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Friday 25 Jul 2014

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Being Human – Sinead Keenan plays Nina

Sinead Keenan plays Nina

How do viewers find Nina when they meet her at the beginning of series three?

Obviously, at the end of the last series, they are in the halfway house – we don't know where they are but they are in a cottage in the country somewhere. They then decide to move to Barry – as you do!

They first start off with herself and George and a reluctant Mitchell viewing a house, a great big four-story house called Honolulu Heights that used to be a B&B. They decide to take it and that's where they start off their journey for series three.

They are also trying to figure out a way for Mitchell to go and get Annie back [from purgatory] and they decide that Nina has to keep an eye out for a patient in the hospital who is going to die, who doesn't have any relatives. It's very sad, but someone who nobody would necessarily notice had died – so that Mitchell can be there when he passes through, so that he can pass through with him.

Nina's relationship with George is going very well, which is nice because it was very traumatic last year. So yeah, she is in a good place.

Is Nina excited about the move?

Yeah, it is a bit of a fresh start. She's gotten used to the whole thing that she is a werewolf now and she has had a couple of transformations – she is getting used to it and accepting it.

The acceptance seems to have taken the place of blame, which there seemed to be a certain amount of when it came to George.

Can you describe the new place they are living in?

The new place that they are living in is absolutely huge compared to the last house. It has got a basement, which George and Nina are hoping to use for transforming, it has got a great big living room with a Hawaiian bar, then it has an eating area with a nice organ and a great big kitchen.

Annie has a bedroom, Mitchell has a bedroom and George and Nina have the honeymoon suite, which is beautiful. There's a guestroom and then there is a fantastic attic where things and people are hidden throughout the series.

There are other werewolf characters this series – how do George and Nina encounter them and how do they become involved?

George first stumbles across Tom when he is out with his chicken on a string because he leaves Nina in the basement on her own. He meets this other guy with a chicken on a string and goes: "Hmm, that's not normal."

And then, later down the line, George and Nina need to speak to them to get some advice, so they go looking for them.

Have you given any tips to the new werewolves this series? Have you seen them when they are doing their transformation scenes and did you speak to them about it beforehand?

No, we didn't, well I certainly didn't speak to them about transforming. I know what it's like to follow Russell, who is incredible at it. To try and follow that is difficult so you might as well not bother, you just have to find your own way.

Certainly, in terms of their werewolf prosthetic and make-up, it looks slightly different to ours – so it's almost like there is a different thread or a different strain. Almost like in families – there is a particular look in a certain family and George scratched me, so our werewolves look slightly similar.

On the transformation days do you look forward to it, or is it something that you dread? How do you prepare for those filming days?

I don't look forward to it, I don't necessarily dread it. I prepare by going to bed very early because my first alarm goes off at about half three.

But, to be fair, everyone on set is brilliant on those days. The director keeps the shot list as organised and as small as possible. You do as little takes as possible, because you can really, really damage your voice. You can try warming up, cooling down, or whatever, but you are still screaming essentially and there is no safe way to scream – you just gotta scream. You are in very safe hands and it's over and done with as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Can you describe Nina's relationship with Annie and Mitchell this year?

Well, obviously now that there are four of us permanently living in the house the dynamics have changed.

It is great to be able to interact more with Annie on girly things, which is how they start off, but again life gets in the way and all sorts happens.

In terms of Nina and Mitchell, there has always been something funny there, they have never been the best of friends. Nothing has ever happened, but you know how you see in real-life, sometimes with your own friends, where you will have two best mates and a boyfriend or girlfriend comes along and things just naturally have to shift a little. That triangle of friend/girlfriend.

Has Nina changed since the first series since she's been in a relationship with George?

I think they have both changed and I think the other has changed them. Nina, certainly in the first series, was an absolute battle-axe. She's got this hard, very strong "nobody can hurt me, I'm fine on my own" independence that's always defensive when you meet anyone like that. I do think that she has a soft centre, but you've really got to drill deep to get into that.

So I think he's made her softer and she's made him stronger and he has accepted his "werewolfness".

There are lots of great guest stars this series – how has it been working with them?

All of the guest stars have been brilliant. Lacey Turner's fantastic – unfortunately, I only met her at the read-through, because my character had nothing to do with her, but she's great. Obviously you've got Michael Socha, who was in This Is England '86 – fantastic.

Robson Green was my first TV crush. I was about 10 or 11; I think he was playing Jimmy the porter in Casualty. I think the first time I met him [on Being Human], I actually blushed in the make-up truck. He came in specifically to say hello and I did get a little bit hot and bothered, I have to confess. He will always be my little hospital porter and he is amazing, absolutely amazing.

Nicola Walker, who plays Wendy the social worker in episode five, is incredible – I think she should come back and social work elsewhere in the show. Alex Roach, who plays our zombie – fantastic. She is now working with Meryl Streep – see what happens when you work on Being Human!

What have been your most fun scenes to film this year?

There are so many. Usually, the most fun ones are when the four of us are together, but it is not necessarily fun for everyone else because it usually means we take a lot longer because we end up laughing. I don't mean to point the finger but I'm going to point the finger heavily in the direction of Russell Tovey – he's the root of all evil.

How would you describe Being Human to someone who has never watched the show before?

It's a show about four 20-somethings trying to make their way in life and find out who they are, where they want to be, where they want to go and what they want out of life. But it just so happens that one of them is a vampire, one of them is a ghost, a couple of them are werewolves – but that is all kind of incidental, that's just their issues, the crosses that they have to bear.

At the centre of it, at Being Human's heart – as corny as it sounds – it is about being human. That's all it is.

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