Starz’s new original series, American Gods, begins airing April 30th. The Knockturnal got to sit down with several of the stars, including Kristin Chenoweth. Chenoweth plays Easter, the goddess of Spring. She talks with us about her role in American Gods, and how the show tackles modern day faith.
The Knockturnal: Can you tell us a little bit about your character?
Kristin Chenoweth: Sure! I play the role of Easter, or Ostara, who is an old goddess of the pagan ritual Easter, which is basically spring. The welcoming of spring, and all of the beautiful things that the Earth has to offer. In short, I think that she’s just a little pissed that Jesus has stepped on her special day, but she’s definitely willing to share it. One of the things I love about this part, and how they wrote it, is finding ways to stay relevant. I think that, with this world of fantasy and reality, and old versus new, it’s such an interesting time to be alive. And it’s all interwoven with, I think, 2017 and all these different worlds that we’re living in. It’s really fascinating.
Specifically with your character, and how she relates to the idea of old gods versus new gods, how do you think the show does with tackling faith?
Chenoweth: Well, it’s interesting. In my own personal life, to be a person of faith, and then to look at this world… in some Christian views, that word “pagan” is very scary. But it really shouldn’t be, because it really should just be “ritual” or “tradition.” All religion is built with tradition. That’s kind of the way I looked at it when I looked at the script. I don’t think Easter has anything against Jesus. I think it’s like when you’re an actress, and something comes out the same day you have something coming out, it’s like “damn, I wanted that day for this thing.” But it’s show business, and I think that’s the way she looks at it. Like “I have to share this day now with his resurrection. That really sucks.”
I know that Jesus is actually a character in the show. What was it like to play alongside… Jesus?
Chenoweth: Y’know, I’ve always wanted to meet him. (laughs) It was pretty incredible. We actually had several Jesuses. Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are probably two of the most open-minded writers of today, and I love that. Because we have a vision of what Jesus looks like, right? But there’s about thirteen Jesuses in it, of all different kinds. That’s one of the things I appreciated, because you can’t judge a book by its cover. It suggests that Jesus didn’t look exactly how we think he looked – although that character is also represented. I was in a room, and it was pretty holy. It was fun.
Without spoiling anything, how does your character fit into Mr. Wednesday’s plan?
Chenoweth: Very simply, so I don’t get myself in trouble, it’s basically him inviting her back into the fold. I mentioned staying relevant. I think Easter’s politically correct. I think that, if there was a Miss America in this world, the way they’ve written her, she’d be it. I think [Wednesday] is saying “Come with me, and let’s build our worlds back up.” That’s where she comes in. And without giving it away, there’s a moment that she does it’s not just this facade. She does show what magic an power she has.
The show has some stunning visuals. Do you get one of those great visual sequences to show off that power?
Chenoweth: Of course. Not only that, but in little ways too. She has, let’s say, little minions that work for her. So you’ll see them with her as well.
Are they chocolate bunnies?
Chenoweth: Not gonna say.
Last question – if you could be the goddess of anything, what would it be?
Chenoweth: Oh, hair.