American Gods went out in a literal storm at the end of Season 1 (that's about as far as you can go without unearthing some major spoilers), and as it waits to be resurrected for Season 2, stars Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon) and Yetide Badaki (Bilquis) came down from the heavens or whatever parallel realm they inhabit and answered some very human questions.
So there's going to be a real cliffhanger in the first episode. Whittle could say that much before he started getting nervous about the studio coming after him.
Fanboys and fangirls weren't just in the audience. Badaki herself has been an American Gods fan since the book first came out. "I'm living like, the geek dream right now… even auditioning for it was just mind-blowing," she replied when asked what it was like to jump into her own fandom. Badaki's approach with Bilquis, the larger-than-life Queen of Sheba whose worship involves massive orgies — and who consumes what she craves in a really NC-17 way — was to just not let herself overthink it. Bilquis and her erotic powers were not easy to translate to the screen, and there were previous doubts that it could even be done.
Badaki was the actress to defy that. She remembers being still and focused on the goddess' human connections, which is how she became the deity mortals fear to love and love to fear.
Whittle must have had godlike endurance to go through the grueling five-month audition process for the role of Shadow. He almost gave up believing that he even had a chance toward the end. In retrospect, he admitted that the extended audition was the very thing that allowed him to work with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to create the character that would end up robbing banks with Mr. Wednesday and mysteriously summoning a snowfall out of nowhere. "They wanted to make Shadow pop a little bit more onscreen than in the book," the actor explained.
He also recalled that as magically as Neil Gaiman wrote the scene where an undead Laura appears in her husband's hotel room, it needed a realistic element of surprise in live action because anyone who encounters a zombie in the middle of the night in real life is going to be spooked out of their minds.
What can we expect next? Filming for Season 2 starts at the House on the Rock, which Whittle called "Disneyland on meth and mushrooms" after reading the book. Oh, and action figures. They haven't actually dropped from the skies yet, but when they do, they are supposed to be hyper-realistic. Nobody knows whether they can make thunder and lightning rage.
Watch the full panel below.
This article was contributed to by Elizabeth Rayne.