Seven things we learnt from the Preacher Q&A at SXSW

Last month at SXSW, the new AMC series based on the now classic Graphic Novel Preacher premiered its pilot, over two months before TV screens would screen the debut.

After the screening, fresh from completing their second episode (which Rogen called “a god damn nightmare” as they had only 7 days to shoot it), the cast and crew of the show – as well as the graphic novel’s original creator Garth Ennis – sat down to discuss the episode, the series and more.

Here’s seven things we learned from the Q&A session:

  • Garth Ennis had this to say on the comic’s original inspiration: “It was pretty much every American story I ever read or saw, and I threw it into the mix, boiled it up and that’s what came out.”
  • Executive Producer, Seth Rogen, revealed the origins of his relationship with the show goes all the way back to the time of Superbad:

    “We’ve been trying to make it over the last ten years, somehow everyone else who tried to make it fucked it up and it finally landed in our lap… The first meeting we had on Preacher was in the trailer during Superbad. And then they’d give it to Sam Mendes, who’s a far better choice than us. Band of Brothers had just come out, when we first pitched it, and so an epic miniseries seemed right. Then maybe a movie trilogy. Then cable TV got so good, and it seemed like the right place for it.”

  • Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen revealed that finding the cast was a long process: “Every actor was hard to find… These are iconic characters and we wanted to do them Justice. We had been visualising them for a decade.”
  • Dominic Cooper, who plays Jesse Custer in the series, reflected on what attracted him to the role: “I didn’t know the comics that well, but I found the script and knew I had to be a part of it. The darkness and the stillness and the complexity of my character is what I enjoy the most. I’m constantly discovering new things.”
  • Ruth Negga, who plays Tulip O’Hare, revealed what attracted her: “It’s usually the boys that get to do (these sorts of roles),,, people think girls aren’t capable of extreme violence. I thought I had the potential to be handy with a Corn Cob (reference to something that happens in the first episode). I was born to play this role! It just gets even more exciting (as the season continues). Tulip unfurls more and more. She has an extreme sense that her sort of justice should be served. She sides with the underdog, because that’s who she identifies with.”
  • Joe Gilgun, who plays “Irish Vampire” Cassidy, revealed the endless injuries he’s sustained on the set: “I’m a terrible drinking drug addict, so I’m not digging too deep (with the character). Then fight scenes take a good couple of weeks, everyone gets hurt. What you don’t see are endless injuries. But it’s the best fun. I’ve never worked on anything for such an extended period of time. At the centre of that are such well rounded characters. With this, there’s so much to discover about them.”
  • Producer Sam Catlin shed some light on the differences between the comic and the show: “It starts in a different place, Jesse’s Dad was a Preacher. The comic starts at 200 miles per hour, never stays in one place, but for the series we needed to stay in one place, so we settled on this west Texas town.” He also promised that “we’ll get to all the great characters and set pieces as the series continues.”

Preacher will premiere in the USA on AMC on 22nd May 2016.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.