EXCLUSIVE: Aidan Turner on prepping for 'The Hobbit' and possibly leaving 'Being Human'
Image Credit: Touchpaper Television and BBC AmericaThe U.K. version of Being Human returned last night with a big shocker: While saving Annie (Lenora Crichlow) from Purgatory (where she’s been stuck since last season’s finale), Aidan Turner’s Mitchell discovered that, unlike most vampires, he’s going to die. And a werewolf is going to kill him—which is pretty problematic because he lives with two. So does this mean that Turner, who recently landed the major role of dwarf Kili in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit could be leaving the cult hit? The actor chatted with EW from the movie’s New Zealand set to straighten things out, talk a bit about The Hobbit and spill some more details about Mitchell’s new storyline, the much-hyped return of his bloodsucking season 1 foe Herrick (Jason Watkins), his blossoming relationship with ghost Annie, and more (SPOILER-phobes beware).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You were sporting a pretty impressive beard at the Hobbit press conference. Is that for Kili?
AIDAN TURNER: Yeah, it is. I’m growing out the beard. We’re giving it a chance, seeing what it looks like.
Is that how Peter Jackson plans to make you less handsome and more dwarf-like?
To de-handsomify me? [Laughs] No, not really. I mean, famously in the books, the dwarves have really long beards, so we’re just trying stuff out and seeing what it looks like.
Are you in “hobbit boot camp” now?
Yeah. Well, it’s dwarf boot camp, not really hobbit boot camp. It’s just all dwarves—training and stuff.
What are you training in?
I can’t really give too much away, you know? But it’s pretty much everything. It’s physical training and everything you can imagine, really. I guess just working as an actor helps you for these things. It’s more physical than anything else, but there’s dialect coaching and all those kind of things.
How did your Being Human cast react to you getting The Hobbit role?
They were all very happy—super happy. Everyone was thrilled.
In the premiere, Mitchell meets the ghosts of the 20 people he killed on a train last season. He’s been murdering for over a hundred years, why does this particular massacre freak him out?
[The murder investigation] plays a massive part in the new season. It haunts him. I think to a certain extent he thought he got away with it. He’s been so good at killing, it’s something he’s always specialized in—this one just seems to have gone a bit wrong because he was with Daisy, who’s crazy. It went further than they thought and it comes to bite him in the arse. It’s something he feels very guilty about, and he’s hidden from George, Nina and Annie. Now he just can’t hide it anymore. He needs to make some decisions—and that’s what you see him do in season 3. Does he admit to the murders and risk losing his friends? Does he go to prison? There is this whole host of things that he gets tied up with.
He and Annie also fall for each other. When did you first realize that was a possibility?
When I got the script [laughs], I think, for the third episode. I guess we’ve always had a connection, but nothing hinted to me that they might hook up, because Annie’s just so dead and Mitchell’s always so busy doing stuff. It seemed like they would never naturally gravitate towards each other. It’s just that once he saves her from Purgatory, she sees him as a knight in shining armor. And he’s all over the place, feeling so guilty about so many other things, that he just gets involved, you know?
Well, he did learn that’s he’s going die—and at the hands of a werewolf, or more specifically a “wolf-shaped bullet.”
Yeah, It freaks him out for almost the entire season. It’s so high intensity in the first episode when he goes to get Annie back. He runs into this character, Lia, who gives him this premonition that he’s going to be murdered and he just runs away with the idea. He starts seeing “signs”—he freaks himself out over what seems like nothing. It’s paranoia more than anything else. I guess before Herrick died, he assumed that no vampire could be killed. But with Herrick, he saw that it is possible. And then, when Herrick returns later in the season, Mitchell wants to find out why and how, so that he can stay around as well. It’s all a bit crazy.
That’s something everyone wants to know: How can Herrick come back to life after being torn limb-from-limb by George in season 1?
His head wasn’t cut off. He was just ripped apart. That’s why his body parts were put back together, whereas to kill a vampire I think the head has to be pulled off.
But Ivan’s head wasn’t pulled off, and he’s not coming back.
Ivan is my favorite! Yeah, shabby BBC writing, if you know what mean—not consistent at all [laughs].
Do you know who is going to wield the “wolf-shaped bullet” that threatens Mitchell?
I would pretty much have to know, wouldn’t I? [Laughs] Can I tell you? Probably not.
Well, can you tell us anything about new werewolf McNair then?
He’s an old school werewolf played by Robson Green, who is quite a big deal in Britain. He had a single—a UK top number one single—about 15 years ago. He’s fantastic, and his character is amazing. McNair isn’t aware that there are many other werewolves, and George isn’t either, and then they cross paths and open up the doors to this sordid underground torture ring where vampires get werewolves to fight each other.
Is he Mitchell’s new foil?
He is a little bit. I don’t think Mitchell is fond of werewolves anyway. He can deal with George and just about deal with Nina. I think he had a quote, something like “There’s four too many werewolves in this house”—we cut the line out, but I remember that.
Do you and McNair come to blows?
It gets pretty heightened, yeah. It might come to blows—there’s a possibility it does. I think there were a few fights, whether they end up in the final episode, I’m not so sure. But it gets pretty scary for a second.
How is he different from Herrick?
Herrick’s got strands of pure evil coursing through his veins, whereas I think McNair’s generally a good guy. He’s loyal and protective of his son. Herrick is just manipulative and a bad piece of work, whereas McNair is a standup father figure. Herrick is really a slimeball, but a beautiful slimeball, I must say.
Will Herrick and McNair meet?
They certainly do.
Will they face off?
There’s a possibility. There’s a possibility of something happening there.
After the premiere aired in the UK, and Mitchell found out about his imminent death, the Internet went wild with speculation that this was a set up for you to depart the show now that you’re starting a film career.
Well, that’s what the Internet does, isn’t it? It fuels gossip and stuff. It’s a long shoot over here for The Hobbit. It’s two movies. We haven’t talked yet about dates for series four of Being Human. It’s so up in the air and it’s so far away that I can’t really commit to anything. And they need to plot out storylines and see how long they need Mitchell for, so I guess we won’t know until a later date what’s going on.
So, you are planning on returning to the show.
Yeah, if it all works out. The BBC needs to talk to me about dates. All the boring stuff needs to be cleaned up, and then I guess we’ll see.
Then being cast in The Hobbit hasn’t majorly altered your life or career yet?
I don’t think until the first movie comes out that anything is really going to change. I’m just going to keep working. In that regard, nothing’s changed. I’ve been pretty busy with Being Human and I’ve gone straight on to The Hobbit. It’s a really long project and it’s really enjoyable and brilliant and we’re all dead excited to be doing it. So nothing’s changed.