It’s season three for the supernatural series “American Gods” and the new season enters with an eerie bang befitting for the gods. The theme is war. The opponents are the new gods of mythology versus the new god of technology. The prize? The devotion of humankind.
Ex-con Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is coerced into the service of the puckish Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) who is, in reality, the Norse All-Father god Odin, and Moon’s father makes Shadow a demi-god.
Naturally, Shadow’s reaction to being half-divine is complicated, and he runs from his apparent destiny choosing to lay low in the picturesque, snowy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin determined to forge his own path. But in fact, he later discovers that he’s being guided by his powerful African ancestors, the Orishas.
Here, in this seemingly perfect town, he quickly discovers that still waters hide dark, bloody and terrible secrets and that he’s unable to reject being a god—his only option is in choosing what kind of god he wants to become.
Most of the critics agree that the casting of “American Gods” is spot on with each actor elevating each other’s presence and satisfying those fans of the book of the same name written by British author Neil Gaiman. The novel, like the show, blends Americana, fantasy and various strands of ancient and modern mythology, all centering on the mysterious and taciturn Shadow.
God bless Wikipedia, here is what I discovered about Whittle. Wait for it…he’s British, which you can’t tell in his spot-on American accent. He first came to prominence as a model for Reebok in the early 2000s because he is stunning. In the U.K. he’s known for his role as Calvin Valentine in the British soap opera “Hollyoaks.” He crossed the pond landing roles in American television in a recurring role on ABC’s “Mistresses” (2014-2016) and has appeared in The CW’s post-apocalyptic drama “The 100.”
Bruce Langley, who plays Technical Boy, is also British. New to the industry, he has been turning critics’ heads in his riveting and often terrifying portrayal. Of all the deities vying for cultural dominance, it’s his character who went through the most drastic reimagining in his translation from Neil Gaiman’s original novel to the small screen.
Yetide Badaki plays Bilquis the Queen of Sheba who was suspected of being half-human, half-demon (a jinn), and was brought to America by one of her worshipers during the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Badaki is a Nigerian-born American actress. She received a 2006 Jeff Award nomination for Best Actress in a Principal Role in the play “I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda.” Badaki’s other credits include the recurring character Chi Chi on “This Is Us.” As a screenwriter, she wrote the short film “In Hollywoodland” which is a re-imagining of “Alice in Wonderland” set in present-day Los Angeles.
We caught up with Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon) to discuss his role in season three of “American Gods.”
AmNews: Ricky what a lovely British accent but you don’t have this sexy accent when playing demi-god Shadow Moon.
Ricky Whittle: I do not.
AMN: So what should we expect in season three?
RW: What we are pushing this season is the strength of “the we.” We’re over the “I” and if we all come together we are so much stronger than we are divided. Our show doesn’t take sides. We don’t say there are good gods and that there are bad gods.
Shadow in season three is learning. He’s going to go away and make his decisions. He’s going to learn. He’s going to evolve and listen to as many voices as possible so he can have a full education of where he lies in this world.