Meet the cast of American Gods

Leprechauns, Norse gods, bloodthirsty Slavic legends and sex goddesses star alongside the New Gods of Media and Technology

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You may never meet a more unusual cast of characters than those featured in American Gods, which launches on Amazon Prime Video on 1st May.

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Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s adaptation of the Neil Gaiman bestseller introduces us to the Old Gods and the New, with the washed-up ancient Gods of America’s immigrants languishing while Media and Technology take over. Our leading man Shadow finds himself caught up in the fight, as his boss – the oddball Mr Wednesday – rounds up the Old Gods to do battle.

Here are the characters you will meet on the journey:


Ricky Whittle – Shadow Moon

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Who does he play? Shadow is our protagonist in American Gods, and just about the most normal person in the whole story. When we meet him he is five days away from being released back into the real world, where his wife Laura and best friend Robbie are waiting to welcome him with a surprise party. After tragedy strikes, Shadow gets a job with the mysterious Mr Wednesday and becomes caught up in the war between the Old Gods and the New Gods. 

Where have I seen him before? Ricky Whittle played Cal Valentine in Hollyoaks for a good five years until 2011. Since then he has been in Single Ladies, Mistresses, and The 100. Oh, and in 2009 he came second in Strictly Come Dancing.


 Ian McShane – Mr Wednesday

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Who does he play? Mr Wednesday is the leader of the Old Gods – specifically, he is Odin. He works as a con artist across America, and is determined to hire Shadow as his bodyguard. 

Where have I seen him before? Ian McShane specialises in playing villains and badasses with charm and charisma. He’s been in American Horror Story, John Wick, Kings, Deadwood, Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones. And, of course, Lovejoy.


Emily Browning – Laura Moon

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Who does she play? Laura is Shadow’s wife, who is meant to be waiting faithfully for him to return from prison. She calls him “Puppy” and he is devoted to her. 

Where have I seen her before? Australian actress Emily Browning has been in Legend, Pompeii and Sleeping Beauty and played Violet Baudelaire in the film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events.


Pablo Schreiber – Mad Sweeney

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Who does he play? Mad Sweeney is a leprechaun. Shadow may not believe him at first, but it’s true. This Old God can make gold appear from thin air, and he really likes both drinking and fighting. 

Where have I seen him before? You may recognise Pablo Schreiber as George “Pornstache” Mendez from Orange Is the New Black.


Gillian Anderson – Media

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Who does she play? Media is a New God. She manifests as famous dead people like David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, and she’ll take over your screen as a newsreader or character in your favourite sitcom.

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Where have I seen her before? Gillian Anderson is one of the biggest names in American Gods, even though her face may change. She starred in The Fall and The X Files, and has also had crucial roles in War & Peace and Hannibal.