Ricky Whittle (‘American Gods’) on adapting Shadow Moon for TV: ‘Juice him up!’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

During our recent webcam interview (watch the exclusive video above), “American Gods” star Ricky Whittle chats about adapting his character Shadow Moon from Neil Gaiman‘s successful novel to the new Starz drama series. “I have worked with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green to kind of morph this character to a TV adaption version,” Whittle details. “So he’s a got a few more layers — he’s got a bit more anxiety, fear, he’s more vocal than the character from the book. It’s been a great reception from fans of the book who have seen my nuances and the choices I’ve made to kind of keep that responsibility and that Shadow from the book, but also kind of juice him up a little bit for the TV version.”

Regarding working alongside Ian McShane, who plays the godly Mr. Wednesday, Whittle describes the legendary star as an actor he “grew up” watching. Whittle continues, “You don’t get a better education than watching Ian McShane kind of make his choices and do his thing. As actors, you kind of borrow from each other and you watch each other. And that’s the great thing about this show — you’re always learning, you’ve never a finished article. Even Ian himself will say he’s always learning. He’s one of the finest actors of our generation.”

“American Gods” was picked up for Season 2 by Starz after only two episodes had aired, something that Whittle admits is “really exciting.” He adds, “This is by far the biggest project I’ve ever had the opportunity to work on, to lead what I feel is the most impressive ensemble cast I’ve ever seen on TV. Most networks would love to have that on their whole slate, and we have this on one season, not to mention what comes next season. The renewal so early — after just two episodes — it really shows that Starz have really got behind us, along with FremantleMedia.”

As Whittle begins teasing the season finale, which he reveals “is not a part of the book,” his cat jumps into frame. “Is this my little friend here who’s joining us? This is Buddha, who actually auditioned to play a cat in the show on Episode 4 but he didn’t quite make the cut.” Speaking of Sunday’s fourth episode, titled “Git Gone,” Whittle chats about the excitement he got in reading the script and seeing “how Shadow was before he kind of lost everything,” as told through the eyes of Laura Moon, played by Emily Browning. See 27 “American Gods” cast members in character.

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Related: Complete list of Starz category submissions

‘American Gods’ gets early second season renewal from Starz

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