Being Human Interviews: Michael Socha

Title: Being Human
Interview: Michael Socha
Network AU: ABC2
Network UK: BBC
Airdate AU: TBA
Premiere UK: Saturday 1 January 2011
Comments: can be made here >>

Next Interview: Toby Whithouse director and writer >>

Interview: Michael Socha plays Tom: Were you a fan of Being Human before you took on this role? No, I'd never seen it before. I had heard about it, but I'd never seen it.

So when you read the script, what did you think?


I really liked the script and I liked the part. I wanted to play something other than the "chavvy" parts I quite often play. But then a lot of people around me had seen it and said how brilliant it was and I missed the first audition because I was hit by a taxi. Then everyone was saying: "Please go!" and I begged for another audition, so they had me back.

Can you describe your character Tom?

Tom's been guarded against the world by his dad. He is very innocent when it comes to civilisation and society, he doesn't have a clue. He's never been downtown or had a girlfriend, but he's interested. He's getting to an age now, like late-teens, early twenties, where he's becoming a man and he doesn't really understand the feelings that he's getting.

What's Tom's relationship like with McNair?

He just trusts his dad completely and always does what his dad says; apart from the storylines when a few truths come out – real disturbing things for Tom. But, otherwise, he just abides by his dad's rules. Sometimes Tom will disagree with his dad but, in general, he trusts him and listens to everything and does what he's told. He's a good son, I think.

Is it weird coming into a series that is already established?

Yeah, I find it odd doing a guest part if I am not really in it much. Like I did Casualty and I had a real hard time on that, that was when I was really starting out.

I was a bit apprehensive at first as I had just finished This Is England '86, which was massive, sort of method acting. Everyone's friends, everyone goes out partying, it's a very tight-knit group of people and you are with them for two months, you are living together with them.

Literally a few days after finishing that I was on Being Human and I was a bit worried, thinking am I going to fit in? But because of the hours and how much I am doing, luckily in this one I think I am just as cosy now in Cardiff as I was in Sheffield.

Have the other actors been welcoming?

Yeah, they are all lovely, they are all wicked. Every single one of them, they are really nice people. I can have a right laugh with them and I know that they are really talented as well and it's good when you are working with people that you rate. I'd seen Russell Tovey in the History Boys years ago and I didn't like the film but I really liked him, I thought he was incredible. I told him that within about two minutes of meeting him, that I was just awed by his performance.

Viewers first meet Tom in episode one, how does he meet the housemates?

Tom is doing the circling of the chickens [done by werewolves on transformation night] and he bumps into somebody else, George, who's also circling the chicken in the woods so it's a bit like: "What the hell is this?"

Tom has always been led to believe that him and his father are in constant search of the pack, so he sees George and thinks maybe this is part of the pack. He runs to his dad and his dad is like: "No, no, no you are not going anywhere near him, I don't want you anywhere near these people."

What was it like filming the transformation scenes?


I found that if you hold back you are going to look like a muppet, it's not going to look great at all, so I really just went mental. I just hit that deck and screamed and wriggled. I don't even remember how I did it, or what I did. Everything that I was taught beforehand went out of the window, because I was taught by a lady who choreographed the actual transformation, but I didn't listen to her, I just said: "Alright love" and then when I got to the day I did my own thing, really. But it's half enjoyment, half serious pain.

Is it nerve-wracking doing those kinds of scenes, or do you quite enjoy it?

Well, I think it's great. I like scenes where you can scream your heart out because it is a release and once I have done it I feel wonderful, it's as though I have had a big emotional hit.

When we were doing one scene I kick off against the vampires. I was surrounded by all these vampires and Colin the director whispered in my ear: "On this one mate, go mad. You see all these vampires screaming and your dad comes walking in the room. I want you to get confident and just go mad." And I did, I went absolutely ape and I felt great after it. But then they said: "Right, let's do another one."

I did two and it was just wonderful to do, it was amazing. Honestly, without exaggerating or sounding clichéd, it really is therapy.

What was it like working with Robson Green, as you work very closely with him because he plays your dad?

It was wicked. I was a bit nervous before I met him because I thought he is massive! He's a star, my mum really fancies him! But then within minutes of meeting him I was reassured by his wonderful personality. When he is on that set he's always got something to say about the situation that's relevant for me and him and I listen to him whether he is talking to me or not.

And I think: "He is right, actually." I learnt quite a lot from him when he did his transformation. I watched him first during the rehearsals and I thought: "Oh, I've got to do that." With his reassurance and performance I managed to do the transformation nearly as good as his.

What's the atmosphere like on set?


It's just a laugh when we are not working. Russell makes me laugh so much, he is very funny. It's comforting, like I said I was nervous but every single one of them just made me feel good and easy, so I felt like I fitted in straight away and everybody else who works there, like all the crew, are just magnificent, they have really embraced me.

How would you describe this series to fans of Being Human and for people who have not seen it before, what can they expect next?


There is always an undercurrent of something awful just waiting to happen in this one, I think, just little awful, awful things.

Source: BBC

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