If you haven't started watching Cinemax's new exorcism drama Outcast, which premiered last month, here's your chance to get up to speed. The network will be running a marathon of the first half of Season 1 over July 4th weekend, starting tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern (new episodes return on July 8 at 10 p.m.). We caught up with star Patrick Fugit to find out what goes on behind the scenes of the spooky show and what we can expect from the rest of the season—the series is executive produced by The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, so you can expect more than a few plot twists. Fugit plays the tormented main character Kyle Barnes, a man who has spent most of his life plagued by demonic possession and sets out to overcome the evil that estranged him from his family. Read on to hear what's next for Barnes, and just what exactly it's like to film those intense exorcism scenes.
What is your perception of Kyle Barnes?
"Well, I initially read two scenes that were written up just for the audition. They were kind of like fake scenes. There was one that was very emotional where Kyle is sort of recounting his mother’s possession to Reverend Anderson. The other scene was a flashback where he and his wife are talking about having a baby, and she wants to but he’s a bit hesitant because of this thing that happened with his mom. But it’s really sweet, and it’s funny, and it’s this nice side of Kyle that we don’t really get to see for most of the first season. And so, there were two totally contrasting vibes within the character and I thought if both of those—the light and the dark—could exist, then they could just be constantly tugging at each other the whole time."
Did you watch old exorcism shows or films to prepare for the storyline?
"Kyle’s a nonbeliever. And that perspective on exorcism is unique to Robert Kirkman’s own vision for the series. So not a lot of existing content was very applicable to developing Kyle. So most of my preparation was talking to Robert and asking him questions as I was reading the material."
How do you film the exorcism scenes?
"Filming the first episode, the exorcism with Gabriel Bateman, was a special experience. He was only 10 when he shot that, and he was small for his age, so we had a stunt double for him who was a very small lady, but a badass stunt person. That scene took two-and-a-half days to film and it was a super intense, super long schedule. Most kids would be like, 'OK, why am I doing this, and why do I have to put the harness on again?' But Gabriel was just in it to win it."
The young members of the cast are extremely talented—Madeleine McGraw plays your daughter in the show.
"I get along so well with Maddie. Being on a show like this is probably pretty intimidating waters to step into as a kid, so I wanted to hang out with her on set and get a good rapport going. And I overdid it. Now we’re buddies for life. I’m looking forward to seeing her again for season 2."
What can we look forward to for the rest of the season?
"Reverend Anderson has some great story bits in the second half of this season, and Philip Glenister plays them beautifully. He’s a lot of fun to watch, and it’s so dark and tragic but it’s fascinating. You’ll learn more about like what drives him and what he’s willing to go through and how much he’s willing to sacrifice to complete his mission. For Kyle, we get to see him grasping what it is he’s been chasing and how that affects him as a character. It’s also scary, because we know his history and we know that it can all be taken away and that there are forces at work to take it away from him. But he will get a little bit of what he wants."