In your words, what's Being Human about?
"It's about three people struggling with life, really. The fact that they're a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire isn't celebrated, it's more the fact that they're regular people having to deal with these afflictions."
How would you describe your character, George?
"George is kind of a regular Joe but he's got a really high IQ. He's a decent, kind chap, but since he got bitten by a werewolf, his life has gone to pieces. A ghost is a ghost all the time, a vampire is a vampire all the time, but a werewolf is only a werewolf once a month when there's a full moon. The rest of the time he's a normal human being and he just wants to be accepted as normal. Kind of like when you find out you've got HIV, it's trying to struggle with the fact that this is your life now and there's nothing you can do to change it."
How did he become a werewolf? We don't really learn too much about the characters' backstories in the pilot.
"That will happen when it goes to series but we improvised the backstory in rehearsals. Mine was that I went to Mexico to find a great holiday place for my fiancé Julia on our honeymoon, and when I was there I was bitten by a werewolf. Then I came back and one night I started changing. I realised straight away what it was, because I'd been warned by this tribe, so I had to escape and leave my life completely. That's when Mitchell (the vampire) found me and looked after me [and] kind of took me in really."
Does he get on well with Mitchell, then?
"No, they're a complete odd couple. George is really anal, wants everything to be in its place and wants structure in his life. Mitchell is more aloof. But whenever George turns into a werewolf, Mitchell is there to pick him up and look after him, and George keeps Mitchell on the straight and narrow. They completely need each other."
But there's a third person involved, isn't there?
"They move into this house to get normality, [but] there's a ghost there. It's sod's law! Then after a while they realise that they haven't got anyone else in the world so it [becomes] like a little unit, which is comforting for them."
What sort of things do you think George has done while in his wolf state?
"He never remembers. When he's a wolf he doesn't know what goes on because he blacks out and suddenly he wakes up in the middle of nowehere, completely naked and covered in blood and dirt. He's terrified he's going to wake up and there's this human being in front of him. He doesn't want to kill anyone."
You mentioned being naked on the show, which you are an awful lot. How was that?
"After about an hour I just dealt with it. The first time being naked I was on this rock, then I had to run through the city with my bum out, then there was a scene where I'm washing my arse in the toilets of the hospital. I didn't realise I was walking round completely naked after that. People were coming up to me putting a dressing gown on me, I didn't have to ask for it. I'm now a naturist. I'm in touch."
I have to ask about the Doctor Who Christmas special. How were David Tennant and Kylie to work with?
"I've met David before - he was doing a play when I was doing History Boys - and we get on great, he's really sweet. And Kylie Minogue's absolutely lovely! It's such a great job to be on, you know that when you're there everyone's absolutely loving it. Most of my stuff was on my own in the bridge (Russell played Midshipman Frame), so it was challenging, standing there [alone]. It's kind of like the Harry Potter for TV, so when I got it I was dead chuffed. Actually my mate runs a drama club in Essex so today I'm doing a Doctor Who-themed workshop with 40 kids."
How is it Doctor Who themed?
"We decided that an alien ship has crashed in Great Dunmow, so we've been workshopping various different alien languages and movements. The Doctor has to find the mayor and mayoress, who've been kidnapped by aliens, but when he does he discovers the aliens are really nice people. All they want is a passport and to live in Great Dunmow because they like it so much. So they are given the key to the city and they all sing 'We Are Family'."
Most original! You also have a guest role in Ashes To Ashes coming up - what sort of part do you play?
"I play a recovering rent boy called Marcus Johnstone in episode five. His sugar daddy, the guy who looks after him, is involved in loads of serious crime, and Marcus is kind of blinkered to it. Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) knows she can get through to him and protect him, but also knows she can get information from him. The costumes are great. I looked like Jimmy Somerville! I had on really, really tight jeans, a little hat, Tintin quiff, and really hideous clothes. Brilliant."
Being Human airs Monday, February 18 at 9pm on BBC Three.