EXCLUSIVE: Aidan Turner on prepping for 'The Hobbit' and possibly leaving 'Being Human'

A-Turner-320.jpgImage 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.

Comments (102 total) Add your comment
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  • Becky

    I’m glad he plans on returning next season! I don’t think the show would be the same without him.

    • Charles

      I just seen the British version last week of “Being Human” on Comcast Demand. I’ve gotten hooked on this series and I love all 3 of the British characters (George, Anna, Mitchell).

      George is a riot. He’s always crying and showing his emotions. He and Mitchell have a brotherly like friendship. They really care and love each other, including Annie.

      I’ve seen the American/Canadian version on Sci Fy and it’s ok, but I think the British series is better. I am now hooked on the British version.

      • Jenn

        The british version is defenitly better…i can’t even bring myself to watch the syfy version.British shows are always better!JUst like Red dwarf:)

      • Bonnie

        I agree British vesion of Being Human is definitely better! But why oh why did they kill off Mitchell? Please somehow bring him back

    • rita

      @Becky I agree, in fact it would not be the same if any of the housemates left, the beauty is the chemistry, even adding the character Nina to the mix..To replace any of the three main characters would imo be disaster for the series..

    • Linda

      We are still in season 3 here in the US, and I found out about Mitchelss demise…omg..I’m like NOOOO…they can’t do that to our bizarre little family, can they? This little interview has made my day…and good on ya Aidan for doing something a little different, just come back to BH..:-)

    • Noemi

      Oh I’m so glad he hopes to return after working on the Hobbit. Mitchell is a very intriguing character. I just love him to bits!
      As for the American show… I refuse to watch it.I love original shows and not copies!

      • Michelle

        I finally watched Syfy version and it took a few episodes, but I do really like. If you just take if for what it is and not compare it to the BBC version. It’s not an exact copy. The plot varies quite a bit.

    • Teresa

      I like Aiden as Mitchell. He is the perfect Vampire and a big reason I watch.

  • Lena

    Very misleading headline that he is “possibly leaving Being Human.” He says he isn’t and is just waiting for the BBC to check their calendar and get back to him. Shame on you, EW!

    • N

      How was it misleading? The interview says exactly what the headline said – he would like to come back, but it is implied that he might not if there are scheduling conflicts. The Hobbit is a big deal for his career, and it will obviously be his priority. So there is a possibility he might not come back. It’s probably a question of how much the BBC is willing to work around his schedule.

  • Daphne

    ACK he was still al little vague for my liking!! i wanted a definite YES, FULL STOP! lol I can’t go without my Mitchell fix, I can live without Nina, but not Mitchell or George :) I am very curious how they’re going to make him Hobbit-y, and same with Richard Armitage, dude is so handsome AND 6’2 and going to be a dwarf LOL can’t wait!

  • Lingo

    Good premiere episode! So excited to see Robson Green on Being Human!!!

  • as

    Mitchell is the #1 vamp….he’s brilliant and gorgeous…sorry Bill…sorry Eric….sorry Edward.

    Love Being Human BBC….can’t wait to see Aidan Turner in The Hobbit minus the beard though!

    • tipsy

      Minus the beard? Hon, his rugged animal magnetism will stun you. In the best possible way. It`s called Scruffington Factor. The scruffier, the hotter. With men, rugged beats clean every day. This is going to be one ultra hot dwarf, he, Kazinsky and Armitage. Just watch.

    • demented

      Uhhhh, he won’t be in the Hobbit minus his beard. He’s a dwarf.

    • nea

      what about stephen and damon salvatore?? haha

  • Chelsea

    I love him AND “Being Human”! I’m actually living in London right now so I’ve been able to watch the new season as it airs. It’s so good.

    I have to say, as much as it’s an ensemble show, I don’t think it could survive without the vital part of Mitchell. If AT leaves, it’d be best to just end the show as much as I love it. Can’t really have the show without the trio, can you?

    Oh, and totally geeking out for “The Hobbit!” AT AND Richard Armitage! I don’t even care that their gorgeousness will be masked by dwarf make-up.

    • as

      Lucky you Chelsea !! Enjoy London and maybe head on down to Bristol !
      I vote NO to masking ‘gorgeousness’ with dwarf make-up :)

    • Kim E

      Yes, hot Richard Armitage!

    • tipsy

      No dwarf make-up, please. Just let them be their ultra-rugged selves. That`s enough. Gimli make up was awful so need to go back to that.

  • AB

    Love Aiden Turner as Mitchell, no one else can compare. But just have to point out the bad typo – they’re exited to be doing the show? Don’t you mean excited?

    • Kirra

      Speaking of typos, it’s actually AIDAN Turner. Aiden Turner is some soap opera star.

      • AB

        duly noted :D

  • AT

    Thanks for the interview! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out. It’s a fabulous show. That said, it seems like it would make the most sense to either do a mini season or just wait an extra year to do season 4. Well anyway, I’m sure he’ll do great in “The Hobbit.” It’s nice to see lesser known actors getting good roles.

  • jess

    I was SO excited to see Robson Green on Being Human last night that I went and Googled to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. I’ve had a crush on Robson Green for 10 or so years, ever since Reckless, and it is great to see him back and acting in a cult hit as a paternal character.

  • VicB

    What a great premiere! And I have had the biggest crush on Robson Greene ever since Soldier Soldier. Casting him as a werewolf is inspired! And I agree, the show just wouldn’t be the same without Mitchell. It’s his relationships with Annie and George that are at the heart of the show.

    • AB

      I agree. I’d rather wait an extra year for season 4 than have a season without Mitchell.
      And The new werewolf is def. HOT!!!

  • Rob

    Um, nice completely sensationalist headline to get people to read, EW. Classy.

  • Amanda

    That damn headline almost made me choke on my soup! You can’t do Being Human without Aidan! And once I heard he was cast in The Hobbit, my interest in that movie certainly spiked. Can’t wait!

  • Allie

    Love Aidan in Being Human. Glad he’s most likely sticking around. The third season has been really great so far. Happy he’s in the Hobbit, he’s talented and I’m sure he’ll do well

  • ObiHave

    I didn’t know how they were going to top last season but this one’s off to an excellent start. Vamps watching werewolves devour humans for sport–ingenious. Glad the ringmaster’s dead though – he was bordering on annoying. Can George and Nina have puppies?

    • maya

      I was actually wondering, if George and Nina have sex as wolves and not humans, and Nina gets preggers from that encounter, COULD the baby be a wolf instead of a human? Dum dum dum…

    • Charles


  • Akane

    We just have to wait and see how the rest of the season goes. I read somewhere he entioned he has 6 weeks off during the shooting of The Hobbit, so is just a matter of working dates, Being Human without Mitchell would be incomplete.

    • Dani

      Yes much, much better than the Syfy show. I love all three lead characters, Mitchell, George and Annie, but lust solely after Mitchell. The US casting does not compare and they are basically just repeating every storyline from the superior UK version.

      • b.mclane

        Only thew first 2 episodes mirror the British version.the USA/Canada Being Human moves faster and has other plots entirely. All 3 characters go in a different direction too. The “AIDAN” vamp in US verison is not as conflicted as Aidan Turner plays Michell but he is just as lethal. Keep watching its 2 different shows.

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