Starz’s new original series, AMERICAN GODS, begins airing April 30th. The Knockturnal got to sit down with several of the stars, including Pablo Schreiber and Bruce Langley. Schreiber plays Mad Sweeney, while Langley plays The Technical Boy. The two stars talk with us about their roles in AMERICAN GODS, and the way their character fit into the crazy world.
THE KNOCKTURNAL: So you (Langley) play Technical Boy. Do you relate to your character journey, and the idea of the New Age overpowering the old ideas? I know your character is a little bit villainous.
Bruce Langley: Well, first of all, I disagree with him being villainous, but we can get to that later… I can absolutely relate to that. It’s indicative of everyone’s relationship with modern day technology, and how that is reflecting what we’re doing. We’re adopting it more and more into our lives, and we are moving further and further away from these ideas that were deemed as “traditional.” And if they are not adapting, and new and interesting, they are being left behind. I can relate to that – there’s no judgement on them, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. But it is something we are all integrating more and more into our lives, and we’re sprinting towards it more and more, as we go on. So yes, I can. I think we all can. I think as a society, I think that’s straight up what we’re doing, and whether we’re okay with that or not is a personal choice.
Wonderful. And how do you (Schreiber) relate to your character journey of… coin collecting?
Pablo Schreiber: (laughs) Well, I’m a huge coin collector, so I just took on the role because of that.
On a serious note, you play the least conventional leprechaun I’ve ever seen. As you’re neither a god, nor a human, how does your character relates to this world, and what’s so great about playing this unique character?
Schreiber: Well, what’s not great about it? I mean, he’s a 6’5″, redheaded, mohawked, bearded leprechaun who fights for fun. I mean, you just put it on paper and it’s gonna be a gas. I had a great time, I have been having a great time, and I will continue to have a great time bringing him to screen. And he fits in the sense that he’s a demigod, not a full god, and he’s been brought from Ireland by the people that worshipped and believed in him there, and consequently abandoned him on these shores for more interesting and shiny products. So he’s got all of that baggage, of being left behind and losing worship, and the chip on the shoulder that comes with that, and wanting to reestablish himself in some form in this culture.
Specifically, when you go searching after that one coin Shadow took from you, it’s a lot about the idea of getting your mojo back. Is that also a character journey you found relatable?
Schreiber: I mean, who can’t relate to the idea that you lose your life force and spark in someone of the opposite sex, or the same sex, depending on what your interests are? We’ve all had that journey of giving our mojo to somebody else, and losing it along the way, and trying to find it in someone else. That’s the journey of him [Mad Sweeney] throughout the season, trying to get his spark back from… old, dead wife.
Bruce, I hate to use this word, but when many people see your character, there’s this idea that you’re this “millennial” stereotype. What are your thoughts on how your character goes beyond this idea of what the millennial is?
Langley: Sure, he’s got this whole brand of the millennial with him, in terms of some of the more vicious aspects. He’s curt, arrogant, obnoxious, and very entitled, and a lot of the other characters have analyzed him as that. But he’s a reflection of society, so yes that’s a part of it, but he also represents the potential of technology to help. What technology is doing is our society, how it is changing things… he goes beyond it in so many ways. In essence, it’s just two sides of the same coin. Yes, you can say that he is this arrogant, petulant little thing. At the same time, he is representative of everything that we are moving forward in. I mean, we’ve got the entire knowledge of the human existence n our pockets. I suppose the real crucial point is he doesn’t really care if people understand him, because he literally thinks faster than they do, and he doesn’t really care what they think. I guess that’s just something to bear in mind. But that doesn’t necessarily make him an asshole, it just makes him his own creature, I guess.
Schreiber: And as a representation of our relationship to technology, in whole, he’s much more than a representation of one generation of people. One generation of people are maybe more influenced by technology, or spend more time doing it, but he is technology, and how we use it. Old people use technology too.