American Gods Season 1 Cast

american gods cast
american gods cast

“American Gods” starsIan McShane as Mr. Wednesday. That alone is reason enough to watch the first season, but how well does the rest of the cast stack up?

Starz bought some serious acting firepower for this new series based on a Neil Gaiman novel, including Crispin Glover, Kristin Chenoweth, Corbin Bernsen and Orlando Jones. And, if you’ve ever read Gaiman, you know the entire cast will be hard pressed to make “American Gods” believable. That might be why HBO passed on this series.

So, here’s a quick rundown of the cast and what Shat On TV thinks of Starz’ decisions. Remember the Shat Score is determined by how many wipes it would take to get a performance off your bum. Zero is a perfect score; five is a disaster.

Shadow Moon

Charactersnapshot: An ex-con and the show’s protagonist, Shadow Moon is the strong, silent type with mixed American blood and a penchant for coin tricks.

Played by: Ricky Whittle

Previously seen in: Whittleplays Lincoln in apocalyptic drama “The 100,” so”American Gods” should be right up his ally. The real question is whether an Englishman who got his start as a Reebok model can play an everyman who represents the heart of America.

Shat Score: 2 wipes. Whittle has the perfect look for the role butcan he carry a story this big as the lead man?

Substitutions: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Mike Colter, Jason Momoa

Laura Moon

Character snapshot:Shadow Moon’s wife who stumbles through his prison stint. She’s devoted and beloved but not exactly a saint.

Played by:Emily Browning

Previously seen in:Browning has big-screen experience but nothing groundbreaking. She’s starred in “Sucker Punch” and played supporting roles in some iffy movies, including “Pompeii” (aka Game of Chariots) and “Ghost Ship.”

Shat Score: 2 wipes.Browning showed in “The Uninvited” that she can play a haunting character, and her resume matches this relatively simple role.

Substitutions:Jennifer Lawrence, Oona Chaplain, Rosario Dawson, the girl from “The Ring”

Mr. Wednesday

Character snapshot:Mr. Wednesday is a grifter, womanizer, and all-around gritty old dude. He also happens to lead the old gods.

Played by:Ian McShane

Previously seen in:“Deadwood.” If you haven’t seen it, just forget watching “American Gods” this season and watch “Deadwood” instead. McShane also was in “Game of Thrones” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” But seriously, “Deadwood.”

Shat Score:0 wipes.Nobody could do Mr. Wednesday better than Ian McShane, a man who simultaneously manages to be menacing, charming, crusty and sexy.

Substitutions:Jeremy Irons, Mel Gibson, Daniel Day Lewis, Liam Neeson

Mad Sweeney

Character snapshot:Mad Sweeney is a super tall leprechaun because, surprise, leprechaun’s aren’t short in “American Gods.” I feel like people always wanna flip Leprechaun lore on its head.

Played by:Pablo Schreiber

Previously seen in:You probably don’t recognize him as Mad Sweeney, but Schreiber played George “Pornstache” Mendez in “Orange is The New Black.” He also starred in the 2016 Benghazi movie “13 Hours.”

Shat Score:3wipes.Schreiber hasSweeney’s height and volatilenature, but does he look Irish enough? Even with gorgeously colored red hair and beard, it’s an imperfect match.

Substitutions:Cillian Murphy, Seth Green,Shane McGowan or all the dudes from Dropkick Murphys

Technical Boy

Character snapshot:Technical Boy is a New God and a real dickhead. He’s unpredictable, dangerous, and basically represents everything old farts like Big D hate about millennials.

Played by:Bruce Langley

Previously seen in:Much like his character, Langley is relatively new to the game and doesn’t have much film or TV background. His biggest role was in “Deadly Waters,” a movie about falling in love with a siren. Like, the ocean creature, not the police tool.

Shat Score:3 wipes.We just don’t know enough about this guy, but his promo photos seem to watch the description of Technical Boy. Honestly, I wish they’d picked somebody a little fluffier.

Substitutions:Chubby Jonah Hill, Donavan Freberg (from the Encyclopedia Brittanica commercials)


Character snapshot:An ancient goddess of love reduced to a prostitute, Bilquis takes sex on TV to a whole new level. She’s gotta be dark, powerful and irresistible.

Played by:Yetide Badaki

Previously seen in:Aside from a small role in “Masters of Sex,”Badaki hasn’t done anything to suggest she can devour men in the bedroom.

Shat Score:3 wipes.Based on promotional stills and a smoking-hot teaser video from Starz, we’re believers. But Bilquis is a critical character in developing the dark, sexy side of the “American Gods” tale. No pressure, Yetide.

Substitutions:Rihanna, Angela Bassett, Beyonce … damn, could you imagine Beyonce killing this? WHO RUN THE WORLD?

Check back for updates as “American Gods” progresses. We’ll be adding characters to the list and want to know what you think. Comment below, and you could be featured on the “American Gods” podcast from Shat on TV.

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5 Responses

  1. Nick Polak says:

    Just fell into your podcast, so I know this is a little late in coming. Lots of comments I could make on your casting podcast (the ‘wipe’ score? really? are you guys like 12 years old?) really just wanted to say that IMDB is your friend, since you seem to have missed out on 75% of these actors’ work. Gillian Anderson killed it in Bryan Fuller’s last program, the amazing “Hannibal”. She’s also been busy on UK TV, on The Fall and now Sex Education, as well as a lot of other programs. Schreiber has a recurring role on Weeds before OITNB.

  2. Tom C says:

    Ian McShane, Ricky Whittle and Emily Browning are perfectly cast and I think are gonna kill…Im skeptical of the rest of the cast. Especially the castings of Mr Nancy and Czernobog who are portrayed as being much older in the book. I hope they stay true to the characters in the book and don’t change how they’re portrayed for the TV show. Can’t wait for episode 1!!!

  1. May 11, 2017

    […] I realize I was very negative, so I should say McShane is great and I even like the blank slate quality of Shadow Moon. I also very much enjoyed the slave […]

  2. May 11, 2017

    […] or Thor, or other legendary kings, or the fact the Queen of Sheba is a biblical figure, and Mad Sweeney is based entirely on Buile Shuibhne (the list goes on for all the characters). I think the idea is […]

  3. May 11, 2017

    […] of anyone. It is not something that i see and think OMG YES DICK FINALLY SO HOT no. not at all. Bilquist naked slinking all over a couch? thats hot. thats beautiful. Ross from Game of Thrones with her red […]

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