The actor behind Rome’s fire marshall discusses friendship, love and the secrets that remain lurking in the West Virginia town.

Did the sinister turn in Ogden’s storyline (AKA his burning down the trailer) take you by surprise?

When I finally saw where Ogden’s arc was going, I loved the fact that he behaves in a sinister fashion. He’s doing very dark things, but he’s not a bad man. 

What intrigues you the most about the general story of Outcast?

I loved the fact that you’re not sure where the story is taking you and what’s going to become of these characters. Everyone is in flux. Is Kyle going to save his soul? Is Rev. Anderson going to come to terms with his spiritual crisis? What is this spiritual nemesis that’s circulating through this community? How’s it going to impact all these people and their stories? Whatever the supernatural or satanic forces may be, it is affecting human beings. I think the story works because it’s grounded in people that viewers can care about.

What’s your read on who Ogden is and what drives him?

When I taped my audition, I held a chainsaw and introduced myself: “I’m Pete Burris, I live about two hours east of where this story is taking place. These are my friends, family and neighbors, and I know how they eat, shit and sleep.” I was just so eager to get this because it is a story of people that I know. For Ogden, it comes down to the fact that he loves [his wife] Kat.

What’s the relationship that you and Debra Christofferson, who plays Kat, want to create for the Ogdens?

I loved the way the show cast Kat. Debra is probably six inches taller than me. She could whip my ass on a bad day I guarantee you. It was so fun to have these physically disparate people that love each other.

As lifelong friends, what’s the history between Giles and Ogden?

I created my own history—friendship in spite of societal barriers was a big part of it. In the series, Giles references that it was a struggle for him to build respect in this community. Then Reg E. Casey [who plays Giles] is not only a great actor, but a better human being.

What’s in store for Ogden in the coming episodes?

He’s the very picture of conflict. Things are closing in on him in terms of Giles’ growing distrust of Ogden. So things start closing in just as Ogden’s behavior gets more and more demonstrably wrong. If people enjoy watching the story half as much as I enjoyed telling it, they’re going to have a great time.