INTERVIEW: Outcast’s Philip Glenister talks all things season two
The fantastic new horror series from the mind of Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, Outcast, is back for season two from Monday, April 3.
As we return to the small town of Rome, we learn the number of demonic possessions are rising more rapidly than ever before. As exorcist Kyle struggles to protect all he holds dear, his partner Reverend Anderson finds himself confronted by the demons of his past.
We spoke to Philip Glenister, who portrays the preacher Reverend Anderson, about what to expect from series two.
What can you tell us about season two?
We start off where we left off season one. It’s pretty much the next day. In the overall scheme of things, I suppose the biggest arc that I can say is this thing – whatever it is – is much bigger than we thought it was. The stakes are really ramped now, and we don’t know if this thing is just confined to the down of Rome or whether this is something that is going all around the country or the world.
What we find now is anybody can be possessed, any person around could have this possession within, so that creates a state of paranoia and distrust and conflict. I suppose those are the two big arcs.
I also think Sidney, who is Brent Spiner’s character – who the Reverend is convinced is the Devil incarnate, turns out to be not the sum of his parts. It turns out he’s definitely not working alone. That’s quite a big thing. They’re the things I’ve been told I can say.
Can you tell us anything about the new characters?
There’s a character – Dr. Park, played by Hoon Lee, who comes into the second half of the season and he’s a really interesting guy. I can’t say too much about him, but he’s a pretty interesting, kind of divisive, mysterious character.
And then we have Madelyn Deutsch, who comes in to play this girl who runs this church which is out in the woods. It’s like an old barn and it’s made up of people who were formerly possessed but have supposedly been cleared of all that. They’re kind of – the closest thing I could say is there’s a Noah’s Ark element.
My character gets drawn into their way of thinking, their way of doing things, because he has nowhere to go really. I’ve reached rock bottom – living out of my car. I’ve been booted out of the church. He’s kind of looking for anything that will get him back on track and he comes across this girl that kind of entices him – not in a sexual or emotional way – but in her way of thinking in this dippy-dippy church. It’s a cult type thing, I suppose is the best way to describe it. So Anderson gets drawn into this.
What’s interesting about this show is the internal struggles. Have you figured out Anderson as a character?
Oh, no. No, no. Absolutely not. I mean, with a character like that, once you’ve figured him out then you’ve nowhere to go with the character. And I don’t think the writers have either. I think that’s the beauty of all the characters, not just Anderson.
I like the fact Anderson has to really evaluate and question everything about himself at this point in the season because as I say, he’s really hit rock bottom and he’s got nothing really left in his life. He’s sacrificed his family, his wife, his son, for this calling and he now is beginning to think ‘was this all worth it? Have I just been lying to myself and living this lie all these years?’
He starts to readdress the balance, so if anything there’s a bit of a role reversal and Kyle is the one that now becomes the one that realises they need to fight. Anderson is now the one holding back, saying ‘I don’t think I have anything to offer. I’m a has-been, you’re wasting your time with me, go find someone else because I can’t do this’. Kyle is adamant: ‘I can’t do this without you Rev, you need to pull yourself together man’. It’s kind of a role reversal in many respects.
Anderson’s faith is such a driving force for the character. What do you think he would be like without his faith?
A human being, I think. More caring. I don’t know, I think this is the thing. I think he’s starting to realise what he gave up, particularly with his family. I think that’s his biggest source of regret. The guilt he goes through, especially thinking that everything he stood for or believed in is all rubbish – it means nothing. He’s in a huge amount of internal turmoil, and I don’t think that’s been anywhere near resolved. I think that’s probably the next stage.
Will we see other locales other than Rome in the second series?
No, not really. We still stick with Rome and the townsfolk. There’s a few places a little further out. If we were to get a third season, I think there would be talk of expanding it beyond Rome. I think the trouble is you can limit yourself within a small environment like that, so watch this space. For the foreseeable future we’re still knocking around. There’s plenty in Rome to keep us amused.