Being Human actor Aidan Turner is starring in a very different kind of drama about a group of painters, poets and their muses. It’s called Desperate Romantics and focuses as much on their scandalous love triangles as their paintings. Newsbeat caught up with Aidan to find out what life was like on set.
This isn’t like your normal costume drama is it?
Well, no, I guess it’s not. It is in a sense but it’s got a younger sort of vibe to it. It’s got a younger cast and it’s got a rock ‘n’ roll vibe to it. These are almost like the first rock and roll bands without the instruments. That’s the way they were, especially Rossetti. A lot of it was drug-fuelled, a lot of it was fame obsessed.
It’s been described as Entourage with an easel!
That was thrown around a little bit. Entourage is a good show, to be compared to that is cool.
It’s proper Victorian costume but it looks cool. I remember even wearing it going: ‘I kind of wish they’d bring this sort of style back – it really works’.
The programme makers said they weren’t going to shy away from sex, relationships or the human body, how was that?
Which body are you talking about? They all look pretty good from where I was sitting! There’s a bit of nudity in it, a bit of sex, a little bit of kissing. I get naked a couple of times.
Did you find it embarrassing?
I do now! At the time, not a bit. You just get on with it. You just take your kit off and just do it. I think I spent six or seven days pretty much constantly on the trot, naked, every day wearing this little – well, a big – kind of sock over your bits.
You get into it and you do it and all the girls do it, there’s no qualms, there’s no inhibitions, you just get your clothes off and get it on!
How was the fighting?
Yeah, that was scary. I remember we only had one shot at the take, or two for some bizarre reason. He scared the life out of me, you can see it in the take. Thank God the camera doesn’t go down a bit lower, I’d be absolutely shivering. That was scary. Stuff like that happens all the time.
You just get so into the scene because sometimes in this kind of job you don’t get a lot of takes at things, you’ve just got to do it and that kind of raw emotion brings you through, whatever that will be. That fight in particular, it was mad.
Are you hopeful it’ll bring in the sort of people that don’t normally watch costume drama?
I guess that’s sort of, in a weird way, the idea. It would be great if people could tune in. It has a pace to it that other period dramas that I’ve seen, don’t really have, which is really cool.
Maybe it will appeal to a younger audience. It’s a really interesting soundtrack they’ve laid over it. It seems to really work.
Above all it’s really historically accurate which is something that’s really important to me. If it was just glossy and if the facts didn’t matter so much, it would mean less.
Do you have any idea what’s going to happen in the next series of Being Human?
No, I really don’t know where it’s going to go. It’s longer this year, it’s eight episodes instead of six so they’ve given themselves a bit more room to take it places later on in the series. From what I’ve read it’s really good and really exciting. We start shooting in August.
We head to LA to do a bit of press over there – it’s getting launched in America – then we come back and start shooting in Bristol.
Can you give us any hints?
I can’t – you’ll get me sacked! It’s just really exciting from the get-go. It picks up almost where it left off – there’s no huge time lapse as far as I know. As the audience were seeing it from the last episode, it pretty much continues.
Vampires are very popular at the moment – have you been getting any attention from fans?
Yeah, a little bit. I don’t know why they’re so popular. It seems to come around every 10 years, they suddenly get popular again. It’ll be werewolves next year and Russell [Tovey – his co-star] will get a few more mates.
When I come back to London I get it way more than I do in Dublin. It’s been very strange, the response, and it’s been all completely positive. Everyone has loved the show, and everyone’s been really lovely about it. It’s like it’s their own little baby somehow, it’s like they discovered the show, and then they show it to friends and it grows that way.
Interview by Frances Cronin.