The cast of Preacher is everything you’d hope they’d be and more. This is everything I learned during the press panel + a highlight video from SDCC!
I’ve never read the comics for Preacher, so what drew me into the show initially was its strange premise and Dominic Cooper. I have a deep and abiding love for Howard Stark.
At the press panel at SDCC, I learned a few more things about the cast. The panel was made up of Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Graham McTavish, and Ian Colletti. I knew Joe, Dominic, and Graham all had accents, but I didn’t know that Ruth was Irish or that Graham’s accent is more English than Scottish. I only knew him as Dougal MacKenzie in Outlander before this. The things we learn every day, right?
As I listened to this panel, it’s obvious how well they all get along and how seriously they take the job of bringing these characters to life on screen.
McTavish, who plays the iconic Saint of Killers, felt this weight from the very beginning because he was actually a fan of the comics before he auditioned for the role.
“I mean, yeah, I’m a huge fan of the books, you see, so I knew everything about the books before I started it, so the idea of becoming this, as you say, iconic character that I loved when I was reading them was quiet overwhelming at first. I felt a little bit, well justifiably, a responsibility for playing the character. So I do know, yes, his ultimate journey which is a very, very interesting one which I look forward to playing out.
But yeah, I have felt a little lonely and sad and isolated in my nineteenth century world with my horse. And I don’t even manage to look out for, the horse doesn’t even last. I mean, it’s dead within a few minutes.”
When asked about being with the other actors in the future, he said:
“I look forward to seeing a little bit more of them.”
What drew him to the character?
“I love that he’s trying to be a good family man. That’s what drew me in from the beginning. Why he becomes who he becomes.”
The incomparable Ruth Negga talked about the duality of Tulip, and how wonderful it is to have these strong characters in television be portrayed by women of color.
“Well, I think she’s a joy to play really because I think that she’s so contradictory like we are as human beings, and I think that I don’t really feel like we see enough portrayals of people like that, especially women and women of color. I think that what attracts me to her is what repels most people–her unapologetic tendencies. They’re not just for the sake of violence, I think that she feels that it’s an amour of sorts for her, but also, she has a quite purer sense of justice. I think that’s what you can see throughout the series.
In terms of women of color, I think it’s a relief to play someone like her and when I’m watching it, it’s a relief to see someone like her so it’s very important for me. I think for so long we’ve been so complacent about there not being enough people of color, in fact the whole world, reflected in our art and culture, and I think that conversation needs to keep happening because I think there’s so much more we can do.”
The theme of duality continued with Dominic Cooper speaking about Jesse.
“He’s a flawed superhero because it doesn’t actually work, and it’s going against what he wants to achieve which is to save a place that he cares a lot about. He’s a man that’s desperate to change himself–to make himself a better person. He knows he’s flawed and he feels guilty for what he did to his father and he thinks he’s the chosen one, and he’s coming around to that way of thinking very quickly.
At first, he didn’t want anything to do with it, and it seems like it’s sorta absorbing into the very fabric of who he is. That he thinks he can still do good with it, and the truth is, power on that scale is very dangerous. And the fact that he hasn’t yet realized that says a lot about him. In fact, he’s capable of having this entity inhabit him and remain there. Most people who it’s happened to have exploded, but the fact that he can harness it means, to me, that he’s half evil, half good. There’s a very bad side to him. He’s had a tough life on the road, and he’s struggled, but I like that you say he’s good because he’s desperately trying to improve himself.”
Ian Colletti took some time to talk about how Eugene (Arseface) had become the moral voice on the show before his untimely trip to Hell.
“The greatest challenge of playing this character was trying to humanize him and try to make this larger-than-life comic book character, Arseface, into Eugene, the flawed and very real and empathetic human being. My hope was that as the series progressed that people begin to forget about the prosthetic and the deformity and begin to see him as a human being that often, I think at times, is surprisingly relatable.”
On what drew him to the character:
“He’s very human, and he’s trying to make right some things.”
You’ll remember from the previous post that focused on the writers and producers, that they said Joe Gilgun was least disappointing person you’d ever meet. Well, they were right, and this interview proved it. When asked about how he’s like his character, he jokingly said he was a drug addict, he admitted to getting into trouble with Dominic at the beach earlier in the week, and gave a very “Cassidy” response to the notion that Preacher could have stirred up some controversy.
“I think Cassidy sees a little bit of himself in Jesse. He sees this young lad that’s taking a stab at making it right, and he wants to see how it goes. He’s got time. Everybody dies and leaves him in the end anyway, but this is the first time he’s had the opportunity to settle and feel needed.”
On the show and changing faith:
“It’s not made me question faith. I still think it’s trouble, I’ll be honest.”
“I think, you know, as well, it’s an example of how the new generation of faith isn’t taken so damn seriously. If you don’t want to watch it, watch something else. I was kinda expecting a bit of trouble because there’s always some asshole somewhere with a problem. He can’t get through the day without being offended somehow.”
Here’s some of the trouble they got in courtesy of Dominic Cooper’s twitter…
— Dominic cooper (@dominiccoop) July 22, 2016
One important subject that I forgot to include in the previous post dealt with the love triangle between Tulip, Jesse, and Cassidy. According to the writers, they’re leaving it there like a little “bomb” and it’s filed away for now…
You can watch the the Preacher panel from SDCC 2016 below!