‘American Gods’ is back for its sophomore season, but alas not all of the stellar cast from Season 1 is back, and perhaps the biggest omission is Gillian Anderson, who left the show after creators Bryan Fuller and Michael Green quit/were fired. Anderson had been enticed to join the show by Fuller, with whom she had worked on the series ‘Hannibal’. Similarly, Kristen Chenoweth, who played old god Easter, left around the same time. Like Anderson, Chenoweth had a past working relationship with Fuller, who cast her on his breakout series ‘Pushing Daisies’.
Anderson’s portrayal of new god, Media had her embodying the forms of pop culture icons David Bowie, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. Her chameleonic turns delighted fans, so her absence will be noticeable, but she does have a replacement.
Bowie? Lucy? TV and movies? “Ugh, that’s just so old. This here is new.”
Kahyun Kim joins as New Media. Neil Gaiman‘s source novel was published in 2001, and the world and its media have changed a lot since then. New Media represents that, in all its filtered glory, whether you “like” it or not.
Kim discussed her role and how it differs from Anderson’s:
“I love Gillian’s work, she is brilliant, and when I read American Gods, [Media] was definitely my favorite character. When I got to step into this role, it was clear to me that it is very much New Media, a totally different character. It wasn’t that I had to recreate what Gillian was doing, which was very liberating to me.”
“She is poppy, she is this Japanese manga thing that people are seeing, but actually when we were discussing the costume, it was more Gwen Stefani, pop culture, like Lady Gaga.
“She knows how to manipulate, like social media, and knows how to use people. She reaches the mass, she has the power of followers — as in worshippers, but also, legit followers — and Mr. World uses that.”
‘American Gods’ airs on Sunday nights at 8 pm EST on Starz.