NEW YORK, July 4 (UPI) -- British actor Dominic Cooper confesses he stole the script for the Preacher pilot from an unnamed friend's house.
"Timing is everything, isn't it? ... I stole it from a friend's house because I'd heard that it was great. I'd heard that it was a really good script and I'd never really experienced pilot season either before. I didn't really know what that involved. But it involved -- from what I gathered -- people just fighting and being thrown into this madness," Cooper told UPI during a recent roundtable interview with reporters in New York. "This particular year... Preacher kept coming up and, so, I saw it on someone's sideboard and read it. I thought: 'That's phenomenal. What on Earth is this?' ... So, I met the guys. I got in there and it all happened really quickly. ... I had to be part of the project."
Cooper explained how it was the complexity of playing a criminal trying to go straight as a small-town minister that intrigued him about starring in the Texas-set, supernatural-tinged, comic-book adaptation.
"It's almost impossible for him to do so, as he is dragged back into the life that he's just escaped," the actor said.
"And he's doing it for a belief and for a promise. I kept wondering, 'Why has he gone back to this place?' It's just so desolate and so corrupt and it's falling to pieces and the people there are almost beyond help and I think he genuinely, genuinely wants to do what's best for them and fulfill that promise to the father because of that guilt that he harbors. But, it's also the only memory he has of a home. That's where he was at home. That's the last memory he had of family, I suppose."
The show casts Cooper as the title character, Jesse Custer, who returns home and is leading his late father's church congregation when he is possessed by a mysterious entity that allows him to bend others to his will. Complicating his quest for redemption are his mischievous ex-girlfriend Tulip [played by Ruth Negga] and the hedonistic vampire Cassidy, who literally drops from the sky and now wants to be Jesse's best friend [played by Joseph Gilgun.]
Preacher airs Sunday nights on AMC. It was recently renewed for a second season.