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Last week was a big one for Starz: they finally announced the casting for Outlander’s Brianna and they announced who is playing the lead role in my MOST ANTICIPATED new series, American Gods:
We’ve been invested in the American Gods show since it was announced, so much so that I’m not even pressed about the embarrassing quarter of hour I spent gushing about it to showrunner, Bryan Fuller, in San Diego. He seemed just as excited as I was, and to be honest – why wouldn’t he be? American Gods is an amazing novel that’s needed a kickass adaptation since it was published and it’s HAPPENING. When it was announced finally that they were looking for Shadow to cast first, the internet exploded with speculation. We did too. In fact, our very own Amanda called it for Ricky Whittle months ago in our comment section. WE WIN.
Other than super fine, I didn’t know. I know we have a lot of readers who watch The 100 pretty religiously, but I’m not one of them, so Ricky was a new name for me. Here’s what I learned. He’s from the UK. He was born in ’81, so he’s only a year or two younger than Oscar Isaac and Sam Heughan, making him almost as cool as JD Pardo. He shot to fame in the UK on the very British show, Hollyoaks, and has a good American following thanks to his role as Lincoln in The 100.
Yes. You can find him blue-checked and RTing pencil-sketch fanart at @MrRickyWhittle. Like any celebrity, his twitter feed is a mix of articles about his work or himself, shout outs to friends in the biz, the occasional sunrise appreciation, and emojis. Also, this.
— Ricky Whittle (@MrRickyWhittle) January 22, 2016
Excellent tweeting, Mr. Whittle (you seem to prefer the formality). 10/10 Would Tweet With Again.
Um, I believe the first two auto-populated google searches for Ricky were Ricky Whittle Wife and Ricky Whittle Workout. I’m gonna let you guess which one I clicked on, but it had to do with a cadre of shirtless abs pics.
Shadow is an ex-con bouncer and a hired bodyguard. He’s … dare I fangirl and say it? …. hot. He’s attractive in many senses of the word, but yes, Shadow is aesthetically pleasing. I would like to thank whatever crazy FBI/torture plotline from The 100 that required the extra time at LA Fitness for this google search hole I dove down last night. People don’t just walk around the UK shirtless without reason. Him’s got reasons. 8-pack of them.
Oh yeah, he’s full of try. Ricky courts fans online in the best of ways … RTing them, encouraging his co-stars. He inspired Vines like this one:
And acting-wise? Well, he certainly seems to have the chops that awesome creators like Bryan Fuller and Neil Gaiman have praised. Neil Gaiman had this to say:
I’m thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I’m delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.
I’m excited about this casting choice. I know a lot of fans were worried that the current weather in the Hollywood diversity storm (#oscarssowhite and Joseph Fiennes as MJ) could adversely affect our Shadowcast. But so far, so good, Starz. Keep it up, and let’s see Sam Black Crow soon!
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