You might’ve thought American Gods‘ series premiere was violent… and then you met Technical Boy, whose goons ruthlessly strung Shadow Moon in a noose, in the episode’s last few minutes.
Technical Boy’s portrayer, Bruce Langley, takes a slightly more charitable view of the erratic, enigmatic character. “I think it’s useful to think of him as an agent of change,” the actor tells TVLine. “Whenever he is around, he is there for a specific reason, and something is about to change from one state to another state.”
He grins. “And it’s usually really going to ruin someone’s day.”
Like Media, whom we’ll meet in tonight’s episode (Starz, 9/8c), Technical Boy is one of the new gods. In the Neil Gaiman novel on which the series is based, the character is depicted as a fat, pimply, computer-whiz adolescent with a trench coat and a bad attitude; the show has updated his look to jive with modern ideas of online connectivity (think more chic, less geek).
For his part, Langley says the character isn’t actually a brutally violent, calculating villain.
He’s just programmed that way.
“He does not waste his time. He doesn’t waste his energy. Part of that is because he literally thinks faster than anything around him, so for him to waste a millisecond talking to a human being is to waste however many cycles contemplating a different reality,” Langley says. “So he literally thinks from a different parallel of thought.”
And those faceless bodyguards of his? They’re “3-D printed composites. They’re extensions of him,” Langley explains. “They are extensions of his own consciousness.”
The actor declined to tease much about the deity’s motives, but hinted that the new gods would soon band together to work as a team. “Then, knock on wood, in seasons going forward we’ll get to explore a little more about where Tech Boy actually came from, why he is the way he is, why he thinks the way he thinks, and that part of him that is still intrinsically human and what that means. That’s the vulnerable part of him.”