Bryan Fuller and Michael Green's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular novel American Gods has been a hit for Starz. The network already ordered a second season of the series with only three episodes having aired so far.
And while Fuller and Green are taking many liberties with characters and events as they flesh out Gaiman's already robust story, they still tend to stay true to the book so they can maintain authenticity.
In fact, the show's production has been so authentic that series star Ricky Whittle almost suffered hypothermia during the filming of a pivotal scene in the first episode.
Whittle spoke with us about the first season and revealed that the most physically demanding scene he's shot so far took place in the first episode when Technical Boy's faceless goons assaulted and lynched his character Shadow Moon in the pouring rain.
"We shot that throughout the night in April in Canada where temperatures kind of plummeted," Whittle said. "I was covered in water and mud. My suit was really heavy and wet and the damp was getting into the bones."
The scene takes place at the end of Episode 1 after Whittle's character is walking down the street after his wife's funeral.
"And then we're just shooting take after take, hour after hour, to the point where I nearly got hypothermia," Whittle revealed. "My hands were constantly shaking, I couldn't start moving my arms. And all of the sudden I start to turn warm, I actually stopped getting cold."
The show's stunt choreographer stopped the shoot and pulled Whittle right as the sun was coming up. Crew on the shoot immediately stripped him down and dried him offing gradually warming him up after a "pretty intense, intense shoot."
And despite nearly sacrificing his health, Whittle said it made the show better.
"But watching the scenes back, completely worth it," he said. "And as an actor that's what you want. As an artist you want- you don't mind going through pain if the end result is going to look like that. Again, having that trust in an incredible crew, and producers, director to keep you safe and then produce a wonderful vision."
Whittle said that he was also a part of some more emotionally taxing scenes, hinting at the cliffhanger at the end of episode three when Shadow's wife Laura Moon appears sitting on his bed, played by Emily Browning. We'll see the result of that in the fifth episode on Sunday, May 28.0comments
American Gods is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, Heroes) and Michael Green (The River, Kings, Heroes) are writers and showrunners. David Slade (Hannibal, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) directed the pilot and additional episodes. FMNA's Craig Cegielski and Stefanie Berk are executive producing the series along with Fuller, Green, Slade and Neil Gaiman.
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