In 2010, Alan Tudyk And Tyler Labine teamed up to play a pair of unfortunate rednecks beset by bumbling doomed co-ed in the slasher parody Tucker and Dale vs Evil. Now, the pair have reunited on a television series just as wild if not more so: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. But rather than joining forces once more to conquer evil, these charming character actors will have to face off in a fantastical battle, involving magic, monsters, and murderers.
Ahead of the sci-fi series’ Season 2 premiere, CBR sat down with Tudyk and Labine, as well as Dirk Gently creator Max to Landis and showrunner Robert Cooper to dig into the secrets of the show’s next season. Of course, we were especially curious to learn about this genre-bouncing series newest characters.
“I play Sheriff Sherlock Hobbs, named after a very famous detective, I’ll let you guys guess which one,” Labine teased in a joint interview with his Tucker and Dale co-star. “I am the sheriff of a very small town called Burgsburg, Montana.” His sidekick is a fellow officer played by Izzie Steele, and Cooper promises the two have a dynamic reminscent of season one’s dearly departed cops, Estevez and Zimmerfield.
“Then this gang, this colorful motley crew” — which CBR learned includes Jade Eshete’s ass-kicker Farah Black — “wanders into my life in a very big way,” Labine said of Hobbs. “And I should just lock them up. I should just put them under lock and key and keep them that way forever. And I don’t. I inexplicably enable them in all the wrong ways. And I go along for the ride, and I accept their time travel stories as fact. And I’m just like, ‘Good. That sounds correct to me. Let’s go along and figure this thing out.’ He couldn’t be more thrilled about it. He’s very under-challenged as the sheriff of Burgsburg. He’s also highly trained and overzealous, which is a bad combination.”
But siding with Farah means siding with Dirk — and that will likely throw Hobbs in the way of this season’s big bad, Tudyk’s character Mr. Priest.
Asked to describe this mysterious foe, Landis said, “Most of the information on Osmund Priest has been classified since 1996 after the Diamond Incident. Now, they call it an ‘incident,’ but really it was a successful mission — they only call it an incident in hindsight. Most of its files are blacked out by now, most of it’s redacted. But you can see the words ‘child’ and ‘beheading.’…What those words mean and how they’re connected, no one’s really sure. But every time Priest looks at it, he laughs.
“He’s a tracker,” Landis continued. “He’s a government man. He’s unbelievably dangerous. He’s Anton Chigurh on police payroll.”
In his own words, Tudyk offered another take on his character. “I am Mr. Priest. I am tasked with hunting down these projects (meaning Dirk and Bart). I’ve very good at it. I have a past history with them. That is mainly what I’m doing this whole season. I’m aimed at bringing them in, and really enjoying my work. I’m happy to be involved.” He added that Mr. Priest is “very good at special ops and he’s a gun for hire for a lot of people.”
While some fans who know Tudyk best form his comedic roles like Powerless and Con Man might balk at seeing him play a murderous badass, fans of Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse series remember the terror and mayhem he laced as the unhinged and lethal Alpha. When CBR asked Tudyk to compare the two villains, he paused for a second, considered, and then sid, “He’s less conflicted, as far as the forty full-formed personalities in his head that was Alpha. Mr. Priest, he has the same moral compass. He’ll kill people casually. He doesn’t mind that, which is something Alpha had as well. But he has humor to him in a different way than Alpha did.
“Alpha was very smart, and had a refined quality to him,” Tudyk continued. “Depending on the personality. But Mr. Priest is a little more down to earth, more creepy… He’s like a slow-moving land shark.”
Both Landis and Cooper called Tudyk’s performance “amazing,” and noted of the storied actor’s experience on Dirk Gently, “he’d never fired a machine gun in his career before.” Landis added with a laugh, “It’s a big machine gun. And he fires the fuck out of it. That night on set, he looked so happy!”
Tudyk admits he himself may have laughed when he tested out the big machine gun, but told us, “(Mr. Priest is) in a different frame of mind when he does it. It’s great. You don’t have to act being a badass when you’re carrying a really large weapon, firing and stuffs blowing up. You just do that, and that’ll take care of stuff for you. ”
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency returns to BBC America this fall.
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