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24 September 2014
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Being Human
Andrea Riseborough plays Annie

Being Human – just a regular flatshare… for a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost


Andrea Riseborough plays Annie (The Ghost)


What attracted you to playing Annie in this drama?


The drama was brilliantly written – I think Toby Whithouse is a fantastic writer. I think, because he's an actor, he writes it how you say it. This one was just a lovely job to have.


The other thing that enticed me to it was because I knew that Russell Tovey was doing it. I'm a big fan of his and we're good friends now.


I trusted the casting director, so I knew that because she has good taste, it was going to be a great piece. I came to the meeting thinking it was wonderful and left thinking it was even more wonderful.


What's Annie like and how does she take to the boys moving into her home?


Annie is a young ghost-next-door. I decided that she might come from Barnsley – so I gave her that accent. She's a sweet, yet pushy, young woman who was engaged to be married. She died under suspicious circumstances in her own flat that she shared with her boyfriend.


The writer created a back story for each of our characters, so we knew where each of us was coming from.


Annie's doing her best to stay sane in a house that she can't leave. She has been in the garden and the house, but can't leave the house, so she's become agoraphobic.


She's really pleased to meet George and Mitchell, because they can see her. She's been ignored for so long.


I think we've all felt that we can be invisible, when you've stood in a bar next to a really gorgeous woman who's been served first or when you're with two friends who fancy each other and you feel a bit like a third wheel. That's how Annie has felt since she died.


How does Annie get on with George and Mitchell?


Annie and George have quite a tense relationship initially, because George has been so excited about getting a flat with Mitchell so that they can have a normal life; he's disappointed by Annie spoiling it all. She's got to tread carefully, as she's the spare wheel in the relationship but she's ballsy enough not to completely lay flat like a doormat though.


Mitchell is so accommodating, wise and old; I think she becomes emotionally attached to him in a romantic way and starts to admire him.


Did you do any research to get into character?


Annie had only lived with her condition for a short while, whereas the guys had grown and adapted to their conditions. It took her a week to realise exactly what was going on after she died and because she's not met any other ghosts, she doesn't quite know what the protocol of being a ghost is.


In terms of research, I decided to focus less on ghosts and more on agoraphobia and what it might feel like to never want to go out.


Annie's become so detached from what's happening socially outside of her own space and all the energy she has to exist, is within that space. Outside of that space, she feels powerless.


When she meets George and Mitchell, they give her a new lease of life and she ventures outside the house for the first time. She is getting more powerful with their friendship.


Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly experience?


I believe in Annie. I think I do believe in the "other". I think if I didn't believe in the "other" I wouldn't be afraid of things that go bump in the night. I wouldn't say that I could specifically say what I did and didn't believe in. I've never had a ghostly experience though.


Are you a fan of ghost films? If so, what are your favourites?


When I was little, I used to love Ghostbusters, it was my favourite film. I used to watch it with my dad on Betamax. I haven't watched it for ages though. It's so long ago since I've seen Ghost too; I think it was too grown up for me at the time.


I was always so scared of horror films; they scared me so much – even if they were bad films. I entered into it all too much imaginatively; I'd go to bed and be terrified of what might happen. Care Bears the movie was scary to me!


I have this morbid fascination with scary films, like rollercoasters, I love scaring myself – it's just how much you can escape. A film can take you to a different space and time and if you're able to enter into that, it captures you; it can be a terrifying experience.


I think this drama has a good balance of being really funny, dramatic and emotionally involving – as well as creepy.







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