Good Omens' David Tennant And Michael Sheen On Magic And Season 2's Surprising Ending [Exclusive Interview]

This post contains spoilers for "Good Omens" season 2.

Season 2 of "Good Omens" is a total delight — until it suddenly isn't. Now that the show's sophomore season has been on Prime Video long enough for fans of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's 1990 novel to speed through it and dry their tears, it's worth talking about the promotion in the middle of the room. The season ends with a surprise about-face: A massive fight that puts a stop to the flourishing relationship between angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and demon Crowley (David Tennant). It comes after the bookshop-owning angel accepts a new gig in heaven, where he thinks he'll be able to change the system from the inside out. Crowley vehemently disagrees, and the two share a bittersweet kiss before parting ways in the season's shockingly depressing final moments.

/Film's Vanessa Armstrong interviewed stars Tennant and Sheen ahead of the season's release, but those conversations came before critics were granted access to the game-changing finale. After watching episode 6 (but still before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike began), Armstrong spoke once more with the two leads about the back half of the season, including Aziraphale's magic trick, how much Gaiman told them about the season's ending early on, and, of course, the big break-up.

Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

'We knew where we were heading'

I'm going to talk about the last episode, which I didn't have when I first talked to you both, and it's such an emotional scene and an emotional moment. I remember both of you, I think, mentioned that when Neil [Gaiman first] talked to you about "Good Omens 2," he talked to you about the beginning, but he also sort of shared the ending. Was the ending — where Aziraphale and Crowley end up and have that heart-to-heart and then break up, so to speak — was that the ending he presented to you? And if so, how did he present it?

Tennant: Well, he just sort of gave us a kind of sketch of where it was headed, but it was very much as I remember.

Sheen: Yes.

Tennant: I think he had the beginning and he had the end, and then the rest of it sort of evolved.

Sheen: We knew where we were heading.

Tennant: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sheen: Which was very useful to know the complexity of what it would involve and how difficult it would be in all kinds of ways. So that was very useful to know that was sort of waiting for us.

'For supernatural beings, they're incredibly human'

Got it. And for that scene in the bookshop, when Nina talks to Crowley and says, "Yo, you two need to have a talk with each other" and you have that emotional exchange, how did you both prepare for that? How did you get in the mindset of your characters and bring that to life on screen?

Tennant: I think you, just like with anything else, you read the script, you try and make sure you understand where your character is sort of emotionally and physically, and then you just play. I mean, it's so well-written that really you just sort of surrender to the script, and hopefully the story tells itself, really. I mean, by the time we come to that, we knew these characters relatively well. I feel like we both knew where they would start in a moment like that. Then, as with any scene, you just try and be as truthful and in the moment as you can be.

Sheen: And you don't want to close off the possibilities of where you can go or where your character can go. You can often be surprised by your own character in the moment, which is a lovely feeling. But you know, you should try to never underestimate how deep down people go — or angels or demons, in this case. Because I think oftentimes there can be a tendency to think if something is within a particular genre, that somehow limits the complexity or the possibilities of the depths of characters and stuff, which obviously is nonsense. So I think what I've been constantly surprised by with these characters and this story is just the range of what you can explore and how far you can go into the contradictions in characters and the emotional range of it. It's constantly surprising, that.

Tennant: Yes, for supernatural beings, they're incredibly human and complex and contradictory and all those things that we recognize as individuals. They're probably the most human characters in the whole show, ironically.

Absolutely. One thing I also got a kick out of: I'm married to a professional magician, so I love the magic episode, particularly, with you both performing the bullet catch and Aziraphale's passion for "Muggle magic." Did you do anything, Michael, to get in that magician mode for portraying those scenes?

Sheen: It's more just about focusing on how much he loves it. Nothing makes him happier than that. And it was the combination of that, the love for it and how nervous he gets in front of an audience and that kind of stuff. He's not the most natural of performers and yet the most enthusiastic of amateurs. That's a very winning combination, I think.

Tennant: Drives Crowley mental. Crowley's furious about the whole thing. Can't understand it at all.

"Good Omens" season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.