Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Sunday’s premiere episode of “American Gods.”
A very startling sex act on “American Gods” had a lot of people talking Sunday during the new Starz drama.
It features the attention-starved goddess of love, Bilquis, whose vagina swallows up her numerous lovers, both male and female, during heated sexual intercourse.
“You don’t see a woman owning sex like that often,” Yetide Badaki, who plays Bilquis on “American Gods,” recently told Business Insider in New York City.
“You see sex as something that happens to us a lot, something people apologize for or shy away from,” the Nigerian-born actress said. “Bilquis absolutely owns it and does not apologize for it. And I hope people talk about that.”
“American Gods,” which is already renewed for a second season, is adapted from Neil Gaiman’s popular 2001 novel of the same name. The show tells the story of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict who meets Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), who hires Shadow as his bodyguard. Shadow accompanies McShane’s mysterious character on a cross-country journey to recruit the multicultural gods of history who were brought to the US by immigrants for a war with the new gods created out of our modern worship of technology, media, drugs, and celebrity, among other things.
The beautiful Bilquis, one of the elder gods, yearns for the worship and connection of years passed. She makes up for that by finding lovers who adore her during sex play and then fill the hole created by the modern ways we now connect with one another. As an example, Badaki referenced a New York Times article about how millennials are having less sex in this digital age.
“In essence, they’re having less intimacy than previous generations,” Badaki said. “There’s so much that’s changed in the way we connect. So there’s that yearning in that sex scene. And it’s funny, one of the metaphors that came up for me when looking into Bilquis was also the idea of a starlet from the silent era trying to survive in the day of the talkies. There’s something out of time about it and something slightly out of sync.”
As intense as Bilquis’ sex scenes are, Badaki teases that “American Gods” certainly takes advantage of the freedom a premium cable network offers when it comes to sex.
“I love the sex positivity in this show in that taking the stigma away from actually talking about it is a very powerful thing,” she said. “And we also have it in a beautifully safe space. We have these incredible artists that have created this lovely artistic bubble where everyone can come in and really be vulnerable in all states. And it’s incredibly inclusive. It’s equal-opportunity. Yes, this scene is interesting but there will be plenty more that people will be talking about.”
The actress also says we’ll learn that Bilquis has a lot more to offer than sex tricks.
“You will definitely learn a lot more about where Bilquis has come from,” Badaki told us. “And I can say in this season, you will get an idea of where she is going and how she is an integral part of this war between the new and the old gods.”