‘American Gods’ fans, it’s finally time: Amazon Prime’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel is almost here.
As of Monday (1 May), one new episode of the much-hyped series will be appearing on the streaming service each week, which means it’s time to get the know Gaiman’s gods, humans and otherworldly beings a little better. And of course, the actors who play them deserve some attention too.
While soap fans will obviously be familiar with ex-’Hollyoaks’ actor Ricky Whittle, who bagged the lead role of Shadow, he’s far from the only recognisable star in the series.
So before you settle down to get stuck in, read our guide to find out who’s who…
Ricky Whittle plays Shadow Moon
His character: As with the novel, the series begins with Shadow’s release from prison.
Sadly, what should be a glorious day soon turns sour, as his life is tipped upside down with news of his wife’s shock death. With his life plans in tatters, Shadow’s future is thrown into disarray… until a certain Mr Wednesday appears, anyway.
Previous credits: Ricky is best known here in Blighty for his star turn as Calvin Valentine in ‘Hollyoaks’, but when his character was killed off in 2011, Ricky wasted no time in making a name for himself Stateside.
A successful relocation to Los Angeles resulted in a lead role in ‘The 100’, before fans on social media suggested the ex-soap actor for this part.
Ian McShane plays Mr Wednesday
His character: Mr Wednesday is described as “a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, [who] is full of perverse wisdom, curious magic”, but his intentions and plans remain closely-guarded to begin with.
Previous credits: The legendary actor is known for his many television roles, including ones in ‘The Pillars Of The Earth’, ‘Game Of Thrones’ and ‘Deadwood’ - the latter of which resulted in a Golden Globe. His big screen credits include ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’.
Pablo Schreiber plays Mad Sweeney
His character: “Down-on-his-luck leprechaun” Mad Sweeney is one of the first characters Shadow has the misfortune of meeting, and his violent nature and aggressive ways soon become apparent.
Previous credits: Have that feeling that you definitely know Pablo, but can’t remember where from? We’ll help you out: He’s Pornstache in ‘Orange Is The New Black’.
He’s also popped up in ‘The Good Wife’, ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ and ‘Law & Order’.
Emily Browning plays Laura Moon
Her character: Obviously, Laura dies just as the story begins - but that doesn’t stop her from appearing throughout the series.
The show will actually explore Laura’s backstory more extensively than the books, and Emily has previously teased an episode that focusses on her.
Previous credits: Emily’s big break came over 10 years ago, when she played the young Violet in the film version of ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’. More recently, she’s landed roles in ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Legend’, in which she played Reggie Kray’s wife Frances Shea, opposite Tom Hardy.
Yetide Badaki plays Bilquis
Her character: We know we’re not supposed to pick favourites, but Bilquis really is something special.
The ancient goddess craves worship, which is slightly more difficult in the modern world. And yes, that sex scene from the novel will be depicted on screen.
Previous credits: This role is set to rocket Yetide into the limelight, especially as it looks as though Bilquis will be more central to the series than she is the book. Watch this space.
Bruce Langley plays Technical Boy
His character: New god Technical Boy also appears in the very first episode, but don’t get too comfortable, as actor Bruce has previously revealed that his futuristic approach means Technical Boy is sporting a new look every time we see him.
Previous credits: While Bilquis actress Yetide still has a handful of credits to her name, Bruce really is the new kid on the block, and ‘American Gods’ is his first proper TV role.
Jonathan Tucker plays Low Key Lyesmith
His character: “Wiry and fast talking, with an off-beat sense of humour,”, Shadow’s one confidante in prison gave him plenty of advice before he attempted to resume in the real world.
Previous credits: Jonathan is best-known for his film roles in ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. He’s also voiced a ‘Call Of Duty’ character, and appeared in a whole host of TV shows, including ‘CSI: Crime Investigation Unit’, ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Six Feet Under’.
‘Amazon Gods’ premieres on Amazon Video on Monday 1 May.