Amer­i­can Gods

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Sea­son 1 M-Net (*101) 22:00 Sci-fi

Bri­tish ac­tor Ricky Whit­tle has taken cen­tre stage as ex-con Shadow Moon in fan­tasy show Amer­i­can Gods (2017-cur­rent), based on the 2001 novel of the same name. In eight-episode sea­son 1, Shadow is roped into a war be­tween the old gods (like his boss Mr Wed­nes­day aka Odin – Ian McShane) and new deities like Tech­nol­ogy. We called the 35-year-old in New York and he’s count­ing the days un­til sea­son 2 in 2018…

Your fans sort of got you this role, right? When the show was an­nounced, peo­ple were tag­ging me on Twit­ter say­ing that I would be per­fect as Shadow. But there was a se­ri­ous au­di­tion process, the most in­sane and in­tense one of my ca­reer! Do tell… Five months! I did 16 au­di­tion tapes with ev­ery emo­tion – sad Ricky, an­gry Ricky, happy Ricky… I was like, “Have you not seen enough yet?” The creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green told me that [au­thor] Neil Gaiman saw 600 au­di­tion tapes just for Shadow. And those were just “the good ones”! How much of the stunts and fight­ing is you? All of it! I grew up play­ing rugby, foot­ball… ev­ery­thing! I have an in­cred­i­ble chore­og­ra­phy team here and my stunt­dou­ble did ev­ery­thing first to test that it would work. But that’s all me! That coin-across-the-fin­gers trick looks dif­fi­cult too! I watched YouTube videos for two months and I have two magic coaches. I’m avail­able for par­ties – I can shuf­fle cards, do coin tricks! [Laughs] And had you read the novel be­fore be­ing cast? No, I started read­ing it when they phoned me with the of­fer. The bosses stopped me dur­ing film­ing be­cause I was be­ing in­flu­enced by the book, where Shadow has zero emo­tion. They were like, “We want less book and more Ricky siz­zle!” [Laughs]

Coin-flip­ping Shadow Moon. Mr Wed­nes­day aka Odin.

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