NEW INTERVIEW: David Tennant On Good Omens’ Crowley “He’s a delicious character to get under the snakeskin of”

The latest issue of Sci Fi Now goes behind the scenes of the forthcoming Amazon Prime series Good Omens and features chats with David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Neil Gaiman, Jack Whitehall and Adria Arjona. 

The hugely anticipated adaptation of the cult fantasy novel, was written by Neil Gaiman in collaboration with the late Sir Terry Pratchett and hits Amazon Prime worldwide on 31st May, with scripts written by Gaiman himself, who also acts as showrunner for the six part series.

Good Omens is a dark, comedic story set in modern day Britain on the brink of the Apocalypse. When a fussy angel, Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and a suave demon, Crowley (David Tennant) get wind of the coming of the Antichrist, they join forces to prevent the loss of their comfortable lifestyle on Earth. Throw in a medley of unforgettable characters, some infernal riders, a host of angels, a legion of demons and a gang of unruly kids, and the end of the world will never be funnier!

“It’s not like anything else” David tells Sci Fi Now, “I think Neil writes in his own way and Terry Pratchett wrote in his own way and together they created something entirely new. It’s a reality that’s obviously heightened, and yet when you read the scripts the world feels so fleshed out, so palatable, with this juicy vein of satire that runs right through it. It’s great.” 

“There’s a great sequence at the beginning of episode three,” explains David, “where we jump-cut a few hundred years and we see them at Christ’s crucifixion, at Noah’s Ark, we see them in Shakespeare’s Globe, we see them in the Second World War, and we get glimpses of their life through the millennia and you see this developing relationship where they’ve started on opposing teams, and yet as the story goes on they inevitably drift towards each other, and indeed inherit this common goal to avert the apocalypse. Really for no other reason than that they’re quite enjoying their life, they don’t want to have to go back to pushing paper. They like dining at the Ritz and this thing known as wine that human beings have invented and fast cars and all that sort of stuff, it’s entirely selfish, but it does mean that their common goal makes them unlikely allies. He’s an angel who is not without his flashes of naughtiness and I’m a demon who has been known to do the right thing occasionally.”

David had never read the book before signing up , but says he was attracted by the “fantastically liberating” role of Crowley. “He enjoys a laugh and he doesn’t lack self-confidence. He’s very practical, very clear eyed. Despite the fact that he’s a supernatural being he’s dismissive of mysticism or anything New Age. He’s a delicious character to get under the snakeskin of and because he’s got that  supernatural element, all bets are if. You can take that in as many directions as your imagination will allow. It’s just a really good fun place to start with something.
When you bump into people for whom this book has meant everything, of course you feel a weight of expectation. Nina Sosanya, who plays one of the nuns in the story said: ‘I would have done anything to be in this. I re-read this book ever year. It’s my favourite book of all time.’ That’s the sort of refrain I keep hearing. Once you realise that you hold something precious to people in your hand, you don’t want to disappoint them. But you’ve got to try and not worry about that, because you’ve got to tell this version of that story. I’m sure it won’t mirror what everyone sees in their heads, but maybe it’ll be better for some people. I’m sure some people will be furious; I’m sure some people will be utterly delighted. All you can do is your best.” 

Sci Fi Now is out now. 
Good Omens comes to Amazon Prime on 31st May.