One of the joys of being at San Diego Comic-Con is hearing the stories that come out of your favorite actors, directors, artists, and more when they’re in an environment where they feel comfortable. Comic-Con may be bigger than ever, but for many creators it seems it still feels like a place they can let loose.
At a press conference preceding Preacher‘s official panel today, executive producer Seth Rogen shared one such story from the set of the AMC show.
“We made Joe piss himself one time,” he said, referring to actor Joe Gilgun.
“This is going to make me sound like a dick,” he continued. “But there’s this scene where he jumps out of an airplane and splatters in a field at the bottom of a crater with his guts out. And to shoot it, he was buried in a hole basically with like, a prosthetic thing. It took him like 45 minutes to get in and out of the hole, and we were kind of f***ed for time. The sun was going down, and he was like, ‘I have to get out of the hole to piss,’ and I’m like ‘You’re not getting out of that hole to piss. I can’t let you.’ And he pissed himself while he was in the hole.”
Gilgun, who plays the vampire Cassidy, was sitting farther down the table. He took the story in stride. Apparently, he’s a real trooper.
“If he actually cared, I wouldn’t have made him do it,” Rogen said, chuckling.
“I think that’s kind of the challenge of television, is making it look interesting while shooting things basically in as few shots as humanly possible,” he continued. “But it’s not s***y. I love it. Directing this show, and directing in general, is a fantastic job.”
The show’s panel, in the enormous Hall H, began with a performance by an actual New Orleans jazz band, fitting with the show’s current setting. The band continued to play as the actors and Rogen took their seats onstage, amid jokes from the cast that they’re sick of the trumpet players following them everywhere.
The panel opened in full with a trailer showing some upcoming events fans will find exciting, including a meeting between Jesse and Herr Starr, a fan-favorite villain who so far has only appeared very briefly on the screen. “I hear you’ve been looking for God, Preacher,” Starr says. “You can’t find him alone.”
The trailer also teased Hitler and Eugene’s possible escape from Hell, and it ended with a fitting line from Starr: “Like a 10-inch dick, I need to see it to believe it.”
In a further clip showed exclusively at Comic-Con, attendees got to witness some of Starr’s early training with the evil organization The Grail. “I want everyone to know that what is about to transpire, I take no pleasure in,” the villain says, before visibily masturbating to distract a foe in single combat. In another scene he seems to be vaguely enjoying having a battery hooked up to his testicles. Standard Preacher, in other words.
Rogen teased The Grail’s role in the show, before the actors behind Herr Starr and other Grail members took the stage. “The next episode that airs is the one that introduces the Grail more thoroughly. I can say they’re a super secret organization, the most powerful in the world. And we will ultimately learn that their Samson Unit, which is dedicated to something we will learn about next episode, is run by Herr Starr,” he said. “In the comics he’s one of the best characters, and we’re starting to learn more about the Grail and what they do exactly, but if you’ve read the comics you know exactly who they are.”
The panel’s moderator, comedian Chris Hardwick, had opened with the obvious question: Did Rogen ever think he’d see something like Preacher on TV, much less be the one making it?
“When we read the comic, TV was totally different,” Rogen replied. “Luckily, people’s sensibilities have declined over the years.”
Preacher’s first season was widely considered a little slow compared with the books, but Season 2 has picked up the pace.
“The first season we were compressing the spring, and this year we’re really letting it go,” Rogen said during the press conference earlier in the day. “It was a weird strategy, in retrospect, because we could have just been canceled.”
Season 2 is in full swing, and the cast had few other teases to offer. But one thing the show has alluded to is a storyline that appears early in the comics and takes Jesse back to the roots of his character, and his family.
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