Ruth Negga made quite an entrance as Tulip O'Hare in the first season of Preacher by driving a car through a cornfield. Now she's hitting the road again, but this time her old boyfriend Jesse (Dominic Cooper) is coming along for the ride.
"I think you saw them tentatively coming together in the first season, and I think now we explore kind of how they manage their relationship with everything that has happened between them," Negga says on the New Orleans set of Preacher. "And I think for Tulip, really, she wants to go back to those pre-Dallas days, and eradicate all the mishaps and sadness. I don't think that's really possible."
And then how Jesse has changed in the intervening time and his now found quest for God.
"Jesse has progressed in his religious scholarship if you will, and his ambitions have peeled off from hers. And he's very much a man on a mission and I think she's kicking back against being a sidekick," Negga explains. "But also she wants to pursue an adventure like the old days with him. And then Cassidy...I think she very much feels at home with this band of misfits. And that she has a place, a very vital place here. But I think for her and Cassidy, they're battling with their kind of idea of how relevant they are to Jesse and his mission."
Negga also explains how her version of Tulip has gotten something of an update to be a bit less defined by her relationship with Jesse.
"I think in the comic, although she has this gun-toting past, I think there's very much sort of waif-urchin about her. And everything was in relation to her and Jesse's relationship rather than her on her own," she explains. "Although, you find out about her relationship with her father and her mom loved flowers, and in the comic book that's very much present. I think it was important for us to bring her up to speed from a 90s comic book. It was the early 90 and that was very male-dominated. I think we live in a very different world now. We have aspirations to live in a very different world. So I think that was a given for everybody that that's what we wanted to do. Update her to suit her modern environs."
"I also think for me personally, it was important to confound people's ideas of what a comic book heroine is and what she's allowed to be and what we allow our women in TV and film to be," Negga continues. "And I think we're exploring that further now. She's a badass. She's strong. But I think that I very much enjoy characters who continually, whether they're conscious of it or not, escape definition. Because we all do I think as human beings. You can describe someone as strong or loud or whatever, but they're not just limited to those things. We're all very complex and we have aspects of our personality that are clear at some points and then we hide them at others."
"I like the idea that we're on a journey with Tulip, that it's not just about her being a badass and then that's it, that's who she is. I think what's interesting for me is that she is this sort of heavily emotionally armored woman, but I think that that's been something that she has needed to survive. And I think now that she's seeing Jesse change and evolve, that that's affecting her and that relationship will never be as it was. And I think that's, in a weird way, an Achilles heel. I don't think she wants to be defined by a man, but she's also a human being with a best friend. He could be a girl. That doesn't matter. It's just that he is her world. He's the only one thus far who she's loved and relied upon. And unfortunately, he let her down. And I think when you see your loved ones as fallible, it does cause you to question your relationship with them and yourselves."
Preacher returns to AMC for the two-night season two premiere June 25 at 10 p.m. ET and June 25 at 9 p.m. ET.