Herizen Guardiola spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL ahead of the ‘American Gods’ finale about how the role of Oshun was a ‘step in the right direction’ for her.
Herizen Guardiola made her debut as Oshun, the spirit of love and fertility, in American Gods season 3. For Herizen, Oshun and the Orishas were not new territories for her. HollywoodLife chatted EXCLUSIVELY with Herizen about her experience embracing the role of Oshun.
“Oshun is someone that has always been in my life,” the actress told HollywoodLife. “I was raised being made fully aware of the Orishas and just respecting the space that they have or that they hold in our world.”
Herizen noted that taking on the role of Oshun was a “no-brainer” for her. “The role came to me, and it came at the perfect time,” she explained. “It just made a lot of sense for my career to take this role. I hadn’t watched anything, but after getting the role I did. I watched the first episode and was like, whoa, this is heavy.” She noted that Oshun was a “step in the right direction for my career.”
The Dare Me actress admitted she was “definitely a bit intimidated” by the role. “Filming with Yetide [Badaki] and knowing her character, I had to definitely bring it and empower and be fully embodied in the role of Oshun. In preparation, I did a lot of meditating and grounding in order to carry that energy of strength on stage. I listened to a lot of different types of music that kind of moved me, like Asian Indian flute that kind of help me move my body. I did a lot of dancing, and then others were Cuban African drumbeats. I was listening to that in my earphones on set almost the whole time in between takes. I’m very music-oriented. It fully puts me in the mood and the character and energy that I need to bring, so that was another way that I prepared for it.”
Herizen’s journey playing Oshun on American Gods was full of many “beautiful” moments. “I’ve always been really connected to spirit, and the Orishas have made their way into my life at a very young age, so it was kind of just me reconnecting to what I already know,” Herizen said. “That was really beautiful. I had some really beautiful moments with my mom because she knows all about that.” The American Gods finale will air March 21 at 8 p.m. ET on STARZ.