Jon Hamm getting a surprise birthday cake, rocking nuns and a Queen cover band were among the sights at the packed Good Omens party at the South by Southwest film festival Saturday.
The bash thrown by Amazon Prime and Entertainment Weekly celebrated the eagerly anticipated supernatural limited event series from author Neil Gaiman that stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant as an angel and demon, respectively, who try to prevent Armageddon. The “Saints and Sinners” party was packed with partygoers wearing angel halos or devil horns amid attractions that included a super-sized scale of judgment, a giant beer tap tree, fire breathers, thunder and lightning effects and complementary Torchy’s tacos.
Check out some of the highlights:
Hamm plays Archangel Gabriel in Good Omens and was surprised by Garden of Eden-themed birthday cake and a round of “Happy Birthday” from his castmates while the cover band Almost Queen performed “Somebody to Love.”
“I had read the book [Good Omens] in the 90s and now I get to have a blast shooting a piece of literature that I’ve liked for 20 years,” Hamm said. The actor’s character is basically the boss from hell (even though he works in heaven). “The books suggest both heaven and hell are just sh—y places to work, one has a better view,” he added.
Hamm with costars Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
Tennant often had to wear snake-like contacts for his role as the demon Crowley, which at one point caused a bit of a problem when shooting in the desert. “Most of the time I was all right with it, but there was one day in the Garden of Eden, in the desert it, it was a bazillion degree and the white sand of South Africa creating this glare and I wanted to scratch my eyes out,” he said.
Demore Barnes, Ricky Whittle, Bruce Langley, Tennant, Sheen, Hamm, and Gaiman.
Gaiman offered his “elevator pitch” for those unfamiliar with his book: “It’s about an angel and demon who have been down on earth for the last 6,000 years and by now have more in common with each other than they do with their respective head offices and like it here. So when they discover Armageddon is coming they work against heaven and hell to try to preserve the earth.” The author also touted praised SXSW as the rather perfect festival to help launch his show. “South By embraces the weird, I would so much rather launch it here,” he said. “The joy of doing it at South-by is there are not a lot of other things like this, we seem to have taken over the town without trying very hard. This doesn’t feel like a marketing exercise, it feels like an event where everybody is having too much fun.”
Hamm, Good Girls star Retta, and Aisha Tyler.
“[Good Omens] is a buddy comedy, it’s a road movie and it’s also an office comedy — this idea that heaven and hell and the damnation of souls and eternal salvation are managed by asshole bureaucrats in an office somewhere,” Tyler says.”This show is so dense with Easter eggs you know when.you’re watching it you’re missing stuff.”
The Chattering Order of St. Beryl performed a couple of Queen songs and rocked out to the cover band.
The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico star Nathan Parsons gets on the scale.
Almost Queen rocks the house (in Good Omens, every time Crowley tries to listen to any kind of music, he hears a Queen song instead).
Good Omens premieres on Amazon Prime on May 31. For more, watch the trailer and read our coverage of the show’s SXSW panel.