam Witwer: ...is - yes, exactly. Itís all related. Somehow NCIS
influenced a lot of stuff, or at least played a part in it. For a while
I had this shaved head look and it was extended longer than I perhaps
intended it to be, and also Darragh OíFarrell recognized me from
Battlestar Galactica as having that look, so the end results is I have
these two framed prints. One of them is the concept of the apprentice,
and then the other one is me as the apprentice that looks - and it looks
exactly like the concept. So, you know, there is...
Jamie Ruby: Well, thatís helpful.
Sam Witwer: ...a story about NCIS. How about that?
Jamie Ruby: Okay. Thanks a lot.
Sam Witwer: No problem.
Stephen Cox: Thank you all very much for attending todayís call. A
special thank you to Sam Witwer for staying with us for an hour and a
half. Really appreciate it, Sam.
Sam Witwer: Thanks, guys.
Stephen Cox: Just a reminder, Being Human airs Mondays at 9:00 pm on
Syfy. If you have any questions, please contact myself or Bill Brennan.
Thank you very much. Everyone have a great day.
Sam Witwer: Thanks, guys.
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