Mr. World, played by Crispin Glover, is the leader of the New Gods in Starz American Gods. He’s fashionable, omniscient, and apparently knows about people…all of them. And if you haven’t read the book, his role is key to what happens as the Old Gods start to gather for war against the new.
We got a chance to speak with Crispin Glover about his character Mr. World and right off the bat, you’d be quite surprised to know that he hasn’t read the book yet! He purposely didn’t read the book and is waiting to go along on the ride with us instead of being ahead of the game.
“I purposely don’t want to know, because I wanna see it as it’s given to me in the scripts. You know something I don’t know.”
Gotta respect a man who likes a little mystery in his life. Because Mr. World…he’s the biggest mystery of all on American Gods and kudos to the show for keeping his role under lock and key even in the trailer and sneak peeks.
What we do know is that Crispin doesn’t see Mr. World as inherently evil or good. He’s just a God who thinks he’s doing the right thing. The New Gods are winning because times have changed and he’s just going with the flow and doing what he must to survive, like all the other Gods.
“Ideally, and because this is well written, it’s not really approaching it (pause) I see the positivity of what my character is wanting to do. My character is not…I’m not looking to do something negative in my point of view. I’m looking to do something positive.”
Mr. World wants you to believe in him, just like the others Gods, and the position he is taking with the New Gods is his way of doing that.
Crispin was also quick to praise Gaiman’s work on American Gods because of the way it’s structured and it’s use of metaphors to propel the narrative forward in unexpected but relatable ways to the reader or viewer.
“Part of why it’s well written, even from the original novel, is that it’s working in metaphor. And so much of our contemporary corporate entertainment doesn’t work as much in metaphor. And metaphors really, are deeply important to the human psyche and the way it…storytelling worked initially to get core values or core ideas. Orally transposed from one generation from the next. So there was a deep structure that had to be important enough, or there had to be important enough issues for people to feel compelled to tell these same metaphorical elements that would be able to be interpreted from one generation to the next and still get that which is important. I don’t think that’s happening so much in our corporately funded and distributed media but I do think that it’s happening here.”
American Gods work in metaphors and uses them to start a conversation about the world around us. It makes us question our values and take a closer look at things we believe are touchy but wouldn’t be as much if people listened to each other, like war, religion, immigration, or race.
“I think the positivity of what’s coming forth in this (American Gods) is its questioning those kinds of values.”
With American Gods almost here, it’s easy to want to snatch up the book or look up the Wiki page to figure out who Mr. World is because A) this interview is too short for it’s own good and B) Starz has been so tight lipped about the character that all you know about him is that he looks good in a suit and his feet literally light up the path he walks on.
You should wait. You should hold on and join Crispin along for the ride that is Mr. World. And for all you know, you might’ve already seen Mr. World and not know it…
American Gods premieres Sunday, April 30th at 9/8c on Starz.