American Gods star Orlando Jones talks the creation of Mr. Nancy

The lush adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel, American Gods, has plenty of weird and wonderful characters. Ahead of season 2 of the hit show, SFX Magazine (opens in new tab) sat down with one of its stars, actor Orlando Jones, to find out about the creation of Mr. Nancy, and the character’s roots in African mythology.

“My initial conversation with [showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green] was always

about what it meant to believe, and also what it meant to be convinced to believe by someone who was a non-believer,” Jones told SFX.

“They have convinced you, but they don’t necessarily believe what they are telling you. For me, that was the fun of Mr. Nancy, the fun of somebody telling you stories. You never know what

his agenda is. You just know it serves him in some sort of way.”

American Gods season 2 sees the battle between the old gods and the new gods gaining momentum, a period that author and creator Neil Gaiman calls “the Cold War” part of the conflict. Jones explains where we’ll first see Mr. Nancy in the new series. 

“I appear at the House on the Rock as they are trying to get into the gate,” says Jones. If you need to refresh your memory, the House on the Rock is one of the key locations in the show, and was where  Mr. Wednesday took Shadow to first meet with the Old Gods in their war against the New Gods.

“Shadow is literally trying to pick the lock to get in to the facility, not the actual house. Nancy appears

and pops the lock. In that moment, it’s the first time he sees Mad Sweeney and Laura. He appears, and I believe the very first words he says are, ‘What the fuck is that smell?’ It’s his version of ‘hello.’ That’s how he enters into the world and takes notice of the world. He sees Shadow still standing in the midst of all this with Wednesday, with the exact same opinion he previously had of him, which is, ‘You have no fucking idea what’s going on.You imbecile. Why are you walking around with this white man? Are you out of your mind right now?'”

American Gods returns to Starz in the US from 10 March and Amazon Prime Video in the UK from 11 March. For more on American Gods, as well upcoming blockbuster Captain Marvel, be sure to pick up the new issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab), out today.

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