Based on the Neil Gaiman books, the Starz drama of modern deities American Gods is currently in its second season and has been renewed for a third. At The Contenders Emmys, Deadline’s Dominic Patten talked to show stars Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, and Ian McShane, who also serves as Executive Producer, about the current season, how the fantasy translates to issues in real life and expanding the universe of Gods.
Currently in its second season, McShane, who plays Mr. Wednesday, said that the show is going back to the books more as they dive deeper into the New and Old Gods. “You have to get back to the source material to get to know the people,” he said. McShane also teased that the upcoming season will take place Lakeside — and for diehard fans, that’s a huge deal.
Browning, who plays Laura Moon and Schreiber, who plays the leprechaun Mad Sweeney, said that show creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have taken what essentially started as a road trip story and expanded that which opened it more to a series.
Through the fantasy and the dynamic between the New and Old Gods, the Starz drama is relevant to the times and has become politically and socially relevant. Whittle, also known as Shadow Moon in the series, points out that Gaiman wrote the book in 2001 and it still resonates today. “We got a great opportunity to raise awareness and to keep that conversation going with dead wives, leprechauns and the great Ian McShane.” He adds, “We keep shining a good light on sensitive moments.”
American Gods centers on a war brewing between Old Gods and New Gods, as the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily lose believers. Their challengers are an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. In Season 2, the battle moves toward a crisis point, as the destinies of gods and men collide. While Mr. World plots revenge for the attack against him in the first season, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday’s attempt to convince the Old Gods of the case for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow.
The series also stars Crispin Glover, Orlando Jones, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Mousa Kraish, Omid Abtahi and Demore Barnes.