Nina Sosanya and Maggie Service on ‘Good Omens’ Season 2: ‘Anything can happen’

The actors who played Sisters Mary Loquacious and Theresa Garrulous in Season 1, return to run a fabulous coffee shop and a gorgeous record store right beside Mr Aziraphale’s bookshop

July 25, 2023 08:21 pm | Updated 10:07 pm IST

Nina Sosanya in a still from Good Omens Season 2

Nina Sosanya in a still from Good Omens Season 2 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In season 1 of Neil Gaiman’s quirky, Good Omens, Sister Mary Loquacious (Nina Sosanya) and Sister Theresa Garrulous (Maggie Service) lose the antichrist in a horrible mix up and the convent of the Chattering Order of St. Beryl is burnt to the ground. While Sister Mary returns as a manager, we have no idea what happens to Sister Theresa.

Season 1 ends with Armageddon being averted and our favourites, the angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and demon, Crowley (David Tennant) mostly managing to escape the consequences of their actions. And now there is season 2! Apart from Aziraphale and Crawley, there are some returning cast members including Maggie and Nina as characters named Maggie and Nina.

Human dynamic

“We are human women, we are those things,” Maggie says with a laugh over a video call from what she describes as a very lovely hotel in central London. “At the end of Season 1, Aziraphale and Crowley are not affiliated with either heaven or hell.” In the beginning of Season 2, Maggie says, the two friends are in a much more human dynamic. “They are dealing with human situations, which include our lives. We have a fabulous coffee shop and a gorgeous record store right besides Mr. Aziraphale’s bookshop, and end up entangled in their lives.”

“We get embroiled,” Nina says, admitting to always wanting to use the word.  “We get embroiled, in the goings on with heaven and hell, but we are still very much human who live and work in Soho.”

End of story?

Maggie Service in a still from Good Omens Season 2

Maggie Service in a still from Good Omens Season 2 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A year and a half before Season 1, Maggie says, she was asked to do a table read of all six episodes for Gaiman and the producers. “I read about 18 characters and from that I ended up being cast in Season 1 as a slightly hairy satanic nun alongside Nina. I thought that was it because we had told the story of the whole book in season one, including Armageddon.”

Then, Maggie says she got an email from Gaiman in the middle of lockdown saying not only was he writing Season 2, but he was also writing a part for her. “He asked me was that something I wanted to do to which I said, ‘Yes, please’.”

Dream come true

Describing her Good Omens journey, Nina says, “I got a phone call from my agent saying, ‘there’s this audition for a part in a thing called Good Omens’. There was a long silence on the other end of the phone because it was the sort of thing that I’d been waiting to hear about Good Omens.” A fan of the 1990 book for many years, Nina could not quite believe it was finally going to be adapted for screen.

“I auditioned for Sister Mary Loquacious in Season 1. And then yes, I got the same kind of email from Neil that Maggie got. I’m not quite sure what response he was expecting other than, ‘of course’. (laughs). That was a really nice email to get to find out that we were carrying on in some way.”

The Gaiman Players

Nina Sosanya in a still from Good Omens Season 2

Nina Sosanya in a still from Good Omens Season 2 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Gaiman, Maggie says is clever and generous. “Particularly with Season 2, he could create the universe, tell the stories of what happened next and pick the people he wanted to come back. It didn’t matter if some had died in Season 1, and were coming back as whole new characters because he created the universe, and can do what he wants. (laughs) It is fabulous. There were quite a few of us who returned, we should be called the Gaiman players.”

Another big plus of working with Gaiman, Nina says is that Gaiman likes actors. “He likes what they bring to the table. It is nice when you feel you are not ruining somebody’s work! He makes you feel like you are actually adding to his work, which is amazing when it’s that brain that is behind the work.”

Working with the ensemble cast, which includes, apart from Sheen and Tenant, Jon Hamm (Gabriel), Frances McDormand (voice of God) Brian Cox (Death) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Satan), Nina says was a joy. “They were all slightly bonkers and so it works nicely.”

Just imagine

One of the biggest challenges of working in a fantasy according to Nina is that anything can happen. “Also, sometimes you’ve got things that are not actually there, but you’re reacting to in terms of things that are going to be magical. It is a kind of a challenge to make sure everyone is imagining the same thing.”

Gaiman writes the big, fantasy set of pieces with care, Maggie says. “Human emotion is always at the core of it. You can be bold and tell bold stories, because they are so deeply rooted.”

Maggie Service in a still from Good Omens Season 2

Maggie Service in a still from Good Omens Season 2 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A mini-stunt that involved Maggie, Nina and water was one of their favourite takeaways from the shoot. “We filmed it outside on a very cold day, in fact the day before we broke up for the winter festivities,” Maggie says. “It was one of the last things we did and we had, what felt like everybody came to watch the event. It was a bit like sports day, which I was never good at. We had one take to get it right. We had to do very little, just stand there but it felt like this epic thing.”

It was very exciting, Nina says. “For some reason, you get actors and water together, actors and animals, anything like that and we have a ball. We were given aluminium blankets and hot water bottles like we had run a marathon but we really just stood there!” Nina burst into peals of laughter with Maggie joining in.

Good Omens Season 2 will stream on Amazon Prime Video from July 28

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