Tuesday 12 December 2017

Here's how American Gods creators pulled off that crazy 'WTF' sex scene

American Gods
American Gods
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The main talking point from last night's American Gods debut on Amazon is the crazy sex scene in which a character is devoured by a goddess during sex.

It was a classic 'WTF' moment and viewers of the new series, adapted from Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel, may have been wondering how exactly it was executed.

As our reviewer explains, "The woman is Bilquis (Yetide Badaki), the ancient goddess of love in mortal form, who brings her conquest back to her apartment and literally swallows him whole during increasingly frenzied sex. And I don’t mean through her mouth, either."

American Gods review: 'Everything about it, not least its incredible visual quality, is designed to be savoured' 

Producer Bryan Fuller revealed to EW just how they brought the iconic scene from the novel to life on the small screen...

It involved a trap door, special effects and some choreography.

“Looking at the scene in the book, the orgasm and the realisation of what’s happening is primarily told from the suitor’s point of view, and what was so interesting about bringing [director] David Slade into the project, for both Michael and I, was how we were approaching this almost entirely as a point-of-view scene, and David came in very naturalistically, relatively, and saw it for the physics equation that it was, in terms of how does one person fit inside of another?" he said.

“He really led us down this really interesting path of Bilquis growing in a very subtle way, distorting perspectives as a means of conveying sex, and in cinema, using those tools and extrapolating a weird, hypno-shag adventure in sexual worship.”

The actor who played Bilquis' suitor, Joel Murray, came in to the process late after the original actor dropped out but his performance was praised by Fuller.

"We wrote the role of the suitor... as someone who was coming to this awkwardly and with vulnerability. It wasn’t necessarily an excited, gonna-get-laid guy, but a guy who was nervously approaching the date, wasn’t sure where it was going to go, and was surprised to be found attractive. That let us turn it into this moment of pure worship - an ecstatic form of worship that we could experience from his point of view."

He adds, "The scene is bananas, and there’s the degree of nudity… but Joel Murray was someone who our casting directors came with, and we’ve all seen him in a million things, and we could instantly see how the scene was going to end up being so much sweeter with him playing it. We were really grateful."

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