‘American Gods’ season 2 is underway, and HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with star Ricky Whittle about Shadow’s evolution this season, his relationship with Laura, and more.
American Gods seeason 2 returned on March 10, and there’s lot to unpack with this cast of characters. Shadow Moon is now aware that his wife, Laura Moon, is alive (sort of), and HollywoodLife asked Ricky Whittle about where this complicated relationship goes from the season premiere. “Who knows? Because who has ever been in a relationship with a dead girl who came back from the dead? They obviously have a lot to talk about. Shadow first saw her in the afterlife in season one, but he wasn’t sure if she was real. Was it grief? Was it an illusion? Now that he actually knows she’s alive, they can actually have that conversation about what happened when she passed, but she’s also got some new information. What did she tell Shadow? How much has she told Shadow? Has she told him anything? And what will happen if she hasn’t told Shadow? Then, again, she’s keeping things from him. So she’s always trying to protect him, but at the same time, seems to do it in the wrong way.”
Ricky continued: “Her heart’s in the right place, but it’s tough for Laura, because the tides have turned. Shadow was obsessed with Laura, but in death, after kind of realizing that the woman he truly loved wasn’t the person he thought she was, that soured, and then he told her that he wasn’t her puppy any longer. They’ve got a very complex relationship, and there’s also some other characters who will kind of come into that dynamic, like Mad Sweeney and Mr. Wednesday. There’s a lot of interaction between them. Obviously, Shadow works for Mr. Wednesday, and unbeknownst to him in the first season, Mr. Wednesday was behind Laura’s death.”
In the season 2 premiere, Laura did warn Shadow to stay away from Mr. Wednesday. But Mr. Wednesday does have a pull on Shadow. “As much as he kind of goes and puts Shadow in tough positions, he’s always able to win him back with a little bit of honey,” Ricky said. “He’s very devious and manipulative. The relationship is going to change this season, because Shadow’s now been awoken into this world. He may believe, but he doesn’t necessarily understand, and because he’s a logical, intelligent man, he wants answers. He’s going to start pushing for answers, which is going to create a lot of friction between the pair. Mr. Wednesday is reluctant to give any information, because knowledge is power. So the two are gonna start distancing. There’s going to be a bit of frustration there, a bit of anger from Shadow this season, as he wants to know what’s going on, and if he’s not going to get it from Mr. Wednesday, he’s going to go searching elsewhere.”
Even though Shadow is at the center of American Gods, he’s still a mystery. Season 2 will explore Shadow’s past and give us the backstory we’ve been craving. “We do delve into his past and try to understand why he is so pure, why he is so strong. It’s literally his mother. He grew up without a father. He was raised by a single mother who was his light, his everything. She’s the one pure love that he’s only ever had in his life, and I feel that’s what he’s always been searching for ever since she passed when he was younger. But it explains why Shadow is the way he is, and where he gets this light from, and why he’s constantly hopeful that it’s going to be okay.”
Ricky has enjoyed keeping the character of a Shadow a bit of a mystery in the show. “It’s kind of fun for me as an actor to play that mystique, because in the book, he has a lot of internal monologue, and so you always know what Shadow’s thinking,” Ricky told HollywoodLife. “In the show, I’m able to kind of play with that a lot more and be a bit more mysterious. Shadow is very aware that he has two eyes, two ears and one mouth, and he’s always watching and listening twice as much as he’s speaking. So when he does speak, it’s often with purpose, and it shows that he has been listening, or he does understand a lot more than he’s letting on, which is fun to play, as Shadow.” American Gods airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on Starz.