Preacher returned this week for its third season on AMC with the episode “Angelville.” The episode featured actor Jeremy Childs’ debut as Jody, an enforcer who works for Jesse Custer’s grandmother in Angelville.
But Jody is even more than that. He knew Jesse’s mother, Christina, and murdered Jesse’s father, a scene that has haunted Jesse and been revisited by the series since its very first episode.
It is safe to say that Jody is a hugely significant character to the story and mythology of Preacher, but even so, the original Preacher comics by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon present him as a relatively simple and unrepentant bully.
Childs stopped by the ComicBook.com studio and told us a bit about how he and the creatives on the Preacher TV series found a way to add some layers to Jody’s character. You can watch the full interview above.
“Michael Slovis, who’s the producing director and directed the first two episodes, and of course Sam Catlin, who’s the co-creator, we all talked about it, this idea that Jody was actually in love with Christina, which is not in the comic book at all,” Childs says. “I love that because you have to really flesh out a character. You can’t play a villain. You can’t play a psychopath. He’s all of those things, but you can’t play that, you know what I’m saying? You have to play this live-action, well-rounded figure who does these awful things.
“So it really gave him a lot of different flavors to play with, but being in love with Christina made everything else fall into place for me,” Childs continues. “Getting rid of Jesse’s father, that becomes obvious. The sort of tumultuous, at-odds relationship with Jesse, almost this son-figure and then this guy who's going to threaten to knock him off the catbird seat. It's really fascinating, fun stuff to play as an actor.”
In a way, Jody is a role that Childs has been preparing to play for decades. As he says in the interview, he’s been a fan of Preacher since the 1990s.
“Back in the late ‘90s, I think it was ‘98, I went to a store here in Nashville, I believe it was The Great Escape, and I went in looking for back issues of Jonah Hex, Bronze Age,” Childs recalls. “Found a couple, but they’re hard to find, and I went up to the clerk and asked if there were any western comic books out, and he told me about Preacher. There were about three issues out at that point, so I said ‘I’ll check it out’ and fell in love with it.
“I got so obsessed with Preacher that I started following everything Garth Ennis did,” he adds. “I got the little action figures - push the back of Preacher’s head and his eyes would light up, Cassidy had a little cup of blood - so I was very, very aware of it and followed it for years and years.”2comments
Be sure to watch the full interview in the video above. You can catch more of Childs as Jody as Preacher’s third season continues.
Preacher airs Sundays at 10 pm ET on AMC.