The Damn Dirty Geeks have scored another fantastic two-part podcast episode with our special guest, actor Sam Witwer, talking about his film and TV series roles in THE MIST, THE WALKING DEAD and BEING HUMAN.
Joining Frank, Jack, Frank, Scott and Trish, Sam Witwer opens this Part 1 episode with the unlikely, fortuitous story of how he became the first actor cast in Frank Darabont’s feature adaptation of THE MIST, Stephen King’s Lovecraftian sci-fi horror novella. This discussion twists into a study of notorious film endings and interpretations, including THE MIST along with BLADE RUNNER and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
Sam Witwer Part 1: The Mist and Being Human
Sam also shares several inside stories about his work and the making of SyFy’s hit series BEING HUMAN, in which he stars as Aidan Waite, a 200-year-old vampire who struggles to exist in the modern human world with his werewolf and ghostly roommates.
Blending lighter moments of comedy with dark, emotional scenes of human drama — even for an undead vampire — Sam relates his acting process in developing Aidan beyond the tropes of genre expectation. Witwer’s own character concerns actually changed scripted moments in the series, ensuring that viewers identified with Aidan’s supernatural curse just like drug addiction does in humans. Sam also relates how he strove never to violate Aidan killing humans without confronting the moral cost of his actions, and how that changed his character over the centuries.
This Part 1 episode offers fascinating insights into Sam Witwer’s acting philosophy and his work in these favorite films and series, all while the DDG have a very fun evening with him. Plenty of laughs ensue, and this is only the beginning!
In Part 2 of our podcast, the DDG and Sam begin delving into his lengthy association with the STAR WARS franchise, including THE FORCE AWAKENS, animated series and video games.
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Trivia: adapting director Frank Darabont lobbied to release his feature film adaptation of THE MIST in black-and-white, but Dimension Films balked at the theatrical risk, instead allowing a black-and-white version of the film to appear in special 2-disc DVD releases. On the other hand, Darabont did get Dimension to agree not to change his controversial, impactful ending to the film that is far more definite and dramatic than novella author Stephen King’s ambiguous ending.
Trivia: as our podcast guest Sam Witwer tells in this episode, he ended up being the first actor cast in THE MIST, thanks to a fortuitous encounter with casting director Deborah Aquila. She dropped all her paperwork while crossing the street on her way into the casting office, and Sam stopped to help her. Aquila originally invited Sam in for lunch to thank him, but then asked him to read for her instead. She cast Sam in the role of Private Jessup based on that meeting.
Trivia: BEING HUMAN co-stars Sam Witwer and Sam Huntington share a career connection through DC Comics character Jimmy Olsen, photographer for the Daily Planet: Huntington played Olsen in SUPERMAN RETURNS and Witwer’s character Doomsday killed Olsen in SMALLVILLE. Witwer and BEING HUMAN co-star Mark Pellegrino (Bishop) also both appeared on the Showtime series DEXTER.
Trivia: Sam Witwer is lead singer in the LA band The Crashtones.
SamWitwer.com – visit the official website of Sam Witwer and his band The Crashtones
THE WALKING DEAD – revisit the pilot episode of the show featuring Sam Witwer at AMC’s official series website
The Mist – purchase Stephen King’s original novella that inspired Frank Darabont’s feature film, via Amazon.com
BEING HUMAN Paley Center clip – watch an excerpt from the Paley Center panel with Sam Witwer and co-stars
BEING HUMAN: Live at the Paley Center – purchase the DVD of the Paley Center panel discussion, via Amazon.com