The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has turned his other comic, Outcast, into a big-budget US series, mixing Twin Peaks’ brooding atmosphere with Exorcist-style horror – and it’s already been renewed for a second season. We asked its cast what’s new in the world of demonic possession.
How would you compare Outcast to The Walking Dead?
Reg E. Cathey: “It’s almost like a different guy wrote it.”
Wrenn Schmidt: “Robert Kirkman turns a genre on its head with both shows. He makes something that could be very simple much more interesting.”
Some of the scenes are actually pretty gruesome, aren’t they?
Philip Glenister: “That’s the difference between British TV and American TV. In America they just show you that in the first minute. There’s not that apologist attitude.”
How did you find the Southern accent, Phil?
Philip: “I kind of enjoyed it after a while. I started to believe I was from Rock Hill [in South Carolina, where filming took place]. That was the challenge, trying to fool people who started talking to you in the shops.”
Did the comics influence you as actors?
Patrick Fugit: “I drew a lot of mood and physicality from the comics initially.”
Wrenn: “It was a really good starting point, getting an idea of the world and then walking away from it.”
Kate Lyn Sheil: “Some of the physicality of the characters is there in the drawings.”
Philip: “I thought my character in the comic looked like a cross between Elton John
and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I nearly walked!”
Tell us about the demons in the show.
Philip: “One of the biggest plot points is the Reverend (Glenister) and Kyle (Fugit) figuring out what the rules are – how the demons differ.”
Reg: “Something is happening to this little town that’s driving everyone a little mad. And that’s scary already. Then when you see what it is, it’s really scary.”
The small-town setting is very atmospheric too – is that significant?
Reg: “I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it represents to Robert Kirkman. Is it just another small town or is he trying to make another statement? That’s part of
the joy of the show for me.”
Do you think demons exist?
Reg: There are cases where something off is happening to a person.
Kate: There was a moment a few years ago where ‘bath salts’ incidents were rampant.
Reg: ‘Bath salts’ is a drug that makes people eat people. And The Walking Dead was really big so it was a whole ‘zombie drug’. This one guy ate his best friend’s face. After he came down, he was just crushed.
Kate: So don’t do ‘bath salts’…