Michael Sheen: «Good Omens? Neil Gaiman offers a really sharp, Python-esque, very British kind of comedy»

The actor is one of the main character in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s novel

What can you tell us about your character?
«Aziraphale is an angel with lovely blonde hair who was at the Garden of Eden. He has stayed on earth since and has got more enamoured with it than he should have. He should be more detached, but he’s become more human than divine. Crowley is going through the same thing on the other team. They both discover that the lines between good and evil and angels and demons have become blurred. It’s a very human predicament».

David Tennatn and Micheal Sheen in Good Omens

Have you enjoyed working with David Tennant?
«Absolutely. The relationship between these two characters is great to play, especially with David in the role of Crowley. We did Bright Young Things together 20 years ago but never had a scene together, and we’ve known each other since then. He’s a fantastic actor and a lovely man. I think we have a great chemistry. It feels like a very good fit».

Neil Gaiman, David Tennant and Michael Sheen

What do you love about Neil scripts for Good Omens?
«Neil was initially influenced by Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He offers a really sharp, Python-esque, very British kind of comedy. When Neil sent me the scripts, I was also reminded of Whoops Apocalypse. Doing this adaptation, Neil revisited the story and was able to bring in everything that he has worked on since he and Terry wrote the novel. He was a less experienced writer back then, and these scripts have benefited from the time since then. Neil has been able to bring a more mature understanding to his writing».

Does the devotion of the fans add to the pressure on you?
«No. You can’t keep everyone happy all the time, but I hope the people who love the book – and I count myself amongst them – will be able to enjoy this TV series, as well as people who are new to the story. In the end, you have to go with your gut. Neil’s writing this, and he provides a fairly definitive voice on Good Omens».

A scene frome Good Omens

Why are some critics still snobbish about sci-fi and fantasy?
«Those genres are seen as not connected to the real world. Critics think there is a silliness or superficiality about it. They think it’s not serious. But some of the greatest writing about the human condition and what it’s like to be here has been done by people writing sci-fi. Think of George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, two of the most influential social commentaries ever written. Or look at Philip K Dick, one of the great writers of the 20th century».

  • Good Omens Opening Title by David Arnold:

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