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Rose McIver Weighs In On Collaborating With The Crew On The Set Of Ghosts

CBS scored an unlikely success with its adaptation of the BBC One show "Ghosts," and its star thinks that success comes from a strong collaboration between its cast and crew. Rose McIver plays Sam in the series; after suffering a near-death experience, Sam gains the ability to see the spirits of the deceased that no one else can see. Upon inheriting a countryside mansion, Sam and her husband, Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), must learn to live with the spirits that still haunt the estate as they try to fix it up.

Ghosts such as Trevor Lefkowitz (Asher Grodman), a pantsless Wall Street investor with a party boy persona, and Captain Isaac Higgintoot (Brandon Scott Jones), an American Revolutionary War officer who is insanely jealous of Alexander Hamilton's fame and leaves behind a terrible smell when passing through the living, are just a few of the quirky presences haunting Sam and Jay's new home. With such over-the-top characters rounding out the ensemble, the cast often relies on some degree of improvisation for its comedy. When dealing with scenes like this, McIver said the cast and crew of the show have to be extremely collaborative.

Successful improv on set cannot happen without an in-sync crew

"Ghosts" star Rose McIver talked to The Hollywood Reporter about the production team's collaboration and how important it is on the set of the hit CBS sitcom. Given Sam's gift to see ghosts that other characters cannot, they often film multiple versions of scenes, both with and without other actors. "The most important thing is focus," McIver said. She praised her co-stars for helping her through the unique process: "I'm working with nine comedians, essentially, and they're so brilliant. That's the magic that is essential in the show."

She credited the cast's great rapport to the fact that "Ghosts" was put on pause during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. The show was set to roll right before shutdowns happened but had to take an eight-month pause before filming could begin; this led to the cast joining a group text conversation where they speculated about when work was going to start on the series. By the time they got in front of the cameras, the cast felt as if they were all old friends.

But McIver also noted that the collaboration on set extends beyond the cast and into the crew, which she really appreciates as an actor. She said, "When we say it's an ensemble, it isn't just the actors — it's the crew, especially when people are improvising and being deeply surprising in any moment." Citing an example of the behind-the-scenes crew working in tandem with the actors to achieve a common goal, she explained, "The boom operator has to work out how he's going to possibly try to reach across the room and grab somebody's ad-lib line that they've just thrown in, or the camera is working out who they're pulling focus to at any given moment."