Even with all the hype that came with seeing Neil Gaiman’s beloved novel American Gods incarnated as a TV show last spring, the first season of Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s Starz series did not disappoint. And now the hype is beginning to swirl yet again for Season 2, with today’s New York Comic Con panel featuring stars Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Yetide Badaki (Bilquis), and Pablo Schreiber (Mad Sweeney).
Even though Whittle, ever the ham (and an over-sugared, sleep-deprived one today), promised to tell the audience everything they wanted to know about Season 2, it turns out that was all a set up: “There’s a book out, did you know that?” Whittle joked.
Beyond that, we didn't get much about next season, but we got plenty of inside goods about Season 1, which ended in June. Like the fact that it took Whittle 16 auditions to get the part, as he received notes like “less John Malcovich, more Will Smith” while trying to "lift Shadow off the page more."
As you'd expect from seeing Mad Sweeney in action, Schreiber had his own tales to regale the audience with, like the fact that “Ricky has the hardest head in history.” And the easiest word to say with his Irish accent? Obviously, f**k.
Apparently, when they were filming the fight scene at the crocodile bar (which they reshot after issues with the set decor), Whittle accidentally headbutted him, and Schreiber had to go to the hospital to get his busted head glued shut. Then he returned from the hospital and went straight to set to finish filming. And during that same scene, Whittle dragged his arm across "fake" broken glass, and got a real cut to show for it.
If you've only heard of the show and not seen it, odds are good you've heard of Badaki's headline-stealing scene as Bilquis. Because of that, Badaki says she gets this a lot from men: “I love the character, but I’m scared of you,” which she says she actually really likes to hear.
She also said that when she learned “what being able to own" her "own sexuality meant” was when she really became Bilquiss. And that she doesn’t think of herself as sexy, which made her fellow castmates jump out of their chairs in refutation.
Though we’ve obviously got much to learn in the coming months before the expected 10-episode run starts back up again in late spring 2018, readers of the novel know that Season 1 just touched the surface of what’s to come. The eight-episode first season ended with Shadow Moon (Whittle) finally accepting the real identity and life-altering deeds of his irascible and loquacious employer, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), as that of the old god Odin. And Shadow really becomes a believer after Odin convinces Easter (Kristin Chenoweth) to join the fight against the new gods, take back the spring, and cast the plight of drought all across the land.
With a whole extra two episodes to look forward to this season, and with all involved promising far more excitement this time around, we’ve got a lot to look forward to. But first, let the hype swirl!