Question> Tell us about Suren and her journey on Being Human. What do we have to look forward to?
Dichen Lachman> Lots of things. Obviously I can't tell you all of them, but she's very interesting character and I had a lot of fun having the opportunity to play her. I mean, as an actor obviously, playing a vampire is one of the things sort of on the list. And she's incredibly complex, very damaged and reckless in many ways. But at the same time, she's sort of striving to grow up and mature and be the woman that her mother would like her to be. She's really interesting and I think you guys will enjoy watching her journey through the show because she really - Aidan's character, it's - she's one of those things that just keeps sort of pulling him back into the world of vampires which she's constantly trying to escape. So she really throws this (banter) in the works, but he's planned.
Question> Can you talk a little bit more about how Suren connects to Aidan's past? I know you can't talk a lot about it, but can you just give us an idea of, what we can expect from that?
Dichen Lachman> Well, it's one of those I guess love-hate relationships. I mean, this had a very long history together and she's obviously been in the ground for 80 years. So minus that. I mean, there's sort of (bid) in Boston together and going further back, he knows. I mean, they've just had a very complicated past and I don't think their relationship has ever been consummated. I think it's just this very strong attraction they've had. And it's going to be interesting them being together I think you guys will see in this modern world because she's been away for so long underground and he's had the opportunity to go through all these changes and change his ways. And so there's that - her trying to understand or how far he's come. It's I guess when you catch up with an old friend who you haven't seen in a really long time and you sort of end of change. Because real change as time goes. So it's going to be - I think you'll enjoy watching their relationship play out in the present day as well as the past because there's these opportunities in the show to flash back which is why the show's so great. And it'll help you sort of understand their relationship now. So yes, does that answer the question?
Question> Exactly, so we're happy about that. I've seen your first episode of Being Human and to have you in the part, it seems like it's tailor made for you. Do you know if they made any changes to the character once you were cast?
Dichen Lachman> I don't know. I know that there's a few people working in the writing staff that worked on Dollhouse or maybe no, one. Maybe it's just (Lisa). But the creative, the sense of the show, I don't know if they changed anything. I actually should ask them, but it was such a great opportunity and it came round and I had to chemistry read and like everyone who was there was so nervous. But when I got the (slides) and they said, they’re interested in sort of auditioning you for this part, I read them and I was like, "This is great." Like if just sometimes you read material and it just makes sense to you and I don't know whether that's just, because it's meant to be or because the writing's good and the writing is good. But I just read it and I was like, "I think I know how this girl is meant to play and I know where she sits. And I understand it." It wasn't like a really great leap for me to make as, as an actor as far as like, "Oh, how do I do this?" It just came to make complete sense to me. So I'm not sure if they wrote it with me in mind or whether they changed it. I have no idea, I'd love to know. I should ask the guys, but no when I read the (slides), I was like, "This is so exciting" and I was so looking forward to being able to go into those dark places. Because vampires are - they're very interesting creatures. They play out one sort of shadow itself and you don't get the opportunity to really do that a lot of the time, to live in that dark space constantly.
So no, I'd love to know the answer to that. I can't tell you right now, but I can say that when I read it I really responded to it and I was really excited to go in and have the opportunity to read with Sam and for Syfy. And the people who, the wonderful writers and creators of the show.
Question> So can you kind of talk about what's been the most challenging for you filming the series?
Dichen Lachman> The most challenging, it's going to be so - such a basic thing. I think it was like showing the teeth with the dots so they could like the fangs extending. And wearing the black contact lenses which cover your entire eye. I mean, all of us - all the vampires you had to have them fitted. You used to dread sitting in the makeup chair having someone like put these enormous lenses in our eyes. It was very difficult and Sam and I often had conversations about how to show our teeth so they could see CGI, the fangs growing because you kind of feel like a complete (unintelligible) in front of the camera and you're trying to raise your upper lip so they can, find the dots to make the CGI possible. That was I think one of the more difficult things because I've never done anything. Well, I've done things with CGI, but never sort of, that's part of the performance. And when you're performing - I mean, this is one of the things about being an actor. Sometimes it's just very technical, it's not sort of really craft-based. You have to be this angle and you have to raise your lip just the right amount and, you're still trying to keep in the moment and also satisfy the needs of the effects department. That was a real challenge and it's such a basic thing. But no, I found that one of the more difficult things and obviously, as an actor sometimes when you're doing a show, you have - and they shoot so fast especially, on a show like Being Human. I mean, they're all remarkable. They work very quickly. They work very hard and the actors are all incredibly good. So they're all, they're for each other and for the show. But when you have to reach that emotional point, sometimes you don't always have the time to get where you need to get and there's a lot of pressure that I put on myself to get to those places and really commit to them. And I think one of the things in television is when you're working at that speed, you really have to have a technique. You're like a very strong technique so that you can be in those moments truthfully for the show and for the character. That was also challenging and that's challenging in all shows, when you have to get to the heightened emotional place. But you couldn't be working with nicer people, more supportive. And yes, so it was definitely the technical aspect first and then reaching that sort of heightened emotional state.
Question> Can you see through the contacts though? They cover your whole eye or are they just like regular contact lenses?
Dichen Lachman> There's a tiny little hole for your pupil to see through, but it's not very big. So your vision is limited. You can still see. It's very uncomfortable for the first sort of 15 minutes because the things so large and so foreign in your eye. But then it's sort of like, it settles in and you just have - your peripheral vision becomes extremely limited and you can only really see what's directly in front of you. And I remember Sam and Kyle had a big fight scene and they wanted them to wear these contacts and they were like on the top of a building with no balcony. They're on the roof and Sam just had to say, "We can't do this with the contacts in. We may fall off and we can hardly see." It was so completely dangerous. Yes so you can still see, but it's very limited. But everyone's so understanding and the makeup department, they're the sweetest, loveliest people on Earth. And, they did everything to try and make you feel comfortable. And, everyone understood that it was like a thing. I can't even imagine doing an entire film with those things in and I know people have. But yes, you can see.
Question> What was sort of like stepping into the role initially, anything that really comes to mind from that shoot?
Dichen Lachman> Well, firstly everyone was amazing. I couldn't have been on a set with, nicer people. And Montreal which is where they shoot the show is just a really stunning city and, as most of you know it's predominately French speaking. So, you kind of feel like you're in Europe in a way. Stepping onto the set, obviously I was nervous. You always get a little bit nervous your first day and there were some sort of - there was a bit of tweaking to do with the character just because I only got there a few days before and we were still trying to find her voice. Like well how does someone who's 500 years old or 1000 years old speak, especially when they've been in the ground for 80 years? And I had my ideas and the show runner's had their ideas. And we were trying to find sort of that balance, what does she sound like? And yet you have mother who sounds very, specific and strong. And so does she sound like her mother exactly or is she a little bit different? And finding the voice, the accent was very tricky on the first day. But we finally, I have a lady I work with who's amazing, a dialect coach. And we basically created after that first day because it was sort of, it was something that we just bypassed, somehow we didn't manage to discuss. Because I assume that what I did was in the audition was sort of what I would do and then we actually had a discussion about it, but it was sort of too late to change anything. So the very next day, I worked with my dialect coach and we designed sort of an accent and a voice for her that was a little bit American, but a little bit British, sort of like a mid-Atlantusesque type accent.
But not specifically. We kind of mdernized it slightly and made her a little bit more youthful. And then once we came up with her voice, I went back and I don't know if you want to write this or not. But ADR, some of my speeches on that first day because I wanted there to be some consistency with the character obviously. I mean, that's one of the most important things with the voice and sound because you don't want that to take someone out of the show or getting carried away with the storyline. So yes, we went back and we ADRed over that because that was very challenging. And, "per sona" in Latin apparently means "through sound." And you can fool people with little like tricks and people will accept things and they don't look so good. But if something doesn't sound right, people won't believe it.
And it's very important for me for the characters voice to be specific and consistent and settled. So that was like one of my main priorities on the first day was communicating with Adam Kane about what they were looking for and how I felt about the character. And then bringing in Mary McDonald-Lewis who's just so - an incredible dialect coach. To just communicate, with the show runners and with me and just so we were all speaking the same language and finding her voice because, you don't want her to sound like she's from, Pasadena or Brooklyn or something. You want her to sound like she's from another world in a way, but you don't want her to be inaccessible. So hopefully - I don't know if you've all seen the second episode, but hopefully you like her sound and it's something that, that you respond to because it was one of the things that was really important for me.
Question> Dichen, just as a quick follow-up. You mentioned the mother character. I wanted to get your take sort of how you see Suren's relationship with her mother. How does that sort of play out in the series?
Dichen Lachman> Well, I mean Suren's relationship with her mother is very complicated. She's always let her mother down and anything she did was never good enough. And it's sort of like, it's one of those relationships which is very strained and there's a lot of love there and there's a lot of hate there, and resentment and disappointment. And you really see that as the episode sort of continue on. You really feel the tension. She can never do the right thing by her mother and so sometimes she just doesn't even try. And then other times, she's tries and then she fails. And it's just a very difficult relationship. I actually have a really wonderful relationship with my mother, so it was difficult to find something personal that I connected to bring that to life. But I found other things and hopefully that really comes across and you enjoy the tension in that relationship plays out.
Question> What is it you think about Being Human that keeps people tuning in?
Dichen Lachman> Well, it’s such a wonderful show and I think just people, human beings struggle with being human and just being part of society every day. I mean there's a lot of people who feel outside of the community or they don't feel like they fit in or they're trying to fit in or they're just trying to get by. And I think, even though it's a show about a vampire, ghost and a werewolf, I think it's very relatable. Everyone's trying to make a relationship, work with a job and juggling, different things that come up in their day to day lives. And I think people relate to the show. And the characters are so fun and watchable and they have that balance of sort of drama, but also that lightness. And the camaraderie between the house mates is so beautiful and I think Aidan's sort of love of - he wants to sort of serve and yet he's sort of always pulling between giving and also satiating his hunger. And I think that's in life - I think that's a balance that everyone struggles with. Everyone struggles with a dark side and they're always trying to do the right thing. We all - everyone always tries to do the right thing. We don't always manage, but I think most people I think are inherently good. And sometimes where there are a lot of good people who just aren't good at being a good person, but sometimes it’s a push and pull like we all have it. And I think people relate to that and it's a beautiful show. The storyline's are wonderful and when I first watched the whole series, I watched it all back to back and I thought I just found this really lovely balance between sort of tragedy and comedy. And usually those things go hand in hand anyway. But I think it's that, you know. I think people just they respond to the characters.
Question> And what would you like to say to everybody who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
Dichen Lachman> Of me and my word? Just, I just can't thank the people who support me and the shows that I do and the movies I try and make. Who constantly tune in to watch and support me. I can't thank them enough, you know. I would be nowhere without the viewers and the fans and I have this very soft place in my heart for the people who enjoy my work and who believe in me because, actors we're funny creatures. We have these enormous egos, but we're deeply insecure. There's an incredible paradox and a lot of the time I, will find - not all the time, but we all have our moments where we don't sometimes believe in ourselves and we think, "Oh, I'm never going to work again and I'm a terrible actor." But then it's the fans, I look to them and they believe in me and they help me keep believing in myself. And it's - and maybe that's unhealthy. I should probably speak to a therapist or something about that. Everyone in L.A. has a therapist, but I don't. But I do look to my fans sometimes and they give me more confidence and hope that, I'm not too bad at what I do and I'll continue to be able to do it. And I just - I have so much gratitude towards the people who support me and who believe in me.
Question> I - my first question is, how much - we know the theme of the show this season is temptation. Is Suren going to be tempted as well?
Dichen Lachman> I think there is some temptation there for her to, I think she's just been in this world for so long and she's so deeply entrenched in that because her mother is sort of like the queen of the vampires. I think if it's there it's very fleeting because she knows her fate and that's why in a way she's so damaged. I think the main - you'll see more of the temptation creep in with Aidan who's constantly being pulled back into this world. Somehow he's always trying to escape it and he's always trying to sort of run away from who he is and the people around him. And she's just there, she's like just pulling him back in and pulling him back in. And as much as he tries to resist, there's sort of just this - I mean, I guess it all becomes relative and if you've been alive for 500 hundred or 1000 years, 80 years isn't really that long. In the grand scheme of things, maybe it's like, five years or something. The equivalent of that, in your mind. But yes, she has been a part of his life for a very long time and yes she was gone for a little while. But, she's back and that sort of feeling with him I think even though he's never let it really live and occupy too much space. The fact that he's working so closely with her is making that harder and harder for him. So I think you will see her go through a little bit of that, but her fate is very much, (unintelligible). There's no question where her future is. And it's a very hard thing I think ultimately for her to accept, but it's just something that she knows. And there are things about, my character as a person, that I don't like, but I know that I'm always going to be like that and there's nothing I can do to change it even if it's just a little, mundane thing. There are just some things that we can't change.
Question> Yes, hey is your interaction with (Deena) more on a flashback basis or is it more like she's a constant presence watching over what you and Aidan are doing?
Dichen Lachman> Yes, no I think you'll - she is in the flashbacks. Absolutely, but their - Suren's relationship with mother is played out, very much in the present and in her conversations with Aidan and you really understand that dynamic with the way Aidan, and Suren communicate. And how she communicates with Aidan and mother like in the present day.
Question> Oh, it's great to talk to you. I wanted to know, do you know are you going to be on the entire season or do you know how many episodes you'll be on?
Dichen Lachman> Yes, yes. Suren's character is in seven episodes, but they'll refer to her in the other episodes and you know.
Question> That's really great.
Dichen Lachman> Yes.
Question> And you've done a lot of science fiction, fantasy, horror. Now, were you a fan of these kind of things before you started doing them?
Dichen Lachman> I love sci-fi and fantasy. It's, for me, I - my friend, a very good friend of mine, (Max Kabalek), he always - he's in casting. But he always says, "I'm Asian, but from the future." So it's sort of - it's very hard for me to fit into like a period piece or, you know - I mean, yes in modern days, they can sort of slip me into a show here or there, but for the family involved forget about it because, I have like this sort of weird, unique alien thing going. And so I'm very grateful that I guess in a way it just kind of works. Like I love sci-fi, fantasy and I kind of fit into that world because I don't - it's weird. People find it hard to cast me in real circumstances. I hope that changes because I've always loved period pieces and I love the fact that on this show because it is a fantasy, I actually get to be - I get to exist in, the 1920s and 30s. in the normal world - I mean, like I love Deadwood, but I'd never be on that show.
Like I think it's one of the greatest shows ever and if I was on that show, I'd probably be one of the Chinese hookers that they throw into the fire and that's about all I would be doing on that show. And it's sad because I am half, Australian and my father's family is European and I really respond to that. I understand sort of that time and I would love to explore that, but I can't. I mean, unless someone writes a show or a movie about one of the little people or the women who work in like in an opium den way back then or something. It's just not going to happen. So one of the most exciting things about reading the scripts they came in with that I could be a person or a vampire at least. But in that period and I get to be like a person that people acknowledge and not just like one of the Asian people that do something in the background. So that was really exciting and I've digressed very much from your question. I don't even know if I've answered it.
Question> Good question here about your experience on Being Human. What would you say was probably your most memorable moment so far on the shoot?
Dichen Lachman> It's probably - memorable. If it's just about the shoot, it was probably one of the days I woke up at like 4:00 in the morning and the whole city was covered in snow. And no one had like driven on the road yet. So even the roads were white, everything was white and I just was jumping up and down shouting, "It's snowing, it's snowing. It's snowing" all by myself. Montreal hotel room. And then driving to work that day was just spectacular because I've never lived in a city where it snowed. And I was just so excited by it. I just - the rest of the day I just kind of spent making footprints in the snow and like a kid just kicking it around. It was just the most beautiful thing. As far as like the character, I think definitely the flashbacks because I think everyone can hear my answers, but just the opportunity to go - to be in a period situation, the 1930s and get to wear the clothes and have the hair done like that and take myself back into that time was such a cool experience. And I'll always be so grateful that the writers wrote that for me and they had the courage to sort of say, "Why can't you be in the 19, 30s or 20s?" She's a vampire. I'll be very, very grateful for that opportunity. I hope I have it again, to do something like that. But to feel the extras dressed up and the props and the art department did such a beautiful job. And I mean, I didn't even really have to take myself back into that time. It was built around me and I just had to be the character. And I'd say it was definitely that.
Question> Great and I know you mentioned before the difficulty of wearing the contacts, but in terms of the character itself, what would you say was the biggest challenge in approaching that character along the way?
Dichen Lachman> I think it was just not to make her too sort of bitchy. It's very easy to just slide into just being plain old mean. When you have a character like this who's so powerful and who doesn't really care about anybody, very sort of, princessy. She is, she's a princess and she behaves like one. And it was just to make her likable, to make you feel for her. That was challenging. And I really hope that she is likable and I made her likable. I hope you guys feel that when you watch the show because, as an actor you do have to fight against that because it's very easy to slip into just being plain old mean. But, it was something that I had to always, bring back. Pull myself back. Also, my face is to - if I don't smile, I look really mean. I think people always they misinterpret me unless I have like a really big grin on my face; they think I'm in a terrible mood or that I hate them. But I often say, “I'm sorry, it's just my face. It's the way it's constructed." So I hope she comes across likable. I hope that's something you got in the second episode.
Question> Okay, great. And also, if you got a chance to be on another Syfy channel series, what would you - what show would you want to be on?
Dichen Lachman> Oh, that's currently on or that's - because I've read some pilots too? Oh gosh. I would love to be and I don't know if it exists, but I would love to be in like a sci-fi western or something. Maybe someone can write one, but I would love to be in a western on another planet or something. Something like Firefly, can someone just make Firefly again? (Unintelligible). I would love to be on Firefly, but I don't know if that's going to happen.
Question> My initial question is that Aidan's relationship with vampires and incredibly violently. Although I know that you can't foresee into the future, how do you see Aidan and your character's relationship? Will it follow along the history that was set up during Season 1 with all the other vampires?
Dichen Lachman> Are you saying will it end violently?
Dichen Lachman> I think that Aidan - I can't exactly say, but I think it's fair to assume that Aidan will always be confronting something very difficult and very challenging and something's going to make him very sad. I think, it’s sort of unexpected and expected and I think it's going to be shocking. I think that it's going to be difficult. He's one of those characters who is always struggling, and does get into these incredibly violent scenarios. So I think he can definitely expect it to play out violently in some way, shape or form which I can't talk about right now. Yes, it's not pleasant at all for him.
Question> And I guess during Season 1, he has an intense on again/off again relationship with another female vampire Rebecca who Bishop sired for him. How will your character's relationship to him slightly differ? I mean, yes.
Dichen Lachman> Oh sorry, yes it's different I think with the relationship with Rebecca because this is a relationship that's been going for a very, very long time. I think everyone has that person. Everyone has that person in their life that they've always loved and they've never been able to tell them or make it work. And there's this person in their heart who they're very close with, either in a friendly way or they have a love-hate relationship, but someone who is in their world and they almost feel like they can't breathe knowing that, they're not there. And yet they never get together, you know. So it's different in that way. It's been like a really slow burn. It's almost like she doesn't know what her world is like without him and he doesn't know what his world is like without her. I mean, he's adapted, but prior to her going to the ground. She's - they've just got this thing, this like thing they can't really talk about. And obviously it's already coming together in the second episode. You can see the tension there. So I think in that way, it's different. I think his relationship with Rebecca was true and real and it happened and it was so strong, their attraction towards one another. But this is just - it's living in a different place. And it's living in a different time and his relationship with her, there are so many rules and regulations around it whereas with Rebecca, he was very free to love her. There was no on stopping him. But Suren's from a different class of vampires, she’s mother's daughter and so it's much more complicated in a political sense than his relationship with Rebecca. So I think there's sort of, you can look forward to another element in there, another (unintelligible) in the works, their relationship.
Question> Okay and just one final question. You mentioned earlier that they had not consummated their relationship. Do you know if they will consummate it this season on Being Human?
Dichen Lachman> I think you'll see it build towards, it going in that direction because, it's like you can feel that they want to be together, but they can't. And they want to go there, but they don't. And it's going to happen, but he knows that if he does he'll be completely ostracized and in a lot of trouble. So I think that's what will make their relationship somewhat exciting through it as you watch it. I mean you're all very smart people. I almost don't want to say because I didn't check if I could say this, but I think it's - will definitely go in that direction. Yes.
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