Irreverent touches down on Peacock on Wednesday, November 30.
The series follows the story of an American criminal who bungles a heist and is forced to hide out in a small Australian reef town in Far North Queensland, where he poses as the new church reverend.
TV Fanatic got to speak with the cast and crew ahead of the premiere.
Colin Donnell leads the cast as criminal-turned-reverend Paulo, who finds himself immersed in this different way of life.
Below, Donnell speaks to TV Fanatic about his previous work, what attracted him to Irreverant, and more.
P.J. Byrne, who plays Mackenzie, the man supposed to be the new reverend, tells TV Fanatic that he was attracted to the project based on the script alone.
Mackenzie finds himself with the opportunity to make a significant change in his life, and we see him grabbing that without a second thought.
“Paddy Macrae wrote an incredible script,” he shared, adding that he was intrigued by the fact that Mackenzie’s whole life changes on a dime.
“I just love the idea that from moment one, the first time you see him, he’s in absolute crisis. He’s a man who’s sort of childlike, who’s done everything right in his life, found a woman to love, and found God.”
“In that opening moment, his wife has left him. So he’s having a crisis of love and faith, and things are going to go off the rails. So that’s why I was just so excited about this project.”
P.J. believes Mackenzie regrets turning his back on his calling to steal another person’s life.
“I think it’s all part of this idea of destiny and chance. He genuinely believes for a man who’s a criminal, if you will, he thinks it’s incredibly important for Paulo to go live the life of a reverend a try.”
“When you become a reverend, you can’t think about your individual problems. You have to take on the problems of the community. And I think that it is widely important for Paulo to deal with that.”
P.J. says that Mackenzie must find a way to exist without his parish.
Kylie Bracknell plays police officer Piper. Piper immediately dislikes Paulo because she believes there’s far more to him than meets the eye.
“It drew me in from just reading the audition piece,” Bracknell shares with TV Fanatic.
“The writing is so good. I hadn’t read anything like it in the past. And just seeing that fusion of American and Australian, I can’t find a better word than dynamic.”
Kylie felt like the story was gripping from the get-go, and she was interested in playing Piper as a result of that.
Kylie believes one of the main driving forces of the series will be the relationship between Piper and Paulo, who is posing as Mackenzie.
“He doesn’t act like a reverend. He doesn’t look like they thought a reverend would look. I mean, if you see his predecessor, he kind of sets a tone of what a reverend should look like for this town,” Kylie said with a laugh.
“And then you have Mack come into town, and the way they meet, he’s a bit disheveled. He’s traveled a long way because Clump’s far from the airport.”
“The first impression is like, ‘who is this guy?’ And the intrigue is there. So she’s completely drawn into who he is as a reverend and probably likes his American accent.”
“He’s trying not to be close to her. So, That kind of intrigue increases, and naturally, they’re going to be spending a little bit more time bumping into each other,” Kylie promises.
“Did I give too much away, P.J.?” Kylie asked her co-star with a laugh.
“I think it was a solid, vague, intense answer,” P.J. responded.
You’ll notice from the get-go that the series is infused with a lot of humor.
Bracknell shares that it made working on the show a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
Series creator Paddy Mcrae revealed it was a long road to the screen for Irreverent.
“It sort of started life as an idea in my childhood,” Paddy shared.
“I grew up in a small country congregation. My dad was a church minister, so my mom and my sisters, and my brother grew up kind of watching the chaos of a small church and the crazy drama that happens there.
“I wanted to make a show about community and a beautiful place people want to escape to. A beautiful country town.”
Mccrae revealed that he wanted to put a twist on the idea to show that communities come together when people connect and show love.
“I wanted to put a criminal in my dad’s job and see what his skill set brought to it if he, if he was forced into a situation where he had to help people if you could actually start to enjoy it,” Paddy added.
“So it started life there, and I wrote and directed the pilot in 2010 at film school, which was admittedly a terrible piece of television, but the idea was good.”
“I pitched it to Debbie and Alistair at Matchbox, and they took it on. And then we went through the normal process of pitching, and people got on board with the idea.”
Check out the official trailer below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.