With Syfy’s Being Human now heading into its last two episodes of Season Three, Meaghan Rath addressed the press last week, including Press Pass LA, joined by guest star Amy Aquino who plays “Donna” the powerful witch who brought Sally back from death. We spoke with them about their characters on Being Human, how much they enjoyed working together, and about the upcoming films they each have coming out.
Meaghan began and ended the conference-call by teasing a few tidbits of what fans can expect tonight, next Monday and on into the future. “I think it’s pretty obvious that things are coming to a head right now, especially for Sally. She’s made the decision to let herself die and decompose and in the next episode (tonight’s “Always a Bridesmaid, Never Alive”) that happens and she’s forced to go through Donna’s door and face her. There’s a big showdown and a lot more people are involved then you’d think would be. It’s very scary and it was really physically demanding for all involved.” Amy added, “It was a lot of fun for me, as Donna, to be able to get involved with so many really cool people.”
Asked about the weirdest things they’ve each had to do on the show this year Aquino volunteered, “Being transformed physically was really the most weird thing for me, as you’ll see in this next episode, it was really exciting and fun. It’s a pretty extreme transformation and I was really psyched about being able to do the prosthetics. It was very, very cool. Eating sawdust off the floor was also very, very interesting and weird for me. It wasn’t exactly sawdust but it may as well have been.” Meaghan indignantly interjected, “If we’re gonna talk about stuff that I’ve eaten this season, I mean, I’ve eaten everything. I’ve eaten gluttonous amounts of food. I’ve eaten eleven waffles which made me throw up. I’ve eaten a mouse that scratched my face and shat all over me. I’ve eaten Sam Witwer. I mean, it’s really just adding up at this point.”
An award-winning veteran of Film and Television, Aquino’s been acting in high profile projects for over 25 years yet this is her first recurring job on a supernaturally themed show and her very first time playing a Witch. She enthusiastically shared, “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 really been delightful. I was not entirely sure it would be because I’m not a genre person, in terms of my own consumption nor in my career, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I found were tremendous, great, professional, sweet, really talented people who really, really give a crap and really just give it 100%. So it’s been truly rewarding professionally and it’s also been so much fun because these guys are so funny and so sweet.” Rath returned the complimentary praise, “Amy does such a great job. We love Amy. I just love the whole Witch element on the show, it’s such a pleasure to have her.”
When Amy first appeared this season her scenes were all with Sam Huntington (Josh) and Kristen Hager (Nora), Meaghan explained, “What’s funny is that Sally and Donna’s story is intertwined and has been the entire season but we didn’t really get a chance to work together until the end of the season. She was definitely a presence in Sally’s story but without us really having that many scenes together. I had such a great time working with Amy but it was only at the end of the season that we got to come together.” Aquino agreed, “The feeling’s mutual. I’ve done a lot of guest starring on shows – that’s how I make my living – and you just never know, especially when it’s a tight cast that’s been together for a long time, how you’re going to be accepted. I could not have been more warmly received by everybody, including Meaghan. We just had a great time. We have a very similar sense of humor and we approached it very much the same way.”
Being her first portrayal of a Witch, I was curious if she did any special research to prepare for the challenge of being Donna? “I did some work on the Latin.” Aquino confessed, “I went to a Latin scholar who’s a freshman at Columbia who did all my translating and helped me with that. But I can’t say that I did a whole lot of research on witches because I felt, in as much as they are not real, that there was some leeway in how I portrayed her. I also felt like, because this show is Being Human, that the more grounded and absolutely matter-of-fact and humanoid she could be the better off we were. The things that she did that were Witch-like were coming out of a place of what a human would do. She does not have this whole kind of wiccan thing, she doesn’t have a coven. She’s all on her own in a soup kitchen. I thought it was very important to not make her too out there, supernaturally. It was like, well, what would I do as a person who was hungry. I approached everything I needed to do as a human being would do, she’s just doing different activities.”
I next asked the pair about movies they each have in post-production. “I’m really, really excited about this wonderful indie film I’m executive producer of called The White Buffalo, which stars myself and Sam Huntington as a married couple.” Rath admitted, “It was really strange for us at first because that’s so not our relationship. We’re really, really close but Sam and I are very much brother & sister so it was strange to play this relationship. At the beginning of the movie there’s this three minute sex scene with us that has no cuts in it, so you can imagine how disgusting that was for me. 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 the sense that we don’t 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 was exactly our intention. And working with the director, Pat Kiely (Being Human, Who Is KK Downey?), was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life because he really, 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 and he wants twenty-two takes of it and you want to kill him in the moment, but, I’m just so proud of the way it turned out. I’m really excited about it. Hopefully we’ll get to do the round of festivals with it.”
Amy’s upcoming film, titled In Security, is equally intriguing though for different reasons. She elaborated, “In Security has an adorable script. It’s very real, very funny and very sweet. I think the co-directors, the Beamer brothers, are destined to be the next incarnation of the Coen brothers. They’re just terrific, smart, lovely guys with a great sensibility. The movie’s 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’s one of the producers. It’s just got an extraordinary group of people involved. I’m very excited about that, even though I have a really small part in it, I was very happy to be a part of it.” As for upcoming TV work Aquino revealed, “I’m also shooting a couple episodes of Glee.”
Meaghan Rath revisited the main theme of Being Human’s current season, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’, by ominously reminding us, “You know, for the first two years we saw these characters strive so hard to retain a sense of the life that they’d lost and they wanted so bad just to fit in. This season they’ve gotten what they wanted and we’re kind of realizing that we’re in for more than we bargained for. Having the life that we wanted 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.”
Tune into Syfy tonight and April 9th @ 9/8c to see the epic clash of Donna and Sally, and, in case you’re wondering ifBeing Human will end in its usual fashion Meaghan amusedly reassured, “Oh come on, do you really think we’d end a season without a cliffhanger?”
Don’t be an April Fool, catch the final two episodes to find out for yourself and remember to use Syfy’s Sync App while you watch for loads of extra interactive content.
To learn more and see cast photos and videos, visit Syfy’s Being Human.