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Being Human – Lenora Crichlow

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Lenora Crichlow © BBC

In BBC America’s new series, Lenora Crichlow is Annie, a talkative ghost lacking in self-confidence and desperate for company. She finds herself sharing a house with Mitchell, a vampire, and George, a werewolf, struggling to live normal lives, despite their strange and dark secrets. This isn’t the first time Crichlow has ventured into the Sci-Fi genre, as she appeared as Cheen in the Doctor Who episode Gridlock.


Since there’s no role model for ghosts, how did you decide how to play the part?

Lenora Crichlow © BBC
Lenora Crichlow © BBC

That’s the beauty of the show, it’s all there in the title, all our three main characters don’t play supernatural; we’re trying to be human. So, for me as an actor, I approached Annie as Annie. I looked at her as a character and her journey into finding out what this new state of being a ghost is. It’s very much like any journey of trying to figure out who you are today, and a lot of that is revisiting past things, not dwelling on them but definitely being able to resolve certain things in your past in order to move on and to feel secure in where you are now, and to move forward. It’s a very human journey for me, but it’s got the added entertainment factor of the fact that she’s dead.

Can you talk about the process of appearing and disappearing as the ghost?

Basically the way that it’s shot and the way it’s going to look eventually on screen was broken down to me, and along with the director we just make sure I know what the shot will be with all the special effects in there as much as possible. But then I see it and go, ‘Oh, that was clever.’

What’s your favorite ghost from a movie?

Casper the friendly ghost. He’s a nice ghost who has been underrated so many times, he’s definitely a good representative, because Annie’s nice, she’s a lovely ghost.

What is your relationship with Mitchell and George in it? Is it going to turn into a love story between you and one of them?

Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner © BBC
Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow and Aidan Turner © BBC

To be honest with you, I don’t know for sure, but I don’t see it going down that route. The three of them are very much there for each other, very supportive with their friendships, which is so complicated and deep with this added aspect, they’re almost too close as a group of friends at the moment for me to see that happening, and also I think it’s kind of impossible because I don’t know how that would work!

Did you do a back story for your character?

I was given quite a detailed history of Annie. She’s a character in a supernatural state, which is something that she’s very confused about, doesn’t understand, so I learnt that with her. When we meet her she’s blocked out how she died, she has a vague memory of it but it’s not a reality, and when she starts to explore how she’s there and why she’s there, that’s when she does the learning and that’s when these truths come back to haunt her, and she’s faced with a lot to deal with, but it also helps her accept where she is and her reality as a ghost.

What is series creator Toby Whithouse like to work with? Do you ever have any input into your character?

Toby is great in the sense that we talk and joke and have a laugh with him all the time, but I think what it boils down to is we trust him so completely with the series and with our characters. If any badgering goes on, it’s ‘What have you got in store for me?’ rather than, ‘I don’t like where this is going.’

Why do you feel the series has been so successful?

Russell Toveyand Lenora Crichlow © BBC
Russell Toveyand Lenora Crichlow © BBC

It’s comedy, drama and there’s the scariness of it, because the show is steeped in reality. It kind of makes sense because that’s life, isn’t it? Life is terribly dark and sad and then terribly funny. And that’s the wonderful thing about the series as well. I think all our characters have changed very much [throughout the first season],

Is the tone in the second season the same as the first?

Honestly, we’ve only shot the first two episodes of the second season and they are a little darker, the characters are that much more moved on, grown up, they’ve come to terms with their supernatural selves, of course it’s not that easy, and there’s a new threat, but the essence of the show seems to be the same. There’s still a lot of fun and banter, real life stuff, special effects stuff, violence and drama