Many of Eclipse’s readers will remember Dichen Lachman for her stellar work as Sierra in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse. Now Lachman is returning to television as the new boss in Boston on tonight’s episode of Syfy’s Being Human [Mondays, 9/8C].
In a conference call on Friday, Lachman talked about her character, Suren’s past with Aidan and how the two will be affected by having to work together now; how Being Human has enabled her to be in a period piece, and why she feels she’s found a special niche for her talents in genre TV and movies.
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Dichen Lachman: Hi, how are you?
I’m doing great. So, you know, tell us about Suren and her journey on Being Human. What do we have to look forward to?
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, you know, 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, you know, striving to grow up and mature and be the woman that, you know, her mother would like her to be.
Wow, it’s a great character.
Lachman: No, she is. 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, you know, vampires which she’s constantly trying to escape.
So she really throws this spanner in the works, but he’s planned.
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, you know, what we can expect from that?
Lachman: Well, it’s sort of one of those I guess love-hate relationships. I mean, this had a very long sort of 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, you know, he knows. I mean, they’ve just had a very complicated past and I don’t think their relationship has ever been, you know, consummated.
I think it’s just this, you know, very strong attraction they’ve had. And it’s going to be interesting them being together I think you guys will see in this sort of, 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. You know, 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. You know, 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, you know. So yes, does that answer the question?
Thanks so much for being on the call. I was a big fan of Dollhouse. I’m so sorry it ended so soon.
Lachman: Oh yes, but then I can’t do Being Human.
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?
Lachman: You know, 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 you know, it was such a great opportunity, you know, and it came round and I had to chemistry read and like everyone who was there was so nervous. But, you know, when I got the (slides) and they said, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, 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 sides, I was like, ‘This is so exciting’ and I was so looking forward to being able to go into those dark places. You know, because vampires are – they’re very interesting creatures.
They sort of, you know, they play out one sort of shadow itself and you don’t get the opportunity to really do that a lot of the time, you know, to live in that dark space constantly.
Lachman: So no, I’d love to know the answer to that. I can’t tell you right now, but I can say that, you know, 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. You know, and the people who, you know, the wonderful writers and creators of the show.
So can you kind of talk about what’s been the most challenging for you filming the series?
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, you know, enormous lenses in our eyes.
It was very difficult and Sam and I often had conversations about, you know, how to show our teeth so they could see CGI, the fangs growing because you kind of feel like a complete twat in front of the camera and you’re like trying to raise your upper lip so they can, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, it’s not sort of really craft-based.
It’s sort of, you know, you have to be this angle and you have to raise your lip just the right amount and, you know, 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, you know, as an actor sometimes when you’re doing a show, you have – and they shoot so fast especially, you know, 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, you know, incredibly good. So they’re all, you know, they’re for each other and for the show.
But when you have to reach that sort of – that emotional point, sometimes you don’t always have the time to, you know, 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, you know, 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. You know, that was also challenging and that’s challenging in all shows, you know, 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, you know, reaching that sort of heightened emotional state.
Can you see through the contacts though? They cover your whole eye or are they just like regular contact lenses?
Lachman: There’s like 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 sort of 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, you know, 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, most loveliest people on Earth. And, you know, they did everything to try and make you feel comfortable. And, you know, everyone understood that it was sort of 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.
I was wondering if perhaps you could talk a little bit about your experiences filming your first episode of Being Human. What was sort of like stepping into the role initially, anything that really comes to mind from that shoot?
Lachman: Well, you know, firstly everyone was amazing. I couldn’t have been on a set with, you know, nicer people. And Montreal which is where they shoot the show is just a really stunning city and, you know, as most of you know it’s predominately French speaking. So, you know, you kind of feel like you’re in Europe in a way.
Stepping onto the set, you know, 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, you know, I only got there a few days before and we were still trying to find her voice. You know, 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, you know, I had my ideas and the show runner’s had their ideas. And we were trying to find sort of that balance, you know, what does she sound like? And yet you have mother who sounds very, you know, 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, you know, 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 sort of bypassed, somehow we didn’t manage to discuss. Because, you know, 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, you know, a little bit American, but a little bit British, sort of like a mid-Atlantusesque type accent. But not specifically. We kind of modernized 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, you know, 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, you know, ‘per sona’ in Latin apparently means ‘through sound.’ And, you know, 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, you know, bringing in Mary McDonald-Lewis who’s just so – an incredible dialect coach.
To just communicate, you know, with the show runners and with me and just so we were all speaking the same language and finding her voice because, you know, you don’t want her to sound like she’s from, you know, 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, you know, that you respond to because it was one of the things that was really important for me.
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?
Lachman: Well, I mean Suren’s relationship with her mother is very complicated. You know, 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, you know, 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, you know, to bring that to life.
But I found other things and hopefully that really comes across and you enjoy the tension in that relationship play out.
I was just wondering what is it you think about Being Human that keeps people tuning in?
Lachman: Well, you know, it’s such a wonderful show and I think, you know, just people, you know, human beings struggle with being human and just being part of society everyday. You know, I mean there’s a lot of people who feel outside, you know, 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, you know, I mean even though it’s a show about a vampire, ghost and a werewolf, I think it’s very relatable. You know, everyone’s trying to make a relationship, you know, work with a job and juggling, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, 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.
You know, we all – everyone always tries to do the right thing. We don’t always manage, but you know, 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, you know, it’s sort of like – it’s a push and pull like we all have it. And I think people relate to that and it’s just – it’s such – it looks – it’s a beautiful show.
The storyline’s are wonderful and, you know, when I first watched the whole series, you know, I watched it all sort of 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, you know, the characters.
And what would you like to say to everybody who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
Lachman: Of me and my work? Just, you know, I just can’t thank the people who support me and the shows that I do and the movies I try and make. You know, 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, you know, I have this very soft place in my heart for the people who enjoy my work and who believe in me because, you know, actors we’re funny creatures.
We have these enormous egos, but we’re deeply insecure. There’s an incredible paradox and, you know, a lot of the time I, you know, will find – not all the time, but you know, we all have our moments where we don’t sometimes believe in ourselves and we think, ‘Oh, you know, I’m never going to work again and I’m a terrible actor.’
But then it’s the fans, you know, I look to them and they believe in me and they help me keep believing in myself. And, you know, 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, you know, 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.
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?
Lachman: I think, you know, there is some temptation there for her to, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know – 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, you know, maybe it’s like, you know, five years or something. The equivalent of that, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, go through a little bit of that, but her fate is very much, you know, (unintelligible). There’s no question, you know, where her future is.
And, you know, 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, you know, my character as a person, you know, 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, you know, mundane thing. There are just some things that, you know, we can’t change.
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?
Lachman: Yes, no I think you’ll – she is in the flashbacks. Absolutely, but their – Suren’s relationship with mother is played out, you know, very much in the present and in her conversations with Aidan and you really understand that dynamic with the way Aidan, you know, and Suren communicate. And how she communicates with Aidan and mother like in the present day.
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?
Lachman: Yes, yes. Suren’s character is in seven episodes, but they’ll refer to her in the other episodes and you know.
That’s really great.
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?
Lachman: I love sci-fi and fantasy. It’s, you know, for me, you know, 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 you know, for the family involved forget about it because, you know, I have like this sort of weird, unique alien thing going.
And so I’m very grateful that, you know, 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, you know, the 1920s and 30s.
You know, in the normal world – I mean, like I love Deadwood, but I’d never be on that show.
Lachman: 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. You know, and it’s sad because I am half, you know, Australian and my father’s family is European and I really respond to that. You know, 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, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, 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.
No, no. No, you answered it very well. I always wonder why they don’t have more like Asians and Latinos and other types of people on TV. It’s weird.
Lachman: Well, I guess it’s because they weren’t like doing things of like note because they were sort of like the people that were kind of pushed down to the bottom of the thing. It was just the way it happened. I don’t think – you know, obviously there are stories like that that are really fascinating, that occurred in those communities, but I feel like no one wrote them down.
Lachman: I hope something surfaces sometime soon, but at the moment, you know, I love sci-fi/fantasy and somehow I just – thanks to Joss Whedon I guess I’ve made a little home there. And I hope I can continue to do this genre because I love it. I love it, I think it’s a wonderful place to play out ideas and opinions about the world today in a safe place, you know.
Big fan of Dollhouse and very happy to see you on this second season of Being Human.
Lachman: Oh, thank you.
Good question here about your experience on Being Human. What would you say was probably your most memorable moment so far on the shoot?
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. You know, 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, you know, 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, you know, 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, you know, wrote that for me and they had the courage to sort of say, ‘Why can’t you be in the 19, you know, 30s or 20s?’
You know, she’s a vampire. You know, I’ll be very, very grateful for that opportunity. I hope I have it again, you know, to do something like that. But, you know, to feel the extras dressed up and, you know, 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.
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?
Lachman: I think it was just not to make her too sort of bitchy. You know, 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, you know, princessy. You know, 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, you know, as an actor you do have to fight against that because it’s very easy to slip into just being plain old mean. But, you know, it was something that I had to always, you know, 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, you know, ‘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.
I don’t want to spoil the exact sequence of events or anything, but before Suren came back from being in the ground, the last time she saw Aidan was in a situation where she went a bit nuts which is why she was put in the ground to being with. So I think that being in the ground on top of that for 80 years can’t have been good for her sanity.
And in your first ep, Suren seems pretty lost and I’m just wondering if you can speak to whether she ever really gets over the effects of her punishment? How that plays out in regards to sanity over the course of the season?
Lachman: Right, yes I mean it is a long time, but you know, I think she’s been alive for so long, it probably doesn’t feel as long for her as far as her sanity’s concerned. I don’t think it like affects her too much. It’s like, you know, every year we live our lives as humans, they years go like .7 or 7% faster and they feel like that because it’s relative to how long we’ve been alive.
And I feel like yes, it is a long time and she still thinks it’s a long time, but I don’t think it feels like what 80 years would feel like to us. So as far as her sanity goes, I think, you know, there is a slight adjustment and I discussed this with the show runners. You know, like how different do you want her to be like coming out of the ground. I mean, the world’s changed and, you know, they’re like, ‘No, she’s a vampire. You know, she adapts very quickly.’
And she’s – that element of it is not, you know, something that we want to play into too much. It doesn’t affect her sanity so much. I think it’s more about her relationship with her mother, that her mother could do something like that to her. You know, it’s like when your mom says to you, you know, "You’re grounded and you can’t go out, you know, the next month and you can’t see your boyfriend. And you can’t see your friends."
You’re stuck in your room; weirdly it’s sort of the same thing. And it’s that resentment that she has towards her mother I think which you’ll see more throughout the show that her mother would do that. You know, it’s like how could you do that to me? But, maybe it does affect her sanity slightly. But it’s not something that, you know, you see present too much in the character.
Okay, and you say that as a vampire, she’s pretty adaptable. And in her first episode, she does seem a little lost, but I’m just wondering how quickly does she get – gain her bearings in terms of all the changes that have been happening while she’s been away?
Lachman: In the vampire world or just the world in general?
Lachman: In both, yes. I think that, you know, she seems a little lost since she’s still sort of like adjusting from being woken up, but I think it’s pretty fast. Like she, you know, she’s already out on the street looking for Cecilia, you know – I mean, she might have said, you know, ‘I was completely lost and I found this,’ but I think she’s very – she has a plan.
She’s had 80 years to think about how she’s going to, you know, get to the top of the pile and make sure that never happens to her again. And she’s been waiting for them to kind of dig her up I guess. And she’s been waiting for this opportunity. So I think in terms of like adjusting to everything – I think the vampire world hasn’t really changed that much, like it is changing and, you know, Bishop had all these ideas of how they could sort of, you know, survive in the best way.
And I think she’s just more concerned about how she’s going to survive the best way and how she’s going to be happy and get what she wants. I don’t think she’s so concerned with the world of vampires as much as someone like mother or Bishop is, you know, about the greater good for the vampires. I think she’s actually quite sort of selfish in many ways and she just wants to be happy and she’s still very adolescent in a way, you know.
And yet as far as the world, as I said, you know, I talked to about that with the show runners and they’re like, you know, she already understands how it all works, phones, you know, cars. Just it’s all there and she just accepts it.
So after filming this year on the set, is there anything that you learned about yourself that you didn’t know and you didn’t realize?
Lachman: That I didn’t realize.
Or that you learned to do maybe, even the sides, you know, the content.
Lachman: Well, I found this really cool voice, you know, that sometimes I’ve been reading different material that’s sort of coming in front of me and trying like this voice, you know, that we created. And sometimes, you know, it works and I loved working with Mary on that. I love doing accents and, you know, creating characters.
Something I learned about myself, gosh I didn’t even think of that. I think, you know, every job you do, you learn something new and I think I learned a lot about my craft, about you know, Sam is such a wonderful actor and most of my scenes are with him. And I learned a lot from him, you know, he’s Julliard trained. He’s been doing it for a long time and I loved watching him work.
And I was really grateful to have so much time with such a wonderful, you know, actor who really takes what he does very seriously and he’ll always try and make a scene better. And he’ll keep nutting it out with the director to make sure that it is the best scene that it can be. And sometimes, you know, we don’t always have the time to get everything everyone wants, but you know, within the constraints, it’s like shooting fast on a TV show. He did that so wonderfully and I learned a lot watching him work.
As far as myself, I realized, you know, as much as I loved Montreal, I really felt like Los Angeles is really – feels like home and I’ve never spent – since I’ve been here I haven’t spent so much time away from here and I realized that, you know, this is where I feel like I belong now. It’s such a beautiful city. There are so many kind people here and they’ve been so welcoming to me because, you know, I’m from Australia.
And I’ve been here, you know, about four and a half years now. So I mean, it’s getting to that point where I don’t even know how long and I learned that, you know, it was home. I also went through some, you know, personal things with friendships and things which I learned, you know, the distance sometimes puts perspective on how you deal with your relationships and your friendships.
And sometimes you realize that, you know, amongst everything you don’t actually see what’s happening and then you move away from it and you understand, "Oh, that’s not healthy for me to behave like that and, you know, with that person or whatever." And taking yourself out of a scenario gives you some perspective. So actually probably I learned a lot about myself.
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?
Lachman: Oh, that’s currently on or that’s – because I’ve read some pilots too? Oh gosh…
Well, anything you can talk about. How’s that?
Lachman: 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.
Well, we’re all hoping. Perfect.
Lachman: We’ll keep praying.
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?
Lachman: Are you saying will it end violently?
Lachman: You know, I think that Aidan – I can’t, you know, 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, you know, 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. You know, he’s one of those characters who is always sort of struggling, you know, 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.
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.
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. It’s sort of, you know, 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.
You know, and there’s this person in their heart who they’re very close with, you know, 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, you know, 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 you know, prior to her going to the ground. You know, she’s – they’ve just got this thing, this like thing they can’t really talk about. And obviously, you know, 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 it’s, you know, 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’s so many rules and regulations around it whereas with Rebecca, he was very free to love her.
You know, there was no on stopping him. But Suren’s from a different class of vampires, you know, 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, you know, their relationship.
You mentioned earlier that they had not consummated their relationship. Do you know if they will consummate it this season on Being Human?
Lachman: I think you’ll see it build towards, you know, it going in that direction because, you know, 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, you know, it’s going to happen, but he knows that if he does he’ll be, you know, completely ostracized and in a lot of trouble. So I think that’s what will make their relationship, you know, somewhat exciting through it as you watch it.
You know, 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.
When was or what was the defining moment that you reached the level of comfort with your character and said, ‘This is my bitch?’
Lachman: I would say it was, you know, it was definitely a few weeks in and there was – I think there was a scene that I had with Aidan where I felt very comfortable with, you know, where the character was sitting. But I never felt like I got this, like I never felt like I know exactly what I’m doing here. Like it’s actually very, very rare that I ever feel with my work that I’m like, ‘I got this.’
You know, I feel like sometimes like I feel like I understand it and like I know where she has to be. I know who she has to be and like I said at the beginning, I felt like that when I read it. You know, I felt like I understood. I’m like, ‘I know who this character needs to be. I know where she sits energetically. I know what she wants. I know what she’s scared of. I know everything.’
But actually doing it is like a completely different kettle of fish, you know, you’re on a set with hundreds of other people and there’s time and there’s, you know, you’re like on the verge. You’re like so emotionally in that place, you’re thinking in that sensory moment which will get you to that emotional place. And they’re just about to call ‘action’ and then someone says, ‘Oh, there’s a light that needs to be fixed in that character.’
And it’s like, you know, and you’ve lost it. You know, so there’s always these constant challenges where, you know, you’re getting ready for your moment to give that character everything you’ve got in that second and then they stop because of a light or something. So you’re constantly faced with challenges. So even if you understand and you know this character and you’ve got to and you’re like, ‘I get this girl.’
Actually executing it is one of the biggest challenges. Everyday there’s something happens or there’s something technical or, you know, you get like a massive, you know, you get shocking news or something which you have to deal with personal or something and you’re always trying to get your idea that’s in your head out, you know, for the audience.
And so you get – there are moments where you feel comfortable absolutely where yes I feel like, you know, in this moment it’s happening and I feel like I found a constant, like a consistent sort of place. But, yes I wish I could be that actor who is just like, ‘Oh, you know, I got it.’ But it’s, you know, it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge to get what’s in your head and your understanding out, you know, and well.
And I really hope I’ve done that, you know, I always try to do my best. That’s like a quote from Dollhouse, one of the doll boys say that, ‘I try to be my best.’ And I do and I hope that I am, but I never walk away feeling like I nailed it or I got it. You know, like if I could go back right now and film the whole thing again, you know, in perfect scenarios, I would just so that the show could be better for you.
But no, I never feel like that with my work. I don’t know, maybe I hope that I don’t because I think that that’s what’s exciting about being an actor is that you’re always striving to be better, to achieve something greater and that’s what makes it an exciting occupation. I mean, there are the days when you’re like, ‘Oh, how am I going to pay my rent next month?’ I mean, that’s exciting.
But as an artist, I think it’s exciting because you never really get there and I love that quote in the Alchemist which I think is a beautiful book and (unintelligible) or one of the lines in there is, you know, it’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting. And I believe that, but I also believe that it’s the idea you can always be better or achieve something greater that also makes life interesting.
You know, it’s – I don’t know if I ever want to feel like, ‘Oh my god,’ like ‘That’s an Oscar winning performance and I nailed it and I wouldn’t do anything differently.’ I always feel like I could have done something differently, but I hope that’s not selling the sand short because I hope that they know that in that moment I’m absolutely trying my absolute best.
You know, and in that moment that was the absolute best I could possibly do because I love what I do and I always try to give everything so that you guys can enjoy the show. But yes, that was a very long-winded answer. But hopefully it answered the question.
Thank you so much Dichen, have a good day.
Lachman: Thank you, you too. I’m sitting in my closet at the moment and I don’t even know if it’s like sunny outside, but enjoy the day. I hope it’s beautiful.
Photos courtesy of Syfy