Julian Morris plays Reverend Paul Curtis in the Amazon Prime pilot show, Hand of God. His preacher is not exactly the sort you would want to meet on a Sunday morning, but Morris’ proven ability as an actor means that he is bound to be imminently watchable and lovable–if only in the ″love to hate″ sort of way, as he noted in a recent interview.
Of his character, Morris said, ″Charm is one of his biggest assets, but he’s not all shine. He’s intelligent.″
In the show, Morris’ character latches on to Ron Perlman’s character, Pernell Harris, a judge and very important man. In fact, the not-so-good Reverend has his own girlfriend seduce the judge in an effort to gain influence over the hapless judge.
Morris is thrilled to be working on Hand of God, which is helmed in part by Marc Forester, the man behind the blockbuster feature, World War Z. In fact, Forster’s work has been a great influence on Morris’ life as an actor. The director’s work on Monster’s Ball was crucial in his development, showing Morris that his decision to be an actor was not only ideal creatively, but from a practical, career perspective. Forster’s ″surgical″ adjustments to actor’s work, informed by a deep knowledge of the characters, brought enormous value to Morris’ performance. When a cast and crew can collaborate so well, the results are bound to be dynamite.
″He (Forster) also happens to be a really wonderful person and I hope I get work with him many more times in my career.″ Morris said.
Morris started his career in London at the Anna Scher Theatre. From there, he moved on to the Royal Shakespeare Company, whose alumni included the likes of Gary Oldman, Sir Ian MacKellan, and Dame Judi Dench, among others. With such a pedigree, Morris has been able to master a variety of characters, including roles on 24, ER, and Once Upon a Time. Always a busy, working actor, Morris has also taken many single-episode television roles, work in short films, as well as TV movies.
The script supported a complex story about complex characters. Morris was drawn to the ability of the writer, Ben Watkins, to draw out characters which were at once despicable and sympathetic. They are all sinners, but yet they each have a drive that is based in faith and a desire to do the right thing. To support such a show, there also needed to be dynamic and innovative people behind the scenes. Morris credited Forster and the studio company Amazon with providing the sort of creative flexibility to bring such a groundbreaking show to the public.
To sum up what the Amazon pilot is about, Morris said, ″Hand of God, is a show about revenge, power, and faith, unfolding in the shadows cast by the sins of desperate men and women.″
When the Amazon Prime pilot for Hand of God debuted August 28, audiences were in for a real treat. Not only did they find great talents such as Morris and Perlman, but also Dana Delany and Andre Royo. After Amazon Prime members watch the pilot, they will have the chance to vote on the show, to show their desire to see a full season. This new model of tv pilot acceptance is new in the world of entertainment, which may have previously relied on small focus-group opinion or nothing more than studio executive decisions.
By Hobie Anthony
Personal Interview With Julian Morris