ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you become Thor in the first part of the episode and you’re Thor for most of the second. How did you get into that character?
ROSE McIVER: Well, what’s really funny, I did a show called ‘iZombie‘ for five years that we finished a few years ago. But in that show, I take on a different character each week, essentially. So, I had a lot of experience with taking on different characters. But the difference is when I did that show, each character that I took on was a zombie and I was eating the brain of somebody who was already dead. I didn’t have anybody I had to be accountable to. The actor who I was impersonating was a cadaver on a morgue table. So, I’d be like, “Hi, hi, yep, nice to meet you, lovely,” just to introduce myself over their exposed spleen or whatever we were doing an autopsy over. And then, I would really build the character from scratch, and it would be an archetype. I’d be a cheerleader, or I’d be a bank robber, or whatever I might be.
And the difference with this is when I take on Thor’s character, I’m working on set with Devan every day, and my impersonation has much higher stakes. It’s somebody who I love, and I feel I owe trying to at least bring the integrity he has made as a character into whatever my version of it is.
I’m very aware that it’s never going to be “I am Thorfinn.” She’s been possessed by Thorfinn. She’s got a little Thorfinn driving the bulldozer. That’s how I think about it, as he’s sitting at the engine and he’s moving Sam’s body. It’s still Sam, but there’s somebody else operating her. So, it’s more forgiving. It allows for you to blend some of the two characters together a little bit when it suits.
But it’s pressure to play somebody who you work with every day. Devan was so sweet and so generous about taking time to talk me through the things that were useful and then also just be like, “Have fun with it, too.” There was freedom to play and to make Thorfinn my own as well.
Did he have any notes?
He wanted my voice to be lower and louder, and we really hit a wall with that. I did my best.
Now, this is a Christmas episode. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big Christmas person but I do love a good Christmas episode of TV. Are there any Christmas TV episodes or Christmas movies that come out every year that you’re excited to see?
Yeah, look, I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I used to love those movies. That movie always makes me laugh. Home Alone, I liked all the classics.
I worked on a trilogy called A Christmas Prince, which has become a thing that people watch with their families every year. One of the most flattering things to me is when someone says, “I was able to watch this with my elderly grandmother and my niece and nephew as well.” And it’s like, I love that Christmas movies span the generations and hopefully reach people from all different walks of life. So, I think there’s room for plenty of them. Any holiday films, really, I think it’s supposed to be a nice comfort and escape from things that people are dealing with. Christmas isn’t always easy for a lot of people. To be able to transport yourself to a fairytale version of it is good fun. And I’m excited that Ghosts gets to do that this season, too.
And are there any TV shows that have a Christmas episode that you love in particular?
Oh, that’s a good question. TV shows, I’ll have to get back to you. I think of Christmas movies, in general. So, I don’t have one that comes to mind. Do you have any?
A Golden Girls Christmas. The one where they get stuck at Rose’s job with the Santa who has the bomb stuck to his chest.
Oh, yeah. Okay, right. Yeah. I’m stealing yours. Golden Girls Christmas!
Do you think you’ll do multiple Christmas episodes, like a different one each year?
Oh, yeah. I think so. We’ve had two Halloween episodes, so I think we could be beginning a Christmas episode tradition for Ghosts for sure. That mansion really lends itself to Christmas decorations. It looked so beautiful. We all showed up on set, and it was so special and festive in that everything was decorated.
Often, Utkarsh and I will look at it like, “How did Sam and Jay do this? How did they pull it off?” Really, when they did the ghost prom last season, we were like, “Wow, they’re amazing decorators.” And considering they have absolutely no money on the show, they’re able to pull out all the stops. But you know what? That is fairytale magic.
How’s the B&B doing this season? There have been a few guests.
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say Sam and Jay … well, it is a spoiler, and you are getting it. If they come for me, so be it! But Sam and Jay get an assistant. And we realize when they have an assistant how badly they’ve been in need of someone trying to manage all the comings and goings.
Also, they’re not just the accommodation, they’re catering too. They’re providing breakfasts for everybody. Sam’s still trying to write. She’s busy writing Isaac’s (Brandon Scott Jones) biography the whole time. She’s got a true-crime podcast she’s doing with creepy Todd. They have their hands so full. So, I think the B&B, it’s a miracle it’s afloat, and I think they’re learning a lot as they go. Small businesses are hard, but they definitely benefit from help from an assistant later in the season.
And at the very end of the episode, we see that Trevor (Asher Grodman) and Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) get into it. I was like, Oh, excuse me.
But that also makes sense.
Thank you! Oh, good. Okay.
Were you surprised at all about that? How do you feel about the relationship?
I think I had heard early on that that was something they had considered at some point for the characters, but I wasn’t really sure how that was going to transpire. This clandestine little affair that they have going on, I think, is great. It’s a great twist.
As you said, it’s two simultaneously very unlikely characters but also really well-suited. She’s somebody who’s just going through this sexual awakening, and he is the most overtly sexual person in the ensemble.
Got no pants.
I think it’s a perfect match in many bizarre ways.
And there is also the relationship between Pete (Richie Moriarty) and Alberta (Danielle Pinnock). Do you think that’s going to go anywhere?
So far it’s appeared to be a pretty one-sided relationship. Pete is just besotted with Alberta, and of course he is. We all are. We love Danielle. I think it’s really funny. We don’t want to use up every storyline super early on. I think it’s nice to plant some seeds of potential and explore those. I hope this show runs for many seasons, so hopefully there’s a lot of time to explore whether the relationships go anywhere or they don’t.
But yeah, Pete is so doe-eyed about her. It’s so cute how much he wants her and that she’s into bad boys. She talks about being into bad boys, which Pete really, really is not. But maybe he could be. Maybe he will be.
Do you have a favorite ghost on the show?
Oh, that’s like asking me to choose my favorite child. What are you trying to do to me, Lester? It changes in the same way that a parent probably does have a favorite child. I think it changes from week to week, from day to day, given how anybody’s behaving at any given moment, what grief they’re putting Sam through.
Brandon and I laugh about how brutal Isaac is to her. Why on earth is she as patient as she is with Isaac? He really is so belittling of her. But again, maybe that’s room for a friendship to grow. And clearly there’s something she’s getting out of it. That is going to be interesting to see how that one evolves. But there are other ghosts that have been more apparently supportive of her, I will say.
I think Pete is one of them. I think in some ways Sam and Pete are kindred spirits. They’re very managerial and leader types. They like to get things right. They’re perfectionists, I think, in lots of ways. So, I think there’s a little kindred thing going on there.
And final question, what can we expect from the rest of this season? What’s one big thing that we could maybe look forward to?
There’s definitely lots more relationship exploration for a number of ghosts, and Sam and Jay’s own relationship gets tested, and we get to see how amazingly resilient they are as a couple. I love their dynamic. As much as he’s supporting his wife who’s seeing ghosts, I still think they have built these really relatable characters in Sam and Jay, and the writing, in having them really be willing to weather the thick and thin with each other. I think everybody in the world right now is feeling like this last couple of years has been a big test and a lot of people’s relationships have been put to test. We get to really see Jay and Sam overcoming more and more as the season goes on.
Interview: EW – Rose McIver on Ghosts’ very special Christmas episode and who’s putting the ‘romance’ in necromance