Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki talk American Gods (and season 2) at C2E2


Who better to talk American Gods than the cast itself? Here’s what Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki had to say at C2E2 2018.

American Gods will have a second season, thankfully enough. To acknowledge that, C2E2 lined up Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki, Shadow Moon and Bilquis, for a major Saturday panel to talk about the show.

The cast has just had its first read-through for season 2, episode 1. Whittle talked about the “collaboration on every level” that goes into the production of the show. He even promised “another crazy cliffhanger” in the season 2 premiere.

Badaki, meanwhile, is a huge fan of American Gods. “I’m living the geek dream right now. . . . He probably has video of me geeking out,” she said, gesturing at her co-star. Whittle even told a story about how he had her going with a story about American Gods action figures and even brought up The Walking Dead action figures in relation to how Badaki could … er … pose.

A big part of the panel was dedicated to the audition process. Badaki’s audition scene was the scene from the premiere. She described it as “very still, very simple.” While answering the question, the story came up about Whittle came up with a name for Bilquis’ er, ability. . . . and named it Joy.

Whittle, meanwhile, said, “The fans got me this job. They did for real.” He had 16 audition tapes — including a Skype audition. When he got the role, though, “it took [him] about a minute or two to process.” (And then he was excited, as you might expect.)

There were 600 audition tapes for Shadow. . . . that he saw. Apparently he only saw “the good ones.” He said he was told “‘You’re exactly like Shadow from the book. . . . we need him to pop a little more.'” The ultimate change was to lean into Shadow’s “frustration” that he doesn’t know anything about this world.

After a fan asked about the House on the Rock, Whittle said, Just between us and us only,” but let’s face it. . . . that’s one of the things we all attend panels for, right?

Here’s what he said. “We’re going to House on the Rock at the end of this month to begin season 2. Basically, everything you love in the book is in the show.” (If you’re reading this, Mr. Whittle, please don’t find me. I’m just a mere editor!) He did mention we’d probably find it on his Instagram stories, too.

However, if that’s not enough of a spoiler for you, Badaki also promised that we’ll see more of — and hear more from — Bilquis in season 2, and Whittle mentioned, offhandedly, that she’d have the chance to “work with” Orlando Jones as Anansi as well.

Another fan asked about the two actors’ ideas for gods for the show. Whittle spoke about his idea for a god of beauty. “How many filters do we have?” he asked. “We’re so absorbed in beauty.”

Badaki spoke about the idea of symbiosis. “We’re trying to get back to the village, but we’re trying to use Twitter,” piggybacking off of Whittle’s idea.

One of the last questions was about how the two got into acting. Badaki referred to growing up in Nigeria and hearing stories, and that’s how she knew what she wanted to do — and then she got her start in Chicago. Meanwhile, Whittle, laughing, said that he was in university and he was looking forward to meeting more girls because of it. He was modeling at the time.

Some of the best Whittle quotes:

  • “Bruce Langley. . . . He is Tech Boy, by the way.”
  • “You’re missing out on one of the incredible finds of our generation.” That’s on Neil Gaiman.
  • “They actually thought she was homeless,” he said, referring to Badaki in costume for the finale since security didn’t let her on the set.
  • “Da Bears!” and “Da Bulls!” (He’s a Bears and Bulls fan.)
  • He’d be the “god of chocolate.”
  • He also gave The 100 fandom a shout out — saying that they always helped him “feel seen” during his time as Lincoln.
  • This is not a quote, but he basically mimicked how he acted out the infamous buffalo scene with the green screen.

And here’s how he ended the panel:

Ricky Whittle and Yetide Badaki at American Gods panel at C2E2. Image taken by C. Wassenaar.

Next: Tales from C2E2, Day 1

American Gods season 2 should arrive. . . . eventually. We know it’s been renewed, but we don’t have a solid release date.

Stay tuned for more from C2E2!