HAUNTING ROLE: Philip Glenister as the Reverend John Anderson in Robert Kirkman’s horror drama, Outcast.
It was one of those days when the time difference created confusion with my scheduled international interview with British actor Philip Glenister – he wasn’t even in London at the time.

Eventually, it was sorted out.

A very affable person, despite being clock-watched by the PR to ensure the interview didn’t run longer than intended, the 54-year-old actor shed light on how he came to be involved in this show.

Having been on standby for back-to-back media interviews for the better part of the day, he jokes: “It’s been pretty busy selling myself and selling the show, as you do for these things.”

On bagging the role of the Reverend John Anderson, he recalls: “Well, my agent was approached by the American casting director Laray Mayfield, who did the casting for the pilot. She had seen some of my work and professed to be a big fan, which was nice. When she got the breakdown of the characters, she thought I would be an interesting choice for the Reverend.

“And she asked my agent if I would be prepared to put myself on tape for the producers and the studio. They sent out a few pages and I felt that it was an intriguing team and character. It was something I would never have seen myself playing and I decided to give it a go.”

Following the taped audition, he had a Skype chat with the bigwigs and pretty much got the green-light for the part.

“It’s good money,” he laughs.

For those not au fait with the storyline, Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead) Outcast revolves around demonic possession with Kyle Barnes (played by Patrick Fugit) at the centre of the supernatural horror narrative. He is ostracised by the people in a small community known as Rome for allegedly assaulting his wife and daughter.

Of course, there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

The Reverend is one of several people trying to help Kyle through his predicament.

Shedding light on his character, Glenister reveals: “He’s a sort of big fish in a small pond. He’s one of the pillars of the community. He’s a very complex, flawed human being. We basically learn that he’s sacrificed everything in life for the calling to do God’s work. And he’s become evangelical about it. As we get into season two, we see how this impacts on the people closest to him.”

With this series adapted from comics of the same name, he admits: “No, I’m not familiar with the comics. I think Outcast is still fairly new. Once I got the role, they sent me the first edition of the comic book that the show is based on. I sort of looked at that and then made the decision to not look at any more comics. Not because I didn’t like them. I just didn’t want to be too influenced by them.”

He adds: “I think the comics are more useful for a camera department and directors, who can use them as a sort of sounding/storyboard if you like. For me, I just prefer to take it off the page and allow the imagination to play with the idea of emotions and what this man was about.”

Looks like this show will slot in quite nicely in the TV playground, which is populated by American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Grimm, Supernatural, The Strain and Wayward Pines.

Also, the stories told are very character-driven and the show itself boasts movie-like thrills.

He adds: “That kind of horror, it has to be earned in a show like this. You can’t just shove it in there if you run out of ideas. It’s placed specifically, and never used gratuitously. And it’s always owned by the writers/ storytellers.”

Watch Philip Glenister in season 2 of Outcast , which airs on Fox (DStv Channel 125) at 9pm on Mondays, with repeats on Fridays and Sundays.