The Goddess Behind Bilquis

Actor Yetide Badaki Unveils the Goddess Behind Bilquis from Starz Hit “American Gods” 

Los Angeles, CA (June 4, 2024): Today on the Hollywood at Home podcast, Yetide Badaki, best known for her captivating portrayal of Bilquis in the Starz series “American Gods,” shares her journey from Nigeria to Hollywood, and the magic that fuels her performances. Badaki delves into the complexities of her character, and how she connects with Bilquis both on and off-screen by drawing inspiration from Neil Gaiman’s novel that birthed the iconic role.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, Badaki proudly flies her nerd flag as a devoted fan of Star Wars and Star Trek, and reveals that her versatility extends beyond the realm of the gods.

She spills the tea on the comedic side of Sterling K. Brown on the set of “This Is Us,” and shares her unconventional first interaction on an airplane with Crispin Glover, when he was flying with everything AND the kitchen sink. Badaki also recounts the profound experience of collaborating with the talent the Antetokounmpo family on Disney’s “Rise,” and how they left a lasting impression.

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Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Yetide Badaki: 

An unusual meet-and-greet with Crispin Glover: “One of the first times that I really got to spend a lot of time with him was on a flight. He literally had a kitchen sink, and he was flying back to his place in the Czech [Republic]…and he said, ‘It made more sense to just fly with it than try and ship it.’ From very early on, as soon as he found out we had a small scene together, he immediately was in touch. He was shooting over ideas, asking for my ideas, wanting to really dive into the scene…It’s not a job [acting] with Crispin…I remember we did a scene a couple times, and at one point he turns over and he goes, ‘That was really good, right?’ And it was just so pure, so real.”

Securing a role in “American Gods”: “I’m a huge sci-fi lover, and I had read Neil Gaiman’s work a long time ago. If you had told me that I would be playing Bilquis, I would have laughed at that. The little nerdy girl sitting in the back reading her book; I was gonna play the goddess of love? Give me a break. When I got the audition to read for Bilquis, I knew who she was…What stood out about her was not how sexy she was, which she was, but how much she needed connection. That was the thing that really hit me…This was something that I was able to bring to that audition.”

On set with Sterling K. Brown: “I love how funny [Sterling] is. I don’t know why I didn’t expect him to be so funny. He was telling dad jokes, and I do have a weak spot for dad jokes.”

“This Is Us” and babies: “There’s an amazing thing about babies– they will bring you into reality quick. You can’t pretend around them. They’re gonna be who they’re gonna be. And I remember something really clicking there, and feeling like, ‘This is Chi Chi. I have this baby to thank for it.’”

On NBA basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo and Disney’s Rise: “When there was a Nigerian connection, I was curious…they were so generous with their time. The mother– being able to get on the phone with her and hear about their stories. I learned so much more about them, so much so that now, my mother will call me when there’s a game and say, ‘How’s my grandson doing?’ I’m like, ‘Mom, I just played his mom on TV.’”

More about Hollywood at Home:
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “Hollywood at Home” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at

Previous guests include Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Grace Caroline Currey (Shazam!), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency, “Luke Cage”), among others.

More about The Creative Coalition:
Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns, such as the #RightToBearArts initiative to promote the efficacy of the arts. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit

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