Last night, the world was introduced to Preacher, an epic new series from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, based on the comic series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. After reading all of the comics and getting instantly hooked,a few other Movie Pilot Creators were given the opportunity of a lifetime: We visited the set of the show. It was a new experience for me and all of it was amazing. Here are my five greatest moments from our time with the cast of Preacher!
The outdoor set was a weathered clapboard church in the middle of the desert, constructed far away from the film studio. The main cast and crew were there working on a scene. We got to watch them rehearse for at least an hour, which I loved as I've always enjoyed seeing how much behind-the-scenes work and effort goes into a show. I also got to see the crew at work while we were waiting, and I even geeked out with one of the staff over comics!
Afterward, the actors took a break from filming and my fellow Creators and I had the opportunity to interview the main cast of Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun and Ruth Negga. I should mention that I'm a huge fan of Cooper, so this was already turning out to be a great trip for me. My first question was obviously going to be for him, because I'm such a fanboy and I needed him to speak words in my direction ASAP.
I asked him about his role as Jesse Custer and what makes it so challenging. He basically explained that Custer isn't a caricature; he's a very real, multidimensional character. Gilgun and Negga chimed in as well, explaining that Custer is a very grounded role that sort of centers the other characters. Hearing this made me fully confident in Cooper's Preacher performance.
When it came time for me to introduce myself, they were absolutely flabbergasted by my name. "Are you serious? Your name is really Adonis?" asked Cooper. "That's the coolest name I've ever heard!"
I know my name is fairly unusual, but they were expressing such disbelief that it was incredible. Here were two guys with outstanding careers, tons of acting credits under their belts, and extremely bright futures — and they were astonished by me! Well, my name, but I'll take it.
Side note: If Gilgun starts going by "Colossus" one day, I just want to say that's probably because of me. I named him that. I mean, it could be because he's a huge X-Men fan, but I just wanted to let you know — just in case.
Let's face it, female characters have generally not been written all that well in entertainment. But Negga made it clear that her character Tulip O'Hare is anything but a stock female character.
Speaking of Tulip's multifaceted personality, the actress clarified that a woman in a series could be a completely capable, even violent character, yet still have maternal instincts. Tulip's ideas about nurturing are very different from the usual stereotypes, something made clear in the pilot episode when she displays her motherly attributes by teaching two kids how to build a makeshift bazooka using metal army men and paint cans. Crafty!
But Negga addressed the state of female characters in general, pointing out how depictions of women in movies and television have regressed in the last decade or so. Katharine Hepburn's films, she pointed out, were the living embodiment of truly, fully realized female roles.It was revealing to hear her discuss it, and I'm hoping that her role as Tulip opens the door to even more interesting and complex female characters.
Thanks to an incredible coincidence, the adventure wasn't quite finished after the interview wrapped. It turned out Gilgun was on his way back to the set, too, and because he's such a cool dude he decided to hitch a ride back with us. The whole trip back we all talked, and Joe, in his own unique fashion, told hilarious jokes and stories to entertain us. You can imagine how high my inner fanboy felt.
This, out of all things, was probably my favorite part of the trip. I'm certainly not taking away from the experience of talking to Cooper and the others and asking them questions about the show, or getting to actually walk through the set. But this moment with Gilgun was incredible because it felt so real. It was just Joe being Joe, telling jokes and talking to us about his life.
So that was my experience of Preacher! I had a great time touring the set, seeing all of the fascinating behind-the-scenes action, and talking to three of the coolest individuals I've ever had the pleasure of being in the same room with. It was all amazing, but those were my highlights. Thanks to Movie Pilot for the opportunity!