It's an aspect that's rather fascinating, given that Shadow Moon is the main focal point in the book. Here, it feels like everyone has an equal piece of the pie.
Jones: Right. I think the other difficulty for us is that in the creation of Mr. Nancy, he was not introduced in the book on a slave ship. So his introduction so fundamentally changes so many things about how he enters into this story. I wanted audiences to recognize the character because, you know, I'm fangirling Neil Gaiman this character for 20 years! I definitely wanted people to recognize Mr. Nancy, but by that same token, I wanted them to also recognize Aunt Nancy and Kwaku Ananse and Kompa Nanzi and all of those Anansis as you go through all the different cultures that are related, but slightly different. They are a part of what Neil based the character on but they're not a part of the way the character was necessarily rendered in the book.
Then, is it safe to say that the importance of bringing this character to life transcends the genre story you're telling?
Jones: From the accents that he will take on, which are a part of the culture that he came from, which represent the slave trade and the Middle Passage that ultimately are where those stories resonated -- and because I am a direct descendant of the Southern United States and those stories -- surviving that passage and becoming a part of the lineage of my great grandparents, my grandparents, and then handing that lineage to me as a child, I met Anansi as a spider long before I knew who Neil Gaiman was. So for me, to honor my fangirl side to an author who is brilliant and groundbreaking, not just with his work, but also in the way that he approached characters and race and gender. He was doing this 20 years ago when no one had thought about it. This authenticity, to me, is to be honored and respected.