Lucy Lawless knows some viewers will be offended by her new series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," premiering tonight at 10 on Starz.
"I think a lot of people are going to be shocked and they are going to shut off their televisions," Lawless said in a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles.
"And I absolutely encourage that because if they're shocked by the first few episodes, it ain't going to let up. But for the people who have the stomach for it, this is a bloody good yarn."
Lawless plays the conniving Lucretia, who owns the slave Spartacus (Andy Whitfield) with her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah).
"She does terrible things, but she does them out of desperation and need, which is how most people get involved in criminal activities," Lawless said. "She is venal, but she is also religious. She is full of contradictions, and my aim is to make her so real and so believable that the audience will say, 'Yes, you know what? I can see myself doing the same thing if I was in her shoes.' "