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American Gods Wants You to Think Differently About Religion

"We're asking you what you believe."

Kat Rosenfield

On a show where the deities outnumber the normal human beings by a ratio of 10-1, it's no surprise that religion is at the top of many minds on American Gods-- and it's an issue which the cast and crew of the Starz drama wrestle with on the regular.

But in a new interview, the series' producers and actors made it clear that they're not just looking to tackle thorny questions of faith and affiliation themselves; they want their audience to think it through, too.


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"We're not telling you what to think," Orlando Jones, who plays Mr. Nancy -- otherwise known as the African folk figure Anansi -- told "We're asking you what you believe."

Bruce Langley, who plays Technical Boy, emphasized that church affiliation isn't the whole story (an apt point of view for the guy whose character is basically an embodiment of the internet, a.k.a. the god you're worshipping right now at the glowing altar of your computer screen.)

"I don't think it is necessarily about religion," Langley said. "It's about belief. It's about what we believe individually, as a society, and where we put that energy."

Bruce Langley and Gillian Anderson, American Gods

Jan Thijs, © 2017 Starz Entertainment, LLC

Kristin Chenoweth echoed that sentiment, saying she'd rather not even use the R-word: "It's like I want to do away with that word and bring spirituality back in," she said.

With so much mythology still left to unravel, and so many interfaith struggles to play out yet, the first season of American Gods is shaping up to be a serious battle of ideas. But unlike the religious conflicts of yore, series creator Bryan Fuller says that everyone can emerge from this one a winner.

"I think this show, if anything, encourages religious tolerance," he said.

American Gods airs Sundays at 9pm ET on Starz.