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NYCC 2018 Interview: ‘American Gods’ Orlando Jones, Omid Abtahi, Mousa Kraish
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American Gods Orlando Jones as Anansi

American Gods was a big hit at this year’s New York Comic-Con, as season 2 of the Starz series just wrapped and its creators and stars were out in full force. We got to take part in several roundtable interviews at the Javits Center in NYC with the stars of the series, which returns to Starz next year.

See below our roundtable discussion with Orlando Jones (Mr. Nancy), Omid Abtahi (Salim) and Mousa Kraish (The Jinn).

Interview: Orlando Jones, Omid Abtahi, Mousa Kraish

Someone at our press table read the actors a quote from co-star Yetide Badaki from the American Gods panel and they all laughed and joked that she totally stole that from somewhere. It was just another demonstration of how tight knit this cast seemed.

Addressing their characters:

Orlando Jones: Nancy is very much about the spinning of the story. Nancy doesn’t give a shit if you die, as long as you worship! It’s not as complex as yours [Kraish]. You are beholden to Wednesday because you’re a Jinn. That freedom has to be different than being trapped in an amulet for thousands of years.

Mousa Kraish: But even though Nancy doesn’t give a f*ck, I think he does. The gods do care about their worshipers because they give them power. It’s interesting to see how each god fights for their own worship. It’s sort of like tribalism. We’re trying to make sure our team is stronger than yours.

Question: Have you guys become very protective of your characters?

Omid Abtahi: Yes! [before the question was finished]

Mousa Kraish: We have to. We have to constantly fight, not just with writers and the producers of the show, but with ourselves to ensure we’re putting the best feet forward and being so honest with these characters. So we become protective of that. It’s your inner child in a weird way, so when someone comes and says, ‘maybe you should…’ you’re like ‘WHOA’. You’ve lived that character and someone comes in for a day and tries to tell you how to play it, you’re like ‘I got this’. I’m going to make sure this is an honest character, my version of it and they’re both doing the same with their characters.

Orlando Jones: And also so little time has passed so you’re tracking these characters and as an actor you have to stay honest and you can’t do something totally different that doesn’t connect to what you just did. While not a lot of time passed, a lot of information did. A lot of it is has you got that information and processed it. That part is super tricky. Performance wise I find it’s what makes the show the most nuanced.

Mousa Kraish: And for me, this is the first time as an actor where I’ll come in and with my fellow cast members, we’ll talk about the scene. We’ll work on it and try to make it alive and have a really good understanding of what is happening in the scene so you can give the best performances we can give.

Orlando Jones: Yeah, we get into our actor shit.

NYCC 2018 American Gods cast

(L-R) Patton Oswalt, Neil Gaiman, Crispin Glover, Ricky Whittle, Bruce Langley, Emily Browning, Mousa Kraish, Pablo Schreiber, Omid Abtahi, Yetide Badaki, Demore Barnes and Orlando Jones appear onstage as Starz brings American Gods to NYCC 2018 at Hammerstein Ballroom on October 5, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC, courtesy of Starz Entertainment. Used with permission.)

New York Comic-Con ended last weekend, but you can look forward to more adventures with Mr. Nancy, The Jinn, Salim, and the rest of the American Gods when the show returns to STARZ next year.

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