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My American Gods Dream Cast (Part 1)

June 28, 2013

Edited to Add:  As it turns out, the “official” link I posted was not, in fact, official.  Ah well.

It’s official.  American Gods is going to become a six season HBO series.  So.  Much.  Squee.  Sadly, the Dream Casting that article links to is…  less than optimal.  So here’s mine:


Shadow is an ex-con who gets hired by Mr. Wednesday as his bodyguard.  He’s smart, tough, and very clearly not white.  He also looks younger than he is.  So I feel that this role needs to go to someone who can embody intelligence and toughness, while also being of indeterminate racial origin (to the ignorant, at least).  With that in mind, I submit to you:

Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

Yes, the shirtlessness was a deliberate choice. You’re welcome.

Williams has already shown that he can portray smart on Grey’s Anatomy and Cabin in the Woods, and after some time on the 300 workout routine, I think he could do tough just fine.  Most importantly, Shadow is a character the audience needs to be able to really connect to and I think Williams will pull that off smashingly.  (Also, I’m a bit of a sucker for guys with dark hair and blue eyes.)

Mr. Wednesday

For Mr. Wednesday, you need a grizzled old con man.  One who can have sex appeal, charisma, and be likeable while still not quite trustworthy.  To that end, I’d suggest:

Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges

I’m not quite sure what he’s thinking here, but I’m pretty sure it’s something dirty.

Bridges is fully capable of pulling off the role of charming rouge.  Mr. Wednesday repeatedly manages to charm the pants off of much younger women (literally), and I don’t doubt that there is many a young woman out there who would be perfectly willing to be charmed by Bridges.  With a light wash of red through the hair and beard, he’d be perfect.

Low Key Lyesmith

For those of you who know me and have also read the books…  No, I’m going with the obvious choice.  Mostly because that would be weird and he needs to work on the movies he’s already got in the cue.  Tangent…

Low-Key is an ex-con who sees nothing wrong with playing both sides.  Or all three.  Or as may as possible.  The more, the better.  He’s mercurial, capable of being purely evil while making wisecracks, and a big damn sociopath.  Who could fill the role better than…

Alan Tudyk


“Curse my sudden but inevitable betrayal.”

Between his role on Dollhouse as the murderous Alpha and his role on Firefly as the lovable Wash, Tudyk has demonstrated the range required to play a witty sociopath.  They’ll just need writers whose talents are up to the job and good prosthetic artist to give him a scar flexible enough to keep up with his changes of moods.

Mr. Nancy

Mr. Nancy is a storyteller, a comedian, and while just as much of a trickster as Lyesmith, he’s considerably more humane about it.  In as much as a God can be humane.  I have personally always pictured Mr. Nancy as a slim, shorter man, but someone else made this suggestion and I simply couldn’t resist.

Keith David


I do so love a man in a white suit.

Alright, I’ll admit that I just want to listen to him talk.  I love his voice, and the smile in this particular photo is just the sort of grin I’d expect from Mr. Nancy once Shadow realizes he’s being teased.  The book specifies that Mr. Nancy wears a checkered suit with a green fedora and yellow gloves, but I think Davis is fully rocking the white suit and lavender vest in this photo.  Whoever is in charge of costuming should keep that in mind when planning Mr. Nancy’s wardrobe.

Laura Moon

Shadow’s wife, Laura spends the entire story as a ghost.  She guides him through some troubling times, but she also has her own agenda.  Since she died in the middle of cheating on Shadow, she’s the source of a lot of pain for him.  He still loves her, but seeing her hurts in a lot of ways.

Leighton Meester


Ghostly Gossip Girl?

For Laura, I wanted someone young enough to play against Jesse Williams and more of a Girl Next Door than Hollywood Bombshell.  Laura needs to be someone the audience can feel sorry for, despite breaking Shadow’s heart.  Meester has already proven herself more than capable of pulling off a conflicted character in the form of Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf and I think she’ll bring a strength to the role that a good Laura needs.

I’m having some conflict over some of the other characters I want to explore, specifically the Egyptian gods.  There’s a lot of debate about the “race” of the ancient Egyptians and I can’t decide where to go on that.  On the one hand, given the setting of their story arc and the “Americanization” of the various gods, the stereotypical modern Egyptian look would probably work best.  On the other hand, I really, really hate the white washing of ancient people and I’m tempted to cast more in line with the look of Egyptian Nubians.  If any of you have any particular thoughts on the subject, I’d love to hear them.

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