Vampires. They’re the brooding and seductively dangerous supernatural creatures that continue to appeal to audiences. But when you think about it, how do you keep a vampire character that’s 260+ years old intriguing? Syfy’s Being Human does just that with the vampire character, Aidan, who was turned during the American Revolutionary war. I caught up with actor Sam Witwer who portrays Aidan on the show that’s now in its third season to ask him about his character’s history and what gives Aidan depth.
SciFiMafia: You play evil so well…
Sam Witwer: [laughs] You know, before you continue on, I don’t know why I just thought about this…
Sam Witwer: …but I was saying to Anna Fricke while we were shooting our third season, we were having dinner and I said listen, “I’m actually not great for this role for Being Human. It’s not like I can just walk in and play this role and it’s easy for me. It’s not that, but I’m the only actor who got who it was supposed to be, but I’m not necessarily right for it, Anna!”
I’m kinda laughing as I’m saying this because she probably hadn’t heard that from an actor before. She’s like “Look, I’ll tell you what really works for us. You were funny and you have the vampire thing down but the hardest thing was that we really couldn’t find anyone that we could believe was a killer.”
SFM: [bursts out into laughter]
Sam Witwer: And I’m like “Oh, great! Fantastic. Wonderful.” She’s like “No, no, I mean that with total respect. We had to believe that this guy had this awful hitman background. And also he had to be funny. And also he had to have this really friendly side to him.” I’m like, “So, I come off like a murderer.”
SFM: [laughs] I wouldn’t take it that way! But the key to a really good villain is to have depth and different sides to him so really I think that means that you’re an exceptional actor!
Sam Witwer: Well, that’s very kind of you to say. Thank you.
SFM: When you were speaking to my cohort, Erin, at the Syfy Press Tour last October, you had talked about a backstory arc in flashbacks with Bishop, Aidan’s maker.
Sam Witwer: These are super ambitious flashbacks. The story that we are telling takes place over four episodes. We’re going to be telling some really inciting incidents that inform why Aidan is the way he is. So, it’s a story that I was vaguely familiar with as we were making the first and second seasons and I just never thought we’d be brave enough to try to do it and we have.
SFM: I think the character relationship between Aidan and Bishop is the most interesting relationship on the show if I might say so.
Sam Witwer: Oh, thank you very much. I love Mark Pelligrino. He’s such an awesome guy. I love working with him.
SFM: And it’s really tough for Aidan now since he’s lost Bishop, he’s lost Henry and he’s lost almost all the other vampires and now he’s incredibly alone. Part of being a vampire is also being a metaphor for loneliness, about being outside of society. Now that he’s in this situation with the bubble boy, it seems like this might open some doors, albeit hugely complicated doors.
Sam Witwer: Absolutely. The Kenny [played by Connor Price] relationship is one of my favorite things that we’ve ever done on the show. I think it’s very well thought out and original. The British series really didn’t have anything like it. It allows for my character to just be more of a dude, more of a guy, and I think we’re definitely due for that. Because in the last season, we spent all this time with the vampires, with everything that this character hates, and that’s cool and can be a lot of fun but in order for it to be balanced, we need to see the humanity of this character.
The best way to do that is to put him around human beings. He’s a more interesting character, frankly. He’s sadder because they are what he wants to be. He’s funnier [laughs] because he doesn’t really know how to react a lot of times. And he’s also more dangerous because he could hurt these people. So it’s kind of a sweet spot with this character to put him with people.
SFM: Yeah, and we did see some other dimensions of Aidan already this season with the dancing scene. I wanted to see that moonwalk that you mentioned in your Reddit IAmA!
Sam Witwer: I did it and they didn’t use it! [laughs]
SFM: I secretly wanted you to moonwalk at your panel at the Sci-Fi Expo. Speaking of, you mentioned that there’s some “unpredictable roommate material” coming up this season of Being Human during your Q&A panel. Can you shed any light on that?
Sam Witwer: Well, we’ve got a lot of people in the house these days. We’ve got Nora there, we’ve got the werewolf girl there played by Lydia Doesburg who’s really wonderful. We’ve got a lot of crazy stuff going on so there’s room for complication. Aidan isn’t exactly stable as people may have noticed. And he’s never really lived with Nora or Erin. Really it will be interesting to see how all these people get along. Really that’s what this season is about – a lot of normal roommate problems which I just love. I think that fantastic and we’re really hitting the premise of the series this year.
A HUGE thank you to Sam for his time to speak with SciFi Mafia! We’ve got more coming your way with Sam on Star Wars: The Clone Wars so stay tuned! You can follow Sam on Twitter @SamWitwer where he frequently tweets live during Being Human.
Watch Sam as the vampire, Aidan, on Syfy’s Being Human, Mondays at 9/8C.