In Season 4 of the Syfy series Being Human, Aidan (Sam Witwer), Josh (Sam Huntington), Sally (Meaghan Rath) and Nora (Kristen Hager) just can’t catch a break. Whether it’s being visited by unwanted people from their past, being stuck in supernatural form or having powers they don’t know how to handle, these friends seem to get pulled further and further away from the normal lives they wish they could lead.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Sam Witwer talked about what fans can expect from Aidan’s journey this season, how his character is different, how the events of this season will affect these friends, how difficult it is for the women in Aidan’s life to stay alive, whether these supernatural beings are past the point of living the normal lives they wish they had, and just how much crazier things will get before the season is over. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
SAM WITWER: Yeah, we took the kitchen sink approach this year and did some frankly risky stuff. If the audience accepts it and goes with it, it will be a hell of a ride. There was definitely an effort made to tie up as much as we possibly could, and to bring in as many people as we loved that we could. It’s a non-stop awesome reunion, all year. There were actors we hadn’t seen for awhile, and actors we hoped we’d see, sooner or later. For that reason, it was really fun. Even actors who came in that had only a little bit to do, they were so dialed in to their characters. I remember specifically that we were doing a read-through and the first time that I heard Vince Leclerc’s voice as Marcus again, I cheered. He created such a specific character that I’ve been missing for the past two years. So, when he spoke his first words as Marcus, we all cheered and clapped.
It must be fun to be on a show where death isn’t necessarily the end of a character, and you can have people come back.
WITWER: It’s an interesting thing because death is one of the themes this year. As far as seeing these people on the show, death isn’t the end. As far as the reality of the show, and being able to come back or not, we’re actually pretty consistent with that. Early on, I wanted to bring Mark [Pellegrino] back, and they didn’t do it. We basically stuck with our guns, in terms of who’s died and who can and cannot come back. There has to be a situation that explains it without violating our rules. We make a few things that we’ve been hinting at for three years very explicit, in terms of the vampires, for people who have been wondering about it. What is Aidan’s real crisis? What is absolutely the worst thing for this guy? What is really bugging him? We get into that, in a big way, this year, which I really loved. Aidan has talked about how tortured he was, so we decided to get into why Aidan hasn’t offed himself and why he’s sticking around.
How is Aidan different this season?
WITWER: Before the season started, I spoke to the producers and said, “When you don’t have Josh, and Sally is separated from us, you need someone to punch up the attitude and a little bit more of the humor. I think it’s time to go there.” When we started Aidan out, he was largely funny because he was the straight man. But, he’s been living with these yahoos for years and would have picked up on that. So, I convinced the producers that it was time to bring more of that to Aidan. You’ll notice that Aidan is a little bit more verbal this year, and he’s also dating a human. He’s a more human version of the character than we’ve ever seen before, which is fun. I love that. By the end of the season, you get to see all kinds of colors that we haven’t seen from the character yet. For me, that’s rewarding because it was sort of planned. You don’t know where anything is going, but my feeling about the character, when I started with him, was not to show anyone anything. I wanted to have a bunch of stuff going on, but not clue anyone in, and as time goes on, let them in a little bit more. This season, you see the most out of this character than you’ve ever seen.
Four seasons in now, was it weird not to have Sam Huntington around, for the beginning of the season?
WITWER: Yeah, absolutely. The show starts with Aidan and Josh wondering around for the first 20 minutes, until they bump into Sally. So, without Sammy there was a big hole in the chemistry. We had to figure out various ways to try to temporarily fill that hole. One of the reasons I felt Aidan needed to have more of a fun personality this year was that I thought he would. If Josh was missing and Nora was missing her husband, then Aidan would fill in and try to be the surrogate. He wouldn’t be trying to have sex with her or anything, but he would be trying to entertain her and make her laugh and do the things that Josh did when he was there. So, it was definitely strange not to have Sammy on set. Sammy is such a bright, fun individual to have around that he generally brings up the mood of everyone that he’s working with. By contrast, I’m very serious when I’m not being an idiot. At least, I’m a little bit more serious than Sammy is. It certainly wasn’t a somber set. We were joking the whole time, and always will be. But, Sammy brings an extra layer of unpredictability to that. These people that I work with – Sammy, Meaghan and Kristen – are great people to have on a set. They’re amazing people to have to work with, for 15 or 16 hours a day. They’re not only really good people, but they’re really fun.
WITWER: Well, there will be a little bit of both. As is the standard, there are definitely some ugly moments between the roommates, but overall, you see them come together more than ever. This season, if I’m going to just be completely blunt and open about it, is not as even as the season we did last year, but the high notes are much higher. It’s a much more ambitious season. We’re swinging for the fences a lot more, big time. We do miss, every now and then, but when we hit it, it’s generally a home run. That’s the fun thing about this season. It’s a riskier season. We tried weird stuff, this year.
Aidan has spent so much of his supernatural life wallowing in his own misery. Do you think he ever feels relieved when other people have worse problems to deal with?
WITWER: When the show started, Aidan was the guy who was not at all innocent. He had really done some awful things, and he wanted to protect Josh and Sally from that. If there was dirty work to be done, he would do it. These days, they’ve all gotten their hands dirty, so everyone is on much more equal footing. Aidan is still leading the pack, in terms of body count. But, it’s interesting to see how certain characters get closer this season because of those experiences. Aidan and Josh are much more like brothers-in-arms now, and Nora and Aidan have a really interesting relationship. They’re both the most aggressive members of the household. They have that in common, so they understand these dark urges and consult with each other on certain things. And then, with Sally, she started as a girl and now she’s a woman. She’s had her own extreme experiences. Aidan discovers that she’s not that little girl that he was protecting. She’s someone who can take care of herself and has capabilities that he doesn’t understand, and that brings them closer. It’s really interesting to see how the relationships evolve, in that way. The other thing that I’m happy about this year is that not only do we get a more human side of Aidan, but we make it really explicit, what he was about before all this happened. Up until now, every awful thing that Aidan did happened because he was trying to protect Henry or his household. But, we get to finally see a couple of instances where Aidan is doing something and there’s just no damn good reason for it, at all. You get to see him enjoy it, and you get to see the part of Aidan that was proud of that. We really stretch the bounds of the character. He is more fun and he smiles more, but he’s also more dangerous this year, past and present included.
WITWER: Sure, of course! That’s absolutely foremost on not only his mind, but hopefully the audience’s mind. His girlfriends always die. As wonderful as Aidan’s relationship with Kat is, he’s not sharing who he is with her, and that’s a big problem. He can only share parts of his personality and who he is with this woman. The rest, he has to keep secret. That is a theme that carries on for the entirety of the season. How is he capable of ever having a true friend or relationship when what he is, is so unspeakably awful and evil? How does anyone have a relationship when there are things about themselves that they really don’t feel like they can share with anyone? And is there someone they can share that with? That’s something we explore this season. It’s really interesting. This season, we dove head first into whether this guy can be saved or not, and that includes everything, along with the relationship stuff.
What’s it been like to have Connor Price on the show, as Kenny?
WITWER: Part of the Being Human experience is not just having friendships or romantic relationships with people. Part of the human experience is procreation and leaving some sort of legacy behind, and Kenny is the last hope that Aidan has to have some sort of lasting legacy. There are a lot of deep feelings there about that. I think what Connor brought to the table this year is wonderful. It’s really pronounced when you flashback to Season 3 because Connor is a little bit more of a man now. He arrived on set and his hair was cut differently and it certainly looked like he’d been going to the gym. He was a little bit taller and a little bit bigger, and it was perfect for the role. Not to mention that Connor is just a brilliant actor. I loved every scene I got to do with that guy. He’s fantastic. This year, he’s got a young Dustin Hoffman thing going on.
How has Susanna’s return affected Aidan?
WITWER: That’s tricky because he hadn’t seen her in a very long time. She knew him before he became any of this stuff, so he’s very self-conscious. He worries about what she’ll think of what he’s become, and he wonders about who she is now. It’s these two people who are weirdly estranged, but they have this common background that they both hold very dear. They had a child together. There are also a lot of secrets between them.
With everything that all these characters have gone through now, are they at the point where they’re kidding themselves that they can ever live a more normal life?
WITWER: That’s a good question. I think that some are more hopeful than others. Frankly, I’ve always been of the mind that the werewolves have it easier than the dead people, and I have to imagine that some people agree with me. The dead people are kind of screwed. Sally can’t even feel anything. She can’t eat food. She can’t affect her environment. She’s a ghost. That’s a pretty nightmarish existence that pretty isolating and awful. And then, Aidan is a crazy drug addict, living this awful life and trying to get out of it. Oftentimes, these episodes are structured around the full moon, so that you can see these dramatic experiences that everyone can take part in. But, what you’re not seeing are the in between days, where they don’t have to worry about being a werewolf for another 30 days. So, I think it’s pretty clear that the dead people have it worse. On the bright side of that, the living folk in the house have a better shot of possibly having something that resembles a normal life because they do live pieces of a normal life. Aidan and Sally don’t get any time off.
Do you think that’s why they identify with each other more?
WITWER: Certainly. Aidan and Sally have a really fun and interesting relationship, this year. I got to work with Meaghan Rath more than I’ve ever worked with her on the series, and that was fun.
So, just how crazy will things get, before this season is done?
WITWER: They go for it this year. It’s crazy! We read these scripts going, “My god, they’re not messing around.” Things happen this season that just wreck the car and change everything. We do something by the end of this year, that they wanted to do last year, but Syfy wouldn’t let us. Anna Fricke just kept making noise about it, so they said, “All right, fine. Do it.” The fun thing about our writers is that they aren’t afraid to break stuff. If they’re ever stopped from breaking things, that’s usually the network going, “Wait a second, don’t do that. That will get us in trouble.” They just want to wreck house, kill characters and do all kinds of stuff. And this year, they don’t get themselves out of everything.
Being Human airs on Monday nights on Syfy.