Nothing can refresh a canonical work of theatre like an inventive and unexpected casting choice. When directors purposely color outside the lines in the actors they employ, interactions between characters and the overall implication of the piece can infuse it with brand new immediacy while giving actors the thrilling challenge of embodying a character that audiences wouldn't normally associate with them. These are some of our favorite casting choices of females in male roles that defied convention and added another layer of storytelling.
Now, without further ado...
STARZ is presently casting roles for the television adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel, American Gods, anticipated to air in 2017. Following the success of shows like Game of Thrones and Outlander, both fantasy literature-turned-drama series, the show has the potential to be one of the most diversely cast programs on television. If the major roles are cast according to Gaiman’s original vision, it could embrace a wide variety of ethnicities and cultures.
In the series, Neil Gaiman suggests that when people emigrated to North America, they brought their culture and their gods with them. Gaiman’s America is full of gods from every group dating back to the Vikings, up to and including present day immigrants. The plot follows an ex-convict, Shadow, as he becomes a bodyguard for a man known as Mr. Wednesday. Those familiar with Norse lore will recognize Wednesday is a synonym for Woden’s Day, or Odin’s Day, indicating that Mr. Wednesday represents the Norse god Odin. Shadow’s work for Odin takes him across the country, leading to several encounters with other deities in human form from a wide swath of cultures. These include the Egyptian gods, Thoth, Anubis and Bast; the Hindu goddess Kali; the African god Anansi; Whiskey Jack or “Wisakedjak” of Algonquin lore; and Bilquis, the Queen of Sheba.