American Gods: Bruce Langley and Yetide Badaki praise season 3’s faithfulness to the book

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Yetide Badak and Bruce Langley visit at SiriusXM Studios on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18: Yetide Badak and Bruce Langley visit at SiriusXM Studios on April 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images) /

In an exclusive interview, Yetide Badaki and Bruce Langley talked about finding out what Technical Boy is up to in S3 and Bilquis’ evolution into self-discovery.

Last season on American Gods, Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) successfully recruited Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) to at least listen to the new gods. Bilquis is one of the few gods—and certainly the highest caliber one at this point in the story—who is weighing both sides. Her position equates her balanced viewpoint about the coming war between the old and new gods.

After the AG S3 premiere episode, “A Winter’s Tale,” we saw that Technical Boy still doesn’t have a healthy working relationship with the new iteration of Mr. World, now Ms. World (Dominique Jackson), still unhappy with him with his unsuccessful efforts to completely woe Bilquis over to the new gods. Meanwhile, Bilquis has her reasons for remaining neutral, as she demonstrated the ramifications to him. Let’s just say that nothing seems to be going Technical Boy’s way.

In a Zoom interview, actors Yetide and Langley opened up about the precarious places where both of their characters start out in a darker, more cohesive season, that is gloriously closer to the book.

Culturess: This season is very different. It has a really cohesive, beautiful look. It’s darker and it’s got the winter from Lakeside. So, I wanted to ask both of you how you felt this season compared to last season.

Bruce Langley: Well, I think, if anything this season—I think Neil [Gaiman] has even talked about this before—but it’s a real return to the sort of the narrative and the structure of the book. And as a result of that, we get to cover a whole great dirty whopping chunk of what happens in the book. And we get to see some really fan-loved characters, locations like Lakeside and all the things that happen there. I’d say it’s a true return to like the homerun that the book was, and we get to play in that, which is really really fun.

Yetide Badaki: which I completely agree with Bruce there.

And one of the wonderful things that we get to do this season is, for example Technical Boy, we see him for [just] a moment in previous seasons and come in and cause trouble and leave. But in this season, you get to find out more about what he’s doing. And you see that happening with Omid’s character, Salim, and we see that happening with Laura Moon. We see that happen with Shadow Moon, and Bilquis, and so we will really get to do a deep dive into these characters that we’ve grown to love.

Culturess: Yeah, it’s my favorite section in the book so it’s exciting. And so, for Bilquis, she seems really torn. How does she feel about her powers now? She seems sort of ambivalent, you know, and she’s used to such heavy worship in her past. Where do you think she is with her powers?

Badaki: I think when you come into the season, we see her really pealing the walls coming in and seeing all the expectations and the labels that other individuals want to put on her, really kind of boxing her in, I think, as she looks more into her past, [and] she goes into that journey of self-discovery.

She really starts to find her drive, and she finds this kind of bridge between the past and the present. So, in that self of evolution, she realizes a way into a further evolution on a grander scale.

Culturess: And Bruce, maybe you could tell me, what was it like with the three different Mr. Worlds? What is your relationship with them now?

Langley: Sure, sure, it was it was brilliant. It was so much fun. When do you get to play with, not one but only three, you know, fantastic performers? It was so much fun. What I will say is that the working relation between World and Tech Boy’s still not necessarily what I would call particularly healthy.

The thing is I had a lot of fun to play with… I’ve never been more sure [that] Danny Trejo—a  man in his 70s—could kill me.

It was so much fun… Honestly, for different reasons, each one of the three of them I have so much fun, and then uniformly with all three of them. They’re really good at what they do and they’re really lovely people so yeah, it’s going to be fun to see that relationship develop throughout the season with all the different Worlds.

Culturess: They’re not lovely on screen but, yeah.

Langley: They’re not to me.

Season 3 of American Gods premiered on STARZ Sunday, January 10, with the rest of the season airing on Sundays, 8 p.m.

What did you think of the American Gods S3 premiere? Do you think Bilquis is really playing for the old gods? Can she stay neutral, or do you think she’ll be pulled into the side of the new gods? What did you think of Dominique Jackson’s Ms. World? Are you happy that they split the World? Sound off in your comments to me!