Being Human's Craig Roberts Interviewed

47-year-old-in-a-teenager’s-body vampire Adam is back in next week’s Being Human (WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS)

SFX: So, how does Adam come back into the series?
Craig Roberts:
“It follows on from Becoming Human, where he’s at the school. Then he runs off with Yvonne, the headmaster [played by Selina Griffiths] to... fuck ‘n’ shit. That’s basically it. They’re on the run. They’ve been outed, him and the teacher, so they run back to the house. And then somewhere down the line he finds out that the lady is [REDACTED FOR SPOILERS] , and it’s a big shitstorm. I like Adam, he’s a good character, so I’m really glad to be back and doing it. Well, I had no work, so I had to do it. I’m joking!”

Well, I know that’s not true – you were on the cover of the Independent magazine recently as one of Britain’s 50 up-and-coming young stars.
“Yeah, that’s bullshit. ‘Up-and-coming people’… I didn’t recognise any of them!”

More “50 actors out of work in Britain today”, then?
“That’s what it should have been. Did you recognise the other people on it? I didn’t.”

I was surprised to hear you were returning to Being Human , because Submarine was a massive success. And it did seem like Adam’s story had come to a full stop.
“Yeah I wasn’t meant to come back, I don’t think. Becoming Human had a pretty good response, it did pretty well. But they didn’t think I’d come back. Then I bumped into Toby [Whithouse] at BAFTA and I was like, ‘What are you doing? Have you written the episodes?’ He said, ‘Yeah’ and I said, ‘Am I coming back?’, and he’s like ‘No’, and I was like, ‘You’re a c**t!’ But yeah, I was like, ‘I wanna do it! Bring me back’, so they brought me back, which I’m really happy about. Adam’s just an excuse for me to fuck around, it seems.

How much of it is in the script and how much is just you fucking around?
"There’s a lot of fucking around.”

Funnily enough, I was on set last year when you were filming your first episode, and I was witness to a lot of the fucking around then.
“It’s still going on. Not that I don’t like the script, which is awesome, but it’s cool that you get freedom and all that sort of stuff. I quite like Ricky Gervais, so I use a lot of his mannerisms. People have been saying, ‘You’re just playing David Brent or something - what the fuck are you doing?’ No, I like the character… I just like fucking around, and it’s easy to do it.”

And they allow you a lot of leeway to do that?
“Yeah. I think they trust that I won’t be too ridiculous with it… although I have been too ridiculous with it in this episode! It’s ridiculous. It’s the end of my career.”

There have been big changes to the cast since last year, of course…
“I like the new guys though, they’re very cool – better than the other fuckers! I’m joking.”

I can see the potential for Adam rubbing up against Tom, given that he was brought up to hate vampires - how do they get on?
“They don’t get on very well, actually. There is trouble, but both characters are very quick-witted, so there’s a lot of banter and a lot of back and forth with Michael, which is fun.”

Click on "next" (below right) to read more

And how does it work out with Adam and Hal? Because Hal’s an ancient vampire and Adam’s comparatively new to it.
“There’s a line, ‘So you’re the Old One… colour me impressed’, so I think Adam has respect for him. But y’know, with two vampires there’s always going to be some sort of ‘Oh yeah? Fuck off’ vibe going on.”

Well Adam is very deliberately not impressed by anything isn’t he? Kinda like a teenager – although he’s not really a teenager.
"Yeah, it’s such an interesting thing, a 47-year-old in a 16-year-old’s body. Crazy shit. I can relate – I’m a 47-year-old. Well, I have the mentality of a 47-year-old, pretty much – stay in, do nothing. Is that what 47 year olds do?”

I wouldn’t know!
“How old are you? I’m saying you’re 47 – you look 47. I’m joking.”

So how do you keep those two sides of Adam in your head - or do you just not worry about it?
“I don’t worry about it. What’s really cool, though, is the references to old things in the script, where I have no fucking idea what they are.”

Yeah, you had a line last year about Rentaghost which I practically punched the air at, because I knew half of the Becoming Human demographic must be thinking, "Who the fuck is Timothy Claypole?"
“Exactly - I didn’t know who the fuck Timothy Claypole was either. Who do I mention in this one… Suzie Quatro? Who is she? Is she some kind of presenter?”

She was a glam rock star in the '70s.
“Was she hot?”

Er… maybe. They had different standards for physical attractiveness in the ‘70s.
“So yeah, that’s mentioned, and Etch-A-Sketch and all that sort of shit. It’s good, it’s fun.”

So could you come back again next year?
“They left it open again - they haven’t killed him off, so I could be coming back, any time I want. I’m gonna come back next year and it’s just going to be me and no-one else… Being Adam ! Yeah, I could come back and I probably would – it’s just a laugh. The crew are cool, the cast are cool and like I said, you get freedom – you don’t have to stick to the lines. Even though the lines are good and it’s a really well-written show.”

So if you could get Toby Whithouse to write any storyline for Adam for a future episode, what would it be?
“Adam and Annie get married. That would be brilliant, for me, wouldn’t it? Yeah, let's do that – it would be fantastic. I’d be up for that! Let’s take that back to the office. It’s not gonna happen though, I don’t think. Actually, I’d tell you what would be good: if we cut to an office and Adam’s in the office like David Brent. That would be fantastic!”

And with that, Craig brought the interview to a close by breaking into a quick snatch of David Brent’s infamous dance from The Office (grunts and all). Sadly we don’t have any video footage, but we can assure you that it was pretty awesome…

Ian Berriman

Read our Being Human series four reviews .

Read our web-exclusive interviews with Damien Molony (Hal), showrunner Toby Whithouse and Michael Socha (Tom).

Deputy Editor, SFX

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.