Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Being Human's Sam Huntington opens up about Season Two, holiday gifts

Huntington as Josh, courtesy Syfy
Sam Huntington's acting resume has a lot of quirky entries including a caveman, a fanboy, Superman's best pal, and the zombified best pal to the guy who played Superman. But it's his work as werewolf Josh on Syfy's version of the BBC show Being Human which premiered last March that has led to Huntington's biggest career transformation yet.

After a successful first season on the supernatural comedy/drama about a werewolf, vampire and ghost living together, Huntington and castmates Sam Witwer and Meaghan Rath can be called TV stars - and a verifiable hit among the 20-something demo on the network.

But if 2011 has been a good year for Huntington, 2012 looks even more promising. The actor is expecting his second child in the new year, and the anticipated second season of the Americanized Human - premiering Jan. 16 at 9 p.m. - diverges completely from the BBC series.

After speaking with Huntington for CNN we wanted to continue the conversation here to chat about about his 'were' work on Being Human, the arrival of new monsters on the show this coming season, holiday gift memories and his thieving ways.and we wanted to continue the conversation here.

Q: You just wrapped Season Two on Sunday (Dec. 4). How's that feel? You've got two seasons in the can, now.

A: It feels amazing. We all kind of feel the same way in that, last year, there was so much uncertainty and so much insecurity about the show. Not knowing how it was going to be received. We felt really good about the work. But you never really know if people are going to like it, if people are going to watch it, if it's going to come back. Basically to sum up, last year I was really sad when we wrapped, and very emotional and very uncertain. Not feeling very cool. This year, I'm just psyched. I know the product is good - fantastic, in fact. And I think people are going to dig it and I feel relatively confident that people are going to watch it. So, I'm just happy. Just happy. I'm just a happy guy.

Q: The show's already taken such a detour from the source material that, at this point, do you feel like it's not even a spin-off or a reboot? Is it its own thing?

A: One hundred percent. I'm super-psyched about it. I think everything, this year, is 100% original. Not only are the characters going to feel different than the BBC version, simply because we're different actors, but now the material is now its completely own, original thing. You really can't even call it the same show. Or, like you say, a reboot. Or re-imagining. I guess it is a re-imagining, it's the same world. That's probably the most appropriate term for it. It's really, really awesome. And 100% unique. It's cool.

Q: And now you've got a few months of family time before you have to go back for Season Three, right?

A: Yeah, that's the idea. Unless I get another job. That's the focus right now. Just something that goes til like February or March would be cool. Another gig to supplement this one. A movie. I haven't done a movie in a while just because I've been busy with the show. So it'd be nice to get something under my belt in between. And to keep sharp. I like to work. Then again, if it doesn't happen, that's fine too, because we've got this new baby coming. That will definitely be a time succubus. But a good time succubus.

Q: Either way, you're gonna maintain you're fighting shape. Whether it's through acting or fathering. Actually, I wanted to talk to you about holiday memories.

A: So, we were at this yankee swap when I was a little boy, with all my extended family. I was probably like five. I was really, really young. At that point, you really don't know your extended family. You don't know any of these people. They're all strangers - especially all your extended cousins. I'm five and bizarre. I'm a weird kid. I fell in love with this - during the yankee swap - one of the gifts being pass around was a Lazy Susan. Like one of those things you put in the middle of the table on ball bearings and you put all the condiments on it and you spin it around. Bizarre. I don't know why I fell in love with this thing, but I did, and it was like my goal to end the night with this Lazy Susan. And I didn't. Someone else got it and I ended up taking it out to my parent's car, hiding it in my parent's car. And we got the Lazy Susan, and we used it for years and years and years. And it turned out to be a great family story that my parents love to tell now. Sam stole the Lazy Susan.

Q: So your holiday miracle is one of thievery.

A: Exactly. My dad even took it and refinished it, because my dad's a cabinet maker. He refinished it and made it all sweet and nice. I don't remember who it was, what family member I stole it from. But their loss.

Q: Whereas Joseph the carpenter had Jesus ...

A: Samuel the spoiled little shit had his father.

Q: What has been the worst attempt at a geeky gift that someone kind of screwed up? Getting the Gobot instead of the Transformer?

A: Does it have to be one that I received or can it be one that I attempted to give? It's not like nerdy. I made this whole children's book for my nephew. For his first Christmas. It took me forever to finish it. I still haven't finished it and it was three years ago. That's something, I guess.

Q: Do you think the idea of 'it's the thought that counts' is sort of this bogus idea as far as, it just lets people off the hook for giving crappy gifts?

A: I believe that, and I believe that it is the thought that counts. Because if I'm on the other end of that, I want to be the guy that the person thinks, 'it's the thought that counts.' If I give a shitty gift, I want them to believe it's because it's the thoughts that counts. Whereas, if I'm on the receiving end of it, you better fucking pony up.

Q: In theory, someone's giving you a gift because they know you. If it's the thought that counts and they get it completely wrong, then - in a way - they don't really know you. So doesn't that cast some sort of shadow over your relationship with this person that doesn't really know you that well?

A: Absolutely. I generally won't call those people back anymore. They're dead to me. Thanks for just making this easy for me.

Q: With Superman Returns, did you have an action figure made of yourself?

A: I never had an action figure. I had a video game. I did the video game thing, which was kind of cool. I was a character in a video game. The funny thing is, I never made it that far in the video game. So I've still never seen myself on the video game because, the movie was great, but the video game was one of the worst video games of all times. It got the worst reviews. People just hated playing it. It was unfortunate.

Q: That's part of video game history. That all of the Superman video games have inevitably sucked. There's never been a successful, well-done Superman video game ... [But] the chances are good that you will end up in action figure form.

A: I hope so for Being Human.

Q: What is that figure going to look like? Is it going to have a certain kung-fu grip?

A: It's going to be a guy in a plaid shirt. Probably crying. And you squeeze him and he screams.

Q: The emotional action figure.

A: A very emotional action figure. Emo-Josh.

Q: There's a lot of blood, a lot of action. A lot of sex. With your character, there is a lot more, I wouldn't say more emotion, but...

A: You're onto something. I feel really lucky because with Witwer, a lot of the stuff he is doing on the show is dealing with - like last year, like the vampire hierarchy and vampire politics, and on and on. It's a little bit harder to figure out your motivation when you're doing stuff like that. It's a little out of left field. With my stuff, it's like uber-relatable. It's relationship issues. It's trying to cover up a disease you have. You're absolutely right. A lot of that is much more emotionally-driven and a little less visceral.

Q: Do you want more?

A: Spoiler alert. This season I get a lot of that stuff. It's pretty heavy shit, man. A lot of it's very, very violent. A lot of it's very, very gruesome. So Josh gets a little bit this year, too.

Q: And a new breed of werewolf?

A: Yes. And a new breed of werewolf.

Q: Anything more you can say about the new breed of warewolf.

A: I don't know if I'm allowed to. I don't know. They're very significant. The funny thing is, the characters themselves are only in a few episodes. But what they do the character, to Josh, is very significant. It becomes the catalyst for Josh's storyline.