In a world where you can stalk an ex with a click of button, romance has become a lot more complicated. Such complexity drew Montreal-born Being Human star Meaghan Rath, 27, to the script for her new film Three Night Stand (in theatres today). A “non-rom-com’’, the film explores a married couple’s romantic weekend gone wrong. Sue (Rath) and Carl (Being Human costar Sam Huntington) set out on the titular three-night stand, only to realize their plans of rekindling their romance are foiled by the presence of Carl’s ex-girlfriend (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who he still obsesses over. Rath wasn’t phased by the fact that her real-life boyfriend, writer-director Pat Kiely, had to direct her in sex scenes with someone she considers a brother, but the pressure was on to perform a character that was literally written for her. We caught up with the petite actress to chat about her Slamdance festival film and exchanged relationship advice, including her go-to fashion accessory to keep that flame lit.
Do you think viewers will be upset with the lack of a happy ending?
That was our goal with the film. We wanted to get a reaction, and the film tends to polarize. When we were doing test screenings, a lot of woman would hate Carl or they would really sympathize with him, or they would really love the girls. That’s one of the reasons why we all fell in love with the script and wanted to do it. It gets pretty dark at times and it’s up to you to decide if anyone even does have a happy ending.
You and Sam play roommates on Being Human—was it weird acting as a married couple?
We are like brother and sister in real life so it was kind of strange to jump into a role where we were married. We have a great rapport and I am super-comfortable around him. I was a little concerned about creating that sexual chemistry but it kind of works for the characters because they aren’t sexually compatible. There needed to be that history though, these two fell in love and chose each other, so we had to work at building a context for their life before the film.
We have to ask: was it awkward having your boyfriend direct your sex scenes?
To be honest, it wasn’t weird! I didn’t really think about it much going into it; I was mostly concerned with Sam: I think he felt more awkward! Pat and I are so comfortable with each other so we communicate really well.
Did Pat have you in mind when he was writing the script
Yeah, he wrote the role for me. We had just started dating and I was really lucky to have read every single draft of the script. When I read the first draft, I fell in love with the characters, in particular the women. For a young guy, he writes so well for women; he has such an incredible understanding. There was a bit of pressure because I was so invested and I thought the role was a gift, I didn’t want to mess it up.
Do you think there are rules in relationships? Like if you break up, you delete your ex from Facebook?
To me, there are no rules. Like we talk about in the film, you can’t go into a relationship in this day and age without having some sort of baggage and to be honest, this is the modern relationship. There isn’t just one person for you; maybe there are a couple, and you learn so much from your other relationships. There’s a fine line, though: you need to have closure and you can’t let it interfere with the current relationship.
Is honesty the best policy? Do you need to have full disclosure of past relationships? Carl tells white lies to Sue and they just kind of snowball from there.
I think it depends on who you are with, and if they want to hear that or not. Sometimes they aren’t interested and they would rather not know. I think it’s cool to be open. Sometimes it’s okay to tell a white lie to spare someone’s feelings but as long as you’re not getting caught in a spider web of lies.
Sue tells Carl that sex is like a production and she doesn’t enjoy it. Do you think that’s the first telltale sign when a relationship is on the rocks?
That’s when communication is key. You need to communicate what you’re into instead of this passive-aggressive thing, which seems to be what happens with Sue and Carl. Neither of them are really into it, but no one is being honest about it. I think that’s when things start to decline, when the sex starts to go and you can’t resurrect it.
The sex scenes were the most awkward sex scenes!
I know, but that’s real life. Come on—is sex in a car that glamorous?
Any advice for keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship?
I am trying to figure that out too! If anyone has advice for me, I’ll take it! I think traveling helps; a change of scenery keeps things exciting.
What about fashion: things you can wear to keep things hot?
Well, I guess Pat wrote that part about the slut pumps! I personally like knee-high socks, like those American Apparel ones. Free People makes amazing knee socks too, they are so soft and kind of baggy. I love knee socks and big sweaters!