Tom Brooke, who plays Fiore on AMC’s Preacher, talks about why the entity chose Jesse, where Fiore and DeBlanc come from and how a chainsaw fight in a church is just another day on the job.
Q: What was your knowledge of the comic before joining this project? How did you get involved?
A: I hadn’t heard of the comic before getting the audition. But I did the audition, sent it off to Sam [Catlin], and then I bought the comics and read them all. It was very difficult because this was something I wanted to be part of in such a major way and I had to wait and see if they were interested in having me be part of it. They were offering a huge amount of screen time and the character doesn’t really appear that much in the comics. They explained to me that they were going to do something very different from the comics, which surprised me because the material is so good. There was a great moment where I walked into my living room and told my wife, “I was just talking to Seth Rogen on the phone,” and we both screamed and ran around the room a bit.
Q: There’s a lot of mystery surrounding your character. How would you describe him when we first meet him?
A: He’s after something that was once his and that he needs to get back. Nobody knows that he doesn’t have it, but if they do, he’s going to be in trouble. He thinks if he can just do this very quickly, on the quiet and before anyone notices there’s an issue, everything will be fine and he can carry on as normal. He’s come down from Heaven, he’s been matched with somebody and they are trying, in a fairly pathetic way, to get this thing sorted out before anyone notices something’s gone wrong.
Q: How would you describe Fiore’s relationship with DeBlanc?
A: The thing that slightly unites them is that they’re both as bad as each other at doing what they’re required to do. From Fiore’s perspective, I think spending a bit too much time in Heaven has slightly gone to his head and he sees these mortals as beneath him and yet, he’s not this supreme being that he thinks he is. On Earth, they do things differently and he is utterly ill-equipped to handle that. Thank God he has DeBlanc alongside him, because he would be completely lost if he didn’t. They’re just trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Q: How fun or challenging was it to shoot the chainsaw fight scene in Episode 2?
A: I’ve never done a chainsaw fight in a church, and I’ve certainly never done a chainsaw fight in a church on Day 1 of a job. But if you’re going to start with something, it might as well be a chainsaw fight in a church. It was just great. There was loads of blood, screaming and shouting. We worked on it for about a week with all the stunt guys and I feel we did a good job. At the end of the day, we were just completely red. [Laughs]
Watch: The Making of a Chainsaw Fight
Q: And yet Fiore and DeBlanc are still alive after being cut to bits — much to Cassidy’s bewilderment. He even thinks they’re clones!
A: The thing about them both is that they can regenerate. I don’t know if you’d want to be able to regenerate, to be honest. I don’t think Fiore is very happy down on Earth having to do this thing, but it’s the eternal curse of who he is and where he’s from. He’s unstoppable, but he just wants to stop and go home.
Q: What do Fiore and DeBlanc make of Cassidy? Do they recognize a superhuman element in him?
A: Yes. The situation with Cassidy is that he gets in the way the first time they try to get the thing out of Jesse and then he’s appeared again. Both times, he’s caused them extreme pain. I think a decision is made to get him on their side and use him in a less dramatic way to appeal to Jesse. However easy it is for them to come back, when they are beaten up, it still hurts. Losing an arm is still losing an arm. I think they change tactic and Cassidy is the next step to getting the thing back from Jesse.
Q: Do you think they actually trust Cassidy?
A: Fiore doesn’t trust him. I think DeBlanc thinks he’s a means to an end, and Fiore will go along with that because he’s been beaten up a lot and he wants that to stop. They have different opinions about him, but ultimately if he can help, they want him on their side.
Q: What do they make of Jesse and the fact that the entity has chosen him? Are they prepared to go against him?
A: I don’t think they can understand why Jesse hasn’t, like the two before him, exploded. It can’t exist in someone that’s totally good or totally bad, but it can exist in somebody who has a bit of both. I think DeBlanc is intrigued and Fiore couldn’t care less. [Laughs] Fiore just wants to get this thing out of him and get back before anyone notices that it’s gone.
Q: What are you most excited for fans to take away from the show?
A: The most exciting thing for me is where the story goes. If you imagine where you think it’s going to go, I guarantee you that it will go somewhere completely different. I’ve seen a lot of elements in this show that other shows have, but they’re not used in the way that we use them. Nobody’s got a vampire like our vampire.
Read an interview with Joseph Gilgun, who plays Cassidy.
Preacher airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Sign up for the Insiders Club to be the first to receive Preacher exclusives and updates.