After a creative shakeup at the top of Starz’ Neil Gaiman adaptation American Gods, the future of the show is in question. Both showrunners are out, as is leading lady Gillian Anderson (who’s being replaced by a millennial, ick). So it falls to the returning cast to steady their show’s boat in these choppy production waters. Luckily, two of them were kind enough to talk about the show and their future on it.
Stars Ricky Whittle (who plays Shadow Moon, a skeptical ex-con who becomes the bodyguard of Mr. Wednesday aka Odin) and Yetide Badaki (who plays Bilquis, a love goddess that takes her offerings...personally, to say the least) spoke on a panel at Chicago’s C2E2 about season two.
The pair just had their first readthrough for the second season's first script, which sets up the season with "another crazy cliffhanger that will have you going 'What the flying shit?'," according to Whittle. The pair are excited for their action figures, but were unsure how to pose - especially Badaki. Comparing their plight to those well-armed actors in The Walking Dead, the pair joked that Badaki's weapon of choice wasn't the most adaptable to the toy world. If they made a Shape of Water sex toy, they can make a Badaki regular toy.
The first day the pair met, they talked about having a big inside joke about her "co-star, Joy." "Not since Sharon Stone has there been a star like this," Whittle laughed. "This was literally the first thing he said to me," Badaki said, "And then I knew we were going to get along."
While Badaki had a heartfelt audition and a bit of a shocking run-in with her fellow actor, Whittle explained that the fans got him the job on American Gods. He was pushed to the audition by strangers at an afterparty that thought he would be perfect for the role. This ended up with multiple audition tapes and a Skype interview where different producers and execs would pop their heads into the frame on the other side of the line. Comparing it to American Idol, he said it was a "demoralizing" experience that "was a different dance every week." However, after finding out that the role solicited 1,200 tapes from actors, Whittle felt pride replace his exhaustion.
When asked about visiting the House on the Rock, a major and magically-powerful setting from the book that fans see a sign for at the very end of the first season's finale, Whittle revealed that the pair will be going to there to film to start the second season. "Ask me again in two weeks and I'll have a very different answer for you," Whittle teased about not having visited the roadside attraction...yet.