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In tonight’s Preacher, the mysterious, British-accented duo of DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) attempted to remove whatever has possessed Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) with, first, a coffee can and then a chainsaw. That latter attempt at rudimentary surgery resulted in them being seemingly killed by the vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) before magically reappearing, alive and well, at episode’s end.
Below, real-life British actors Yusef and Brooke talk about their big fight scene, working with the human dynamo that is Gilgun, and the best way to remove fake blood.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it like shooting the fight scene between your characters and Cassidy?
ANATOL YUSEF: It was kind of mad, really, because it was one of the first things, if not the first thing we did. We had a very special stunt team who were very, very helpful. And so we rehearsed it pretty solidly and on the day it went really well. It was an interesting way to establish our characters, our relationship, what we were trying to do. In a way, the actor experience and the character experience was quite similar in trying to get this job done, and, before we were allowed to do it, in walks Cassidy. And Hell ensues.
TOM BROOKE: I ended up wanting to do a good job for the fight guys, because we spent about a week working on it, and they were so good and helpful that it became really important to make sure that we did right by them. There was so much blood that the carpet tiles in the motel room were sticking to the bottom of our feet. They were soaked in blood.
YUSEF: So, whenever we took a step, we’d take a piece of carpet with us.
Were you still finding blood in your ears days later?
BROOKE: You get given Gillette shaving cream and amazingly that gets rid of it.
To be clear, I didn’t mean to imply that you gentlemen have any kind of hygiene issues.
YUSEF: Well, we did after that!
BROOKE: And I do anyway, so…
Everybody seems to praise Joe Gilgun while also pointing out that he is a somewhat idiosyncratic individual. What was your experience of working with him on this episode?
YUSEF: [Laughs] Working with Joe? [Laughs] Entertaining. Endlessly entertaining.
BROOKE: Endlessly. Relentlessly.
YUSEF: Relentlessly entertaining. [Laughs]
Would you care to expand on that a little?
YUSEF: Not really! Um, in the fight, there was one moment where my character thrust his head into a pew. We did a run-through and [stunt coordinator] John Koyama said to me, “You’ve got to go a little bit easier on that strike, because you might hurt him.” And I was like, “I didn’t do anything, it was Joe throwing himself into the pew.” So, yeah, there was a lot of that.
BROOKE: It’s unusual to be around someone that is just constantly funny. Like, there is a level of wit and humor with him that I haven’t ever seen before. It’s just nice to be in that sort of company. If for some reason he slows down and stops, which is rare, just ask him a question and off he goes again. It’s endlessly fascinating and entertaining. Yeah, it was great fun.
YUSEF: He’s like that battery bunny. What’s he called?
BROOKE: Yeah, yeah, the Energizer Bunny.
YUSEF: Just give him a tug and off he goes. The great thing is that he’s got such a big heart that a lot of the time he lifts the situation. You know, there are occasions when we’re all a bit tired and Joe’s still going. But you’re happy because he’s got a lovely spirit about him, Joe.
There is obviously still quite a lot of mystery surrounding your characters but I was hoping you could help solve one conundrum. Why are DeBlanc and Fiore British?
YUSEF: I think the reason the project has attracted British and Canadian people is the humor and the lens with which it looks at America. I don’t know why we’re Cockney.
Finally, in the episode, Cassidy has some harsh words to say about The Big Lebowski, which is one of my favorite films. What are your own thoughts about the movie?
YUSEF: I love it.
BROOKE: I mean, it’s a f–king classic! If he wasn’t playing an alcoholic vampire, I would have had that out with him, I think.
In this week’s episode of Entertainment Geekly, we talk about the new TV show. (Like: Did we need a Preacher origin story? And: What are Tulip and Cassidy really doing on this show?) Then we dive deep into spoiler territory, addressing the complete run of the original Preacher. Does the comic book series hold up? Was it nasty for the sake of being nasty, or did it have a real emotional and intellectual depth? (Spoiler alert: It was pretty awesome.) Listen to the podcast below, and subscribe now on iTunes!