Outcast exclusive: Philip Glenister on playing a “rock-star” preacher

Life On Mars star Philip Glenister on what to expect from Outcast

The opening scene of Outcast‘s pilot episode is one of the most visceral pieces of pure horror on television. It has it all: body horror, jump scares, a creepy kid, even bugs. You thought the little girl zombie in the first episode of The Walking Dead was bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

“That’s what I like and admire about [Outcast]; it’s not apologising,” Life On Mars star Philip Glenister tells us. “It’s basically saying, ‘This is the show, this is what it’s going to be about folks, so if you’re with us, great, stick with us, but if it’s not your cup of tea, turn over now.’”

Main character Kyle (Patrick Fugit) crosses paths with Glenister’s Reverend Anderson, a hard-drinking preacher with a sideline in exorcism, and the two team up to find out why possession has been plaguing Kyle, and to exorcise their own personal demons along the way.

Philip Glenister alongside co-star Patrick Fugit.

Anderson is the sort of evangelical preacher that Glenister terms ‘rock stars’, but with one key difference: “I don’t think he’s a charlatan. I think a lot of them are, but I don’t think Anderson is… He gave up his family for the calling. It’s his duty, this service to wipe out the Devil and God knows what at the expense of his family. Of course, as the series unfolds he really starts questioning his belief, his faith and whether he’s done the right thing.

“Kyle is the one who seems to have this power,” continues Glenister, “and Anderson, who’s maybe his mentor, starts to question his own beliefs and starts thinking, ‘Hang on, why has this kid got it and why haven’t I anymore?’ It causes a friction between them.”

Outcast premieres Tuesday 7 June 10pm on FOX. For more news about the latest TV series, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.