Good Omens star Michael Sheen recently reflected on his unofficial role as David Tennant’s “attack dog” on the set of the Prime Video fantasy-comedy’s second season.
Sheen recalled how Tennant relied on him to resolve their shared grievances during filming at MCM London Comic Con. “[Tennant] leaves it to me,” he said. “When there’s a problem and we’re unhappy about something… because I’m supposedly the grumpy one. So he can say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, it’s just Michael has a wee problem with this… it’s not me, I’m fine with it.’ I’m the attack dog that has to go on out… [Tennant’s] a bit too good to be true really, he’s always lovely to everyone.”
Good Omens fans will no doubt enjoy the irony of Sheen positioning himself as crankier than Tennant, given their respective roles in the show. As the angel Aziraphale, Sheen is the embodiment of optimism and patience, whereas Tennant’s demon Crowley is a curmudgeonly realist. That said, Good Omens creator Neil Gaiman, who co-authored the original novel with the late Terry Pratchett, previously revealed that Sheen was initially set to portray Crowley, with Hugh Grant his top choice for Aziraphale. The scribe added that he settled on Sheen as Aziraphale and Tennant as Crowley “somewhere in the middle of writing Episode 3” and never looked back.
Neil Gaiman Debunks Good Omens Fan Theory
The casting of Aziraphale and Tennant isn’t the only way the Good Omens adaptation was almost very different, either. In a recent Tumblr post, Gaiman explained that when he and Pratchett were trying to get a Good Omens show greenlit in the 1990s, they considered making major changes to the source material to appease studios. This included giving Crowley a job and finding bookseller Aziraphale a “more glamorous” profession. However, these alterations didn’t stick, especially where Crowley was concerned. “I tried giving Crowley a job in the next draft, but he wasn’t really very good at it, and it wasn’t very convincing,” Gaiman wrote.
Instead, both Aziraphale and Crowley made it onto the small screen more or less as they appear in the book, right down to their established backstories. Gaiman was clear about this point in another Tumblr post, debunking a fan theory that (unlike in the Good Omens novel) Crowley was once Lucifer. “Satan in Good Omens used to be Lucifer when Satan was an angel,” he wrote. “Crowley wasn’t Lucifer.”
All six episodes of Good Omens Season 2 are currently streaming on Prime Video.
Source: MCM London Comic Con, via Popverse