It’s awards season! For this occasion, Rose was interviewed by several journalists to talk about her role as Samantha in the hit series “Ghosts“. Interviewed by Awards Daily, Rose talks about ‘Ghosts‘ and her possession of Thorfinn in the double christmas episode.
“I am drawn to ensemble comedies,” McIver says. “We are on set together every waking minute for about six months, and we have built this rapport that, to me, is the electricity. We bounce off each other so much, and you can see that rich connections that everyone has. There are ten regulars on this show, and my thing is when we split off and you don’t know what’s going to happen between those three people. It wakes up all these different dynamics, and they’ve leaned more into that in season two. Like in real life, I might act slightly different depending on who I am with. I might be around someone where I act like an older sister or I might be competitive to someone else. It’s a great way to mine comedy, and it helps us all invest in the characters more. As the leader of the group, all I can do is let people say their piece. I am given a lot of dialogue, and it’s very important that when we are shooting these big crazy days that when someone only has one or two lines gets their time to play. It requires patience on set. If everyone wants everyone to have their moment, it allows everyone to shine.”
A lot of sitcoms would dump on the optimistic character or make them the butt of a joke, but Sam never suffers at Woodstone. McIver is never too Pollyanna or upbeat to the point of exhaustion for the spirits of the home. It’s a tougher character to crack than one may think, but McIver has built her so astutely that we never think she’s annoying.
“I think about that all the time,” she says. “When you get a pilot, you rely on your impulses and maybe your initial instincts as you are getting to know and developing a character. I am still making huge discoveries about her even after finishing season two. I was worried a little, because she is so eager to please and so accommodating–I didn’t want her to be saccharine. But, if think about it, she can’t please everyone or even anyone at time. You can see that fundamental flaw in her, and she’s wanting so badly works occasionally. Rather than finding crazy flaws, I like seeing them as two sides of the same coin. Sam has had to lie, and I hate doing that–it’s actually a phobia for me. She is forced into a position where she has to lie about seeing the ghosts all the time, and it’s a part of her. Hopefully, we have built her with enough qualities that we can handle when she falls short. Like you don’t want to see a single mom in a movie and she doesn’t have any problem getting her two kids to school and succeeding at work. There’s no comedy in that. It’s hard, and, as much as they keep her enthusiastic, we still see the struggle.”
I was surprised when Jay admits that he feels lonely because of Sam’s devotion to the ghosts of the house. When Sam discovers that Jay ventured into New York City to interview for a chef’s job, we can almost see the pink evaporate from her cheeks. Jay is never deceitful, and he and Sam are able to have a real discussion that a lot of audience members can latch onto. Because Utkarsh and McIver put so much care into this couple, we want to see them through this bump in the road.
“Something that the Joes [Joe Port and Joe Wiseman] found out very early on is that pitting us against each other weakens the impact when big things happen,” she says. “They have the minutia of little disagreements as they run the bed and breakfast, but they are always on the same team. It means that when these big moments happen–like when Jay feels so disconnected from having a sense of community–it’s a shocking revelation. Utkarsh and I are very mindful that we don’t want to play any sitcom tropes like the wife bosses the husband around and nags him. We try very hard to find ways where they complete each other or complete one another. Without Sam, I don’t think Jay would be as much of an adventure-seeker. She brings that out of him. since she’s so impulsive. He is very level-headed, and he is very passionate about the ghosts and how they work. We feel for these people, and we always want them to work things out.”
Can we have more possessions, please? It might get trickier the longer Ghosts is on, but season two treated us to Thorfinn (the hulking Devan Long) possessing Sam’s body in “The Christmas Spirit, Part Two.” McIver nails the physicality perfectly, and trying on other characters on top of another character is something she’s fond of.
“When I was nine, I played a young Xena on Xena [:Warrior Princess], but that was the last time I impersonated someone,” McIver recalls. “On iZombie, I was taking on different characters each week, so that kind of felt like that. Over the course of these things, you will never physically transform into this person, so you have to take a few key elements like mental ornaments to hang on a tree. You have to focus on the tiniest things, and you don’t want to worry too much about being completely lost. You wear it like a coat. I was trying to do that with Devan with the hands on the hips and the voice. He stands with his chest much further back than his hips. Those were a few things that I used to decorate the tree. Devan was so generous with me, and I liked to think of it as a person driving a tiny bulldozer in your brain. It’s fusion of both Sam and Thorfinn.”
Season two ends with quite the cliffhanger when Sam sees someone shoot up in a beam of light. Does McIver know who got “sucked off?”
“They wouldn’t tell us,” she says with a laugh. “When they gave us the script, they told us not to ask, so we got immediately cut out of that conversation wisely.