Yesterday we spoke with Sam Witwer about playing Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, his love of the force, the chances that he might come aboard Frank Darabont’s upcoming series, LA Noir, and I asked Sam if some around The Walking Dead had tried to diminish Darabont’s contribution to the show. Part 1 can be found here, but today Part 2 is ALL about Being Human (well, almost ALL about Being Human).
On the series, Witwer plays Aidan, a Boston-based vampire who is trying to find the way to normal. He shares an apartment and a life with Sally (a ghost) and Josh (a self-hating werewolf). The concept is based on the popular UK show of the same name but the two aren’t particularly identical at this point and Aidan has been on the edge of a downward spiral all season long.
In this half of the interview, Witwer discusses that potential spiral, the journey his character is taking, what he doesn’t like about his vampire super powers, and the chances that we’ll see zombies on Being Human.
Any chance that we’ll see zombies on Being Human? We’ve got werewolves, we’ve got ghosts, vampires…
SW: I guess there is always a possibility, you never know. I tend to believe we wouldn’t, though. You know, I think were presenting a weird world, but we do want to frame it within the real world. So, I don’t know about zombies… maybe, I mean if there’s a really good take on it, it’s always worth doing.
It’s a funny thing when it comes to Being Human. It’s a story about a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost who live together in an apartment; well, that sounds like a terrible idea. Bringing back Darth Maul, that sounds like a terrible idea. None of these things are terrible ideas if you do them well and if there is something really worthwhile at the end of that journey.
Would anyone argue that bringing Spock back in Star Trek was a bad idea? No, it had to happen for the continuation of that story for that franchise, and I thought it was a pretty cool story in how they brought him back. I mean, they got Spock back but it was with a great cost. Here’s another geek example: I was reading an outline for the end of season 2 when I was working on Battlestar, and I remember reading that Ron [Ronald D. Moore] wanted to jump ahead a year in time at the end of the season, and I remember being like, “That is the worst idea I’ve ever heard, Ron is gonna blow the whole series, that is a bad, bad idea.” And then you see how he does it and your’re like, “Wow, I’ve never seen a television series pull this off.” The reason I thought it was a bad idea is because I underestimated the skill with which he and the filmmakers would use to pull this idea off. I underestimated them. It’s simply that, it’s not always just the idea, it’s the how, it’s the dramatic wrinkles in that idea that make the idea good or bad.
It kinda feels like the three of you are growing apart a little this season. Can we expect some kind of unifying event like the fight against Bishop last season?
SW: You may see that unifying event happen sooner than you think. The next episode is one of my favorite Being Human episodes ever. This one coming up on Monday, it’s really, really well done. I mean, when we received the script we were like, “Well, this is gonna be good, I don’t think there’s much we can do to mess this up.” And we’ve seen it since then and we’re very very happy with it. But yeah, there may be a unifying event or, or you never know, it might split some characters off even more. The thing about what happens with Aidan [the quick double murder from last week] is that, that is a piece of damage that doesn’t heal by the end of the season. How do you fix that? And even if other people are trying to ignore it, he is not ignoring it. So, it’s something that I think will carry into the third season.
On the UK series, they’ve lost 2 of their 3 original characters. Would you continue if Sam Huntington and Meaghan Rath left?
SW: That’s a good question, that’s a very good question. Because I think the British series, as I understand it, I haven’t watched their 4th season yet, but as I understand it they’re doing well, they’ve introduced new characters that people seem to care about, at least that’s what I’ve heard from my friends — they were very happy with what they’ve done. It would be hard to go back without Sammy [Huntington] and Meaghan [Rath], it really would. Because as far as I’m concerned, they’re the reason to show up to work; they’re two extraordinarily bright, talented, and insightful actors and very very funny people. We get along well, we get along really really well, and that’s how we get through those long days. This season was… being apart from them so much was very difficult. Yeah, I don’t know, that’s a very good question — if someone left, uh yeah, you know it could very well be it, who knows?
Going back to Aidan and what happened in the last episode, it seems like he’s searching for peace, for normal — can he actually handle that, or is he addicted to being able to reach back and do something bad in the name of good?
SW: Well that’s the thing, the last episode was pretty much bad in the name of bad. You know, hopefully with the flashback, people understand his mindset toward this Henry character. But I can also step outside of it and go, yeah, Henry is a murderer and Suren is a maniac. These people are not people he should be hanging out with. If audience members pay attention, they’ll notice that Aidan starts saying at the end of the season things that are completely opposite to what he was saying at the beginning of the season, in terms of what he says he wants for his life. That changes and he’s very confused by that, he doesn’t even know how to handle himself, so Aidan is in trouble, and he’s going to be in trouble going into the 3rd season.
The thing that we definitely do this year, and I said this early on, I said this at press things, if there is a villain this year it could very well be Aidan. Certainly things can get worse, last year, the first season we suggested to the audience that Aidan was dangerous, he was the worst of the worst, he was a bad ass, and everyone feared him and everyone gave him a wide berth, and this year, I think we’re showing you that. So, the fun of that is that if we introduce him back into the human population in the 3rd season, I mean, how dangerous is that? You know, you could have had Aidan be around people this entire season, and that would have been dangerous because you understand he’s a vampire, he does bad things, he wants to be like people but he also wants to eat them, it’s tough. Well now in this season, you actually see how nasty he can get. It could be very thrilling to see that character try to re-assimilate into any kind of civilized society, and maybe he’ll fail, you never know.
I’m sure you’re familiar with vampire lore at this point. Any traits that you kinda wish Aidan had? Do you want to change into a bat, do you want to sparkle?
Please tell me you don’t want to sparkle.
SW: I think I’m doing fine with the traits I already have (laughs). It’s funny, if I had it my way he wouldn’t be able to run super fast; if I had it my way that power would not exist. It’s a little bit tricky in terms of things he can do, running a little bit faster than humans is one thing, but the whole super speed thing…
Well yeah, last episode when he crossed the bed in the blink of an eye…
SW: Exactly, and he kills two people really really quickly. You know, it is what it is, we’ll see how it all evolves. I’ve oftentimes suggested to the writers, I’m like, “I think we need a scene where Aidan is running through an alley at full speed and he can’t make a turn in time and he slams into a wall,” just to illustrate that you don’t go 80 mph down a residential street.
It’s a good life lesson.
SW: Yeah, I think so. I’m always interested in the limitations of stuff. People are always like, “What are the powers?” Yeah, but isn’t it cool to talk about the limitations of those powers? Where do you not use them because they would hurt you or, you know, you would get yourself in trouble?
Is there a Marvel character or another DC character that you fantasize about playing? Namor, or Black Adam, I’m just picking…
Oh, Batman, it’s not even a question?
SW: Yeah, very simple, Batman. It should be said that I have loved the Chris Nolan movies, they’re just killing it, they’re doing so well. But I do think there are other things that you can do with the character, I think there are different things, things that would be worth making movies about. I have a lot of ideas about that.
I can’t imagine it stopping.
SW: I know, of course, right? Chris Nolan will be done and then they’re gonna want to reboot it again. Look at the Spider-man thing, they wasted no time, which by the way, I don’t necessarily think it’s great to reboot things so fast. However they will reboot it again, and I’ll probably still be within the age range of a Bruce Wayne, and I think there’s some really cool things that you can do with that character. I think some comic books really get that guy, some graphic novels and stuff, and the other ones really kind of gloss over what’s awesome about that guy, and what’s scary and what’s disturbed and you know, the parts of that character’s personality that no one should want to be like.
Me personally, I want to see an R-rated, deeply fucked up, psychotic Batman. Not like throwing people off roofs with reckless abandon, but someone who is tortured.
That’s exactly my take on it, that’s precisely it. I mean, c’mon, can we tell a story about a world trying to react to the fact that a guy is dressed up as a bat, and he’s taking people out? It would be terrifying. Or, or there would be people who think it’s funny until he starts doing terrible things to their friends, and then they’re terrified of him, and it’s like, my God there’s a crazy guy out there. For my money, you don’t need any super villain in the first Batman film, you just need the world reacting to one crazy guy, and that’s him.
Check out the world reacting to Aidan on Being Human, Mondays at 9pm ET on SyFy. Check out Part 1 of this 2 part interview here.