‘Preacher’ Creator And Star On Vampires, Superheroes, And Comic Books

Preacher, AMC, Garth Ennis, Joseph Gilgun

AMC is bringing a new comic book adaptation to its lineup with Preacher, which was a long-running series for Vertigo Comics in the early 90s. Preacher was created and written by Garth Ennis, who has also adapted the story for AMC and will wear multiple hats on the series as Preacher creator, writer, and executive producer. Now, Ennis talks about his quirky, violent story and bringing it to television in an age of superheroes.

Meanwhile Preacher star Joseph Gilgun reveals the ways in which the series has already changed his own life. The exact circumstances may be different, but Gilgun has not missed how he and his Preacher character have gone through similar evolutions.

Preacher Creator Garth Ennis On Adapting His Comic Books For Television

Garth Ennis says he’s very happy with the results after having worked so diligently in adapting Preacher for television, but he also admits that it was a daunting task from the outset. The Preacher creator says that bringing the Preacher comic books to the small screen “as is” would have been a catastrophe in the making, due in part to the vast array of colorful characters and the ghastly drama for which the Preacher comics are known. He adds that the television series would have ended rather abruptly without some strategic changes to the story.

As the process of adapting Preacher for AMC began, Ennis says he kept a hand in every aspect of the creative process, but after seeing how well his project was handled by AMC’s team, he’s content to let them run with it.

Preacher is a strange beast. I wrote it very early on in my career, so the pacing and the structure of it are extremely dissimilar to the way I write today. Preacher was a largely instinctive exercise. I took a bit from here and a bit from there and I glued them together, I hoped it would work. I was about 18 months into it before I realized, ‘Ah, I know where this goes, I know how it ends.'”

Preacher Brings Joseph Gilgun To New York And Changes His Life

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Gilgun plays Cassidy on Preacher, a vampire who thrives on addictions to booze, to drugs, and of course, human blood. Seth Rogen has already remarked that Gilgun and Cassidy seem to be two parts of the same person and that it’s almost as though Ennis wrote Preacher with Joseph in mind for the part of Cassidy from the very beginning. Joe will even admit that he’s had a hard life, one not too dissimilar from the life his Preacher character lives, and if not for Preacher, he might still be living that life.

“Honestly man, I used to be a plasterer, and used to sell bits of weed and s–t like that. Just f—–g scraping by. And now I’m in this posh hotel. Just look at this s–t. Yesterday I had a cup of tea, I was at the Nomad Hotel,” says Preacher star Gilgun of his first visit to New York. “I’ve never known anywhere to be so incredibly pretentious.”

Preacher. The very title suggests that the series might appeal to the devoutly religious, but, as someone who has been raised in the deeply religious southern U.S. states and who now isn’t into religion or “all that PC b——t we do now in 2016,” Gilgun wants potential fans to know that religion has very little to do with Preacher. In fact, Joe has some very honest and straightforward advice for a certain segment of the television watching crowd.

“For those who don’t want to think, it’s just good fun,” the Preacher actor begins. “Ultimately, that’s all we want. If you’re someone who is sensitive – a wanker who is sensitive, let me change it – don’t watch Preacher. Don’t be writing those letters in, p—–g and whingeing about the state of TV. Don’t watch it. Watch…”

Gilgud pauses, and the interviewer suggests that those types of people might be better served watching anything else.

“Yeah, get f—–g Netflix,” adds the Preacher actor.

As for his Preacher character, Gilgun admits he wouldn’t have taken the role if the Preacher producers were trying to play on the sexy, cape-wearing vampires of television and the Twilight series. Joe doesn’t believe in vampires being sex symbols. He wants them to be predators – evil, vicious, and even a little creepy. He says that Cassidy comes off as a bit of an idiot on Preacher, and that’s just the way he wants it.

Preacher is set to premiere on Sunday, May 22 on AMC.

[Image by AMC]