Blood, Guts and God: Seth Rogen on Bringing ‘Preacher’ to TV
Seth Rogen will tell you that, occasionally, there are downsides to being one of the world’s best-known comedians. For example, no one will take you seriously when you ask to throw someone out of a plane at 10,000 feet. “So we’re filming this crazy fight scene,” the 34-year-old actor says about a key sequence in his upcoming TV show Preacher. (Actually, crazy doesn’t quite cover it: The set piece involves, per Rogen, a dust-up between an Irish vampire and “five, maybe six other guys,” flying axes, broken bottles, and fire, all within an enclosed space inside a chartered jet.) “I mean, it’s hard enough just trying to keep these things from turning into a clusterfuck of punches and kicks. But I thought we needed something to match the crazy, careless vibe of this character in the middle of it — so my producing partner Evan [Goldberg] and I said, we want to actually throw a guy out of the plane.
“Everyone thought we were joking,” he continues until, three days later, we asked, ‘So how’s it going with the whole throwing-a-dude-out-of-a-plane thing, folks?’ The crew went, wait, you were serious?!” In the end, they got what they wanted, and the highlight of their AMC show’s pilot climaxes with a skydiver recklessly chucking himself into the void. “At that point, people realized that yes, we’re dead fucking serious here,” Rogen declares, letting loose of one of his signature ah-huh-huh-huh laughs.
Take one look at the duo’s small-screen adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s mid-Nineties cult comic (premiering on May 22nd), and you realize that the guys best known for raunchcoms like Superbad and This Is the End aren’t playing around. The story of a Texas man of the cloth named Jesse (Dominic Cooper) blessed with supernatural powers and battling redneck bullies and personal demons, Preacher blends gory horror, Lone-Star noir and go-for-broke action, with a mysterious cosmic entity thrown in for good measure. Along for the ride are two enigmatic government agents, the aforementioned Gallic bloodsucker (Joseph Gilgun) and Jesse’s good-with-a-gun ex-girlfriend (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Ruth Negga), who’s introduced trading blows and bullets in the back of a runaway car. It’s the last thing you’d expect from guys who made their name joking about the joys of pot-smoking and jerking off.
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