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Watch out for hell! AMC’s Preacher has arrived!

There’s nothing like Hell on your heels to get you searching for God

“The more the writers write about him, the more that is revealed about him, the more he terrifies me.”

Hell has found its way to SDCC, but there’s nothing to fear! The intrepid trio of Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy from AMC’s Preacher are here in hopes of finding God and restoring balance to the world. Based on the popular cult comic book franchise, Preacher tells the absurdly twisted tale of Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher inhabited by an angel-demon spawn that gives him the power to make people do his bidding, Tulip, his volatile true love, and Cassidy, a 119-year-old Irish vampire. After Jesse accidentally discovers that God is absent from Heaven, the three of them set out on a road trip to find Him, all while being hunted by the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable, mythical killer from Hell. The gang’s pursuit leads them to New Orleans, where they must dodge local gangsters, dangerous agents, and other unimaginable mayhem on their way to uncovering an even bigger secret.

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The main cast of the show participated in a panel discussion where audiences were given a chance to view a just-released trailer for the second half of the season. In mid-panel, they were joined on stage by ‘The Grail,’ portrayed by Pip Torrens (Herr Starr), Julie Ann Emery(Featherstone), and Malcolm Barrett (Hoover). Then, executive producer Seth Rogen and cast members Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti and Graham McTavish joined us for an intimate conference to discuss what is in store for their characters for the rest of season two, as well as revealing some insights into filming, character development, and hijinks on set.

We jumped right into questions with a question regarding the pseudo-love triangle between Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy, wondering if there’s truly any chance for the latter two to engage in a relationship. Joseph joked about Cassidy waiting perpetually for his turn before admitting that

“He loves her. He’s sort of really loves her and it’s the worst thing…and he wants to be honest, he wants to be honest with his friend as well on what he’s done.”

Ruth jumps in and adds

“I think there’s an interesting dynamic there…it’s as if the gender roles are reversed. He wants to be the honest conversation and pour his heart out…and Tulip is like ‘No, I don’t like to talk about feelings’ because she compartmentalizes it somewhere else.”

She also goes into more insight on her character, saying that

“Because for her, what I learned about Tulip is that she doesn’t think it’s necessary to reveal everything. She’s had a lot outside of him, and that’s not healthy, but it’s part of her. I think you see all of those unhealthy bits of her sort of laid bare.”

When asked about how she approaches playing the badass woman, Ruth goes on to say

“I think she’s a human being. Those terms masculine and feminine, I think we define them and lock them in and I don’t really think that it’s doing us any favors because we share all of them as human beings.”

Seth was asked about the introduction of Hitler into the second season, and how Eugene’s interactions with him almost make him a sympathetic figure. He tells us

“I think we definitely play a lot with the idea of redemption and rehabilitation and if there is a Hell, what is the point of it….is there change in Hell, is there a point to changing in Hell?… It’s easier to use the all evil version of him, but this is a lot more interesting. I mean, Hitler was a person too, and the worst one, at that.”

One person commented on how season two has been quite remarkable, and asked if it had to do with being familiar with the process. Joseph answers

“I think so. I think we’re all really comfortable with one another and the characters…there’s more breathability there. I remember in the pilot certainly and in the first series we were still finding the direction we wanted to take these characters in, and I think this year there’s much more trust, it’s much more of a collaboration. You feel like, you can invested a piece of yourself into it…I certainly did feel that way.”

Dominic adds that

“Writers are getting to know us as well, you can feel…you can sense that they know the kind of work that we enjoy doing, and they sense the characters we’re portraying and how we’re portraying them. And I think they enjoy writing for us for that reason, and of course, the crew’s been similar.”

Seth agreed with their thoughts, describing the first season as like a coiled spring that was released in this one. He talks about how initially there were only a few shows that had the same feel of Preacher, but now that there’s many more,

“That was something we really encourage the writers to try to do is indulge in the tone and take big, crazy swings and not be afraid to try to be funny or irreverent and really try to push the boundaries of the tone of the show as much as humanly possible.”

Dominic talked about how he’s always been aware that Jesse possesses the darkness he showed during the most recent episode, stating that the guilt of his father’s death and having the chaotic group of people around him is what adds to it. He hints that he will show even more darkness when Tulip is in danger, and that

“I think he sees – you know that old saying when someone sees red – really, it goes blank for him and he becomes extremely volatile and dangerous and quite nasty. The more the writers write about him, the more that is revealed about him, the more he terrifies me in his inability to see compassion and his use of genesis often astounds me, because he doesn’t do it to help his best mates in a time of need.”

Seth commented on the phone discussions over some of the choices made regarding the content and characters in the show, stating that AMC is more about making sure that there’s thought put behind the reasoning outside of shock value. He also mentions that in many cases, he’s more surprised by what he’s able to get away with versus what is turned down. Ian Colleti was asked about the prosthetic on his face, reporting that it takes several hours to apply and is one use only because it is rather gross by the end of the day. In regards to how realistic it is, he shared a story in which a woman who saw him waiting to shoot on location thanked him for his (military) service. When Joseph and Graham were asked which of them was the more devilish vampire,

“There’s kind of romantic vampires, aren’t there?” – Graham

“Yes, he’s a very gentle lover, and vampire get a bad rap for that.” – Joseph

A question was posed about the spectacular highway scene, and Seth explained that there was definitely a lot of storyboarding and use of figures to plan out every shot before spending two days with every member of the crew to get that done successfully. In fact, he mentioned that being on Preacher really helped teach him how to truly direct, as he had previously always worked primarily with close friends. Dominic and Ruth talked about how the loss of the baby really tears Jesse and Tulip apart and (seemingly) breaks them up for good. Ruth additionally commented about how heartbreaking losing a baby is in real life, and how the breakup scene was incredibly difficult to film without breaking down. When Graham is asked about the path that his character has taken, he states

“He goes through such an extraordinary trauma with his family, and you could argue perhaps that the journey he embarks on in season two…he’s made this deal with Fiore to get back genesis and in doing so, indirectly killing Jesse, which is not what he intends to do at all – it’s a means to an end.”

He goes on to speak to his approach on The Saint of Killers, saying

“I try to find a human reason for all of it, and for me, it sounds impossibly eccentric but it became a journey motivated by love for him as much as anything else. Because for him, he wanted to be reunited with his family and this was the only way he could do it. Now, he does take a rather heavyhanded approach to it, if people get in the way, they all die.”

Graham jokes about how the walking pace really makes his character all the more terrifying, as he takes his time and opts to avoid a brisk pace. Seth also admits that he went out of his way to keep Graham standing while wearing the sword, because he couldn’t look cool shifting things around. The conference ended with a discussion of how Seth asked Dave Porter to make sure that the musical soundtrack be anything but subtle and to match the crazy tone of the show. After being asked what they would say to God if he was in the room right now, the whole cast agreed the answer would be

“What’s the deal? Where’ve you been? What’s the story?”

We don’t know about you, but just these few minutes with Preacher has us gunning to watch the rest of season two! What has been your favorite part about Preacher? Share with us below!

AMC’S PREACHER WILL RETURN ON MONDAY JULY 24TH, 2017 AT 9/8C!

WHILE THE GANG IS RUNNING FROM THE SAINT OF KILLERS, LET’S SEE WHAT ELSE IS COMING!

We are covering all of your favorites at SDCC17, so don’t forget to check for our panel, interview, and press for the rest of the convention!
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About The Author
Jennifer Yen
I'm a mind-reading geek MD during the day and Amazon bestselling author of YA fantasy series The Avalon Relics by night. I am a lover of great books, binger of television series, and enthusiastic fanfiction creator. I enjoy all things science fiction and fantasy, Marvel, and Disney/Pixar related. I'm a Trekkie, Jedi, Whovian, X-Phile, Shadowhunter, Stitcher, Potterhead, Browncoat, Tribute, Austenite, and so much more. I support diversity in all media and want to keep smart shows where they belong - on the air!
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