Being Human Series Four – Damien Molony Interview

A whopping 1900 words of chat with the actor who plays new vampire on the block Hal (Contains some minor spoilers, but no biggies)

SFX: This is your first TV role, and it’s as a regular, so it must be a massive deal for you, right?

Damien Molony: “Yeah! I’m really, really happy about it and I’m really excited about the fans seeing it, and the audience at large, because I think it’s a fantastic storyline.”

It must be a bit daunting to follow in the footsteps of Aidan Turner, because Mitchell was such a popular character.

“Yeah, it is. I talked to the producers when we first started – before I did any acting we did a week of rehearsals – and they were like, ‘You are not replacing Mitchell, but you will be seen as Mitchell’s replacement.’ So I was nervous.”

It’s a great platform for an actor: Aidan’s career has really taken off…

“… On to bigger and better things, absolutely, and Russell’s done so well. And there’s so many fantastic guest actors, which is the best thing. You do the readthroughs and you see the trainload of guest actors who’ve come in for it and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I recognise him, I recognise her!’ That’s the best thing. Then they’re in for three weeks and you get three weeks of opportunities to work with these fantastic actors.”

So tell us about your character, Hal. What’s he like?

“Well, he’s very old, he’s been a vampire for a very long time. Basically he goes through life cycles, because he’s been around for so long: he can have 30 years of being quite calm, quite contained, living a very basic life and then suddenly he’ll have 50 years of out-and-out aggression, rape and torture and tearing through the countryside killing everything he sees. When we first see Hal in one of the prequels it’s 1955 and I’ve been tearing it up in Eastern Europe. In the last 50 years I’ve been hosting dogfights [with werewolves], and we have this specific werewolf who’s a fantastic fighter – he hasn’t lost a fight. I’m getting to the end of a cycle, I’m really tired of the way that I’ve gone and slightly remorseful and very guilty, and there’s a lot of shame, and I kinda realise that enough is enough and I need to go clean. Hal’s very taken by this werewolf, Leo is his name, and I ask him, ‘If you can take care of me would you?’, and Leo says, ‘If you’re looking for a simple life I can provide you with that”. So when the series starts, for the last 50 years basically, Hal has just existed in this bubble.”

Does he remember his past?

“Absolutely, and he’s trying to block it out. So he listens to music and he plays with a domino in order to stop the memories coming back. And Leo’s given Hal basic exercises to do with fitness, and different things to keep his mind focussed and stay away from blood. So there are focus issues that he really has to deal with.”

So he’s completely out of touch with the modern world, basically?

“Completely. He’s got a tweed suit on and he’s very prim and proper. He’s so dated and so 1950s, and he’s terrified of any sort of human contact. And he’s so posh, and he’s so sneering about Tom [McNair] and werewolves. So for Hal the series is him being thrown back into this whole world. When it comes to episode two, Hal moves into the house and is relying on them to look after him, basically. But so much shit happens in this house – it’s probably the worst place to put a vampire in that’s trying to deal with being thrust back into the world! Then I have to go and work in a café with Tom, and that’s obviously a disaster because there’s customers all the time, which is a nightmare!”

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