. Neil Gaiman discusses immigrants, road trips and the importance of empathy.
April 21, 2017
Neil Gaiman hopes that “American Gods” will make your world "weirder." A TV adaptation of his critically acclaimed book of the same title, it brings viewers face-to-face with gods of the past and gods of the present, seamlessly blending fantasy, Americana and mythology.
The central character is Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a man recently released from prison who embarks on an out-of-this-world road trip with the eccentric, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane).
While Gaiman is a master of fiction, it turns out many of the places in the book were inspired by real places seen on his own road trips around the United States.
“I would go on long drives across America before I was writing it and as I was writing it. And I would also go on drives to places that the book had taken me,” he reveals. “I’d say, ‘Oh, okay, well the characters in the book seem to be heading here, and I’ve never really been there.’ So then I would get in my car and go for a lovely long drive.”
( back roads and ghost towns )
“When I wrote the novel, the thing that I thought was absolutely and utterly non-contentious was the idea that America is a land peopled by immigrants, colonists and people coming in from elsewhere,” Gaiman notes. “The idea that you should welcome people in — that seemed non-contentious. These things have changed and seem more important now.” He adds, “I’m proud that we’re saying it.”
While the tone of "American Gods" is dark — complete with shocking sex scenes, gloriously bloody battles and the living dead — Gaiman's wishes for what viewers take away from it are bright.
“I hope that they will give a second glance to some of the people that they meet. I hope that they will think a little bit more about the new gods that they are giving their time, attention and worship to. And I hope that they will learn a little empathy.”
“American Gods” premieres on April 30 on STARZ.
Click headline for story.( )