Face Off/Being Human – Q&A with Sam Huntington

Being Human Wallpaper

image source: syfy.com/beinghuman/wallpapers

Earlier this week I got the amazing opportunity to participate in a Q&A conference call session with Sam Huntington, of SyFy’s Being Human. Sam is also making a special appearance in SyFy’s Face Off, this coming Tuesday, where he’ll judge the contestants in their Foundation Challenge. Anyways, many awesome questions were asked during the Q&A session with Sam Huntington, below are some which I thought were great:

In regards to you being on Face Off, can you describe a little bit more of what role you take and maybe what advice you gave to the contestants?

I judge a Foundation Challenge which is the first challenge of the episode. It basically grants immunity to one of the contestants and puts unfortunately a couple in the bottom.

{Did you} have to sit and watch people get makeup for six/eight hours?

No. In fact, one of the most impressive things about it was, the contestants were able to perform these amazing makeup in like an hour and a half.

Can you talk a little bit about the new werewolves we are going to see this season and how they are different from Josh?

They represent a real threat to Josh and not so much physically, but more socially. And who {the werewolves} are, is also a threat to the people that Josh loves.

Is there anything you can tell us about your previous love interest then or is that kind of under wraps too?

Well, I can say that it happens very soon. You find out a very revealing tidbit about Josh’s former flame and actually it’s in this coming episode.

{In an interview with SFX Magazine an UK magazine}, one of the things they have you saying is that the transformation effects have become more streamlined and more CG. Can you talk about that a bit?

Yes, last year they came to the realization that they couldn’t afford to lose me for six hours on end during the work day and lucky for me because it damn near killed me every time they did it. So I think, because of that and because technology is so fantastic, they decided to supplement the FX makeup more this season with CG. The good news all around – it means less time in the makeup chair for me; and it really looks bad ass.

{Another} thing I think they realized is when they do put me in makeup they don’t always need to show my whole body. For instance, a lot of times, they’ll just show my chest bursting or they’ll show the claws and the fangs descend or they’ll see my face darkening. So they don’t have to go full with it every time which once again has been a real saving grace for me this year.

What kind of effects do you most like to see as a fan versus what kind of effects are the most fun and the most difficult to work with as an actor?

Those two things go hand in hand. The things that I like to see are often times the more difficult things to achieve; look at a movie like Pan’s Labyrinth where there’s so much practical makeup and it’s so effective. I’m a traditionalist; I go back to movies like Star Wars and ET {which is} a great example because then they tried to make it better by adding CG, 20 years later and it just screams at you, whereas when you see the puppet, you believe it’s ET. You believe it’s a real thing, a thing with a heart and soul.

I am definitely more a fan of practical makeup and puppetry than I am of CG, but I think when you are on a budget and you are flying through a TV show, it only makes sense to use CG and to hire the best people for the job.

Two episodes into the new season and so far we have had a bunch of new characters come on board. How has that affected the dynamic of the big three and just the dynamics of the setting in general?

There are a lot of new characters this {season} which I think broadens and makes the show more rich. But at the same time it means that the three of us, Sam, Meaghan and I, didn’t get to spend as much time with each other this year. This didn’t change the dynamic between the three of us at all. In fact, what it did was, when we did get to work together which was often — less, we were like school girls. It was ridiculous and it made the silliness and stupidity on set just – it brought it to levels that were just inappropriate.

Do you miss working together as often?

Oh yes, I miss them desperately. Not only do I miss them personally and we have such crazy and amazing bond, but we know that when we are working together, when we walk on set, we know what we are doing is going to be great. It is comfortable, natural, and organic and it comes out. We are able to help each other, and guide each other through.

What did you learn about yourself as an actor and as a fan of reality TV?

I don’t know if I learned too much about myself as an actor, I did learn that I enjoy the world of reality television so much. I really, really, really enjoyed my time on Face Off. Not only was everyone super sweet, really professional, smart and the show is awesome, but it was cool to see these people, who are not putting out errors, {but} who are doing the work that they are passionate about.

Face Off Wallpaper

image source: syfy.com/faceoff/wallpapers

If you could create the ultimate horror creature using some of the aspects of Face Off, what would it look like?

How about a demon principal, like a high school principal. Big long yard stick, that’s the weapon with a sharpened – maybe with just a nail at the end of it. And after they’re done maiming you, they draw a chalk outline around you.

What do you feel it is about Being Human that resonates well with you?

It’s right there in the title. These three people are really trying to overcome, accept and fight against their temptations and who they are. There’s so much humanity in what they’re doing that I think it’s really engaging for people. This show it’s a character drama; it’s not at a core a supernatural show. It’s the real human aspect that people tune in for.

Seeing how Face Off is a reality show, was there a noticeable amount of tension among the contestants as they were doing a test?

They pretty much kept to themselves and I was only there for like three plus hours. So I didn’t really get the full drama of the behind the scenes between the contestants. I can say that when I had to put two of the contestants in the bottom two, it was very uncomfortable. You could slice the tension with a knife, it was awful.

Was it obvious that {some} were doing better than others, right away?

They were all fantastic. All the makeups were so great that nothing was glaring. It took getting right up to them and looking them over and inspecting each aspect of the makeup to make a decision. After that, in my mind there was a clear winner and unfortunately a clear loser.
I walked off the set and called my wife immediately and I was like, “That was both one of the coolest things I have ever done and one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do — telling somebody that their work wasn’t up to snuff.” So it was tough.

Are there any moments this season that you can speak of that were really challenging for you as an actor either physically or emotionally?

One of the things that are so great about making the show, about being on set is {that} I’m challenged every day. I really do my best to bring the kind of beautiful writing that we’re given to life in a natural way. It’s my job to make it as natural as possible so that people will feel like these {characters} are human beings, {so} the viewers will feel like {the characters are} fighting a human fight. I’ve had many moments this year where I walked to set and I was scared that I wasn’t going to be able to do what I wanted to do with the scene and what the scene deserved. Luckily, most of the time I was able to achieve what I set out to do, but I’m always questioning myself and trying to better myself as an actor. It’s very challenging.

Out of the cast, you probably have the most elaborate makeup. Was it nice to finally get some company when Kristen now has to go through what you go through?


Did you give her any advice?

Yes, it was lovely. There are new werewolves on the show too; so I had a lot of commiseration and camaraderie this year in my makeup pain and woes. Especially Kristen, although, she handled it really well. She was a total trooper. My words of wisdom and advice were “get ready because this really sucks.” But luckily, because of what I went through last year which was hellish and other aspects like the increase of the CG, I don’t think she had to endure too much crazy stuff. So yes, it was really, really nice to have other werewolves.

If you had to choose in real life, would you rather be a ghost, a werewolf or a vampire?

Werewolf. Hands down. A vampire, you are dead and you have a “blood lust.” {Drinking} blood, it’s like an addiction, so you have this monkey on your back always. Ghosts, you’re non-corporeal. You can’t eat, you can’t have sex, and you can’t do anything that’s fun. You can float around, you can spy on people. But I guess if that floats your boat, you’re great. But werewolf, you’re basically a dude until you turn into a bad ass. And that’s the most obvious answer ever. Once a month, one a month. And then in another month, you can turn into whatever you want.

What’s something about you that your fans would be surprised to know?

I think a lot of them already know that I am a father. I have a 2-1/2 year old son; my wife is pregnant with our second child, due in a little less than a month. I was also gymnast when I was young. For years and years, I was a gymnast.

What part of you do you see in Josh?

Oh so much. His nervousness, his eagerness to please, his guilt, a lot of his humor. A lot of the humor that you see on the show is just me being me. I look like just like him.

If you could, and it was your choice, what would you like to see in the future happen to your character?

A lot of what I want to happen happens this season. Ultimately for Josh, somewhere down the line I would like him to find his inner peace and I’d {like for} him to be able to have the normalcy that he so desperately wants. I’d {also} love him to have a family.

Catch an all new episode of Being Human Monday, February 6, 2012 (9:00-8:00 PM ET/CT) on SyFy, and don’t forget to tune in Face Off and catch Sam Huntington guest appearance on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 (10:00-9:00pm ET/CT).

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