For the way the mighty have fallen, turn to Czernobog. That old Slavic god stomped his way on the watch’s screen, supported through the three mysterious fortune-telling Zorya siblings, in the 2nd episode of Starz’s American Gods.
Peter Stormare plays the hulking character, the very first old god to become visited by Shadow and Wednesday on their own journey to recruit a military of ancient figures. It can make fine sense to begin with Czernobog—he’s about power and strength, brandishing a mighty hammer that they now uses in the usa inside a menial job like a slaughterhouse knocker. Undercurrents of duality tell you the type, too, as he’s generally considered the “evil” 1 / 2 of a set of Slavic brothers and sisters who represent light and dark, although such lines of morality exist in a grey area in the representation on American Gods. Then again, he manages to put a fairly destructive vow of dying on Shadow’s mind by episode’s finish, so there’s a minimum of just a little evil inside somewhere.
Like a character who might be a wholly unlikable discomfort within the ass (and not the least which while he now intends to kill our primary protagonist), acting veteran Stormare is rather a hoot, and speaks concerning the fantastical role with similar vigor you may expect of the guy who swings hammers for a full time income. (Meanwhile, click the link to see our interview with Gillian Anderson about her debut as Media, or even the executive producers’ solutions to the burning questions from episode 2.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, are you currently really worthwhile at checkers?
PETER STORMARE: Not necessarily. My iPad always beats me. Basically experience level one, I’m able to win. Level two, no. Checkers is really a hard game! I wish to get it done fast, and I’m very impatient. But you need to think, like chess. Impulsive, you are able to win, but may you need to just stare your contender lower.
What introduced you to American Gods?
Well, I understood concerning the book, and that i briefly met Bryan Larger, who desired to try me out with this Slavic Thor. [Editor’s note: The manager producers come with an alternate reading of Czernobog’s connect to Thor.] I was excited because Bryan has among the best reputations in the industry, so everyone wants to utilize him. But additionally, he’s the one that got the legal rights to show this book right into a Tv show, and that i know Neil have been offered a lot through the years, but he reliable Bryan fully. And That I loved it because it’s an excellent idea. However I seemed to be thinking, the way the hell would you turn this right into a Tv show? It goes between centuries, so oddly and easily sometimes. It’s like The Lord from the Rings into medieval occasions to return in to the 19th century in to the 17th century. It’s this type of big experiment. Nothing beats it has have you been done before. And That I only agreed to be amazed using the workforce and also the enthusiasm and glad I came onboard.
Had you performed a personality like Czernobog before, or was this concept of a washed-up old god a genuinely new acting experience for you personally?
I truly loved this type of Slavic Thor, because Thor exists all around the planet, I suppose, in various shapes and sizes. The only issue is, like lots of people in Slavic countries or old Eastern Europe, this character smokes constantly, and Jesus, God almighty, I am not a smoker, and it is really killing me. If I will smoke within the second season, I want existence insurance from Starz. I had been so sick, man. I smoke in each and every scene.
Herbals, though, right?
Yeah, however the factor is, the paper may be the worst. Also it will get to your nostrils. Regardless of how smart you believe you’re, it will get into you. And you eat lunch and also you provide. All for that art! But David Slade is really an excellent director. “He’s gotta smoke! He’s gotta smoke in each and every scene! I would like a detailed-on the cigarette whenever you inhale it. Yeah! And today using your nostrils! Yeah, yeah! Closer!” [Laughs.] He’s just like a Stanley Kubrick. He likes his close-ups and details, and becoming an actor, to participate this, is simply once-in-a-lifetime. It had been crazy. It had been like staying at Six Flags.
Exactly what do you admire about Czernobog that viewers might not pick on, but you’ve arrived at really understand and appreciate relating to this character?
He is able to represent evil, but he is able to also represent good stuff. And he’s gradually fading in to the shadows because nobody is having to pay focus on him, however once they arrived at him, it’s a shot in the future alive, and that’s nice that i can do being an actor. I am not just evil. And also the awesome factor with him is the fact that he’s this brother where, when one is creating darkness, another the first is creating light, and i believe that’s the world throughout us. We’ve 12 hrs of darkness after which it’s 12 hrs of sunshine, and perhaps that’s the way we people are. We’re built of both darkness and lightweight, and hopefully the sunshine can survive and conquer the darkness. And So I consider Czernobog a torch-bearer. A man who stands up the torch for that light and hopes that individuals asks for it—not for destruction. However I think he’s difficulty separating the 2.
How have you complete a few of the blanks within the margins of the character?
I had been born inside a Nordic country, so I’m acquainted with the Nordic mythology, and that i learn about Thor, and Hollywood’s done a lot of movies about Thor, however i was surprised he exists in a wide variety of territories on the planet. The standard person using the hammer, and creating otherwise thunder, then hurricanes and devastation. However this Slavic guy also offers a brother who’s more evil than him, so it’s like yin and yang. When the first is destructive, another the first is trying to develop. So it’s quite interesting. And that he has roots which go long ago into China, too, and Mongolia. It’s interesting, learning about all of our mythology linked together. People walked for this earth 10,000 years back, wandering round the Northern Hemisphere without transportation, and after that sprang mythology and new people, all linked together. From my own experience, I spent considerable time in northern Japan and northern Norway, where there’s the standard food culture, the standard folk tunes, the standard mythology. It’s amazing, learning about anthropology and various tribes and individuals about this earth.
To change gears as it were: That which was it like dealing with Ian McShane?
He’s British, and a number of them are born having a comic streak within their brain. There is a twinkle in the eye which makes you laugh constantly. He’s remarkable, because much like me, I attempt to place some humor even into my criminals, and that he, whatever he is doing, even when he’s full of killer, could be likable. He’s a charm along with a humor he applies to his figures. It’s difficult to act with him since you consider his eyes, and there is a twinkle saying, “Hello Peter.” [Laughs.] So you’ve to appear elsewhere. But he’s super fun to utilize. A genuine old-school pro.
And Cloris Leachman? You play her…
Nephew? I believe? Or grandkid? We don’t fully realize. [Laughs.] The Slavic individuals are all a large family. But yes, remarkable, remarkable. God, she’s over 90. I really hope I’m able to perform the same factor. She asked me to her trailer soon after days. I’d done a few scenes where she’d improvised a few lines off camera in my experience. “Man, you stink.” “You’re handsome, but you’re so ugly.” “I shouldn’t sit alongside you because it’s reeking. Acquire some deodorant.” Things like that that helped me crack up, and so the camera came on me, and that i was laughing. And thus following a couple of days, she asked me to her trailer and she or he stated, “I’m sorry, Peter, I love to have some fun on set. I do not think you stink or you’re ugly however i state that simply to cheer you up and cheer myself up. Is the fact that okay?” And That I stated, “Yes! I’m exactly the same way.Inches She would be a real prankster. The very first time she made it happen, though, I truly thought, “Jesus, maybe I actually do stink?”
All of your costume was extremely dirty.
Used to do the majority of my touch-ups inside a big pool water and dirt outdoors inside a parking area before I continued stage. [Laughs] You aren’t the greater actor since you go the entire monty, however it helps sometimes. It can make me smile or it can make others smile on set. And So I do my touch-ups inside a dirt pool.
Has being a member of this show altered how you consider belief?
Absolutely. I’m a strong believer, since i have was created, however i believe much more since we’re for an objective on the planet, and we’re doing everything we are able to to, excuse my French, but to f— up. How brittle existence is yet it’s been happening for thousands of years. Maybe we ought to sit lower and pay tribute to existence rather of just destruction.
For more American Gods, dive in to the recap, or watch EW’s postmortem show featuring Orlando Johnson which week’s visitors, Ricky Whittle and Cloris Leachman.