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Ex-Hollyoaks star lands first leading role in US drama

LEAD ROLE: British actor Ricky Whittle

BRITISH ACTOR Ricky Whittle has landed his first leading in an upcoming US television drama.

It’s been a year and a half since satellite television network, Starz, announced it would be putting together a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s popular fantasy novel American Gods.

Little news about the project has been reported until yesterday (Jan 28) when the network announced that they had cast former Hollyoaks and The 100 actor Whittle to play the book’s brooding hero, Shadow Moon.

Moon is a racially ambiguous character with “coffee and cream” skin and a mother who may have been either Native American or black.

Author Gaiman addressed the importance of Shadow’s appearance in a statement about Whittle’s casting: "I’m thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun.

"American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I’m delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts."

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