BEING HUMAN: Meaghan Rath and Amy Aquino Interview re Season 3 (2013)


Saying goodbye is never easy, and fortunately in television, there are lots of ways to avoid goodbyes altogether.  As BEING HUMAN wraps its third season, it is saying goodbye to fans for a few months until it returns for its fourth season. Similarly the fate of Amy Aquino’s character Donna is kind of in limbo right now as the supernaturally infused-series has a habit of bringing back its characters from the dead on more than one occasion.  Death is not as ironclad point of no return in BEING HUMAN.  To share a bit more about where this season is going to leave fans hanging and what Donna’s ultimate fate may be, in a recent press conference call stars Meaghan Rath and Amy Aquino teased what lies ahead.

"Being Human"
“Being Human”

What can you tell us about what we have to look forward to in the final episodes?
MEAGHAN: I think it’s pretty obvious to everybody that things are coming to a head right now, especially for Sally. She’s made this decision that she’s going to let herself die and decompose, and that does happen. She’s forced to go through Donna’s door and face her. So there’s a big showdown and more people are involved than you think.  A lot of people are involved.
AMY: It was a lot of fun for me as Donna to be able to involved with so many really cool people. I’ll put it that way.

Amy, you do explicitly well playing creepy, by the way.
AMY: Thank you. That’s such a compliment. I’ve spent most of my career-playing judges who tell people to go to hell, and now I actually get to send them there. It’s so much fun. It really is.
MEAGHAN: We love Amy. We just love the whole witch element on the show. And Amy does such a great job. So it’s such a pleasure to have her.
AMY: Thanks. It’s truly been a delight working on it.  I was not entirely sure. It was like I’m not a genre person just in terms of my own consumption and nor in my career. So I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and what I found were just tremendous great professional sweet really talented people who really give a crap and just give it 100%. So it’s been professionally rewarding and it’s also been so much fun. These guys are so funny and so sweet. It’s really been delightful.

"Being Human"
“Being Human”

What would you say were the main themes for the season so far?
MEAGHAN: The theme for the season is, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ So for the last two years we’ve seen these characters strive so hard to just retain a sense of the life that they’ve lost. And they wanted so bad just to fit in and this season they’ve gotten what they wanted.  I think we’re kind of realizing that we’re in for more than we bargained for. I think that to have the life that we really want comes at a big price. And it’s kind of tragic, because I don’t know that these people will ever be happy in the way that they once were when they were human. That’s really what drives them. But I don’t know that it’s possible for them.

What has been the weirdest scene that you got to do this season?
AMY: Oh my go, where do I begin? Kind of like eating sawdust off the floor was very interesting for me. It wasn’t exactly sawdust but it may as well as been. And by the way, being transformed physically was actually the really weirdest thing for me and really exciting and fun. It’s a pretty extreme transformation and I was really psyched about it being able to do this prosthetics. We had these brilliant makeup artists and I had a very cool time sitting in the basement on those locations for about an hour outside of Montreal in the dead of night and I’m talking about 3 a.m. surrounded by these like three hot women and this very cool guy, with the music blaring, turning me into a 200 year old woman. It was very cool.
MEAGHAN: If we’re going to talk about the stuff that I’ve eaten this season, I’ve eaten everything. I’ve eaten 11 waffles and I threw up. I’ve eaten a mouse. The mouse scratched my face and shat all over me. I’ve eaten Sam Witwer. I’m mean it’s really just adding up at this point.

What can you share about how you felt filming the final scenes of this season of BEING HUMAN?
MEAGHAN:  Well, without revealing too much —  I don’t how much detail I can go into without ruining it — it’s very scary. It was really physically demanding for all people involved.
AMY: Definitely. It was, definitely. We were ambivalent about getting hurt and I’m always ambivalent about the idea of possibly being destroyed as a character because I was really ambivalent about not being able to work anymore. This is like one of the very few shows where it’s being killed has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you’re going to come back. So that made me feel like a little more calmer than I might have been on other shows. Not that I’m killed or anything, but there’s certainly this big standoff between me and Sally and various of her compatriots, and it doesn’t necessarily turn out all that well for me. So I felt a little ambivalence about that, but who knows if dead is dead on this show.

"Being Human"
“Being Human”

Sam Witwer mentioned his favorite scene where he was with Meaghan in the kitchen where you share your theory with him that his problem is that he’s backed up, and that a lot of that scene apparently was ad-libbed.
MEAGHAN: To be honest, not much of that scene was ad-libbed. I don’t want to take any credit away from our writers, because it was so wonderfully written. What was improvised was the intention behind that scene. I definitely don’t think that the writers meant for that to be a scene about sexual harassment in the way of Sally towards Aiden. It just sort of turned into that. It was just that kind of morning. I think I started doing it as a joke in one of the rehearsals, and I just kind of went to a really interesting place and that’s what’s so amazing about the man who directed that episode is that he saw us doing this like really weird stuff and was like, “Yes, go with it.” He really embraces creativity and he loves when things go strange. So that’s what happened with it, and we did end up adlibbing some of the lines towards the end of the scene. But the real chunk of it was written, and just kind of turned out kind of in a way that Sam and I are in real life. I mean what I love most about it is that they kept it and it wasn’t explained ever. You see in the following couple of episodes we sort of do that little more, and by that, I mean Sally sexual harasses Aiden a little bit verbally. But I love that we never talk about it, because that’s what it is in real life. You have to you live with somebody and you develop this relationship with them and a sort of short hand and no one ever talks about it. So that’s what I like about the show – it’s real, as real as it can get.

Meaghan, how was it transitioning from the fashions of BEING HUMAN in the first  couple of seasons to the current season?
MEAGHAN: Everyone knows that by no means is our show a fashion show. It’s not GOSSIP GIRL or anything like that. But I think after two years of seeing me in the same thing I wasn’t the only one who was sick of that outfit — all the fans were and they were waiting for me to wear something else. I mean that was the most popular question I got was:  “Are you tired of wearing the same outfit?” And I was like, “Yes, I was.” So I was really excited when I was given this freedom to really create who this person is through her fashion sense. Because now we’re really getting a sense of what Sally was like when she was alive and how she dressed herself and how she expressed herself. Fashion for me is a huge part of my life because I feel like I can express myself that way. So I felt grateful when they gave me the opportunity to sort of create her look with our costume designer Janet Campbell, and together we sort of decided on what kind of stuff she would buy and it was a mix of some of the guys clothes and thrift shop finds.  Janet went out and found some really amazing stuff for me and basically gave me the freedom to style it the way I wanted to and express myself in that way. So I felt really lucky to be a part of that process.

"Being Human"
“Being Human”

We’ve seen a lot of past and present history of the characters clash. In this last episode are we going to see some new things popping up to possibly carry us into the next season? Or are we just going to wrapping up the current business with Amy’s character?
MEAGHAN: Oh, come on. You actually think we would end the season without a cliffhanger?
AMY: Hard to imagine. You will kind [see more of Donna’s past] of in this upcoming episode. You get a little inkling about my past. You’re going to find out more about my past. And you’re going to see an indication of it a little bit. But yes it’s actually kind of funny. It’s the fun and funny.
MEAGHAN:  I would love a Donna origin story.
AMY: You don’t get to see it so much, but you’re definitely going to hear about it in the episode that’s coming up, it’s part about what we love about this year. That you get the full picture of these guys. So you do get a little backstory.

Right now the show has featured lots of different aspects of like paranormal-ish scary side of things. Are we going to get some normalcy coming back?
MEAGHAN: As we’re getting to the end of the season, this show is a supernatural show. So all our fixed-plot points are coming to a head. There’s Josh and Nora’s wedding and that’s really, for Josh, the closest to normal it’s going to get for him and that’s the reason he wanted to marry Nora in the first place. So it’s a really beautiful symbol that we do get into next week.

Amy, you could tell us about your upcoming movie “Insecurity,” and in regards to BEING HUMAN, did you do any research to prepare for this?
AMY: In terms of “Insecurity,” it’s got an adorable script. It’s very real, very funny, very sweet. The co-directors, they’re brothers, and I think they are destined to be the next incarnation of the Cohen Brothers or the Weisses. They’re just terrific, smart, lovely guys and a great sensibility and the movie is really a labor of love for the people involved. I got involved with it because Adam Arkin is a good friend and he’s in it and his daughter is one of the producers and just an extraordinary group of people involved for that reason. I’m very excited about it even though I’ve got just a small part but I was really happy to be a part of it. In terms of my research [for the role on BEING HUMAN], I did some. I did some work on the Latin. I went to a Latin scholar who’s a freshman at Columbia who did all my translating and helped me with that. But I’m not going to say that I kind of did a whole lot of research on witches. I felt like it’s, and as much as they are not real, that I could have some leeway in how I portrayed her. I also felt like because this show is BEING HUMAN that the more grounded and the more just absolutely matter of fact and humanoid she could be the better off we were. So that things that she did that were witch-like were coming out of a place of being of what a human would do. I thought it was very important to not make here to kind of out there supernaturally. It’s what would I do as a person who was hungry and I approached everything I needed to do as a human being would do. I’m just doing different activities involving like hearts and sawdust and things like that.

"Being Human"
“Being Human”

How did you like working together on the show?
AMY: Just hated it. (Laughs)
MEAGHAN: It was the worst. (Laughs) What’s funny is that Sally and Donna’s story is intertwined and it has been the entire season. But Amy and I didn’t really get a chance to work together until the end of the season just because when I was brought back from the dead that was Josh and Nora who were really dealing with Donna and she was definitely a presence in Sally’s story, but without ever really having that many scenes together. So it was only at the end of the season that we got to come together. But I had a great time. And we might not have seen the last of Donna, which I’m really excited about, because I’d love to work with Amy some more.
AMY: You know; it’s mutual. I’ve done a lot of guest starring on shows. That’s how I make my living. And you just never know how, especially when it’s a tight cast that’s been together for a long time, you don’t know how you’re going to be accepted. And I could not have been more warmly received by everybody. And obviously, including Meaghan, we have just had a great time. We have a very similar sense of humor. We approached it very much the same way, and we had to get very close in certain ways. But she’s right; I mean, it’s kind of fun going back and watching some of the episodes and I finally see and her and I’m like, “Whoa, you cleaned up good,” because it’s the first time we had a conversation even though I’ve been kind of manhandling her body for a while. We will see if we get to develop that further, because Donna’s a lonely girl. It’s hard. She does not have this whole kind of Wiccan thing. She doesn’t have any coven. She’s like all on her own in a soup kitchen. So I’m sure she would like to have company, and she sees I think in Sally this fire and this spark and intelligence and courage that she admires and probably wants to kind of keep her around — stay close to her. So we’ll see. I don’t know. Anything can happen in this damn show.
MEAGHAN: We will see.

Meaghan, your upcoming film “The White Buffalo” is directed by another one of your BEING HUMAN costars. Do you and Sam [Huntington] play the married couple that’s central to the same story?
MEAGHAN: Yes, we do play a married couple. Which was really strange for us at first, because it’s so not our relationship. Sam and I are very much like brother and sister. We’re really close. So it was strange to play this relationship. At the beginning of the movie there’s a three-minute sex scene with us that has no cuts in it. So you can imagine how disgusting that was for me. (Laughs) Well I will say it’s turning out to be such a beautiful film and the script is so fresh and original.  It’s a dramatic comedy but it’s almost the anti-date movie because it’s very true to life in a sense that we don’t really necessarily end it in a happy way. It’s effective, because what we’re finding with the test screenings is that people have a really strong reaction to it, which is exactly the intention. But working with Pat Kiely, who is the director, was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Because he really pushed us it’s very ambitious in the way that it’s shot. We’re doing seven page scenes in one take with no cuts. When you’re doing that where he wants 20 – 22 takes of it, you want to kill him in the moment, but I’m just so proud of the way it turned out and so I’m really excited about it.

To what big cliffhanger this fantastic season leaves us on, be sure to tune in for the 3rd season finale of BEING HUMAN on Monday, April 8th at 9:00 p.m. on Syfy.

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