Tom Brooke, who plays Fiore on AMC’s Preacher, discusses why Fiore is so lost without his friend DeBlanc, why he dislikes Jesse so much, and his favorite part of dying again and again.
Q: Given that almost every character from Season 1 was wiped out in the finale, did you expect to return in Season 2?
A: If I remember, he was seen in the last episode just sitting on his trunk, having come back from Hell. My visa was for two years, so I thought the likelihood was that I might get a little sniff of Season 2, and I was very happy that I did. I was just really grateful that they gave me [this] episode, really. They’ve all been really supportive… so it was just lovely to have an episode where I got to do so much stuff, loads of different emotional scenes, and a really nice storyline. It was a lot of fun.
A: They got on really well. We don’t really see much of their backstory, but it just feels like they’d been on a journey, and they’d enjoyed each other’s company. Fiore’s a bit of a lost soul, and I think he really appreciated having someone there to take control or guide him. There’s definitely a brotherly thing that came out. Maybe they’re just two people who really got each other the moment they were put together for that particular job. Earth is not somewhere he wants to be. He was an architect, so he has a scientific approach to stuff. I think with being in Heaven, he’s somebody that looks down on people in general but to be forced to come down and mix with mortals is the last thing he’d ever want to do.
Q: How much fun was it shooting Fiore’s endless death montage? How did those scenes compare to the hotel room fight in Season 1 where Fiore and DeBlanc keep dying and reinvigorating?
A: One day, there were three of us dressed identically and a fake head of mine. There were some lovely moments like that. They got my stunt double, Bryant Burnett, back from Season 1. We got on very well for that first season, and it was nice to hang out with him a bit more. That was a real highlight. It was different because the way we talked about shooting it was that it was a montage. The idea is such a good one – that he’s desperate to kill himself. In a way, when someone comes up with an idea that good, you really don’t want to do too much because it’s more about the sequence as a whole, working. The acting side of it is sort of taken out of my hands because I just had to die loads of times and not overdo it. [Laughs] I think it’s brilliant.
A: When we see him at that stage in his story, his sadness has turned into frustration and his frustration has turned into anger. I feel like he’s lashing out and wanting other people to feel his pain. If life is as difficult for him as it is, why should anyone else’s life be any easier? And he’s not prepared to lift a finger to help him. He’s still smarting from Jesse using the word of God on him. That’s been a bit difficult to take. In a way, perhaps it’s a way to get back at him for that.
Q: Do you think Fiore genuinely likes/appreciates Cassidy? Does that day with him remind him of what he’s lost?
A: If you are given drugs of that high quality, a friendship is going to develop. I guarantee you, whether that person is human or animal or anything. This is the first time in his life he’s been off his face. With Cassidy, he would be the perfect person to do all of that stuff with, I would imagine. I think he spent a day where his brain has been opened, and he experienced emotions that were dead in him or not even experienced before. It’s the quality of the drugs and the charm of Cassidy that totally wins him over. There’s a line where he says, “I know what you’re doing.” He’s not an idiot. He’s aware that Cassidy’s trying to get him high to get information out of him, but what’s he got to lose? He’s stuck in this Groundhog Day situation. Why not do a speedball or two and see if it perks him up?
Q: Did you have a favorite moment from Fiore and Cassidy’s debaucherous afternoon?
A: I think that was my last day, so it was a lovely day to finish on. We were doing a bit of basketball in the room and there was a great moment where the camera was going around 360 and we cleared the whole room but obviously you’ve got people behind the camera. The camera was coming around and [a camera guy] was about to be in the shot and he leapt across this massive four poster bed in this incredible move and landed on the other side just as the camera swept around and faded out the shot. That was a great moment. It was so professional and insanely acrobatic at the same time. It was just brilliant. Basically, it was a day of hanging out with Joe [Gilgun], and I’ll always take a day of hanging out with Joe. He’s lovely.
Q: Fiore says he will call off the Saint but then he doesn’t. Why does he back out of it?
A: I think right up until the moment he does it, he’s not going to do it. But if he tells the Saint where they’re going, he’ll permanently die and he’ll be okay. That’s too big a thing to pass up even with the brief friendship he’s experienced with Cassidy. He’s in too bad a place to pass up the one opportunity he will ever have to get out.
Q: Was it also an unintended consequence of Jesse’s using Genesis to command Fiore to “find peace”?
A: I don’t think Jesse’s quite thought that one through. It’s a touching sentiment, but it’s too open-ended. It’s too all-encompassing. It allows him many options, so I think he should have been more specific with his choice of commands there. [Laughs] That’s definitely going to come back and bite him in the ass.
Q: How did you feel about how Fiore goes out?
A: I like being surprised by acting, so if there’s a sad death – and this might be a sad death – I wanted him to go out with a bit of a smile on his face like he’s innocently happy and he’s okay. If that reads, it will be bittersweet and it might be touching. I love the storyline of the episode and it was such a great way to go. It was a really lovely thing to play.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory from being on the show?
A: The wrap party for the pilot was actually the first day that I hung out with Dominic [Cooper]. I knew Ruth [Negga] a little bit, but it was the first day I met Joe as well. That was a great night. We went to a drag night/catwalk party and ended up drunk in someone’s house. It was really lovely. It’s a great bunch of actors, and I had a lot of fun with them.
Read a Q&A with Dominic Cooper, who plays Jesse Custer.
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