PREACH­ING TO THE CHOIR

Do­minic Cooper gives us a ser­mon about Jesse Custer

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - WORDS emma thrower

PREACHER, GARTH EN­NIS and Steve Dil­lon’s shock­ing, darkly funny comic about a man of God who turns on his cre­ator, was long con­sid­ered un­adapt­able. Well, Seth ro­gen and Evan Gold­berg stuck a fork in that one with the show’s hugely en­joy­able first sea­son. At its core was a great turn from Do­minic Cooper as Jesse Custer, the minister thrown into a world of an­gels, vam­pires, and a bloke with an arse for a face…

Did you know the comic be­fore tak­ing this on?

I heard the name of a script that was be­ing bandied around and it was a good one. And I found a copy [of the comic] at my friend’s house. I sneaked off with it and read it and loved it. Then I started look­ing on­line, then got hold of the comics, then had a meet­ing with Seth and Evan, which was ex­tra­or­di­nary — big hairy blokes talk­ing about peo­ple who look like bum­holes, scenes that could be set in heaven and hell and peo­ple that like sleep­ing with big chunks of meat. It was very hard to fathom. But by the end I was com­pletely en­grossed, and des­per­ate to be part of it.

the pi­lot alone deals with re­li­gion and sci-fi, and has in­sane stunts and tom Cruise ex­plod­ing.

It was an ex­pe­ri­ence like I’ve never had. It was con­tin­u­ally jump­ing from genre to genre while at work and that just kept us all on our toes. Each day was like a sort of gift of mad­ness. And I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing where I’ve been so des­per­ate to get hold of the next script. I re­ally wanted to know what was go­ing to take place, where these char­ac­ters were go­ing to end up.

Your Jesse is not nec­es­sar­ily the Jesse of the comic book. Did you feel you had free­dom to in­tro­duce your own take?

Yeah, I hope I’m not do­ing a dis­ser­vice to Garth [En­nis] by say­ing this, be­cause I think he’s writ­ten such an elab­o­rate, in-depth, beau­ti­ful and mes­meris­ing comic, but it wasn’t easy to get the full in-depth ver­sion of Jesse from the comic... So, I think we’ve all had to make our in­ter­pre­ta­tions of who these peo­ple are. And I think they are quite dif­fer­ent from the comic. What’s been very help­ful is this has been al­most a pre­quel to the comics, so there’s been much more ev­i­dence of Jesse’s com­mit­ment to the church. None of that’s in the comic. It hasn’t been easy to find him, but it’s been a very re­ward­ing and eye-open­ing jour­ney.

speak­ing of eye-open­ing, Jesse fa­mously gets an eye patch in the comic, af­ter a run-in with god. will that hap­pen as the show de­vel­ops?

He’s got to have the eye patch at some point. It’s a mas­sive part of the comic…

PREACHER sea­son 1 is out on 17 oc­to­ber on DVD and blu-ray

Cooper as for­mer bad boy Jesse Custer. be­low: Tulip O’hare (Ruth Negga) and vam­pire Cas­sidy (Joseph Gil­gun) have car trou­ble.

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