Q & A: Being Human’s Meaghan Rath on Becoming Human(ish), the Challenges of the Series and Cast Chemistry
Now in its third season, SyFy’s Being Human has shed comparisons to its British counterpart and become its own beast. And I mean that in the best way possible. Thanks to the writing and wonderful cast, the show just keeps getting better and better.
Meaghan Rath’s Sally Malick has been on a unique journey this season. A former ghost, her character was brought back to life as a re-animated corpse and in a recent Q & A I did with her, she is enjoying the heck out of it. “I was really missing out on a lot of things that everyone else got to do, so it was really – it really helped me to get back into her because I was feeling just as excited as she was,” she said.
In this interview, Meaghan talks about the new direction of her character and how she’s approaching it acting wise, live-tweeting episodes and cast chemistry.
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Being Human airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on Syfy
What’s been most challenging for you to continue filming this series?
Meaghan Rath: Really what’s been the most challenging for me is taking these fantastical situations and making them personal for me. You know, it’s always a challenge to relate to what these characters are going through to our real lives.
You know, for example, last season, it’s like, how do I justify murdering 20 people and still remain likeable in some way? So that’s always been a challenge for me. This season was super difficult as well because, it’s like, okay, well now I’m a reanimated corpse so not only do I have to deal with the fact that I’m dead but now I’m brought back from the dead and what does that mean to me? And it’s all very complicated.
Going along the same lines, has it been difficult for you to bring your character to life?
Meaghan Rath: I don’t think so because the essence of who this person is her character and about her personality as well as her circumstances. I mean, that’s a big part of it. But really what our show’s about is looking at who these people are and sort of playing against the type and the supernatural element of the whole thing. So no, I mean, I really just see her as a person so I wouldn’t say it’s been super difficult. She’s very similar to myself, so it’s been kind of fun.
What’s been your most memorable moment or scene from the series so far?
Meaghan Rath: Memorable moment or scene – you know, there was a lot of great stuff that happened this season and I have some pretty great scenes with Aidan where a scene ended up being really, really funny when we didn’t expect that it would be and I think that’s something that we’ll remember for a long time without ruining anything.
It seems like there’s more chemistry this season with you and Sam. Can you talk any about how that’s going to develop?
Meaghan Rath: Yes, I mean, one of – for our writers one of their goals was to have the three of us together a lot more this season because I feel like we lost that a lot in season two just because of all the stuff we were going through separately, so there’re definitely more scenes with the three of us.
I think that our relationships have developed quite a bit and yes, the chemistry is still there, if not more than before. And it’s almost changed in some ways as we’ve grown up a bit.
Now that your character’s changed and, I want to say you’re alive or, you know, undead, whatever, is there anything that you noticed particularly different that you have to do now and is there anything that maybe you like better or maybe you miss as a ghost? Because I know obviously you’d be filming some of it different I would assume.
Meaghan Rath: There is nothing that I miss about being a ghost. It’s so funny, like, I just want to say to everybody, I’m so happy that we can finally talk now because I feel like I was silenced for the last, you know, year. Everybody got to talk about what was happening with their character and I wasn’t allowed to talk about anything. So, hi. Now I can speak. I’m really excited.
But yes, there was nothing that I missed about being a ghost. It was, like, you know, I was as happy as Sally was to be alive and interacting with people physically and, you know, I was really missing out on a lot of things that everyone else got to do, so it was really – it really helped me to get back into her because I was feeling just as excited as she was.
You can start wearing your clothes now too.
Meaghan Rath: Yes, that is a huge bonus.
In the show, it just seems like so many of the key scenes involve the three of you in the kitchen. What’s that like for all of you? Do you get any kind of rehearsal or, I guess, by now you kind of know each other’s styles and can kind of just go into it. But is there any kind of planning because they just seem to be so effortless?
Meaghan Rath: Yes, you know, for the most part when you asked about rehearsals, no, we don’t rehearse beforehand. We rehearse scene by scene as we get to it. And, it’s funny because scenes that are with the three of us, or even now with Kristen, it’s a relief and a pleasure to shoot those scenes because I never have to worry about them.
And just because we all trust each other so much and we know each other so well that we can just trust that our chemistry will be there and that we’ll find a way to make the scene work. You know, especially if it’s a difficult scene or a more complex scene.
It’s just a fun time to go in there and sort of put your face in somebody else and feel confident that they’re going to guide you in a way that is going to work in the end.
How does it change your approach with Sally now that you can actually physically interact and you can change clothes and such. I thought it would probably be a nice – exciting for you as an actor. Can you explain how maybe that changes some dynamic in some way, maybe with one of the other characters now that you can actually interact?
Meaghan Rath: Yes. I think that throughout the season you’ll start seeing some things with Aidan and Sally where the writers are so smart the way that they did it. It’s like, there’s a girl living in a house with two guys and it was never an option for a romantic chemistry. You know, I know a bunch of you are going to ask is there anything that’s going on with Sally and Aidan. I just know it. I just know you guys are going to ask it.
And I’ll answer it right now. What they did is so smart because it’s, like, we never had that option before because Sally was non-corporeal and it just wasn’t going to happen and they looked at her like a little sister. And all the sudden, here she is human, or as close to human as it’s going to get. And all of the sudden it’s sort of an option.
It’s like oh, we can do this and it sort of reflects a situation in life. It’s, like, you have a roommate that’s guy and you’re best friends and it never occurred to you before but all of the sudden it’s, like, you’re both single and it’s, like, huh, should we do this? I guess we could do this.
And, you know, maybe you drank a bit too much that night and all the sudden there’s this weird moment between roommates and I think you’re going to see a couple moments like that with Sally and Aidan this season.
I know you talked about the chemistry with the cast. How does that translate on screen? How have you turned the camaraderie that you guys have off screen and translate to the screen?
Meaghan Rath: I think it’s sort of effortless. It’s not anything that we ever have to think about. And I feel very lucky for that fact because it’s like, you know, you never have to think about, all right, how do I pretend that I like this person in this scene? We’re not really getting along because I hate him in life.
We never had to do that and so it’s like as our friendship develops and grows in life, it does with the characters as well and it’s like, you know, we sort of grow on screen together as well as off. And, it’s really nice. They’re really my best friends.
You and the guys will live tweet during the episodes. Why is it important for you to do that by providing, you know, humorous anecdotes about the episodes or filming and, of course, interacting with fans that way as well?
Meaghan Rath: Yes, I mean, we’ve never really done that before and I think it’s just really an amazing thing. I really experienced it for the first time last season when we live tweeted throughout the episode and it was, like, I really – it makes me feel close to the fans and it’s like we’re all sort of having, like, a slumber party watching this episode together and I’m sharing funny things that happened and they’re telling me what they think and they’re making their own jokes.
I actually really like it. My only concern is, like, why aren’t you watching? And you’re tweeting but you should be watching. Like, why don’t you tweet at commercials? But I get it, you know, these people can multitask clearly.
Acting wise, are you happier being a reanimated corpse or would you rather be a ghost? Which is easier or more challenging for you to do?
Meaghan Rath: No, I definitely love being a reanimated corpse. I can’t believe I just said that. Yes, I think that I was just, in general, a happier person on set. Like, I was smiling a lot more than I usually do just because I was so excited to be just like a real girl, like wearing nice clothes and kissing boys and just running around with my top off. No, that didn’t happen. But no, I was just – I was much happier this way. I just felt so much more free than – and ironically alive than I have been on this show before.
So you’ll have a new wardrobe now?
Meaghan Rath: Absolutely. Yes. Yes, what’s great about the wardrobe is they really involved me in the process of choosing what that would be. Before we started the season, I had a bunch of meetings with our costume designer, Danny Campbell, where we both, together, decided what Sally’s look would be and what kind of stuff she would wear.
It was really important for them to involve me in what that was because, you know, I know Sally the best out of anyone. And so I felt really, really lucky and I really appreciated being brought in on those conversations. And together we decided her outfits and they’re pretty great.
You talked about your chemistry with the other cast members. What kind of things do you all like to do? Do you all ever get to hang out, like, off set and what kind of things do you like to do?
Meaghan Rath: You know, we hang out all the time off set. We always hang out all weekend. You know, we usually just have dinner together, we go out to restaurants or we go to one of our places and someone will cook dinner and we just watch movies. Usually it’s usually something really low key. I don’t think – none of us are really the going out partying types, so I think we – the three of – I don’t think we’ve ever been to a club together. Well, maybe in Vegas we did.
But yes, it’s – we pretty much take it low key. We’ve been on vacations together. Yes, we just like hanging out and talking and eating and drinking wine.
How has the ability to touch your co-stars this season changed? I mean, you learn how to act probably with method as well as, you know, that – being able to interact with somebody on multiple levels and taking away the sense of touch for the first two seasons – well, more first season and a half, and then reintroducing that. How has that changed, maybe you know, the experience of working on this show?
Meaghan Rath: It’s changed in a huge way. It’s crazy, like, how much you know, as characters you appreciate it. And as an actress I really appreciated being able to have that physical contact just because of who these characters are. It’s funny because when I work on something else, of course, you can touch people. That’s just how it is.
And I appreciate that sort of as an actress. But when I’m on Being Human, I appreciate it really for the characters because I know that, you know, they’ve been friends for so long and she hasn’t been able to ever touch them or, you know, feel what they feel like or even know how cold or hot they are physically. So I really – it sort of brings it to a new level for the characters I think.