Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun chat about the new season of 'Preacher' and their road trip to find God.
Skip Bolen/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Season one of Preacher started with an explosion from the Word of God, and ended with another explosion—as well as the realization that God left Heaven for parts unknown. Thanks to fate (or a craving for french fries), Tulip, Jesse, and Cassidy survived the annihilation of Annville and decided to hit the road in search of answers. It was my own search for answers that led me to Beverly Hills' Four Seasons Hotel to talk with Ruth Negga (Tulip O'Hare) and Joseph Gilgun (Cassidy) about the second season, which just kicked off this past Sunday on AMC.
Meeting Ruth Negga in person provides an immediate illustration of her talent as an actress. She's surprisingly slight and could easily be mistaken for a delicate person—that is, if you weren't aware of the loud, brash, fuck-or-fight character she portrays in Preacher. She fiercely loves Tulip, who's a bit damaged but is also is every inch a fighter. In Preacher's second season, Tulip decides that she wants a second chance at life with Jesse Custer—and she's never been shy about going after what she wants. "I think she's unafraid of herself in many ways. I think she's fully aware of her flaws. She knows her footing. She has a real want to live fully. To go out there and live fully is intimidating. I really love that about her."
By contrast, Joseph Gilgun is so much like the Irish, fast talking, no-filter, 120-year-old vampire Cassidy that you might question his reaction to the sun. But the actor instead comes across as thoughtful, raw, and honest; ask him how he's doing, and he'll tell you with zero bullshit. While Cassidy pretends he's got his shit together, Gilgun openly discusses his bipolar condition and his concerns about coming off like an asshole. Similar to Negga, Gilgun holds his character close to his heart—no matter how much a screw-up he is. To him, Cassidy means well, insisting that "He's a sweetheart."
While chatting with both of them about Preacher's second season, they teased what we can expect from both Tulip and Cassidy now that they've set out with Jesse Custer on the Road Trip to Find God. Tulip and Cassidy have the same ultimate goal: forward motion. How they approach it is where they differ. Cassidy, specifically, is looking for trouble. As Gilgun explains, "He wants that fucking nightmare that everyone would much rather avoid." Negga's take on Tulip's reason for hitting the road is a little more elaborate. "She's been running away from [Jesse] and that relationship for so long."
"He's her soulmate—that's why she came back," she continues. "What does she have left? She's been running from fire to fire, and they're all smoldering in the background. There are a lot of bridges she's burned, and she doesn't have much choice. But she misses Jesse and the old life. She knows this is a different Jesse who's taken a different fork in the road, but he's still all that she has left. She truly loves him and sees this road trip as something that could be fulfilling for all her needs. But she's not at all invested in this God finding mission. To her, it's malarkey."
Meanwhile, Cassidy's looking to redeem himself after having sex with Tulip. While Cassidy didn't know the depth of Tulip and Jesse's relationship, he still feels guilt, and he wants to come clean. Meeting Jesse has made him question a lot of things he's been avoiding, and he recognizes he's spent a lot of his life running away.
According to Gilgun, Cassidy may be looking for redemption, and Jesse and Tulip keep him on the straight and narrow. He also revealed that Cassidy and Tulip run into some very normal life problems, hinting that Cassidy will face a challenge. "He's a fucking psychopath, so he's like, 'How do I do this again?'"
The biggest hurdle to both Tulip and Cassidy's plan for a better life? Preacher co-creators Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. During a press conference, they explained that season two is much more kinetic and will embrace the wilder, more surreal moments that really feel like Preacher. That means Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are looking for answers, as well as some sort of life that isn't total chaos—in the midst of a show that's all about chaos.
When asked about Cassidy's journey in season two, Gilgun said, "I think he's really starting to question things a little bit…I don't know if he's met other vampires, but there's other people just as fucked up as he is. Thank God for that. Like angels, these poor bastards can't die ever. They're fucking reborn straight away. It's an interesting dynamic this year. I hope the fans like it."
Ruth Negga hinted at Tulip's journey as well. "If we're looking for God, of course, there's gonna be some fun along the way. I just don't think she thought it would be as detrimental to her as it does become."
Having seen the first few episodes, I'll tell you this much: The road to find God is paved with all sorts of things, and our three amigos are driving straight at them at a 100 miles an hour with their hair on fire.
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