Skeet Ulrich Praises the Extraordinary Giancarlo Esposito in Parish

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Skeet Ulrich co-stars with the venerable Giancarlo Esposito in AMC’s Parish. Adapted from the hit British series The Driver, Esposito portrays Gray, a former wheelman suffering from a tragic loss and on the verge of losing his taxi business. He’s lured back for one last job by the desperate Colin (Ulrich), who’s indebted to Zimbabwean gangsters after serving 17 years in Angola prison. The crime goes awry in Parish, with both men chin deep in serious trouble.




Ulrich found himself “giggling” with excitement after watching the first episode, saying, “You hope that things come to the screen the way you imagined. This surpassed that by a million miles.” He considered it an “honor” to work with Esposito on “a wild, inspiring, and interesting piece that has so much to say to the everyman.”

The interview concluded with the possibility of Ulrich returning to the Scream franchise for the next film. “I don’t really see a way that happens. I would imagine I’m probably out of it,” said Ulrich, who had some honest and compassionate things to say about the firing of Melissa Barrera. You can find all of that below in our complete interview with Skeet Ulrich for Parish.


Parish

3.5/5

Release Date
March 31, 2024

Cast
Giancarlo Esposit , Zackary Momoh , Arica Himmel , Ivan Mbakop , Dax Rey

Seasons
1

Writers
Daniel Brocklehurst , Sunu Gonera , Jim Poyser

Network
AMC

Streaming Service(s)
AMC+

Directors
Sunu Gonera


MovieWeb: I really enjoyed Parish. When I spoke to you for Blood, you talked about working with Giancarlo Esposito. How he was one of your teachers at NYU, and it was an amazing experience. Now that you’ve completed the series and seen the show, what’s your reaction to the final product?

Skeet Ulrich: I’m blown away to be honest. I’ve done this for a long time now. You’re always excited. You hope that things come to the screen the way you imagined and as they felt on the day. This surpassed that by a million miles. I sat there watching about 10 minutes into the pilot and just found myself giggling. I was like, “I can’t believe I’m a part of this.” I don’t care how big or small my part is, whatever. It is such an honor. They’re truly extraordinary performers across the board. Obviously Giancarlo, but everybody is phenomenal. It’s just really a wild, inspiring, and interesting piece that has so much to say to the everyman.


Related: Best Skeet Ulrich Performances, Ranked

MW:Parish has vibrant African and New Orleans themes. The Zimbabwean gangsters, the Tongai family, are distinct in the way they dress and act. Was that something that intrigued you about the script?

Skeet Ulrich: Absolutely, it was a big part of my intrigue. They had the Neville Brothers [album], The Yellow Moon, written in the first episode. So, of course, I turned it on while I was reading it, and then started playing every song. It was just such a vibe. That’s such a beautiful part of it, and I think so fascinating. It was new to me. It was really cool to go to set those days, whether I was working or not, just to see the vibrancy of it all. Zackary Momo [Horse Tongai] and Bonnie Mbuli [Shamiso Tongai] are amazing. They’re all just so incredible in those moments. I can’t speak highly enough about the production design, cinematography, all of it is just so well done.


Escalating Tension

MW: Everyone on the show is well-dressed and really put together. But your character, Colin, is having a hard time. He did 17 years in Angola prison. Now, he’s gotten himself and Gray in serious trouble. There are no moments of levity for your character. You’re tense pretty much all the way through. Talk about being in that state during the entire filming process?


Skeet Ulrich: It’s something that escalates and escalates and escalates. He was in Angola for 17 years. He’s been out a year, and I think holding on to their secrets. God knows what they did 18, 19 years ago that he landed in jail for that long, and never ratted his buddy out the entire time. I think, in Colin’s mind, this is his only family. He doesn’t have anybody else. Gray’s his only family. That’s everything. So he will do anything to stay positive in Gray’s mind. There is an element of, ‘I messed up. You’re the only one I can go to.’ Then the guilt of getting him involved in what he accidentally gets involved in.

It’s a constant amount of tension and worry. I think that’s true of all the characters. It was interesting. It was a lot, but when you’re across from Giancarlo and everybody there, it’s just that much easier. You don’t have to do a lot other than listen.


MW: I loved the kick-ass driving in Parish, but Colin doesn’t get behind the wheel. Were you ever on set thinking it would be nice to take the wheel every once in a while?

Skeet Ulrich: Absolutely, and hopefully I will. But yeah, that’s my roots. All my family are NASCAR drivers, mechanics, marketers, PR people. Generations of my family are in NASCAR. So I was born with a steering wheel in my hand. Giancarlo is a skilled man in so many regards. He’s a motorhead. He knows what’s up, and he knows how to win.

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MW: There was a lot of public drama concerning the upcoming Scream film and the firing of Melissa Barrera. Are you going to be involved in that film and return as Billy Loomis?

Skeet Ulrich: I don’t know. I don’t really see a way that happens, but it’s a strange town. Who knows? I haven’t heard either way to be honest. I think it’s a sad state of affairs. Somebody who was really just out for humanitarian reasons, and suffers from it. It’s really sad to me. Everybody involved in that is such beautiful, caring, loving, empathetic people, and the labels are not fitting. So it’s sad. I don’t know what’s coming down the line for Scream in general. I would imagine I’m probably out of it. But that’s okay. There’s more to do.

Parish premieres March 31st on AMC and AMC+. You can check it out through the link below:

Watch Parish

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