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.