NYCC 2018 The American Gods Cast Gives Us a Glimpse of Season

center_img Yes, we get to see Mr. Wednesday go full Odin in this one. Even more promising, we’ll hopefully get to see our favorite old gods (and new) for more than one episode. How frustrating was it that Mr. Nancy showed up for one monologue and disappeared for the rest of the season. He certainly made an impression, though. His speech was easily the most powerful moment of the season, and I’m so glad we get to see more of him in Season Two. It also opens with a shot of the World’s Largest Carousel at the House on the Rock. Fans of the books will remember that’s the site of a massively important, pivotal scene. It’s where Odin gathers all the Old Gods and gets them on his side. It’s what I waited all of Season One to see, and now we’re finally going to get it.In the panel after the trailer, nearly the full cast came out. Crispin Glover, Ricky Whittle, Bruce Langley, Emily Browning, Mousa Kraish, Pablo Schreiber, Omid Abtahi, Yetide Badaki, Demore Barnes, and Orlando Jones each talked about their roles in both the first and the upcoming second season. Neil Gaiman was there too, who’s taken a much more active role in production since the original showrunners, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green left the show. Gaiman opened up the panel by catching us up on where things stand when Season Two begins.Ricky Whittle (Photo via Starz)“Shadow Moon has discovered exactly who he is working for,” Gaiman said. “Season Two is going to begin just a few short hours later, and everything is going to get both better and worse. The first place we are headed is The House on the Rock.” That got a cheer. The House on the Rock isn’t just an important location in the book. It’s a real place Wisconsin you can actually visit. Gaiman says the House closed down for several days so they could film the episode there. A few members of the cast, Whittle included, got to do something most visitors don’t get to do. “They got to ride on the largest carousel in the world, which they never let you ride. Basically, you’re not allowed to, and they let us.” Well, I’m already jealous.Gaiman also let us know how far into the book Season Two would get. Just like Season One, the next season will follow the basic structure of the book, but with detours and new stories to flesh out the world along the way. “If you’re familiar with the book, the most useful piece of information I can give you which is completely honest is that we do not get to Lakeside in this season. However, we do get to Cairo (Illinois), we do get to a funeral home,” Gaiman said. He also touched on one of the expanded stories the next season will continue. One of Season One’s best additions, if you remember, was the friendship between Laura and Mad Sweeney. Their stories were greatly expanded in Season One, and that’ll continue. “Laura and Mad Sweeney will get to go on their own journey, which takes them to some very hot and exotic places,” Gaiman teased.“It’s just Whole Foods,” Ricky Whittle interrupted. If you ever have the chance to see Whittle at a convention like this, take it. He is the funniest, most energetic guy on stage and clearly so excited to be there. During the panel, he performed for the audience his impression of green screen acting. When discussing the scene with the buffalo with flaming eyes, Whittle said, “You have to drop everything and hand it over director. He’s like, ‘There’s a tree. No, it’s bigger than that. Behind it is a buffalo. No, it’s bigger than that, that’s not its face.’” For every direction, Whittle pantomimed his reaction, playing it up to look especially silly for the audience. To hear him tell it, it looks pretty silly on set too. When the director finally says “cut,” Whittle’s reaction is just, “Please make that look good.”The actors who play gods spoke about how they prepare to play such larger-than-life characters. For Crispin Glover, who plays Mr. Universe, it’s like any other role. “It’s true there’s conceptual aspects, but you’ve always got something you need. So that becomes immediately relatable as a person,” he said. “It would not be interesting if you didn’t need something, and how you attain it becomes interesting.”Yetide Badaki had a similar answer when asked about acting in a special effects-driven scene. You might recall she had a particularly memorable scene that occurred in the first episode. More than a year later, and 19 years after it appeared in the book, nobody can stop talking about it. “Neil’s work is so evocative, and I remember one of the things that hit me was that these gods are distillations of of human belief, human thought in all their extremities,” Badaki said. “Inasmuch as they’re these otherworldly beings, these gods are absolutely human in their needs and their wants. So when it comes down to playing something that maybe has a lot of visual effects, it doesn’t become about those things. We got to so deeply go into these stories that even though we were sitting there with a trap door bed and becoming how many feet higher or taller, it really came down to what was going on between these two individuals.”Yetide Badaki (Photo via Starz)And if you needed any proof of how impactful Mr. Nancy’s brief appearance in Season One was, it was all anyone wanted to know about during this panel about Season Two. Orlando Jones had some thoughts about his monologue on the slave ship, and how it’s only become more timely in the year since it aired. “When you read something like that, you’re first thought is there’s no way in hell they’re gonna let me do this,” Jones said. “I don’t think I realized at all it would be that prophetic. In many ways, I felt the difficulty of it was we’d all heard it before and not done anything about it. That’s kind of where we are now. We find ourselves in a situation where there’s a lot of frustration around what’s happening, particularly with women, but with disenfranchised groups across the board. It’s impossible to do a show like this and not see how Neil’s work 17 years ago so perfectly becomes a corollary for the world we’re looking at now.”Jones also teased that things get even more real with Nancy in Season Two. “I think in many ways, you’re going to see those things come to life for Mr. Nancy this year differently. A lot of the battle this year is about what human slavery is today. And today, that’s mass incarceration and human trafficking.”Left to Right: Patton Oswalt, Neil Gaiman, Crispin Glover, Ricky Whittle, Bruce Langley, Emily Browning, Mousa Kraish, Pablo Schreiber, Omid Abtahi, Yetide Badaki, Demore Barnes, Orlando Jones (Photo via Starz)I’ll be honest here, I was a little nervous about season two. With multiple high-profile showrunner exits, is it going to be the same show we loved so much in Season One? Gaiman had some encouraging words on the subject. “One of the things that really was inspiring from where I was, was how much all of the cast was invested in their characters and understood their characters. This season’s writers was a whole different set of writers, and the cast made sure that the integrity of their characters was never compromised.”Gaiman did let us know about one change in Season Two. He talked about all the complaints the show got because the Technical Boy of the show was so different from how he’s described in the books. His answer to that was that the Technical Boy of 2017 is naturally going to be different from the one of 1999. But he ran with that for this season. There will be an episode that takes place in the 1930s where we meet Telephone Boy, whose recently taken over for Telegraph Boy. That’s hilarious, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like.American Gods returns for its second season sometime in 2019.More NYCC 2018 highlights:Most Hyped Things at NYCC 2018Must-See Trailers from NYCC 2018The Cast of Stan Against Evil Talks Humor, Horror and Helllast_img read more