January 2012 Archives  

31 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance” Returns with 2.7 Million Overall Weekend Viewers

Starz “Spartacus: Vengeance” Returns with 2.7 Million Overall Weekend Viewers

4 Million+ Total Viewers To-Date with Record Online and On-Demand Sampling

The first episode of “Spartacus: Vengeance” debuted on STARZ to an audience of nearly 2.7 million P2+ viewers across four weekend telecasts the weekend of January 27. (**Late reporting of an additional Sunday night airing was not available at time of release).

Focusing specifically on Friday night performance, “Spartacus: Vengeance” produced a record total of 2.1 million viewers (1.39M viewers for Friday at 10PM (et/pt) and 677K for the 11PM (et/pt) repeat, which was a 10% increase over the “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena” prequel Friday night premiere (1.9 million viewers combined for Friday premiere 10PM and 11PM repeat).

Record multi-platform sampling interest in the first episode of “Spartacus: Vengeance” achieved more than 1.4 million on-demand and online views to-date, bringing the preliminary weekend total past the 4 million viewer mark.

Press Release 



31 January 2012

'Spartacus' returns strong in ratings


Spartacus is back — and so are his fans.

Starz' Spartacus: Vengeance delivered 2.7 million viewers its opening weekend across multiple airings. That’s on par with the opening weekend of last year's prequel series Spartacus: Gods of the Arena (2.8 million) and up 10 percent if you just look at Friday night. This year another factor was at play, however, since about 1.4 million viewers streamed the Vengeance premiere online and via the network’s OnDemand service before the on-air telecast.

The launch sets up a potential record-setting season of the show, which has endured a couple years of struggle and uncertainty after losing its star Andy Whitfield to cancer. Newcomer Liam McIntyre took over the title role this season.




30 January 2012

Character Profile Lucretia in Spartacus Vengeance

Character Profile Lucretia - Vengeance

Posted on: 30th January 2012

Character Profile Lucretia - Vengeance

Learn more about Lucretia (played by Lucy Lawless) and how her character develops this season Spartacus: Vengeance new episodes Fridays at 10pm on STARZ

Click here to view



28 January 2012

The Insider - Lucy Lawless: Lucretia's Gone Mad! 27 January 2012

ImageDespite getting a knife to the gut in Spartacus: Blood & Sand's season finale, Lucy Lawless' lascivious Lucretia is back, for better or worse, in Spartacus: Vengeance -- which kicks off tonight on Starz.

Roughly six weeks have passed since the events of that finale, but an entirely new Lucretia emerges in the episode as she doesn't retain a single stitch of her life. In other words, she's lost her mind. So part of the season two joy will stem from watching bits and pieces come back to her -- in obvious and subtle ways.

I caught up with Lucy to talk all about this exciting new season, what she's excited for fans to see and how the finale will make you view the entire series through new eyes!

Click here to read



28 January 2012

Spartacus Web Chat 26 January 2012

Spartacus Cast Web Chat 26 January 2012

Posted on: 28th January 2012

Spartacus Cast Web Chat 26 January 2012

Spartacus Fans, get your questions answered live! Join us for a live web chat with the stars of Spartacus, including Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Viva Bianca (Ilithyia), Nick E. Tarabay (Ashur), and Steven S. DeKnight (Creator).

Click here to view video



28 January 2012

Monsters and Critics Interviews Steven DeKnight 25 January 2012

ImageWe're just days away from the January 27 premiere of "Spartacus: Vengeance," which is the long awaited continuation of the fantastic "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" and we here at Monsters and Critics cannot wait.

So when we were asked to attend a conference call with series creator Steven S. DeKnight, we were there. Below are just a few highlights from what was a very informative 90 minute phone conversation between various bloggers and the producer.

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28 January 2012

Lucy Lawless Attends W.E. Movie Premiere 23 January 2012


Lucy Lawless Attends W.E. New York Premiere 23 January 2012
Posted on: 28th January 2012

Lucy Lawless Attends W.E. New York Premiere 23 January 2012

Lucy Lawless Wears Bright Flower In Her Hair – W.E. New York Premiere Arrivals Part 2 Ewan McGregor was invited to the New York premiere of W.E., Madonna’s directorial debut. He was followed shortly afterwards by one of the film’s stars, Oscar Isaac, who plays Evgeni in the film. Lucy Lawless (Spartacus: Blood and Sand; [...]

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28 January 2012

Lucy Interview Good Day LA 26 January 2012

Good Day LA 26 January 2012
Posted on: 28th January 2012

Good Day LA 26 January 2012

Los Angeles – Actress Lucy Lawless, who is perhaps best known for her role as “Xena the Warrior Princess”… now plays “Lucretia” in Starz’s original series “Spartacus: Vengeance.” She joined us in studio today and talked about the show’s second season. Watch the GDLA interview video in the media player. Spartacus airs tomorrow night at [...]

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28 January 2012

Liam Interview - Digital Spy 'It's a big mantle to take on'

Image'Spartacus' Liam McIntyre Q&A: 'It's a big mantle to take on'

Digital Spy

Spartacus: Vengeance kicks off in just a few short days in both the US and UK. To celebrate the Thracian warrior's return, we brought you an interview with Lucy Lawless - the scheming, sultry Lucretia - earlier this week.

But now it's time to bring out the big guns - series creator and showrunner Steven S DeKnight, and the man tasked with replacing the late Andy Whitfield, new show lead Liam McIntyre. Read on for a few insights into the new season...

Read More



26 January 2012

New Interview Video Lucy Lawless On The Chew 25 January 2012

Lucy was on The Chew to promote Spartacus and take part in the cooking aspect of the show

Lucy Lawless On The Chew 25 January 2012

Posted on: 26th January 2012

Lucy Lawless On The Chew 25 January 2012

Lucy appears on the show The Chew on 25 January 2012 in New York during the Spartacus Vengeance PR month.

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26 January 2012

Viva Bianca 'Spartacus: Vengeance' Princess Huffington Post

Viva Bianca: 'Spartacus: Vengeance' Princess On Ilithyia, Lucy Lawless And Sex Scenes

Huffington Post
25 January 2012

Viva Bianca's Spartacus: Vengeance" character Ilithyia has certainly changed since we first met her. She has grown from a mischievous schemer into an upper-class married woman, with a trail of devastation lying in her wake. We last saw Ilithyia two years ago in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" as she sealed the doors, closing the pesky Lucretia Lucy Lawless) behind them.

Well, it seems that Ilithyia's best-laid plans didn't turn out quite as she wanted them to, and Lucretia is back on the scene -- more or less. The Huffington Post sat down to talk to Bianca about all aspects of "Spartacus: Vengeance," from the constant nudity, to Ilithyia's transformation, to working with Lawless.

Click here to read interview



26 January 2012

Lucy and Liam Attends Madonna Movie Premiere


Lucy and Liam attended the premiere of Madonna's movie W.E. in New York on 23 January.

This blog has photos of Liam and Lucy. Click here to view the images

Check out the video




26 January 2012

High Resolution Images Live With Kelly 23 January 2012


Lucy Lawless ~ Signs autographs outside "Live with Kelly" NYC, Jan 23 12 - high resolution images.


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26 January 2012

New Photo of Lucy and Liam at WPIX New York


Here's a cool photo of Lucy and Liam on Facebook when they were at WPIX New York for a radio interview today (25 Jan).

Click here to view larger photo



25 January 2012

Revamped ‘Spartacus’ shakes off tragic star loss


The untimely death of “Spartacus” star Andy Whitfield — and the grace he showed while battling his illness — still resonates deeply with co-star Lucy Lawless and Liam McIntyre, the Australian actor tasked with replacing Whitfield as the gladiator drama’s titular star.

Lucy said:

“We fully expected Andy to come back. We wanted him to go through treatment, and in order to keep the show alive in the interim they hurriedly wrote [the prequel],” she says. “It was really a stop-gap measure to keep the ‘franchise,’ for want of a better word, alive while giving Andy time to heal.
“Unfortunately that didn’t happen,” she says. “Andy, bless him, came to love the crew and wanted them to keep working . . . so he said, ‘Please re-cast my part, I need to focus on my health.’ And he was so kind about it,” she says. “He was a very spiritual fellow. He came back to visit us when we were doing the prequel and I said to him, ‘I’d be so envious if I were you, watching your “family” carry on.’ He said, ‘I do feel bad, but I love [the cast and crew] so much.’ He had a lot of grace about that.”

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25 January 2012

Spartacus Episode Stills For Episodes 1 and 2

Added high resolution episode stills for Spartacus Vengeance Episode Stills for Episodes 1 (Fugitivus) and Episode 2 (A Place In the World)


Episode 1 Fugitivus
Spartacus learns that being a leader of freed slaves brings great responsibilities; Spartacus tries to keep his rebellious band intact.


Click here to view or click on the image above


Episode 2 - A Place In The World
Spartacus and his men liberate a Roman villa, but its slaves are wary. Oenomaus throws himself into the brutal Pits, and Glaber supports Lucretia's prophecies, despite Ilithyia's protests.







Click here to view or click on the image above



25 January 2012

New Lucy images from "Spartacus:Vengeance"





Added a few new images to the "Lucretia" gallery.

Click here for gallery



25 January 2012

'Spartacus' returns with a 'Vengeance,' and cast reveals green lifestyles at Hollywood premiere.

ImageWith its addictive combination of nudity, sex, action and plots even thicker than the blood spurting in its gladiatorial battles, "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" was a big hit for Starz when it premiered in 2010. But when Andy Whitfield, who played the title role, was stricken with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the prequel miniseries "Gods of the Arena" was made in the interim in the hope that he'd recover. Tragically, Whitfield succumbed to the disease last September, and the role was recast with Liam McIntyre. "Spartacus Vengeance" premieres Jan. 27, with Spartacus spearheading a slave rebellion — and Roman troops under Gaius Claudius Glaber — the man responsible for Spartacus' wife's death — on a mission to crush it.

"It's not an easy journey, both interacting with the other members of the group and for him personally, a man that never really wanted this mantle," said creator/writer Steven S. DeKnight during promotion for the series that included a Hollywood premiere, noting that the reluctant hero transitions "from a more singular individual to, by the end, a leader of men, and that journey is very difficult."

Getting the role was just as tough. McIntyre had lost 45 pounds for another project and had to bulk up with a trainer and grueling heavy weight workouts to achieve a gladiator-worthy body, but the experience was worth it. "It was and still is one of the most exciting things I can even imagine, let alone have the privilege of doing," he said, though Whitfield's death hit him hard. "You can't imagine how sad that day was," he said of the moment news came to the set. "Andy's left the most amazing legacy you could possibly hope for and it's the reason I have a job now. It's such an honor to have such a big responsibility. I just try to work really, really hard at giving it as much life as I can in the way I find possible and hopefully the Spartacus character has the same spirit as Andy brought to it so wonderfully."

This season, the titular theme of vengeance "drives everybody and brings them together but it also tears them apart," said DeKnight. "When you have such a dark emotion as vengeance, your relationships with other people become twisted." That couldn't be truer than in the case of Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) who somehow survived the massacre at the House of Batiatus and seems to have gone mad — or is she crazy like a fox? Her relationship with frenemy Ilithyia (Viva Blanca) "will continue to be enriched, lots of ups and downs there, lots of skullduggery in the parlor. Buckets of torment are coming my way, and I enter into a relationship with a man that I never paid attention to before. In the end all of Lucretia's dreams come true," promised Lawless, who is an ambassador for New Zealand Greenpeace and is building a massive garden at her Auckland home.

Her co-stars weighed in on their own environmental efforts at the premiere. McIntyre pointed out his native Australia's "impressive emission standards and carbon trading and systems with rainwater" that he's always followed. Manu Bennett (Crixus) said he has recycling bins and uses eco-friendly cleaning products at home, but buys disposable diapers for his new baby, his third daughter. In "Vengeance," Crixus' goal is to find his slavegirl love Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson, pictured right), and there's ongoing tension between him and Spartacus. "There are a lot of twists and turns" ahead, he promised.

Click here for full article



25 January 2012

Spartacus Q & A with Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah and Viva Bianca

ImageActor Liam McIntyre in action mode as Spartacus

Betrayal, sword-fighting, romance, more sword-fighting, treachery and, yes, you guessed it, even more sword-fighting — just another day in the lives of the beefy, beautiful, cunning and often desperate characters in the upcoming STARZ cable TV series Spartacus: Vengeance.

Premiering Friday, January 27 at 10:00 p.m. EST/PST, Spartacus: Vengeance is the second season of and sequel to the popular Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which aired last year on STARZ. In its finale, "Kill Them All," Spartacus led a brutal rampage at the House of Batiatus that paved the way for a new and uncertain future for him and those around him.

Spartacus: Vengeance picks up just a few weeks after that massacre. Capua is in an uproar. The gladiators have escaped and formed an uneasy alliance. Spartacus wants revenge on the man responsible for killing his wife, but he will soon understand his life is about something greater than avenging Sura's death. His mission is to build an army, set free the slaves and topple the Roman Empire.

Spartacus: Vengeance stars Liam McIntyre, who takes over from Andy Whitfield in the title role of Spartacus (Whitfield was forced to leave the role due to illness), Lucy Lawless as Lucretia Batiatus, Peter Mensah as Oenomaus, Craig Parker as Glaber, Viva Bianca as Ilithyia, Manu Bennett as Crixus, Dustin Clare as Gannicus, Nick E. Tarabay as Ashur, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Naevia and Katrina Law as Mina.

Last week, Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Viva Bianca and Peter Mensah (who joined the call later on) chatted on the phone with me and other journalists about their work on Spartacus: Vengeance. The following is an edited version of our Q & A (beware of minor spoilers). Enjoy!

Lucy, your character of Lucretia is crazy when the season starts and she comes upon Ilithyia, who's taking care of her. Lucretia doesn't really know that Ilithyia isn’t her friend and hates her. Does she find out Ilithyia’s bad side as the season progresses?

Lucy Lawless: Or does she find out mine? I don't want to give away too much. Needless to say, Lucretia and Ilithyia continue to have a very fraught relationship. My character has to work very hard to make Ilithyia care about her again, or at least need her, because Ilithyia just wants her dead.

Click here for full article



24 January 2012

Photos of Lucy Lawless & Liam McIntyre at premiere of "W.E."




Lucy and Liam attended The Weinstein Company With The Cinema Society & Forevermark Host The Premiere Of "W.E.".





24 January 2012

Spartacus' Lucy Lawless: "We're a Perverse Bunch"

ImageYou loved to hate her in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and then again in Gods of the Arena, and now Lucy Lawless is back, somewhat the worse for wear, as the scheming Lucretia in Spartacus: Vengeance – which premieres January 27th on Starz.

We here at IGN TV had a chance to speak with Lucy Lawless a week ago at the TCA Winter Press Tour and talk to her about all the new and returning characters in Vengeance, the fragile state of Lucretia's mind and how Spartacus is a lot more like Downton Abbey than one might expect.

Oh, and by the way, you can watch the unedited first episode of Vengeance, "Fugitivus," right here, before it airs on Starz.

Warning: Bloody, naked Spartacus spoilers await you…

IGN: I hear the Lucretia gets a new love interest this season. Would you care to comment?

Lucy Lawless: [laughs] I think that's all you want to hear.

IGN: Is it someone we know?

Lawless: It's someone who's been in her life that she never really paid any attention to before. That we've met before, yes.

Spartacus Incest Nixed Due to Game of Thrones

IGN: Does this season top the two previous ones? Is it a challenge to out-do yourselves?

Lawless: It's not as if they all sit around thinking of ways to top themselves, but the show itself evolves. So, Lucretia, after this terrible trauma she's suffered, goes off on a tangent. So it's not more of the same, but it is ramped up.

IGN: But I assume that those who might tune in to see bloodshed and nudity won't be disappointed either.

Lawless: Doesn't matter even if they are. The quality of what they're shooting - the stories we're telling – even the nudity and the sex or whatever is always about advancing the story. And it's undiminished. So I don't have any fear about that or about people who might only be tuning in just for that. And I don't think there are many people who tune in only for that. You'd have to be a complete simpleton. But the people who tune in for that won't be disappointed. And the rest of the people who want complex, rich and rewarding storylines and wicked drama will also be extremely pleased.

Click here for full interview



24 January 2012

The return of Spartacus

ImageAll men lose when they die, and all men die, Kirk Douglas famously said in Stanley Kubrick's 1960 film, Spartacus. "But a slave and a free man lose different things."

Fast-forward five decades and Spartacus: Vengeance, Starz' frantically paced, blood-soaked and over-the-top TV adaptation, is about to return with new episodes and a new actor in the title role. Spartacus is now a free man and very much alive but, as the de facto leader of a slave rebellion and the sworn enemy of ancient Rome, he's on the run. Like a trusty sword, the "vengeance" in the title cuts both ways. Spartacus, as played by Australian actor Liam McIntyre, wants vengeance for his dead wife, murdered at the hands of a duplicitous Roman legionnaire with the delightfully evil-sounding name of Gaius Claudius Glaber.

The Romans, for their part, want vengeance for the slave rebellion, which resulted in the deaths of numerous high-born Romans and their families.

This is not a tale that can end well - for anyone. To hear McIntyre, co-star Lucy Lawless and creator-producer Steven DeKnight tell it, though, that's where half the fun lies. Spartacus: Vengeance was made in the vein of its predecessor, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and last spring's prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Like those series, it's deliberately heightened and exaggerated, more like a graphic novel - and exceedingly graphic, at that - than a rote TV drama.

"In episode 1, the very first episode, one of the things we put up on the board in the writers' room was a sign saying, 'Brothel attack,' and you just can't go wrong with a title like that," DeKnight said, with a wry laugh. "We didn't want it to be simply a case of, 'Let's just go in and attack a bunch of guys and get some information.' We thought to ourselves, 'They should attack a brothel.'"

Click here for full article



24 January 2012

New 'Spartacus' debuts in Canada

ImageSex, violence, playing smart, playing crazy, getting naughty, getting nude, kissing butt and kicking butt.

When you're part of the cast of Spartacus: Vengeance, you have to be prepared for anything.

"And you'd better keep it real," said Lucy Lawless, who plays Lucretia.

"My inclination always is to make things schticky and funny. And you just have to sit so hard, particularly in the early days, on that urge.

"Because it quickly just becomes Meet The Spartans, you know?"

Lawless had a good chuckle at that, and she has plenty to smile about these days, with Spartacus: Vengeance debuting across Canada on Sunday, Jan. 29 on The Movie Network and Movie Central.

Originating on the Starz cable network in the United States, where it debuts two days earlier, Spartacus: Vengeance is a continuation of the series Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which first aired in 2010. Liam McIntyre has inherited the title role from Andy Whitfield, who tragically lost his battle with cancer in 2011.

As for her character, clearly the top thing Lawless has to smile about is the fact that Lucretia still is with us in Spartacus: Vengeance. For anyone who saw the orgy of violence at the end of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Lucretia's survival was no sure thing.

"(Lucretia) quite rightfully has what today we would call post-traumatic stress disorder," Lawless said. "She has every reason to have had a psychotic break.

"And that was great, very challenging to play it, but I think I did all the wrong kind of research. Maybe to play crazy you don't actually have to go crazy. I think I did go a little bit crazy, just in the work arena. I didn't know where to put boundaries on my behaviour. I lost all my perspective and I really needed the director to guide me through.

"Anyway, it worked out all right in the end, but the season gets much more challenging than that in terms of acting."

In fact, having played an iconic TV character -- Xena: Warrior Princess -- in the past, it's her distinct lack of craziness that sets Lawless apart.

Frankly, while some actors struggle with their TV past and can be quite haughty about it, Lawless carries it better than any other actor we've seen.

Lawless has moved on professionally but remains completely comfortable with her honoured place in fanboy-geek culture. Not all actors exhibit such grace.

"Do other actresses get upset (when their past roles come up)? That must be exhausting," Lawless said.

"There are two elements there. First, I had a great time doing (Xena: Warrior Princess), it gave me everything, a husband, family, house, blah blah blah. So I'm really grateful for that.

"And also, I like you guys (media), so why would I treat you like that? You're hard-working, intelligent, pleasant people. What's not to like? So therefore, why would you pull a bloody status move on somebody?"

With such great perspective from Lucy Lawless on both her career and her character in Spartacus: Vengeance, let's hope Lucretia survives whatever orgies of violence are thrown her way for many years to come.




24 January 2012

Katrina Law Talks Testosterone, Stamina and Spartacus: Vengeance


American actress Katrina Law appeared on Spartacus: Blood and Sand for less than half of the season but she made an impression on fans, and her character Mira made an even bigger impression on Spartacus. Law, best known for an arc on the TV series Legend of the Seeker and the web series The Resistance, is back with Spartacus: Vengeance, which premieres Friday on Starz.

In Season 1, Spartacus and Mira began a relationship that continues into the new season, and the New Jersey-born Law spoke with Spinoff Online about what fans can expect in the coming weeks, the challenges she faced as an actor, working with men in loincloths, and trying to understand New Zealanders.

SPINOFF ONLINE: After coming onto the show part way through the first season, you’re now a regular and, as an actor, this is your first time playing a character for this length of time. What has the experience been like?

Katrina Law: I think the biggest learning lesson on a show like Spartacus and being a series regular was stamina and pacing. I don't even know if this actually applies to any other show just because a lot of the stamina and pacing I'm actually referring to has to do with physicality. It's such a physical show. You want to do everything that you're asked, but you realize that if you do that on such a physical show you annihilate yourself and you literally cannot physically produce the same quality the next week because you're so sore, tired or injured. It was a big learning experience having to say, no, I actually can't do that, or figuring out how to act like you're giving one hundred percent without giving one hundred percent physically. After seven months of doing this without a break, that was the biggest lesson.

This season is very different than the first. What has it been like for Mira?

This year was a lot more physical for Mira and for pretty much all of the slaves. Last year the gladiators had to do all the fight scenes but this year everybody is on the run and everybody is fighting for their life. Physically it was very challenging this year. After the season wrap I got back to LA and sat on my couch. If you needed me to get off my couch, there was no way because I just couldn't. [laughs]

It was great being a series regular. It's great to be working, that's a blessing in and of itself. It's good to live with the character for a while and get to see how they grow and where they get to go. On a show you don't necessarily know where your character ends up. It's not like a movie where you get the script and you know the arc and the ending. This is ongoing. She does this one day and that the next. You don't know where your character is going so it makes it a really interesting challenge and keeps it fresh and interesting

Have you had any conversations with Steven S. DeKnight and the writers about Mira and her arc and the show's plot this season and beyond?

I think the cool thing that the writers do – and depending on who you ask, it may not be that cool – but they don't necessarily tell you what the characters are doing. They give the actors just a broad view. I don't know if it's because they don’t want the actors to get married to an idea. They'll say, "She's going to do this and she's going to go in that direction," but you don't really know what it is that takes your character in that direction. It makes you really have to work. You're constantly being surprised by your character as the season goes on. You have a general idea of where they're going but you don't know how or why.

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24 January 2012

Liam McIntyre replaces the late Andy Whitfield in 'Spartacus'

ImageYou could never tell by looking at him now but Liam McIntyre, who plays the sinewy hero in "Spartacus: Vengeance," suffered from severe asthma when he was a kid.

"There's a tenacity you get as an asthmatic where, occasionally in your life, the most important thing in the world is being able to take a breath again," he says, perched on a casual chair in a pool-side room at a hotel here.

"That puts everything in perspective, ultimately when your next breath is more important that anything you can do, there's an element of that that builds your character and makes you stronger."

When the new episodes of "Spartacus" return to Starz on Friday, McIntyre will be needing all the strength he can muster. He'll be filling the sandals of the late Andy Whitfield, who played the role until he was felled by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last September.

"It's bittersweet because you kind of wish it was never there in the first place," says McIntyre, who is Australian. "You wish the guy you watched in Season 1 was still there. But given that's not possible, you have this great responsibility to do this dream job you can't imagine," he says.

McIntyre was a reluctant actor in the first place. "I got tricked into acting. I studied business in Ireland and I was just trying to find things to do to make friends. It was a world away for me. And I had no interest in acting ... This guy told me there was this role ... and I grudgingly agreed to do this thing I didn't want to do at all," he recalls.

"I see my little first opening gambit (in the script). 'OK, maybe I can handle it.' The next thing, my character comes back dressed as someone else ... I went to the director and I said, 'Who plays my character when he comes back?' He says, 'You, obviously.' I said 'Wait, that's not what we signed up for. I'm not an ACTOR. I can't do this.' I've never complained so much about getting a lead," he laughs.

"I hated so much of that, up to the fourth night of performance when onstage sometimes it all clicks, and it's just this experience like no other - where all the players are in the same space and they're all connected in some way, and you get offstage with this buzz. And I remember one of my costars said, 'Did you just get the acting bug?' I said, 'Don't be silly.'

"I remember calling up dad and apologizing and saying, 'Dad, I think I want to be an actor.' It's also so sweet to flash forward nine, 10 years later and to ring up my father and say, 'Your son's done all right.'"

Still, McIntyre waited a long time for things to go right. He graduated with a degree in business and excelled at it. "I ended up in a job I really liked. The job was a cinema chain, I was deciding what movies went on, so by day I was this struggling actor and by night I was telling distributors, 'I don't know if we can fit that in ...'"

Before he was hired he assured his boss that acting would not interfere. I said, 'I love it, but what are the odds? A really big role? It'll never happen.' Three months later these guys call up and said, 'We want to test you for the show ("Spartacus").' I had to go in to my boss and say, 'You know that thing I said would never happen? It just happened.' God bless him he was so good about it. He's still the best boss."

McIntyre's parents divorced when he was 1 and he was reared by his mother and stepfather, who died when Liam was 12. "My stepdad was an incredible man," he sighs.

His passing, taught McIntyre, 29, a valuable lesson. "I learned to be a leader. I got to be the man of the house. I really did. I said, 'Mum, hold on, we can get through this together.' There's a lot of that I get to use (as Spartacus). Spartacus now is pulling disparate members together for this bigger cause - and there's a lot of strange similarities in that experience."

McIntyre had lost 45 pounds for another role when he was called to audition for "Spartacus." "I was up against these two other massive, hulking men and ultimately, like I was trained to do: just do the work. Just be honest to your character and do the right thing. I was told ultimately that's what people kept coming back to."

Then the hard work of shaping McIntyre into a sword-swinging icon began. He toiled at the gym four hours a day, followed a restrictive diet and took instructions from a grueling ex-military trainer.

"The head stunt guy of 'Spartacus' was like, 'See where he breaks' essentially, and they put me through things you can't imagine," he says, laughing.

"And my dad raised me competitive and stubborn, thank goodness. My mum raised me to be sweet and nice and my dad - I was, like, 5 years old and he could throw the tennis ball down 100 miles per hour. 'Dad, I want to win.' He said, 'You'll win when you're ready to win!' Thank goodness."

A unique interview show from comics David Steinberg and Steve Carell hits Showtime on Thursday. "Inside Comedy" probes the quirky minds of comedians like Tim Conway, Larry David, Jonathan Winters, Jerry Seinfeld, etc. "There's a way in which comedians talk to each other, like jazz musicians talk," says Steinberg.

"They know things about each other that outsiders don't know. So we wanted to be able to see if we could tap into that in some way; wanted to know their influences, who specifically did they see that made a difference, and all of that. Especially if you're talking to standup comedians, it's always negative. It's about toilets and the terrible times and the nuttiness and craziness and the dark soul of the comedian. This turned out not to be that at all. Turned out to be what everyone really likes - maybe loves - about what they do."

Three strong-willed guys created HBO's "Luck," which premieres Sunday. It's an underground tale of the horse racing world. The pilot was directed by Michael Mann ("Miami Vice"), written by David Milch ("Deadwood") and stars Dustin Hoffman ("Tootsie.") All three boast executive producer credentials, too.

Hoffman says he tests a director to see how flexible he'll be. "I say, 'I have an idea,' and if there's this cloud that comes over the director's face and all the blood drains from his face, I know he's not a collaborator," says Hoffman.

"I met Anthony Hopkins many, many years ago, and we were talking about, you know, what do you do when you're not getting along with the director. And he says, 'Never raise your voice. Never have a fight. On a soundstage make sure, or wherever you're shooting, make sure you're shooting on the ground floor. When it gets to that point, you say, "Excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom." You've checked the bathroom out before. It has a window.

"'You go in the bathroom. You lock the door. You climb out the window. You go home. You come back the next day. There's no argument anymore.'"




24 January 2012

Interview: "Spartacus" Creator Steven DeKnight and New Star Liam McIntyre

ImageFrom AfterElton.com:

While the word "epic" probably isn't quite right when it comes to describing the journey taken to get to the third season of Starz's Spartacus, which debuts on January 27th, it isn't far off either. After becoming a surprise hit for the cable network, the show had to deal with the news that star Andy Whitfield was stricken with cancer. While waiting for Whitfield to recover, the show's co-creators Steven DeKnight and Rob Tapert decided on very short notice to shoot a six episode prequel in order to maintain the show's momentum.

Tragically, Whitfield never recovered, and that left the show having to face the difficult chore of recasting the lead role of Spartacus, something DeKnight did with the blessing of Whitfield who wanted Spartacus to go on.

During last summer's Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, AfterElton had the chance to get some face time with DeKnight, as well as Liam McIntyre who is taking over the titular role after the passing of Whitfield. They had a lot to say about the upcoming season.

AfterElton: Previously we talked about [how] this season might have a gay villain. Is that going to happen?
Steven DeKnight: No. It was — I think I can reveal this — when we were originally 13 episodes, we had plans that Gaius Claudius Glaber was actually going to be bisexual. But then when we went and shrunk it down to 10 episodes, we realized there wasn't enough room to explore that. It felt like an odd tack on. So I'm still very much interested in exploring a bisexual character. In hopefully the season after this one, we’ll be able to make that happen.

AE: Any gay characters in this season?
SDK: Yes.

AE: Anything you can give me a hint about?
SDK: No, I can't. I can't on this one.

Liam McIntyre: It's good though. Surprised me.

SDK: Yeah.

AE: Male or female?
SDK: Male.

AE: Fine, tease us.
SDK: With the gay relationship this season, I was really interested in exploring kind of a deeper love. It’s almost like a tender romantic...

LM: You really get time to see it...

SDK: Yeah. You get to see it from the start.

LM: You can see it bloom.

SDK: Yeah, from the start, where they come into it.

AE: Great!
SDK: You see it start. I think we lay a lot of great groundwork for it this season and then next season I want to explore it even deeper.

Click here for complete interview




23 January 2012

Lucy Lawless 'Spartacus: Vengeance' Q&A: 'This season is enormous'

ImageSpartacus returns to our screens later this week with ten thrilling new episodes! Picking up where Blood and Sand left off, Vengeance follows Spartacus (Liam McIntyre, replacing the late Andy Whitfield) and his band of warriors as they wage a war to bring Rome to its knees.

We'll have an interview with new series lead McIntyre and the show's creator Steven S DeKnight later this week, but first, here's a Q&A with the scheming Lucretia - actress Lucy Lawless. Speaking to Digital Spy and other journalists, Lawless dropped a few hints about what to expect from the new season...

Given how Blood and Sand ended for Lucretia, were you ever worried that you wouldn't be back?
"Yes, they shot it both ways - one with me absolutely still and one with my finger twitching! I think the decision was made posthumously - they thought 'Let's keep her alive!'"

Lucretia doesn't get involved in the action scenes as much as Xena did - do you miss it?
"Not even a little bit! [The men are] sweating and grunting and they're covered in filth, and I'm asking somebody to peel me a grape - what's to miss?!"

Have you missed working with John Hannah this year?
"I do miss him, but I will say that I have the incredible Viva Bianca, who plays Ilithyia. She and my character continue to have a very tangled relationship - it gets juicier and juicier as the season goes on.

"Viva Bianca is a great actress, a great friend and a great colleague. Craig Parker plays her husband Glaber and he has us all in stitches - he's absolutely the funniest man any of us have ever met, [tied] maybe with Bruce Campbell.

Click here for full article



23 January 2012

Spartacus Merchandise




If you are looking for merchandise from "Spartacus", check out the following...











22 January 2012

Lucy on Access Hollywood Live on January 27


Access Hollywood Live guest listings for week of January 23:

Friday, January 27— Pet adoption with Lucy Lawless, musical performance by 2CELLOS, Fashion Friday




22 January 2012

'Spartacus' lives again

ImageSteven DeKnight, creator and executive producer of the Starz show "Spartacus," is remarkably candid about how he hated the show's very first episode. But while he felt it a soon-corrected misstep, there was one aspect of it that he loved: the show's charismatic lead actor, Andy Whitfield.

"One of the things that made that first season so good was finding Andy, who was this unknown actor, and the way he lit up the screen as Spartacus," says DeKnight. "His interpretation of the character was truly amazing."

While fans flocked to its orgy- and blood-soaked depiction of brutal Roman times, the show soon encountered disaster far greater than a sloppy premiere. Soon after the first season wrapped, Whitfield was diagnosed with the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that, after a half year of treatment and the false promise of recovery, would take his life, at the age of 39, last September."He had hurt his back in the first season, and was having trouble with it," recalls DeKnight. "We were a couple of episodes into breaking the second season, and we found out that he hadn't hurt his back. It was the lymphoma. That was one of the hardest calls I ever got. It immediately sent everybody into a tailspin."

Whitfield endured six months of treatment and received a clean bill of health, only to have the cancer return shortly after. At that point, the actor made the difficult decision to withdraw from the show permanently, giving the producers his blessing to recast the role.

Aside from the personal nightmare of having a friend face down cancer, the show’s producers, having already "turned over every rock" to find Whitfield, once again had to embark on an extensive search for the right man to play Spartacus, and it was decided that the show would continue only if the right actor was found.

"[Going through this process], you understand why there are so few real leading men," says DeKnight. "You need to have so many different qualities to fit that bill. It’s a very small target to hit."

Click here for full article



22 January 2012


22 January 2012

Screenrant: Epic interview with stars from Spartacus Vengeance

ImageI was on another interview call this time with some of the stars of the hit STARZ show Spartacus: Vengeance. Viva Bianca (Ilithyia), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Liam McIntyrie (Spartacus), and Peter Mensah (Doctore/Oenomaus) were all participants on this interview.

The interview seemed to last forever but was so much fun. There were no new information to come out of the interview but it is always good to hear the actors comment on their own characters and the show itself.

A question was asked for Viva Bianca pondering whether we would see more scheming from her character, Ilithyia. Viva Bianca responds with:

I think, you know, obviously what we all saw in season one was that Ilithyia developed into a more and more of a complex woman. So, you know, in turning into season two Spartacus Vengeance. Ilithyia has that whole recent history of really a guilty past. And a suitcase of treachery lies in deceit. So, firstly she has a lot to fight for and she's had a lot to fight against. And, you know, as people become aware in season – in episode one, Ilithyia lands right back at the place she so much wants to escape. So it kind of just, you know, ends of playing out as a fight for her life really. What’s so interesting in season two is that, because of the circumstances in which they both landed, they are forced into a situation of becoming a lot closer than they even were in season one. Which means a potential for drama and the unraveling of relationship revelation is so much more interesting. Really there’s a lot in store in too for this female relationship.

Someone asked Liam McIntyre how he felt about replacing Andy Whitfield as Spartacus. Liam responded with:

Well, I mean I'm very lucky in that I – the writing team is absolutely sensational, and that Starz is really supportive. So Starz early on said, you know, make the character your own, treat it as your own character. You know, that they didn't expect me to copy anything. I did watch all of Andy's amazing work. And so I don't know if any parts was osmosis or kind of like a kind of influenced me in any way. I can't be sure, but I mean hopefully because he was sensational. But I mean realistically I just tried to be true to the character which, you know, essentially stays the same. Because the writing is the same and all of that lovely humanity and those difficult choices and all that. Then that struggle that Spartacus goes through, it's still there this season. So I didn't get the honor of being able to treat that with respect and truth. And hopefully you have a character that feels the same as the great character that Andy portrayed.

Click here for full interview transcript



21 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance - Liam on his incredible opportunity

ImageFrom the time Spartacus: Blood and Sand debuted on Starz in January, 2010, it established itself as an epic production with visuals unlike anything previously seen on TV. When the series was pick up for Season Two, its stars Andy Whitfield was unable to reprise his role as Spartacus, as he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which ultimately took his life on September 11, 2011.

After a long and extensive search, Australian actor Liam McIntyre was chosen to replace Whitfield. With Spartacus: Vengeance premiering this month, the actor spoke with the TV Critics about the upcoming season and the trauma of replacing Andy Whitfield.

I read that you auditioned for the role and then had to go through a regime of beefing up before they would give you the job. How long did that take?
It was a very exciting time. I'd lost 45 pound for this thing called Frozen Moments, and then they brought me into this audition room, and I thought, 'Why am I here?' Then they kept bringing me back and training me.
I got a military trainer and they just kept upping the stakes and seeing what they could do to me. It was everything from just lifting really heavy weight to running and lifting heavy weights! That went on for about three to four months, and then they finally put me out of my misery, and said, 'Keep training.' (he laughs) No.
It was fair enough, every moment through that process was really exciting because it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. And I had this huge company, just going, 'Keep trying.'

Click here for full article



21 January 2012

Lucy to appear on "The Chew" January 25



WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25 – “HOTTEST SHOW ON EARTH” — Lucy Lawless (“Spartacus”); Clinton Kelly’s tips on how to “spice up” some of your favorite cocktails.




20 January 2012

Magazine Scan - TV Guide Jan 23 issue







Added scans from the January 23 issue of TV Guide to the gallery.

Click here for gallery



20 January 2012

Spartacus: The Most Naked Show on Television!

ImageJust when we thought True Blood was the most naked show on television, we got a good look at Spartacus.

And we saw just about everything.

Still, the hunky and hottie stars make no apologies for their racy work…

"I think we get a lot of press about the sex and violence on the show and the sensationalism," Viva Bianca, who plays Ilithyia, told me at last night at the premiere of the series' second season at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. "But you know what—it's that kind of show!"

Even so, it's not always easy for the stars to strip down.

"I'm always so scared," Bianca said. "I'm often offered shots of vodka to get through it, but I'm too conservative of an actor to do that. So you just go through it beat by beat and it becomes very clinical and not very sexy."

"Luckily, we're working with a great group of people—both the crew and the actors," said Nick Tarabay, who plays Ashur. "They make it safe, and they make it easy. So after while, you're like, ‘Yeah, I've seen you naked—no big deal.'"

But they'll only go so far. Manu Bennett said he had to ask producers to edit a scene last season that he felt included too much camera time focused on his manhood. "We can only do so much," said Bennett, who plays Crixus.

Liam McIntyre, who has replaced the late Andy Whitfield as Spartacus for the second season, says filming is far from sexy. "I'm certainly colder than I've been on anything else I've ever done," he said. "If you're lucky and you know the right people, occasionally, they'll bring you a big wooly jacket or jumper to cover your half-naked body."




20 January 2012

Downton Abbey and Spartacus: Why They're Almost The Same Show

Image"It's wonderful what fear can do to the human spirit."

Given the headline of this article, there's a 50 percent chance that you would assume that the above quote is from "Spartacus," Starz's gladiator drama that's well known for its regular displays of violence.

But the quote comes from Mrs. Patmore, the cook on "Downton Abbey," who makes that observation in an upcoming Season 2 episode of the tony PBS period piece.

And I'm betting you can believe that statement came from a character on the PBS show, because both of these dramas, despite their surface differences, cover very similar terrain.

Both "Downton Abbey" and "Spartacus" are obsessed with power. Who has it? Who wants it? Why do people wield it the way they do? What do people will do to obtain it? And what do people have to sacrifice in order to break free of the rigid rules that hold them in place? Fear and power go hand in hand, which is something the long-suffering Daisy, Mrs. Patmore's sole minion, knows well.

"Downton" and "Spartacus" may be set a couple thousand years apart, but both shows depict constant struggles for control and strenuous attempts to enforce laws and longstanding customs. Whether the characters are wearing loincloths or corsets, the paths they travel aren't all that dissimilar: Most people in "Downton" and "Spartacus" want to escape their situations, or change them in some fundamental way, but they usually have to give up a lot to alter their circumstances just a little.

I'm a fan of both shows because they explore these ideas about power and autonomy via a roster of compelling characters, all of whom are forced to interact in close quarters. In both "Downton's" and "Spartacus'" respective hothouse environments, characters in very different classes are constantly negotiating what kinds of intimacy and intimidation are allowed and what kinds aren't. Sure, "Spartacus" may be the less polite drama, but it's no less moving once you get invested in its characters' quests for love, safety and a few scraps of emotional fulfillment.

Still don't believe the shows have a lot in common? Seriously, they do:

They both value language and boast their own distinctive syntaxes. The Dowager Countess' elegantly vicious put-downs are every bit as memorable as the Shakespeare-meets-the-street rhythms of "Spartacus."
They're both period pieces that don't feel musty or completely removed from modern life. We may not live in manor houses or ancient villas, but we can relate to the characters' desires to better themselves and control their own fates.
They both boast memorably complex characters who can surprise you with their deviousness or their unexpected altruism. Sure, a few of the characters on both shows are one-dimensional, but both shows also have such large ensembles that it's not hard to find protagonists to care about.
They both embrace the soapier aspects of their stories (Love! Betrayal! Unexpected deaths! Illicit sexytimes!). Neither is re-inventing the wheel when it comes to their genres (i.e., period drama and gladiator epic), but at their best, they are excellent examples of their genres and expertly dispense cliffhangers, declarations of love, confrontations and sly humor.
They're both strongly serialized, and in that regard, I'd say "Spartacus" is the more finely crafted affair. "Downton," which I remain addicted to despite some its Season 2 wobbles, looks classier, but this season, as I said in my review, it lurches from story to story somewhat ungracefully. "Spartacus," on the other hand, is one of the most meticulously constructed shows I've ever seen. Really.

I could go on comparing the two shows despite their wildly different reputations. "Downton Abbey," after all, is the darling of the "We Love Quality TV" brigade and airs on PBS. It's so proper that it practically serves you crumpets through your TV screen (and if it did, I wouldn't object).

Click here for full article



20 January 2012

More Spartacus Premiere photos





Photos from the afterparty:


Photos from the redcarpet:

Joits Photography
Hutchins Photo



20 January 2012

No Incest on Spartacus Because of Game of Thrones

ImageWarning: Spartacus-related spoilers await you…

Jupiter's C***! If you're like us here at IGN TV then you can't wait for Spartacus: Vengeance to erupt all over your TV screen on Friday, January 27th. Having just wrapped shooting for the season, and about to enter into pre-production on next season, EP/Creator Steven S. DeKnight sat down with IGN to talk about the latest bloody chapter, in which Spartacus, Crixus, Mira and the rest of the renegade slaves are on the run from the cruel man who originally sold Spartacus and his wife into slavery, Gaius Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker).

We spoke to DeKnight about the passing of Andy Whitfield, new star Liam McIntyre, villains beyond Glaber and the surprising lack of incest on a show as extreme as Spartacus.

IGN: First off, where do we find Spartacus and the slaves at the outset of this season?

Steven S. DeKnight: With this season we pick up about six to eight weeks after the events of Season 1, with the attack on the ludus. And the rebels are out and about and what was always planned, from the beginning of Spartacus, was that I didn't want, after they broke free, for them to be Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They are not getting along. There's internal conflict. There's difference of opinion. Not everybody's on the same page. And this is something that will carry us through a good chunk of the series. So they are out but their survival is not guaranteed. We didn't want to go from breaking out to them having 60,000 people. This is the season when you're going to watch and see Spartacus become a leader. He's still struggling with that mantle.

Click here for full article



20 January 2012

A Conversation with Katrina Law

ImageFormer beauty queen (Miss Teen New Jersey), Katrina Law might just be able to kick your backside. At least that's the way it appears in the hit Starz Network television series Spartacus: Vengeance. Ms. Law plays "Mira," a slave girl who has a close encounter with the legendary gladiator.

Mike Parker– I admit to being more than a little intrigued to read that you were on your high school's varsity weight lifting team. I mean, you don’t look like any female weight lifter I’ve ever seen.

Katrina Law– I think it is the lack of steroids (laughs). I joined the team because while I ran track in the spring and my options during the fall were limited to basketball, indoor track or weight lifting. A couple of my friends and I decided it might be fun to try weight lifting. I learned all the weightlifting techniques alongside the guys on the football team. It was kind of cool to get to lift with the boys.

Parker– Your mom got you involved in a wide variety of activities when you were a child. What made you settle on a career in entertainment?

Katrina– Acting was the most fulfilling. It was the only thing that made me happy. I was pretty good at science and math, but I found the entertainment industry was more challenging, because you can work really hard at a math problem to find the answer, but when you've found the answer the challenge is over. With acting even when you find the answer, there is always another question, so the challenge never ends. It is exhilarating. I would sacrifice everything for a taste of it.

Parker– I understand you had to go through some pretty rigorous gladiator training for your role in Spartacus.

Katrina– Gladiator boot camp. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Cast wise, it was pretty much just me and the guys. Weight lifting, strength training, warm-ups, sword work. A lot of running, pushups, more running, sit-ups, more running. And there was this thing we did called the Circle of Death. Upper body training, lower body training. It was a full on experience. After one day I couldn't walk for a week.

Click here for full article



20 January 2012

Stars pay tribute to Andy Whitfield at Spartacus premiere

ImageThe late Andy Whitfield's turn as the eponymous hero of Starz' Spartacus was always going to be a tough act to follow, especially given the sad reason why the Welsh actor was forced to leave the show.

Whitfield died last September from non-Hodgkin's lymphona, at the age of 39 , just 18 months after being diagnosed with the disease which halted filming on the popular saga.

But last night, his respectful successor Liam McIntyre took his place in the show's pantheon of stars as he premiered Spartacus: Vengeance at the Arclight theatre in Hollywood.

The 29-year-old Aussie accepted the role of the Roman gladiator who leads a slave rebellion, only after it became clear that Whitfield wouldn't be able to return.

He told the LA Times: 'Being Spartacus is challenging enough, but living up to what Andy did … it's tough.'

He added: 'We already know what Andy could do, if I was to do that - even to the best of my ability - I would have come up short. I can't be Andy. All I can do is try to get at what Spartacus is about on an emotional level."

McIntyre was joined on the red carpet by his co-stars, Lucy Lawless, 43 , who plays Lucretia, Viva Bianca, 28 , who appears as Ilithyia in the saga and British actress Jaime Murray, 34 , the daughter of former EastEnders star Bill, who appears as Gaia.

Whitfield took a break from the series after its first season after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Writers created a six-episode prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena to give the father-of-two time to undergo treatment and recover before returning to the role.

But Whitfield's cancer returned and he officially bowed out of proceedings while urging everyone to continue without him.

'The love for Andy that fans have is phenomenal and uplifting,' series creator and executive producer Steven DeKnight told the LA Times.

'Obviously, everyone wishes he was still here and a part of it. There is a faction that says we should have cancelled the series … and I completely understand. It's the worst situation to find yourself in.'

The period saga has been a huge hit for the cable channel, with its visceral gore and colourful sex scenes.

After the sad news that Andy could not return, a search was launched in 2010 to find a successor to carry the show into a new season.

'We turned over every hunky rock,' DeKnight said.

A then-scrawny McIntyre was discovered on an audition tape, DeKnight was impressed but was concerned that he lacked the physical presence to play the part.

He'd only appeared in a few roles and had just one US showbiz credit to his name from HBO's mini-series, The Pacific.

Perfect for the role in all but body shape, McIntyre headed to New Zealand to undergo two months of boot camp to get into gladiator form.

Now, he's just concerned about how the fans will react when he finally roars: 'I am Spartacus.'

'It's like saying, 'I'm Bond. James Bond.'

It's so weird, and I just hope I did it justice and didn't come off like an idiot. I wanted a dozen takes, but they wouldn't let me.'

Click here for more photos from the premiere



20 January 2012

'Spartacus' star Nick Tarabay: 'New season will shock fans'

ImageSpartacus star Nick Tarabay has promised that future episodes will shock viewers.

The actor, who plays Ashur on the Starz drama, told Zap2it that fans will not be able to predict the plot twists in the new season, subtitled Vengeance.

"Whatever you think you know about Spartacus or the characters of Spartacus, forget it." he warned. "Forget about what you saw.

"The people that you love, you're going to hate. The people that you hate, you're going to love. And just when you think you've got it figured out, it changes again."

Australian actor Liam McIntyre - who replaces the late Andy Whitfield as Spartacus - recently described the new ten-part run as "immense".

"It's everything you love about the show, but it's bigger," he said. "There's all the blood, the guts, the sex, the violence, the intrigue, the back-stabbing, the double-cross and all that, and that's all ramped up because the stakes are so much higher."




19 January 2012

'Spartacus: Vengeance' Cast Dish On New Season at Premiere Party

Image"Spartacus: Vengeance" stars stepped out on Wednesday, January 18 to celebrate the impending premiere of the show. Putting on their formal outfits, the show's actors and actresses attended the event which took place at the ArcLight Cinemas in Los Angeles, California, where they also gave some tidbits from the new chapter.

The new Spartacus depicter, Liam McIntyre, boasted that he almost set co-star Manu Bennett on fire during the filming of a scene. Bennett chimed in, "He's always doing something like that. Whether it be fictional or real! No, it was a scene with a catapult and it involved a fireball," while creator Steven DeKnight gushed that it's a really important scene.

Clad in a simple green dress, Lucy Lawless opted to talk about how to keep in shape for her nude scenes on the Starz series. She said that she exercises three times a week, but "if somebody gains a few pounds," the crew will do some rework on the image of the said actor/actress during the post production. "If you've got scars, they airbrush them out. I'm loving the modern world," she enthused.

Also talking about doing naked scenes, Katrina Law shared that the people behind the show take the scenes very thoroughly. "They light you well, they pose you well, they do all this stuff with makeup and lighting and editing," she explained. "They really protect the actors on this show. If there is a bad angle, I know I really did something to piss someone off."

As for Craig Parker who has just had his first nude scene on the show, he claimed, "Watching all the other actors for the past two seasons - these wonderful, wonderful actors take their gear off and do it magnificently and look so beautiful, there is no fear."

Nick Tarabay, meanwhile, was willing to share details on the characters in general. "Whatever you think you know about 'Spartacus' or the characters of 'Spartacus', forget it," the Ashur depicter stated.

"Forget about what you saw. You're not going to hear about this from anyone else. The people that you love, you're going to hate. The people that you hate, you're going to love. And just when you think you've got it figured out, it changes again," he went on teasing.

"Spartacus: Vengeance" will premiere Friday, January 27 at 10 P.M. on Starz. The story takes place several weeks after the end of the first season, where Spartacus led a rampage at the House of Batiatus. In the new chapter, Capua is in an uproar and the gladiators are on the run.

Click here for more Spartacus Premiere photos




19 January 2012

MaryD Reviews Spartacus Pemiere & Spartacus After Party 18 January 2012

Goodness gracious me. That was some night! I'm back from the premiere and the after party and let me tell you folks, it was seriously mega fun.


Firstly I want to say how much I adore Rob Tapert. Yes yes yes you all know this but tonight, he moved me so much with his words.

there was a couple of speeches before the show started and Rob came on the stage. He thanked everyone for coming, for the work Steven DeKnight and all the actors have done and then his voice broke. He spoke of Andy Whitfield. Rob genuinly loved this man and it showed. It was the first time I had heard Rob this way and it brought a lump to my throat.

During the afterparty I had another opportunity to congratulate him on a wonderful job and we talked about the speech. His voice broke again and I just found him to be such a decent man. I adore Rob Tapert even more after tonight.

And now to the pre-show - the fans were lined up from 9:30 am - yep that is not a typo and the first fan was Rachelle, a Xenite :) I must say that line looked very different from the usual xena lines! LOL!


The stars made their red carpet appearance - I was on the other side of the red carpet (actually black carpet but who cares) and waited around. Saw Lucy turn up looking SPECTACULAR, saw Liam, Manu, Katrina and Cynthia - I missed Viva's entrance. Then went inside while the stars were doing their thang in the front. My wingmen, Ruth and Kathi, were outside taking photos in the fan line. AUSXIP Reporters are everywhere :)

I got the opportunity to meet Jaime Murray (Gaia) and Marissa Ramirez (Melitta) - what beautiful ladies and so nice.

The episode is INCREDIBLE on the big screen and I have to say that's where it belongs. The episode lays the ground work for what is to come. Have a read of my episode preview/review for more on that.

The afterparty was a hoot. It was also very loud and you could barely see but a hoot. My first Hollywood afterparty and just fun. Standout moments were Rob, Lucy, Viva, shaking Steven DeKnight's hand, thanking for his evilness and incredible storytelling and then doing something I never thought I would do and that was going up to Peter Mensah and shaking his hand. For those that don't know, in 2009 I could barely say two words to the man without clamming up. It might have been because the place was really dark and it was easier to do but oh my goodness, he is a gorgeous man!

Lucy took time out at the afterparty for some photos with me and here are a couple. The photographer is Lucy - she just took the camera from my hand and with those long arms of hers and just snapped away :) Since I never post photos of myself on AUSXIP..you just get Lucy.

lucyphoto1 lucyphotos1

A special shoutout to Sharon Delaney who I ran into at the Guest Ticket area; she took me under her wing and basically showed me how things worked since I was a newbie at premieres and afterpartys. That was mega cool and it was nice to spend some time with her and Toni (who also works at Creation).

Well that is my report. Here are some pictures and there will be more photos tomorrow after I get some sleep!



19 January 2012

'Spartacus' star Liam McIntyre: "Who doesn't need love deep down?"

ImageWith only nine days left before the highly anticipated premiere of Spartacus: Vengeance, we are happy to bring you another interview (click here to read our chat with creator Steven DeKnight) with members of the fantastic cast! This week I spoke to Liam McIntyre, Lucy Lawless, Viva Bianca, and Peter Mensah about the action-packed second season and all the drama that comes with it.

When we left Spartacus in season one, he finds a potential love interest in Mira (played by the beautiful Katrina Law). I asked Liam whether or not there was potentially a "love" growing between Spartacus and Mira this season, and whether or not that was even possible after all the pain he suffered after the loss of his wife.

"Who doesn't need love deep down? That is very true of everybody. That was a great thing to get to play with all year because in season 1 Sura said you will never love another person and thats kind of like a truism for Spartacus' existence. So he now has the problem, which is the real problem for everybody who falls under those horrible circumstances, can you ever love again?

I think Spartacus certainly wants to and he's going to try but I think it’s a very difficult thing for him to try.…not even move on but move into any relationship.

It's a constant struggle throughout the season."

I know a lot of people see this show and automatically think about the sex and violence that takes place, but what stands out to me the most is the relationships between the characters. One of my favorite pairings is that of Spartacus and Crixus (Manu Bennett).

At first they loathed each other but then they teamed up and used their mutual hatred for the House of Batiatus to bring about its demise! When season two premieres, they are each leaders of their own rebel groups who are fighting against the Romans. You learn quickly that, very much like brothers, Crixus and Spartacus of each others backs.

"It's one of the greatest parts of the season, Liam said. All the big dogs on campus, I guess all the alpha males of the ludus have a very difficult journey even just trying to get along because of the nature of who they are. So with Crixus and Spartacus there is a desire to work together but it dovetails and splits apart throughout the season and that’s true about other characters that appear in the rebel camp that are very powerful characters.

Part of the battle that Spartacus has is to A) want to lead them and B) find a way to do that and actually unify people. Until this day I still don't understand how one man managed to unify so many different cultures and creeds into one cause. I don't know if its ever been done before or since.”

Speaking of relationships, there is the also the odd combo of Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) and Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) who after all that has happened you would imagine have nothing left to say to each other. But due to circumstances far bigger than either of them, they must unite as one.

I asked Lucy whether or not her character finds out about Ilithyia's bad intentions?

"Or does she find out mine? I don’t want to give you too much, but needless to say Lucretia and Ilithyia continue to have a very forged relationship. Which is Lucretia has worked very hard to make Ilithyia care about her again or at least need her because Ilithyia just wants her dead."

Very early on in the season we learn that Ilithyia is with child and I wondered if this would make Lucretia even more crazy after the loss of her child.

"Lucretia's lost everything she's even lost her marbles so that is the least of her worries.”

Viva also gave me a bit of insight into the relationship between her character and Lucretia.

"With regards to Ilithyia and Lucretia, what's so interesting in season 2 is that because of the circumstances in which they've both landed they are forced into a situation of becoming a lot closer than they even were in season 1 which means the potential for drama and the unravelling of relationship revelation is so much more interesting.

So really there is a lot in store for this female relationship."

Don’t quote me you guys but I have a feeling that things might get a little romantic between these two girls! Lucy hinted that "love" might find her character again and with all the hints provided it seems that with Ilithyia in the situation she finds herself she might need some attention and affection since her husband isn’t really providing much.

But the big question of the season is (ok one of the big questions!) who is Ilithyia's baby daddy?!

"That is why you have to watch Spartacus: Vengeance! That is the big question on everyones lips, Viva said.

Lucy Lawless: Lucretia with a turkey baster!

Viva: "Thats the mystery, but all will be revealed eventually"

Finally, the fabulous Peter Mensah spoke a bit about the feelings that his character Oenemaus is going through at the start of Spartacus: Vengeance. We get to see some snippets of his early days in the House of Batiatus and how he came to be Doctore.

I felt like his character was feeling a bit conflicted or embarrassed that he had gone against the very people who gave him position but Peter explained what was really going on in his mind.

"I think actually it wasn't so much embarrassment at aiding the rebels as that he was caught between making the right decision at a set point in time which led him into a no win situation.

He knew what was going on in at the House of Batiatus ultimately was wrong so in the moment he assisted and did what he thought was the right thing and it kind of led him in to a no mans land.

Then the question becomes if you have nowhere to go what do you do with your life? And I think that is the biggest question he faces as the season starts. Not having an affiliation to anyone in particular..not necessarily believing in the cause, if there actually was one, he has to figure out what to do with his life.

So this season is a journey that he undergoes to understand and find a place in the world."

Next week I will be chatting with the beautiful Katrina Law, who plays Spartacus' love interest this season. She is getting some nice camera time with our boy Liam, so stay tuned for the juicy details.




19 January 2012

'Spartacus: Vengeance' premiere: the cast on nudity, intrigue and setting each other on fire

ImageThe "Spartacus: Vengeance" premiere took place at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood tonight (Jan. 18th) and Zap2it was lucky enough to nab a spot on the red carpet. We got to chat with the cast about nude scenes, intrigue and setting each other on fire. We even got some info on Craig Parker's (Glaber) favorite drinking game.

Peter Mensah, who plays Oenomaus talks to us about exploring his character's back story. "Three years ago, we didn't know that we'd have the chance to go back in time on our characters. I didn't know too much about where he'd come from. Getting to shoot the sequel was a blessing because I got to actually explore him. I think the audience gets to know him as a human being as opposed to this stoic, chiseled impassive character. This season, things fall apart and you get to see him as vulnerable for the first time." He says he can't say more than that or "they'll beat me up more than they already have!"

Nick Tarabay who plays fan favorite Ashur tells us that nothing is as it seems this season. "He goes from one level to another very rapidly ... whatever you think you know about "Spartacus" or the characters of "Spartacus," forget it. Forget about what you saw. You're not going to hear about this from anyone else. The people that you love, you're going to hate. The people that you hate, you're going to love. And just when you think you've got it figured out, it changes again."

Viva Bianca who plays Ilythia says her character is on a "roller coaster from hell" the season. "She's a princess fallen from grace. She finds herself living her nightmare." She says that the lighting people on the show are amazing and that they're very protective of the actors during the nude scenes. She said you never get used to them and that she's actually a very shy person. Nothing at all like her scheming character.

Star Lucy Lawless who plays Lucretia talked a bit about her workout routine, saying she exercises three times a week to keep in shape for those nude scenes. But, she says, "they fix us in post. If somebody gains a few pounds, they squeeze the image. I love it! If you've got scars, they airbrush them out. I'm loving the modern world."

Katrina Law, who plays Mira tells us that this is a great show to be naked on. "They light you well, they pose you well, they do all this stuff with makeup and lighting and editing. They really protect the actors on this show. If there is a bad angle, I know I really did something to piss someone off." We asked how they keep the lighting crew happy. "Give them a shot or a case of beer at the end of the week," she laughs

Liam McIntyre who took over the role of Spartacus from Andy Whitfield laughingly tells us that he almost set co-star Manu Bennett on fire. Manu jokes, "He's always doing something like that. Whether it be fictional or real! No, it was a scene with a catapult and it involved a fireball." He says it's in the final episode. McIntyre tells us there is no way we won't know what it is. Creator Steven DeKnight says that it's a really important scene, so that was all they could reveal.

Craig Parker who plays Glaber talks about doing his first nude scene of the series. "Watching all the other actors for the past two seasons - these wonderful, wonderful actors take their gear off and do it magnificently and look so beautiful, there is no fear." We joked about our favorite "Spartacus" drinking game, which involves a shot every time the word "accent" comes up. He tells us his. "I did invent a drinking game for this show. Every time, in the background, when there is a gratuitous breast or penis, you drink." We point out that you'd be drunk in five minutes. "Yes! You should all play," he laughs.




19 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance cast sits down with us to talk the upcoming season

ImageYesterday afternoon, Starz wrangled a few dozen of us bloggers and media types together in one conference call with four of the stars of Spartacus: Vengeance. Queueing us up in line, we got to ask Lucy Lawless, Liam McIntyre, Viva Bianca and Peter Mensah questions about the past, present and future of the show, those graphic sex scenes and whether or Liam likes pants. Yes, his preference towards lower body attire was discussed.

Many of the journalists understandably tried to get as much out of the cast as possible, to get as many of the unanswered questions answered now. Things like "Who's Ilithyia's baby daddy?" "What will happen with Lucretia and Ilithyia’s relationship?" and more overarching things like Spartacus finding love, the absence of John Hannah a.k.a. Batiatus and whether or not the cast would be down for a big budget movie after the series wraps.

The hot topic was Liam taking over for the recently deceased Andy Whitfield, the actor who played Spartacus in the first season, Blood and Sand. The general consensus from both sides of the call was not only did Liam work his butt off but he also brought humility and dedication to the role. The rest of the cast unanimously sang his praises regarding his work ethic and output. The actor himself was very humble in accepting the praise and the weight of the role itself.

A repeated phrase was Lucretia being "bat-shit crazy". Is she or isn't she? Lucy was very professional in stating "you have to watch the show to find out". She added that playing the character in that state was hard, "very hard". She felt the urge more than once to go the "slapstick" route but "had to sit on that urge". When Viva was questioned about who her "baby daddy was", she was also quick to say watch the show. Lucy however quipped that it was "Lucretia with a turkey baster". Now you know what kind of call we were on.

Click here for full article



19 January 2012

Actors Talk Spartacus: Vengeance Character Struggles, Frenemies and Filming Those Sex Scenes

ImageAfter being part of an interview via conference call Tuesday with four lead actors from Spartacus: Vengeance, the upcoming third season of the series on Starz, Im even more excited for the premiere on January 27th.

The phone interview included stars Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Peter Mensah (Oenomaus/Doctore) and Viva Bianca (Ilithyia). They talked about their characters, gave hints to the upcoming season and spoke about what it's like filming all that sex and violence. (Hint: not as much fun as it looks onscreen.)

For those impatient people, you can watch the first episode free on Facebook on this Friday, January 20th.

The real fun of the interview for me wasn't the minor spoilers for the upcoming season or hearing the actors answers the questions. It was the easy banter between the four of them.

They seemed relaxed and comfortable with each other, sometimes even answering questions by starting a conversation among themselves. It made for an enjoyable time on the other hand and made me wish I could’ve been sitting in a bar having a good time talking about the show with them.

(Also, Liam McIntyre gives great phone voice. I have a thing for voices. This was sorta like the Aussie version of Alan Rickman. But I digress….)

For those awaiting season three eagerly, some broad hints were offered.

McIntyre, who bantered through much of the interview, became serious when talking about the responsibility of taking over the role of Spartacus from the late Andy Whitfield. McIntyre said he was a fan of the show even before he auditioned and what he wanted most to do was be true to the character that Whitfield created.

"I watched all of episodes countless times. I felt like I got Spartacus as he portrayed him. To me was important to continue as that character." In that, McIntyre said he was lucky because the writers ensured that would be the case.

"I've been given this great honor to carry on this great legacy."

He said Spartacus' main challenge this year is to move past his vengeance and dedicate himself to a higher cause. Eventually, he has to become the person who melds his disparate group into a real fighting force that can challenge the power of Rome.

In response to a question about whether Spartacus could fall in love again with Mira, the former slave who aided in freeing them all, McIntyre said that’s something Spartacus struggles with as well.

"Who doesn't need love deep down? He certainly wants to love again and he's going to try but it’s a constant struggle throughout the season."

Click here for full article



19 January 2012

Interview: Steven S. DeKnight, 'Spartacus: Vengeance'

ImageRecently SciFiPulse was lucky enough to attend a phone conference with Steven S. DeKnight, the creator, writer, and executive producer of the world of Spartacus in anticipation for the upcoming Spartacus: Vengeance.

Below are just a few highlights from that conference.

Question: One of the thing speople love about the show is that no character is safe at any time. How do you go about deciding which of the characters should go and when and is there any character that you wish you still had for this upcoming season?

Steven S. DeKnight: Yes, on this show characters literally get the ax. I think really ultimately for me it comes from the story is how is the story best served by a character death. I don't ever want somebody to just die. It needs to have ramifications either emotionally or towards the plot. So that’s always the number one driving force of – on who do I kill.

And do I miss people? I don't regret killing anyone, but of course, you know, John Hannah, number one. His presence was just so fantastic on the show and he was such a joy to work with and write for. You know, he's definitely – he had to go, but that was a painful one.

Q: I want to congratulate you for hiring Liam McIntyre on as Spartacus because I feel like he captures the essence of what (Andy) started but makes it his own.

SDK: That's really what drew us to Liam is that we didn't want to try to duplicate (Andy). I mean, that will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. And I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it's always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence.

Q: The character that I fell in love with is Gannicus, so I'm really curious to find out how he ends up coming back into the picture. Like maybe you can tell me under what circumstance.

SDK: That would be giving away too much. I can tell you that he comes back in a very unexpected way. It's not what you would think. And one of the things I love about the show and one of the things I wanted to do from the start is that our band of heroes are not Robin Hood and the merry men. They have a lot of problems internally, which is very historical since they kept breaking apart and, you know, different groups would split away from Spartacus. So I can say when Gannicus comes back, it's not a happy reunion. There's definitely a lot of problems that come with him.

Q: What kind of a journey is Spartacus and the other characters on this season?
SDK: Well, with Spartacus this was always planned to be the season where he goes from a man really searching for his personal redemption in the death of his wife and his feelings of responsibility for that, that's why he wants to exact the vengeance, and transitioning him into a true leader. And it's a very, very bumpy ride for him to go from someone that we see in Season 1 who's a good man, but he is much more concerned about himself and his wife. Everybody else is secondary. And this is where he starts to move into caring more about the group and putting their needs above his own eventually.

And everybody else, of course, I love to take to people on journeys. Crixus goes – definitely goes on a journey. You know, even characters like Agron, which was one of the two brothers in Season 1 that we didn’t get to know that well, has a major story (op). Everybody grows up in this season.

Q: Have you had any criticisms of the show and have or would you adjust anything based on negative feedback?

SDK: Yes, of course. I mean, I think the show just welcomes criticism. Especially when we first started out, if everybody remembers back that far, this show was universally hated. You know, we got off to a rocky start. Rob Tapert, my incredible producing partner, and I always say that that first episode was by far our weakest one where we were trying to figure out the show and it took a while to get going.

So we took a lot of criticism for too much sex, too much violence, everybody hated the language, not the cursing but the actual language of the show. It just took a while, you know, for everybody to warm up to it. So early on I got a lot of criticism about how people speak, which I steadfastly refused to change.

One of the other things that I'm still to this day getting comments about is, and I put this in air quotes, all the gay shit in my show. And people asking me to tone it down, which I always say no. I mean, as far as I'm concerned it’s barely in there to start with. And it was part and parcel of this world and it’s part and parcel of our world now. So I just – yes, I ignore that. If people want to stop watching the show because two guys kiss, well, I shrug my shoulders. You know, that that will always be in there.

Q: Professional athletes have to attend training camp to get in shape. Is there something similar that the actors must go through to appear on Spartacus?

SDK: Yes. We have a boot camp every year that it's for new people coming in and our returning cast to bone up on their fighting skills and to help them get back into tip-top shape. And I think we're one of the few shows that actually – the men have it rougher than the women because the men are often practically naked all the time, you know, with just a little bit of strategic covering. So they have to watch what they eat and train like crazy for the entire shoot of the show, which is incredibly difficult. But I think the evidence is up on the screen that they literally work their asses off.

Q: Which character on the show do you most relate to?

SDK: Well, I've always said that, you know, for me, my inner voice is Batiatus. You know, that strangely his ranting profanity-filled monologues I have all the time. But now that he's gone, I guess I don't really have an inner monologue on the show. But, yes, but Batiatus - that's the Steve.

And every now and then somebody will say something about oh it's too violent, oh there's too much sex, but that's the show it is. So basically I guess my answer is sure we get criticism, but, you know, thankfully STARZ is very supportive and we get to tell the story we want to tell.

Q: Is there a character that you wish you could squeeze in more, but you just haven’t been able to yet?

SDK: Well, yes, we have so much story we try to put into each episode that some characters, you know, we don’t get to pay enough to. We felt that way Season 1 with Oenomaus. We felt like there was so much going on with Spartacus and his journey and Batiatus that he got a little bit of short shrift. So we wanted to do more with him in Gods of the Arena and we wanted to do more with him in this season, which is really nice to do.

And, you know, it's always – we have so many characters, it's a bit of a juggling act because we don’t want to short change anyone. But yes, I'd say Oenomaus was the one that we felt was underutilized at first and we tried to bring him more to the forefront.

Q: How far in advance do you actually know where you're going with the story? Like do you have next season planned out, if there is a next season already?

SDK: Yes, we're actually writing the next season as I speak. Luckily I've got history as a guidepost, so it's just basically each season being, okay, well, how far along do we want to be in history and so we know the basic tent poles of where we're going. And the way it works for us is that at the beginning of each season I get together with the writers and we spend two weeks basically laying out the gist of each episode. The big idea and where we're going with the characters. And then we spend the, you know, the next six, seven months writing the episodes.

Q: Writers always say that as they develop a series, they pick up things from the actors and incorporate them into the way they deal with the characters and stuff, so are there any changes or different approaches now that you've switched from (Andy) to Liam?

SDK: You know, that's a good question. Actually, no. We had a discussion before we started writing this season of should we tailor the show for Liam. And my feeling and Rob and STARZ, we all agreed, was that no, what we should do is write Spartacus as Spartacus and Liam will bring what he brings to it and it will be a different take, but what he says – what Spartacus says and what he does will still be consistent with the Spartacus that we know.





19 January 2012

Liam McIntyre takes on 'Spartacus' role with a 'Vengeance'

ImageWhile death is dished out regularly on Spartacus — often by way of cartoonish violence and slow-motion effects shots — it hit home for the cast and crew in a very real way in September with the passing of original star Andy Whitfield.

Production was nearly complete on Season 2 — dubbed Spartacus: Vengeance — with Liam McIntyre assuming the lead role, a development that had occurred with Whitfield's blessing, when they got the tragic news. Executive producer Steven S. DeKnight said the Spartacus crew knew how gravely ill their friend was, as he fought his second battle with lymphoma, but that didn’t make it any easier to deal with.

"It was definitely one of the hardest moments of my personal life and my career," he said. "Andy was just such a lovely human being, and embodied everything we wanted for Spartacus and a lot of stuff we didn't even know we needed for Spartacus. It was quite a blow. We knew it was coming for a while, but still nothing prepares you for the reality of it happening. It was very, very difficult for everyone."

In addition to overcoming their grief, the writers and producers also faced a hefty creative challenge in having to come up with essentially a brand new kind of show. Both the first season, Blood and Sand, and the prequel, Gods of the Arena, took place primarily in the ludus, or gladiator school, but Vengeance picks up with Spartacus leading his band of escaped gladiators and other refugees across the Roman Empire in the early stages of what will become a full-fledged slave rebellion.

Yet even with the change, Vengeance retains the signature feel and style of Spartacus, and that may very well be the best tribute the show can muster for its fallen star. McIntyre is a more mercurial presence, bedded more in action than in thoughtful deliberation. He's convincing as Spartacus emerges as the leader, enduring a tense truce with former rival Crixus (Manu Bennett), as they balance their own agendas against the greater good of the group. Spartacus is gunning for Glaber (Craig Parker), the Roman commander who ripped him from his Thracian home, while Crixus searches desperately for his lost love Naevia (now played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson).

McIntyre was quick to heap praise on the cast, who he said made him feel welcome immediately. "I can only imagine what it would have been like to have that situation happen around you," he said. "But from my very first test, they were really kind and warm and working through a tough situation. They helped me do my best work."

That work included mastering the show's unique 300-meets-Shakespeare dialogue, which combines a formal, highbrow structure with very graphic profanity and sexuality.

"To me, it’s how Shakespeare would have felt back [in his time]," said McIntyre, who has experience doing the Bard on stage. "Shakespeare had the swearing and the bawdy talk and the innuendo. I guess our show doesn’t have quite the innuendo as much as direct sexuality, but it's funny, because it feels [to us] like how Shakespeare would have felt to those people then, which is kind of cool. I like it."

Returning cast members include Peter Mensah as Oenomaus, the disgraced Doctore trying to find a new purpose in life; Dustin Clare as Gannicus, the champion we met in Gods of the Arena; Nick E. Tarabay as the cunning Ashur; Viva Bianca as Glaber’s ambitious wife Ilithyia; and — in a move that surprised and delighted fans — Lucy Lawless as Lucretia, the wife of Batiatus who appeared to have been fatally wounded by Crixus in the Blood and Sand finale.

"She's somewhat worse for wear," Lawless said. "It's a moment-to-moment struggle for survival, but she’s got a master plan."

DeKnight has a plan, as well, and that is to tell the whole story of Spartacus, presumably ending in the character's death. And he’s confident he will get the time he wants to do it — around five seasons, he estimates — thanks to Starz's continuing support of the show. The network renewed Spartacus for a third season in November.

"It's very different from network television, let me tell you, where you don’t know if you're going to finish a season, let alone get another one," he said. "It's great on the creative side, because we know we can tell a complete story. We can plan for it. We don’t have to suddenly wrap everything up, which I’ve had to do on some TV shows. You find out you’ve got five episodes left and, 'Oh, by the way, it's the last season. You're canceled.' This way we have a long lead time so we can plan things more accurately and more creatively."




19 January 2012

Steven DeKnight on being the architect of the TV rebellion known as 'Spartacus'

ImageImplementing the tools he learned from some of television's most innovative series, Steven S. DeKnight waged a campaign of shock and awe. As the series creator of Spartacus, DeKnight played a key role in ushering a bold, new phase for the television drama. In this third part of a special Personalities Interviews series, step into the Examiner arena with the man behind the return of TV's guiltiest pleasure, Spartacus: Vengeance.

It is hard to avoid the parallels between the savage Roman gladiator bouts seen on the hit show Spartacus and the complicated reality of launching a new television series in the 21st century. Both are the ultimate spectator sport, where champions are revered and the losers carried out in pieces from the arena.

Feeding an increasingly fickle crowd is a daunting task for any show runner, but veteran director/writer/producer Steven S. DeKnight has been quite adept at taming this vociferous beat. With a track record that includes such influential series as Angel, Smallville and Joss Whedon’s legendary Buffy the Vampire Slayer, taking on the swords and sandals genre would seem an odd fit. "Not so," says DeKnight.

"I was actually working with Joss Whedon on Dollhouse when I got the call from my agent," he explained. "'Starz and Sam Raimi want to do a gladiator show. Are you interested?'" I'm a huge Sam Raimi fan, so I was like, "’I'm going in!’"

After their initial meeting, scheduling conflicts seemed to make this collaboration a short one. Yet, fortune indeed favors the few. DeKnight remained standing after an intense search by the Starz and Spartacus teams for the right show runner. Once approached with the offer, he simply wrapped up work on a Dollhouse episode on a Friday, heading straight into Spartacus on a Monday. His agenda? Not to recreate some sort of history lesson.

“They sold it as, ‘Let's do Spartacus like 300 and make it sexy and visceral,’" DeKnight continued. “That's about all we had at that point. I went in and started figuring out the story. I was shocked to find out that there's so little known about Spartacus. Just bits and pieces. That entire first season is literally about three paragraphs of history."

Filling in the gaps of the rise of Spartacus was exactly the challenge DeKnight sought at this juncture of his career. Without the limits of network censors, his vision of ancient Rome would be as no-holds barred as history has documented. Libidinous, brutal, decadent and rife with tales of heroism, Spartacus: Blood and Sand would fearlessly take audiences into the heart of the period. It would be first and foremost an action-adventure. However, its brave take on human drama is what has turned it into another rare genre hybrid: the guilty pleasure that has an emotional resonance.

Click here for full article



19 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance - Live Web Chat with the Stars

ImageSpartacus fans, get your questions answered live, January 26 10p ET / 7p PT!

Join us for a live web chat with the stars of Spartacus, including Liam McIntyre (Spartacus), Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), and Steven S. DeKnight (Creator). You have 30 minutes to pose your questions and get the answers you've been waiting to hear, live.

You can also submit your questions in advance by posting them on this Event wall and increase your chance of getting the answer live during the web cast.

Make sure you RSVP to this rare event, then return on January 26 to watch it live.

To miss it would be an insult to the brotherhood.



19 January 2012

Owen-TV: 'Spartacus: Vengeance,' with new series star Liam McIntyre

ImageIt's been almost two years since the first season of Starz's "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" ended its run, and in that intervening time a prequel, "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," aired and the show's title-character star, Andy Whitfield, was diagnosed with and died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

It has not been an easy road for this series that seems to begin each season wobbly before later coming to fuller life as an engrossing, character-driven soap for viewers raised on WWE shows. "Spartacus: Vengeance" may follow a similar path. It premieres Friday, Jan. 27, at 10 p.m. EST.

New series star Liam McIntyre capably steps into the title role. He's less beefy than Whitfield, but his facial resemblance to his predecessor is uncanny. Getting beyond the recasting shouldn't be too difficult for most viewers; not that the show ignores Whitfield's passing: He's remembered in a card at the end of the episode as "a champion on screen, a legend in our hearts."

Remembering where the "Spartacus" story left off is a greater challenge complicated by new characters that appear at Spartacus' side but aren't introduced in a way that lets the audience know who they are or how they got there. This season could be called "Spartacus: Who the Hell Are These People?"

As it begins, Spartacus is leading a slave rebellion that's terrorizing Capua. Last season he killed Batiatus -- and gravely wounded Batiatus' wife, Lucretia (Lucy Lawless) -- but Spartacus is still seeking vengeance on those involved in putting his now-dead wife in harm's way. Spartacus also supports Crixus (Manu Bennett) in his effort to retrieve Crixus' love interest, Naevia (newcomer Cynthia Addai-Robinson takes over the role from actress Lesley-Ann Brandt in another bit of recasting).

When not bedding Mira (Katrina Law), Spartacus tries to aid Aurelia, the wife of his friend Varro, who died in season one. Aurelia wants to be reunited with her son.

But viewers have to pay close attention to remember who all these characters are and how they fit together. The season premiere doesn't offer much help, beginning with an extremely limited "previously on ..." recap and few reminders in the script by series creator Steven S. DeKnight.

Keeping track of Spartacus' Roman enemies and their relationships also proves a challenge. While blond, scheming Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) is tough to forget, it takes some time to piece together that it was her husband, Claudius Glaber (Craig Parker), who sold Spartacus to Batiatus at the start of the series. Now Glaber catches hell for the massacre that Sparty and friends perpetrated in the House of Batiatus.

New Romans introduced include young Seppius (Tom Hobbs), who joins the hunt for Spartacus when he's not stealing possibly untoward glances at his sister, Seppia (Hanna Mangan Lawrence).

Although Friday's season premiere is a bit confusing at times, the "Spartacus" world comes into better focus in episode two, which brings back former gladiator trainer Oenomaus (Peter Mensah), formerly known as Doctore.

And, of course, it wouldn't be "Spartacus" without elaborate, bloody fight sequences. True to form, often the blood is cartoonish -- at least twice in Friday's episode it washes over the whole screen like spilled red Kool-Aid -- and sometimes the wounds are grisly and gory. The show keeps you on your toes; you never know if a fight scene will end in viewer laughter at splashy, unreal excess or a squeamish rush to hide your eyes.

Full-frontal nudity remains extensive, whether it's a flashback to scenes from season one or a new visit to a brothel that Spartacus and his men tear up, disemboweling naked, stunned Romans and terrifying chained-up prostitutes.

As in season one and the prequel, "Spartacus" does not put its best foot forward in its first hour. But just as those two prior seasons showed marked improvement as the storytelling became more sure-handed, there's reason to be optimistic that the same will be true for "Spartacus: Vengeance."




19 January 2012

Cynthia Addai Robinson Gives Insights About Naevia In 'Spartacus Vengeance'

ImageIt’s hard to believe that we’re only a matter of weeks away from the new series of 'Spartacus: Vengeance,' which picks things up from where the story left off in 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand'.

SciFiPulse recently got the chance to speak with the lovely Cynthia Addai Robinson who will be taking over the role of Naevia from Lesley Ann Brandt who left the series after the prequel ‘Spartacus: Gods of The Arena.

Cynthia has a few genre credits to her name having had a fairly small but recurring role in last years Flashforward and when it came to talking about her new role in Spartacus she was very careful not to give to much away, but was more than happy to give us her take on the character of Naevia and even gave us an insiders opinion on how well the shows other newcomer Liam MacIntyre has coped with taking on the lead role, which was so well established by the late Andy Whitfield in the shows epic first season.

SciFiPulse: You're in the unenviable position of taking over the role of Naevia from Lesley-Ann Brandt on Spartacus. How have you dealt with that and given that it is an actors job to bring something to the role. What if anything do you feel you have brought to the role.

Cynthia Addai Robinson: It wasn't something that hit me until I actually got to the set that I realised, 'Oh my god!' You know am going to be playing a role that someone else has already established. And before I was hired I hadn't seen the show and once I'd got the job I sort of had a marathon viewing.

I think Lesley Ann did an amazing job of establishing the character of Naevia and establishing that love story between her character and Crixus who is played by Manu Bennett.

So it's always tricky to be in a position where you have to carry the torch. Especially when its a love story that people are really invested in. So my main concern was just to make sure that I did that storyline justice.

But at the same time the character this season. You know without giving anything away definitely has a different energy to her storyline from the previous season. So in a way I’m playing a different character.

So I used what Lesley Ann had established as background for the character. But moving forward you’re going to see Naevia in a different light. So it was sort of like playing a character that was just unique to me and the story. Hopefully the people go with it. It's always a tricky situation.

And it is Liam MacIntyre and I that are in that situation, but obviously all eyes will be on Liam, but you know I think we we’re welcomed with open arms and I had a really great working relationship with Manu and that was really helpful to me as well. So yeah it was really a positive experience and after awhile it became a none issue.

SciFiPulse: When we last seen Naevia on the show she had pretty much been sold off to another house after it was revealed to Lucretia that Naevia had been having a relationship with Crixus. How does her story pick up in Spartacus: Vengeance and how would you say that whole experience of being cast out of a house that she'd essentially grown up in has changed her.

Cynthia Addai Robinson: That's really tricky. All I will say is that again the direction that they have taken… that the writers have taken with Naevia is drastically different from either the first season or the prequel.

The audience is definitely in store for a lot of surprises. I can't think of anything potentially to say that doesn't get me into trouble [Laughs].

So people will really have to tune in. But let me say that I felt really fortunate to play Naevia at this stage because they've really created a great arc for her this season. So I think the audience will be into it.

SciFiPulse: The one thing that always struck me about Naevia throughout the series is that she had a quiet strength about her.

Cynthia Addai Robinson: Yeah. I agree with that. I think probably in that era you almost have an only the strong survive sort of environment. So yeah I would agree that from what you’ve seen in the first two seasons that Naevia has a quiet strength and would say that also carries over to this season as well.

SciFiPulse: You are not the only actor to come in and take over a role. Liam McIntyre was given the sad and unenviable task of taking over the role of Spartacus. Can you talk a little about him and how you think from an insiders perspective he has taken to the role.

Cynthia Addai Robinson: We are a very large cast that is always around one another and working together.

Liam again was the more noticeable replacement between the two of us and I have to say watching him work. Watching him handle the various challenges that he’s amazing and I completely understand why the producers chose him. He's just a class act and to have that challenge of constantly being compared to someone who was very move beloved by both the audience and the cast and crew. That's a really difficult and humiliating position to be in and I just think Liam handles it so well.

I think the audience is absolutely going to love him. I mean he onscreen. I mean they've already released some early footage and behind the scenes stuff and he looks great and I think that the audience is really going to be able to warm to him very quickly and just get right back into the story. I'm actually real excited for people to see what he does on the show because I think they'll love him.

You'll be able to hear a unedited version of this interview in the next episode of the SFP-NOW podcast, which is currently being put together in the hopes that we can get it to you by Thursday or Friday.






18 January 2012

New Spartacus Artwork by Maria

ImageMaria has sent in 2 new "Spartacus" wallpapers


Click here for Maria's gallery







18 January 2012

Cynthia Addai-Robinson - The 'Spartacus: Vengeance' Interview

ImageBorn in London, to a mother from Ghana and a father from America, Cynthia Addai-Robinson was raised in the U.S. by her mom in a suburb of Washington, DC. A graduate of NYU's prestigious Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Theater, the emerging ingénue's TV credits include guest starring roles on such shows as "CSI: NY," "CSI: Miami," and "Numbers." Her recent recurring roles include F/X's "Dirt " and ABC's "Flash Forward," while on the big screen she most recently appeared opposite Zoe Saldana in Columbiana.

Presently, Cynthia is joining the cast of the Starz Networks' hit series 'Spartacus: Vengeance." The season will open on the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," as the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic.

Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, and villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.

On the show, Cynthia assumes the role of "Naevia," a slave girl/lady in waiting captured in the first season who is rescued only to be engulfed by the main love story with Crixus (Manu Bennett). Here, Cynthia talks about Spartacus’ upcoming season which is set to begin on January 27, 2012.

Kam Williams: Hi, Cynthia, thanks for the interview.
Cynthia Addai-Robinson: It is my pleasure, Kam.

KW: Congratulations on joining the cast of Spartacus What interested you in doing the show?
CAR: I was really excited to be a part of something that is really edgy and innovative in the world of television. The time period that Spartacus takes place in has some really great storylines and high-stakes drama, so that was something I was really excited to sink my teeth into.

KW: Tell me a little about your character?
CAR: I play the role of Naevia, a former slave in the house of Batiatus. We last saw her in Season One, being cast out of the house under very strenuous circumstances. This season we find out what has happened to her since.

Click here for full interview



18 January 2012

Spartacus Vengeance Cast Conference Call (Spoilers)

ImageMembers of the cast(Lucy, Liam, Peter, Viva) took part in a conference call with press today. Here's some of the tweets sent out during it:

From @CorrinaLawson:

Illythia & Lucretia have a "very fraught relationship," "closer than season 1"

who is illythia baby daddy? Lawless: Lucretia w/a turkey baster. :)

"all that lovely humanity that spartacus struggled w/last season is still there." Liam

Viva: this show--karma bites everyone in the ass. There's going to be a real journey for her in s2

Lucy: "nudity is inhibiting.."

"to this day, don't understand how one man unified so many diverse characters for a cause." Liam

From @NicoleWakelin

The cast just called Lucy Lawless "a proper girlie-girl" who wants no part of the stinky fighting scenes. Bahaha! #spartacus

Cast Consensus: pants are over rated. #spartacus

Lucy "We're kind of making a movie every week." #spartacus



18 January 2012

MaryD Previews Spartacus: Vengeance Episode 1: Fugitivus - SPOILER FREE

Preview/Review of Spartacus Vengeance
Episode 1

By MaryD


I'm writing this preview from my balcony of my hotel in the coolish sunny day in Los Angeles after having watched the screener of the first episode of Spartacus: Vengeance from the Starz Press Kit.

We last saw Spartacus and his gladiators in the fantastic season finale Kill Them All where Spartacus brought about the death and destruction of the house of Batiatus.

We flash forward to Spartacus: Vengeance and the aftermath of that rebellion. Starz has the following outline of what is to transpire in this series:

On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in "Spartacus: Vengeance" Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death, or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, and villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.

The first episode is called Fugitivus and the log line is: Spartacus learns that being a leader of freed slaves brings great responsibilities; Spartacus tries to keep his rebellious band intact.

Alrighty now that is out of the way we get to the real question that needs to be answered in the wake of Andy Whitfield's passing. The question on everyone's lips is can Liam McIntyre fill Andy's shoes and become Spartacus.


Liam cannot be Andy. Liam cannot walk in Andy's shoes because there is only one man who can do that. That's Andy.

Liam needed to walk in Liam's shoes and make the role his own. He needed to become Spartacus, the leader of the gladiators and anyone else who wanted to join in the rebellion.

In my opinion, Liam IS Spartacus. A different Spartacus from what we saw with Andy but he is Spartacus. A standout performance at a time when he could have easily been intimidated and swallowed up by the prospect of taking on this role. It takes alot of courage to walk into a well established show and take on the lead role.


On the Roman side, standout performances by Lucy Lawless, Viva Bianca and Craig Parker. Poor Glaber he really can't get away from that Thracian and Craig is just superb. Lucretia and Ilithyia made me rub my hands in glee. Those two are going to light up the screen in the next 9 episodes; superb performances by those two. Ilithyia was just delicious to watch in her attempted manipulations and Lucretia...poor Lucretia...batsh*t crazy (that isn't a spoiler unless you have been hiding under a rock and haven't read any of the interviews). Delicious.


On the Rebel side Liam McIntyre, Manu Bennett and Katrina Law are standouts although I'm not sure what game Mira is playing but it's going to be interesting to watch how that unfolds.

Overall it was a good introduction - a solid start in laying the groundwork to the series.

There is a moment of absolute heartbreak in this episode that really made me wish Steven DeKnight did not have such an evil streak but it is powerful. I think it will become one of the most powerful scenes in the entire series.

It's going to be interesting to watch this episode with other fans and the cast tomorrow at the premiere.

I give this episode as solid 8/10.



18 January 2012

'Spartacus Vengeance' - Series Preview

Image"Spread word to every slave that even the mighty republic bleeds when struck!" — Spartacus

After nearly two years, history's most famous rebel is returning to Starz on Friday, January 27 in Spartacus: Vengeance; the next chapter in the epic journey that chronicles Spartacus' transformation from an enslaved warrior into a legendary hero who is remembered even to this day.

"People respect Spartacus because he is decisive, honorable and not afraid to enact change," said Liam McIntyre, who has stepped into the iconic title role for "Spartacus: Vengeance." "He is about to embark on a journey where he has to embrace leadership and responsibility for the lives of those following him. He is prepared to sacrifice anything for what he believes in, and to protect what’s right."

During the events of "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," Spartacus was captured and sold as a slave to Quintus Lentulus Batiatus (John Hannah); who had Spartacus trained to fight in the gladiatorial games alongside all of the other warriors in his ludus. Despite Spartacus' rise to become the champion of the House of Batiatus, his master reneged on his promise to reunite Spartacus with his wife, Sura (Erin Cummings) by ensuring that she was mortally wounded.

Eventually Spartacus convinced his fellow gladiators to rise up against Batiatus in a bloody struggle which allowed Spartacus to slay his master before promising to all who joined him that they would make Rome tremble. However, that promise was easier said than done.

"I really love to throw our characters into complicated problems right off the bat," related "Spartacus" creator and executive producer, Steven S. DeKnight. "This is not Robin Hood and his Merry Men."

Click here for complete article and to view video preview



18 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance - Lucy Lawless's new season expectations

ImageEven though Lucy Lawless had jetlag and her voice was bordering on laryngitis, I got to speak with her for a few moments following the panel for Spartacus: Vengeance at the 2012 TV Critics tour.
As the story continues, her character, Lucretia, has miraculously lived through the bloody, and I mean bloody, escape of the gladiators from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, in which her husband, Batiatus (John Hannah), was subjected to a gruesome death. As Season Two begins, Lucretia is on the verge of madness as she attempts to put her live together following the death of her husband.
Lucy spoke about what we can expect for Lucretia this season, and of the death of Andy Whitfield from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, who played Spartacus in the series' First Season.

How did John leaving the series this year change the trajectory of Lucretia's character?
That's a good point, because he was the thing that propped her up in life. The central pole in the circus tent was him. And now she's scrambling about looking for any alliance that will keep her alive.
I think you're right. That's everything to her.

When your character comes back, we don't actually know how she survived the gladiator's escape. Is that something that is going to be revealed?
Yes, that will be explained, I think in episode three.

She was very manipulative in the first season, is that something we're going to see this season, because the first two episodes she's crazy.
No, now it's all about keeping alive. (burst into the Bee Gee's hit Staying Alive).

Does her alliance at the end of episode two lead to her being herself once again?
I think that certainly jogs her memory. She knows that he was associated with her husband from another time. It's safe to say that pretty soon she's the Lucretia we know and love.

Are your favorite scenes coming in this series with Viva Bianca? It seems like Lucretia and her character, Ilithyia were just made for each other.
It does seem that way, yeah. Well, the torment does continue, though there's all fresh love and torments when I enter into a relationship with a man that I never paid attention to before.
There are buckets of torment coming my way. Somebody falls in love with Lucretia, and I will tell you, through all of the trials and tribulations that in the end all of Lucretia's dreams come true.

What's the biggest difference between the Lucretia we see this season versus the Lucretia we saw in the first season?
Softer, gentler Lucretia. What? That's not funny. She is. For about two seconds, she really is. And that's very unnerving for her good friend, Ilithyia, who doesn't have a lot of faith in Lucretia. And that relationship will continue to be enriched, lots of ups and downs there, lots of skullduggery in the parlor.
But the writers are really rude to me this year. They are really rude. Usually, they are just cruel. Now they are rude and cruel. It's cruel and unusual punishment, but as an artist I just loved it. I really did. They put me through the ringer this season, and I'm so grateful.

Can you talk about what it was like going back to work after you heard about Andy's passing?
The first time all the cast and crew were back together since he died, we all had a little collective sigh as we released that chapter of the show and went about the business of making the next season.
Our initial thing was really only [our] concern about Andy and the journey he's about to embark on. It's only about his family, isn't it, it's not about us.






17 January 2012

Spartacus: Vengeance Creator/Writer Steven DeKnight Interview

ImageSTARZ' Spartacus: Vengeance season two is set to premiere on January 27, 2012, and this season promises to be just as violent, gory, sexy, and entertaining as season one. And although Steven S. DeKnight, the show's creator, writer and executive producer, wouldn't give away any spoilers in the conference call he did with the press, he did reveal a few behind-the-scenes secrets and answer a few questions that have been on the minds of viewers since the first episode debuted in January 2010. Why don't the gladiators have chest hair, will there be a Spartacus movie, and has there ever been a death so violent that it almost didn't make the show? DeKnight, who cut his teeth on network TV with Buffy, Angel, Smallville and Dollhouse, answered these and many more questions over the course of the hour-long interview.

DeKnight also addressed whether Spartacus as played by Liam McIntyre will change from Andy Whitfield's portrayal of the character, and he even provided a little insight into what we can expect from some of the characters we love – and the ones we love to hate.

Steven S. DeKnight Spartacus: Vengeance Conference Call:

No character is safe at any time. How do you go about deciding which of the characters should go and when, and is there any character you wish you still had for this upcoming season?

Steven S. DeKnight: "Yes, there's always a question of, you know, on this show characters literally get the ax. I think, really, ultimately for me it's always – it comes from the story. How is the story best served by a character's death? I don't ever want somebody to just die. It needs to have ramifications either emotionally or towards the plot. So that's always the number one driving force on who do I kill.

And do I miss people? I don't regret killing anyone, but of course, you know, John Hannah, number one. His presence was just so fantastic on the show and he was such a joy to work with and write for. You know, he had to go, but that was a painful one."

In this second episode of this season we get like a Oenomaus origin story. Can we expect that to be a similar format for some of the other characters later in the season?

Steven S. DeKnight: "No. Oenomaus was kind of a special case because this is something that we hint at in Season 1 and we hint at even more strongly in Gods of the Arena with his relationship with Titus Batiatus. So we always wanted to explore that in a one episode, quasi-flashback kind of way. Something like that might happen in future seasons, but that’s the only time it happens (in this)."

Liam McIntyre seems to have captured the essence of what Andy Whitfield did, but he makes the character his own.

Steven S. DeKnight: "Right. Thank you, yes. And that’s really what drew us to Liam is that we didn’t want to try to duplicate (Andy). I mean, that will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. And I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it's always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence."

Click here for full article



17 January 2012

Starz to Launch Second 'Spartacus' Facebook Game, Sampling Opportunities for Show

ImageStarz Digital Media, the digital and on-demand licensing arm of Starz, will launch a new Facebook social game, Spartacus: Vengeance The Game, on Jan. 27, the same day that the new season of the action series starts on the premium TV network.

Starz launched its first-ever social game, Spartacus: The Game, originally named Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, on Facebook in Jan. 2011. It has drawn approximately 4 million registered users and had more than 1.2 million monthly active users at its peak, according to the company. It did so well that Starz decided to follow it up with the second game, in which it made a bigger, but undisclosed investment.

For now, a sneak preview video teaser is available to help promote the new game, which – like its predecessor – is free.


Viewers of the teaser can "like" the game and sign up to be invited to play it once it is live. The show has more than 2 million Facebook fans globally.

Starz executives said that the game will help promote the series' return to existing and potential new fans. Dave Katz, vp, digital media, Starz Media, said the game is an "excellent cross-marketing mechanism to attract the gaming audience on Facebook."

The game is also designed to keep fans engaged even after the new season ends – something the first game succeeded at, according to Starz executives.

Click here for full article



17 January 2012

Viva And Liam at the Warner Bros. And InStyle Golden Globe Awards After Party


Viva Bianca and Liam McIntyre at the 13th Annual Warner Bros. And InStyle Golden Globe Awards After Party.

More photos at the following links:





16 January 2012

New Spartacus Artwork by Emmanuel McConnell




Emmanuel has sent in some Spartacus artwork,including this wonderful tribute to Andy Whitfield - "Tribute for a Legend"

Click here for Emmanuel's gallery



16 January 2012

Steven DeKnight Discusses SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE Storyline & Feature Film Possibility


During a recent roundtable interview session, DeKnight shared insight into the show's upcoming third season, which stars Liam McIntyre in the title role, Lucy Lawless, Manu Bennett, Peter Mensah, Nick Tarabay, Craig Parker and Viva Bianca and is scheduled to premiere on Starz January 27th at 10/9c.

Spartacus, the award winning swords and sandals series, is returning to STARZ later this month. Series Creator, head writer and executive producer Steven DeKnight ( Smallville, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) recently spoke about the focus and titling of the upcoming third season 'Vengeance':

"This was always planned to be the season where [Spartacus] goes from a man really searching for his personal redemption in the death of his wife and his feelings of responsibility for that, that's why he wants to exact the vengeance, and transitioning him into a true leader. And it's a very, very bumpy ride for him to go from someone that we see in Season 1 who he's a good man, but he is much more concerned about himself and his wife.

"Everybody else is secondary. And this is where he starts to move into caring more about the group and putting their needs above his own eventually. And everybody else, of course, I love to take to people on journeys. Crixus goes - definitely goes on a journey. You know, even characters like Agron, which was one of the two brothers in Season 1 that we didn't get to know that well, has a major story. Everybody grows up in this season."

The casting of Liam McIntyre as the show's title character has been bittersweet. Original Spartacus actor Andy Whitfield did not return for the show's third season due to cancer diagnosis; an illness that unexpectedly took his life late last year. While fans of the series as well it's crew are still coping with the loss, they hold promise of McIntyre's portrayal of the popular character:

"What drew us to Liam is that we didn't want to try to duplicate [Andy]. I mean, that will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. And I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it's always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence."

Even though the third season has yet to air, DeKnight is already making plans to continue the franchise and revealed he is currently writing the next season. Not only that, but he and his creative team are still considering the possibility of extending the property into film territory:

"Rob Tapert, Josh Donen, Sam Raimi, and I have always whispered in the hallways about maybe one day to do some kind of spinoff movie. You know, really I think it depends on where we take the show on television and everybody's schedules. But, you know, we'd certainly be interested in one day doing something like that."




16 January 2012

Interview with Steven S. DeKnight from Spartacus: Vengeance


Earlier this week, the creator, writer, and Executive Producer behind the amazing franchise of Spartacus, Steven S. DeKnight, took some time to chat with journalists. He had so many wonderful insights into the newest installment, Spartacus: Vengeance. He discussed the reason why certain characters must meet their demise, the plans for our favorite characters, and so many other fabulous insights.

Just to prepare you for the rest of the interview, here’s a brief synopsis of what this new installment is all about. Basically, it’s just purely epic.

On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in Spartacus: Vengeance. Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death, or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, villainy, and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.

Just reading that is exciting, isn’t it? Keep up the excitement by jumping ahead to read the interview.
On the decisions surrounding character deaths

Steven S. DeKnight: There’s always a question on this show [of which] characters literally get the axe. I think really ultimately for me it is always how is the story best served by a character death. I don’t ever want somebody to just die. It needs to have ramifications either emotionally or towards the plot. So that’s always the number one driving force of who do I kill.

And do I miss people? I don’t regret killing anyone, but of course, you know, John Hannah, number one. His presence was just so fantastic on the show and he was such a joy to work with and write for. You know, he’s definitely had to go, but that was a painful one.

[Note from Megan: Painful? That's an understatement. I understand it serves the story, but I loved Batiatus. He is by far my favorite for quotes from the show. That said, there is something to be admired about a show where no one is safe. The story comes first, and that's why this show is as amazing as it is.]

On how Liam stepping in as Spartacus

Steven: What drew us to Liam is that we didn’t want to try to duplicate (Andy). I mean, that will never happen. He was such a singular, amazing talent. But we wanted to find somebody that had the same base qualities of compassion. And I told all the actors when they auditioned that even though Spartacus may fly into a rage now and then, he never comes from a place of anger, it’s always from a place of a wounded heart. And we really felt like Liam captured that essence.

Click here for complete article



15 January 2012

New Lucy Lawless Artwork by Klippart - Lucretia Rising



Klippart has sent in a new Spartacus wallpaper..."Lucretia Rising"

Click on the thumbnail for the larger artwork



15 January 2012

Spartacus cast members at Screen International Pre-Golden Globes Party




Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ellen Hollman, Daniel Feuerriegel, Katrina Law, Bonnie Sveen and Stephen Dunlevy attended the Screen International Pre-Golden Globes Party.

Click here for more photos at Wireimage.com



15 January 2012

High Resolution Spartacus Press Kit Promo Images

Added high resolution images from the Spartacus Vengeance Press Kit courtesy of Starz Entertainment.

Click here to view larger images




14 January 2012

Spartacus: What to Expect from Vengeance


While the first two episodes of Spartacus: Vengeance have been sent out to critics already, at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today, we actually were shown a scene from the fifth episode of the season – what we were told was just a piece of a much larger, twelve minute sequence. Without going into super spoilery specifics, I will say it involves the return of Gannicus from Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, almost the entire main cast of the series, and involves copious amounts of bloodshed (of course) and some very big action beats, involving large crowds and plenty of destruction. In short: it was awesome.

During the Q&A that followed, executive producer Steven DeKnight noted they always want to make things big and bold on Spartacus. In the first episode of Vengeance, when Spartacus needs information, he and his men need to attack a brothel. Laughed DeKnight, "Brothel attack! And you just can't go wrong with a title like that. There's a very emotional story that goes with that. But you just don't want to go in and attack some guys and get some information. You want to attack a brothel!"

New Spartacus star Liam McIntyre recalled his long process getting the role and how it was an "exciting time." McIntyre had just lost 45 pounds for another project, and so had a lot of work to do to prove he could bulk up for the role. He was given a military trainer and began a massive workout regimen, still not knowing he absolutely had the role. After about three or four months, he finally got the call that the role was his. "They finally put me out of my misery and said, 'Keep training… It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before."

Lucy Lawless is back as a very damaged Lucretia, and the actress said that for her character, "The torment does continue." She said that Lucretia has "Fresh torments when I enter into a relationship with a man I never paid attention to before," before coyly adding, "Lucretia's dreams come true."

As Lawless noted, this is seemingly, "a softer, gentler Lucretia, which is very unnerving for Ilithyia. There's lots of ups and downs there. Lots of skullduggery." She laughed, "The writers were really rude to me this year. Cruel and unusual punishment. As an artist, I loved it. They put me through the ringer this season and I'm so grateful."

McIntyre said he was having "so much fun" as Spartacus, saying it was easy to tap into childhood memories of playing, in a role where he's, "Fighting the battle for the good and just cause in the world."
McIntyre noted that Spartacus is a natural leader, and he and DeKnight said that Vengeance would find Spartacus really finding himself figuring out that role, with DeKnight remarking, "that journey is very difficult."

Obviously, the tragic death of original Spartacus star Andy Whitfield weighs heavily for everyone on the show. McIntyre said it was, "the saddest thing I've ever had to be a part of," noting that initially he only felt comfortable taking over the role from Whitfield, because, "I knew he'd get better."

McIntyre recalled the day the cast and crew were given the news on set, noting, "I'd never seen a sadder person than producer who had to pass that news on." McIntyre remembered Whitfield telling him in an email, after he got the role, that the Spartacus cast and crew were like a family, and how he felt the truth of that in the wake of Whitfield's death. He said that after everyone mourned, the general feeling was, "We owe Andy the respect to do the best job we can. Let's come together and do the best damn show we can."




14 January 2012

'Spartacus: Vengeance': Buckets of bloody torment


"Spartacus: Vengeance" is about to return with it's third season and a new star. After star Andy Whitfield's battle with cancer, the role of Spartacus was re-cast with Liam McIntyre. He's taken over the role with a passion and we got to hear about his experience at the Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, CA. Along with McIntyre, Lucy Lawless and show runner Steven DeKnight let us in on secrets from Season 3.

Before his death, Whitfield gave his blessing to McIntyre, telling him that this is "a family." McIntyre, who had to train for months before they let him know he had the part, said that it really is and that he'd be embraced by the cast. "It's probably the saddest thing I've ever had to be part of. From the start, I was able to tackle the role ... he made his choice to get better," said McIntyre. He said he'd never seen a sadder producer than the day they told the cast about Andy's passing.

On a happier note, we have some incredibly impressive stunts and set pieces to look forward to this year.It all starts with an impressive slaughter scene in a brothel in the first episode. DeKnight said, "In the writers' room, we had the title, 'Brothel attack.' You just can't go wrong with a title like that." We were treated to a scene from episode 5 where the rebels set a fire underneath the arena and the entire thing collapses, killing hundreds. Oh, and there are intestines pulled out of someone's guts. We love this show! McIntyre does too, calling himself a fan boy. He said, "The first four months there wasn't a moment that I didn't smile incredulously at the opportunity I had."

Lawless told the crowd that Lucretia has some major torment coming her way. ""Buckets of bloody torment," she said. Still, Lucretia isn't going to fall apart. She said, "Somebody falls in love with Lucretia. In the end, all her dreams come true. She enters into a relationship with someone she never noticed before." We can't wait to see who that is. Anyone want to speculate? But don't worry. She's still the crazy woman we know and love. She called character a "softer, gentler Lucretia." The crowed laughed and she replied, "That's not funny. For about 2 seconds, she is."




14 January 2012

Spartacus' Liam J. McIntyre: Andy Whitfield's Death Was the "Saddest" Day on Set


Liam McIntyre was working on the set of Spartacus the day that he learned that his predecessor Andy Whitfield had succumbed to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last fall. Whitfield first filled the title role of Starz's bloody gladiator drama.

"It's probably the saddest thing I ever had to be part of," McIntyre told critics Friday at the network's winter previews. "I've never seen a sadder person than the producer who had to pass that news on to what is really a family ... You can't imagine how sad that day was."

McIntyre continued, "But part of the triumph of the team was coming together after a little bit of downtime to say, 'We owe Andy the respect to do this job as best we can. So let's come and let's do the best damn show we can.' And we pulled ourselves together and did excellent work until the end of the season. What else can you do, right?"

After completing the first season of the series, Whitfield withdrew to treat his disease. In place of a second season, Starz instead filmed the six-part prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which focused on the House of Batiatus before the arrival of Spartacus. When Whitfield's lymphoma returned, however, he stepped down from acting altogether, and newcomer McIntyre was recast as Spartacus for the second season. Whitfield died in September.

Joining McIntyre in the show's second season are Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, Dustin Clare, Nick E. Tarabay, Katrina Law, Craig Parker and Viva Bianca. Cynthia Addai-Robinson replaces Lesley-Ann Brandt as body slave Naevia.

Spartacus: Vengeance premieres on Friday, Jan. 27 at 10/9c on Starz.




14 January 2012

'Spartacus' on the rampage


PASADENA, Calif.-- Starz's "Spartacus: Vengeance" returns on Jan. 27 with a major change: A new actor steps into Sparty's sandals following the sickness and death of original star Andy Whitfield.

Liam McIntyre, who resembles a younger and less beefy Whitfield, capably takes over the role.He recalls the day in September when "Spartacus" was in production and the cast and crew learned of Whitfield's passing.

"That's probably the saddest thing I've ever had to be part of," McIntyre said. "From the start I think I was able to tackle the role because I knew he'd get better. I made that decision for myself. He'd made the choice to get better and that was fantastic. I've never seen a sadder person than the producer who had to come down and pass that news down to what's like a family. You can't imagine how sad that day was. Part of the triumph of the team was coming together after a little bit of downtime to say, 'We owe Andy the respect to do this job the best we can. Let's come together and do the best damn show we can.' We pulled ourselves together and did excellent work until the end of the season. What else can you do, right?"

McIntyre didn't get the role immediately. He had to bulk up and prove to Starz executives he could achieve a Spartacus look. When he did, they eventually gave him the part.

As season two begins, Spartacus finds himself in a new role.

"He gets a sense of having to embark on that journey that is the journey of Spartacus which is the slave rebellion that's starting now," McIntyre said.

And it's not a comfortable fit.

"One of the things I love exploring is how he precipitates the beginning of this rebellion," said executive producer Steven S. DeKnight. "Things are not going well interacting with members of the group. For him, personally, as a man who never wanted this mantle, this season we move Spartacus from a more singular individual to a leader of men, and that journey is very difficult."

And it becomes a fairly awesome journey, judging by a scene Starz executives showed from episode five when a major rebellion initiative comes to fruition in a shocking, destructive way. (My review of the first two episodes runs in TV Week on Jan. 22.) But there are also personal stories.

"Somebody falls in love with Lucretia," Lucy Lawless says of her scheming character. "In the end all of Lucretia's dreams come true."

Not sure I buy that.

"She's a softer, gentler Lucretia," Lawless said. "For about two seconds. ... There's a lot of skullduggery in the parlor."

That I will buy.

"The writers were really rude to me," Lawless continued. "Usually they're just cruel. This year they were rude. It's cruel and unusual punishment. But as an artist I just loved it. They put me through the ringer this season and for that I'm grateful."




14 January 2012

'Spartacus' Exec Describes Months-Long Audition Process to Replace Andy Whitfield


It doesn't sound like anyone took replacing the late Andy Whitfield in his Spartacus role lightly. During Starz's presentation of the next season, Spartacus: Vengeance, Managing Director Carmi Zlotnick described how he managed the process of casting Liam McIntyre.

"Thank God that he was willing to do the work required to take on this role," Zlotnick tells the room of TV reporters at TCA in Pasadena on Friday.

"He worked out, I got weekly updates showing how his physique changed from week to week," he continues. "And after a period of a couple months of having him do that, we finally decided this is the guy. He not only has the acting chops, but the ability to bring the kind of intensity and unique attributes the role requires."

To hear McIntyre talk about it is to hear someone who's still very excited about having a chance to play the role let alone actually land it.

"It was a very exciting time and I lost like 45 pounds for another [job]," McIntyre tells the room. "And they kept bringing me back for training and they had a military trainer. It was fair enough and every moment through that process was exciting."

Fans have been waiting for two years to see this second installment reach their television screens. In the meantime, the network produced a prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. And Whitfield lost his battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last September. McIntyre, who had officially been announced in the role in January of last year describes the day he was told that Whitfield had passed.

"It's probably the saddest thing I had to be a part of," the Australian actor says. "From the start, I knew I could tackle the role, because he made the decision [to leave] and get better. You can't imagine how sad that day was."

He says that part of what made it easier for the cast and producers to move on was knowing that they owed it to Whitfield to make the series as good as it was with him as its star.

Spartacus: Vengeance picks up from the first season and finds the hero leading fellow freed slaves and gladiators as they challenge Roman rule.

"He's not comfortable at all as the rebel leader," Executive Producer Steven DeKnight says. "Once he's out and about things are not going well. This is really the season that we move him from a singular entity to a leader of men."





14 January 2012

Lucy on "Live with Kelly" on Jan. 23




A talented and diverse group of women will join Kelly Ripa as guest co-hosts on "LIVE! with Kelly" the week of January 23-27, 2012.

January 23, 2012 - Previously-announced Kim Kardashian leads off the week as Kelly and Kim welcome actress Lucy Lawless and "Glee" actor Kevin McHale.




14 January 2012

Cinema Blend Interviews Steven On What's Ahead On Spartacus

ImageSteven DeKnight Discusses Spartacus Vengeance And What's Ahead For The Starz Series

Cinema Blend
13 January 2012

With the premiere of Spartacus: Vengeance just a couple of weeks away (two, if you’re keeping count), series show-runner Steven S. DeKnight talked to the press about the upcoming season this week. Topics of discussion on the conference call included the “new” Spartacus, played by Liam McIntyre, what to expect from some of the characters, and DeKnight’s thoughts on going from working on shows like Smallville and Joss Whedon’s series (Buffy, Angel and Dollhouse) to the Starz drama.

It should be said right off the bat that DeKnight is very tight-lipped when it comes to spoilers. In fact, he seems to have mastered the art of answering questions without revealing major plot-points. So, if you’re looking for juicy details on Vengeance, you won’t find many below. With that said, we did put spoiler warnings around the questions that tread into specifics about Vengeance. Nothing major is revealed about any of the characters, but if you’re looking to go into the new season without knowing anything about what’s ahead, avoid the spoiler questions.

Beyond that, DeKnight had some really interesting things to say about the show. He talks about the critical response to the pilot, his leap as a writer from network TV to premium cable, the language used in the series, writing for genre television (with nods to Lost and Battlestar Galactica mentioned) and some other fascinating tidbits about Starz’ underrated drama. He also mentions another project he might be working on for the network, which from the sound of it, is in the very early (early, early) phases of development.

Read More



14 January 2012

Photos of Liam at the Young Hollywood studio




Liam visited the studios of YoungHollywood.com for an interview.

Click here for the photos



14 January 2012

'Spartacus: Vengeance' Creator Steven S. Deknight On the New Season

ImageThis afternoon, the series creator, executive producer, and writer walked journalists through some of the changes on the way with the upcoming season of the STARZ series, working on the show after the passing of lead Andy Whitfield, and working with new actor Liam McIntyre in the lead role. The series returns to STARZ on Friday, January 27th at 10 PM.

If you need a primer, here's a synopsis of the upcoming season:

On the heels of the bloody escape from the House of Batiatus that concluded "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," the gladiator rebellion continues and begins to strike fear into the heart of the Roman Republic in "Spartacus: Vengeance." Gaius Claudius Glaber and his Roman troops are sent to Capua to crush the growing band of freed slaves that Spartacus leads before it can inflict further damage. Spartacus is presented the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man that condemned his wife to slavery and eventual death, or making the larger sacrifices necessary to keep his budding army from breaking apart. Containing all of the blood-soaked action, exotic sexuality, and villainy and heroism that has come to distinguish the series, the tale of Spartacus resumes in epic fashion.

Here are some of the highlights from the chat:

He says that one of the virtues of actor Liam McIntyre is that he brings compassion to the role--the character does go into rages, but it comes from a wounded place.

He explains that the heroes in the show aren't your merry heroes--their beginnings are troubled.

This season is about taking the character on a journey from a man looking for revenge to a leader of men. "Everybody grows up this season."

He admits that the show's beginning was rocky and there were a lot of criticisms about the amounts of sex, violence, and gay content. He says that the show did get off to a rough start but that they've since been able to tell the story that they want to tell.

I asked Deknight about his feelings on the evolution of the series and he went back to those rocky beginnings, joking that after the negative response to the first few episodes, he ran through the streets naked. But when he, Raimi, and Tapert sat dowb to figure out the tone, they knew it was simply a matter of finding an equilibrium for all of the sex and violence in the material.

To the last point, Deknight says that they started off wanting to be a graphic novel and realized that it was necessary to dial back the visual effects and focus on the emotional stakes of each scene—if there's an orgy, the scene isn't about the orgy, but about the emotions in the scenes.

He and his team are currently in the process of writing the next season, and they're guided by history as a guidepost. Deknight explains that he and his team spend a couple of weeks laying down some of the major historical and narrative elements and building from there.

Deknight reiterates a couple of times that when it comes down to history and entertainment, the show will always err on the side of entertainment. He says the audience will be surprised by how the story ends.

In lieu of writing the character differently with Liam taking over, Deknight says that they simply kept the character's voice the same.

Deknight gives his thanks to Joss Whedon who he credits with giving him opportunities with Angel and Dollhouse.

Would there ever be a movie? It would solely be dependent on everyone's schedules and fan interest.

Deknight describes the dialog of the show as a mix between Shakespeare and Robert E. Howard, a conscious affectation that actually makes writing the show "extremely challenging."

Deknight says that the show was originally pitched by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert before Deknight had even heard of it, and the only thing he knew was that the plan was to make a gladiator series in the style of Zack Snyder's The 300.




14 January 2012

Spartacus' Steven DeKnight Talks The Possibility Of A Spinoff Movie For The Starz Drama

ImageYesterday afternoon, Steven S. DeKnight, the show runner of Starz' drama series Spartacus: Vengeance spoke to the press about the upcoming season, which premiers later this month. Among the topics of conversation was the possibility that Spartacus might someday make its way to the big screen. From what DeKnight says, the idea has been toyed with by the series’ executive producers.

Just yesterday, we passed along some quotes from one of the writers of Showtime's Dexter regarding the possibility that the serial killer drama might someday become a movie. It sounds more like a vague possibility in the case of Dexter and the same can be said about Spartacus, based on DeKnight's comments in response to a direct question about the chances of a film based on the Starz drama series.

"[Spartacus executive producers] Rob Tapert, Josh Donen, Sam Raimi, and I have always whispered in the hallways about maybe one day to do some kind of spinoff movie. Really I think it depends on where we take the show on television and everybody's schedules. But, we'd certainly be interested in one day doing something like that."

At this point, there's probably a greater chance of Dexter seeing the big screen before Spartacus does, if either story were to make the transition from TV show to film. For one thing, Dexter is much further along than Spartacus, which is only just starting its third (or second, if you exclude last year's Gods of the Arena six-episode prequel). The series had a major and unfortunate setback, due to the illness of the star Andy Whitfield, who passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma last fall. He was previously replaced on the series by Liam McIntyre and the show is set to resume on the pay-cable channel on January 27th.

While it wouldn't be the first time Spartacus' story was adapted to film, the series may be a bit too young to think beyond what’s ahead for the show at this point. Still, it's interesting to know that it's something the writers have considered and would be interested in pursuing at some point down the line.






13 January 2012

New Spartacus Artwork by Maria - The Women of Spartacus

ImageMaria has sent in a new Spartacus wallpaper...the Women of Spartacus: Lucretia, Ilithyia, Seppia and Mira


Click on the thumbnail for the larger artwork



13 January 2012

'Spartacus' creator Steven DeKnight: "Gannicus returns in an unexpected way"

ImageEver since the first episode of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena aired, I fell instantly in love with the character of Gannicus. Yes Dustin Clare is real easy on the eyes, but it was the evolution of the character that really captivated me.

I've been trying to get Steven DeKnight, creator of the Spartacus series, to give me some spoilers as to how my beloved gladiator meets Spartacus during the new season, but he won’t budge! Today I had the opportunity to chat with Mr. DeKnight and though he refuses to ruin a juicy plot point, he did tell me this about the return of Gannicus.

Rosy: Could you tell me under what circumstance Gannicus makes his first appearance this season?

S. DeKnight: That would be giving away too much! I can tell you he comes back in a very unexpected way. It’s not what you would think. One of the things I wanted to do from the start is that our band of heroes are not Robin Hood and his merry men. They have a lot of problems internally which is very historical because they kept breaking up into different groups away from Spartacus. I can't say when Gannicus comes back but it's not a happy reunion. There are definitely a lot of problems that come with it.


Click here for more....(spoiler alert)



13 January 2012

Details about new Spartacus 2012 Trading Cards

ImageRittenhouse Archives is releasing a new set of Spartacus cards.

This all-new series will feature cards based on the original
Spartacus: Blood and Sand as well as the prequel,
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena with 2 Autograph Cards per pack!


Autograph Cards: (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena): Lucy Lawless (Lucretia), Jaime Murrary (Gaia), John Hannah (Batiatus), Manu Bennett (Crixus), Dustin Clare (Gannicus), Craig Walsh Wrightson (Solonius), Temeura Morrison (Doctore), Jeffrey Thomas (Titus), Jessica Grace Smith (Diona), Stephen Lovatt (Tullius), Shane Rangi (Dagan), Peter Feeney (Quintillius Varis); (Spartacus: Blood & Sand): Lliam Powell (Numerius), David Austin (Medicus), John Bach (Magistrate Calavius), Reuben de Jong (Theokoles) and more! (2 autographs cards per Premium Pack)

18 Spartacus: Gods of the Arena Episode Synopses Cards, 3 cards per episode (2 cards per Premium Pack)

9 Gladiators In Action Cards (1 card per Premium Pack)

9 Battle for Freedom Cards (1 card per Premium Pack)

9 Spartacus: Vengeance Preview Cards (1 card per Premium Pack)

9 Women of Spartacus Cards (1 card per Premium Pack)

12 Spartacus Gold Plaque Cards (1 card per Premium Pack)

Product Configuration:
9 Cards Per Premium Pack
15 Packs Per Box

Box Topper:
Andy Whitfield (1972-2011) In Memoriam Card
2-Box Incentive:
Andy Whitfield (Spartacus) Relic Card
4-Box Incentive:
Peter Mensah (Doctore) Autograph Card
8-Box Incentive:
SPARTACUS 2012 Premium Pack Archive Box, including
a complete master set of all pack-inserted cards.




12 January 2012

Examiner Interview with Dustin Clare

ImageMuch like the audiences of ancient Rome, viewers were left hungry by the bold and decadent spectacle of gladiators fighting for their lives in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. They would be satiated by a rare occurrence for a hit television series: a prequel. With Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, the seeds were sewn for a legendary rebellion still to come. For rising star Dustin Clare, it would be career-making chance to be part of television?s most provocative entertainment today. Find out what this Australian-born 21st century gladiator has to say about returning to the bloody and primal world order of in part two of a special Personalities series on Spartacus: Vengeance.

Chances are, once you?ve experienced an episode of Spartacus, you will have no recourse but to march right over to the gym to unleash your inner gladiator. Not even the Steve Reeves/Atlas brawn of the 1950s can compare to the physiques seen on the hit Starz franchise. Such body worship has been a key reason as to why fans tune into the action-adventure epic proportions. Which begs the question, what happens when one of these post-modern gods of the Roman Empire actually goes home? With that great Aussie warmth and humor, star Dustin Clare offered this sobering truth:

Read More



12 January 2012

Olansamuelle's Draw Them All Rewatch Season 1 Episode 13 Season Finale

ImageOlansamuelle's Draw Them All Rewatch Season 1 Episode 13

Spartacus recruits an unlikely ally in his quest for revenge.

Click here to view art

Rewatch episodes 1 - 9 on Olansamuelle's Draw Them All Spartacus Comic Strip subsite



12 January 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane....

Hey folks,

RightO! I'm off on my annual holiday and this time I'm trekking across the pond to the US for a few weeks to catch up with mates, attend the 2012 Final Journey Xena Convention and just have a great time!

While I'm away, Lori will be taking over and updating AUSXIP and the rest of the sites. I'm looking forward to watching the Spartacus premiere (I'll have a review/preview of the first two episodes next week).

ALL the AUSXIP staff will be at the Xena Convention so I'll pop in by live blogging the convention with news, photos and other assorted goodies; you can follow this on AUSXIP or twitter and facebook. It's going to be mega fun and mega emotional.

Spartacus is going to be HUGE and the Xena Con will be INCREDIBLE!

I'll be back on board around 8th Feb!

Battle On!




12 January 2012

The Women of Spartacus - New Video by Starz

The Women of Spartacus looks at the powerful women that will shape Spartacus: Vengeance: Lucretia, Ilithyia, Mira and the new character Seppia.




12 January 2012

Video of Lucy and Steven Interview at 2011 SDCC

The Electric Playground has released an interview they did with Lucy and Steven at the 2011 Comic Con in July.



9 January 2012

AUSXIP Interviews Viva Bianca - Ilithyia, The Bandit Princess Returns 10 January 2012


AUSXIP Interviews Viva Bianca

"Ilithyia, The Bandit Princess Returns"

Interviewed by MaryD
10 January 2012

I had the pleasure of interviewing Viva Bianca in May 2010 just after Spartacus: Blood and Sand had ended. Viva stars as Ilithyia, wife to the Roman Legate Gaius Claudius Glaber, daughter of Senator Albinius, Frenemy to Lucretia and all round bad girl. We last saw Ilithyia closing the doors of Batatius' home and allowing her "friends" Batiatus and Lucretia to perish at the hands of Spartacus and his fellow gladiators or so she wished that would have happened. Ilithyia was dubbed The Bandit Princess on the Spartacus Blood and Sand set and now The Bandit Princess returns in Spartacus Vengeance. How will she cope and what is in store for this wild child? We find out from Viva what we can expect in 2012 as Spartacus makes a triumphant return to our screens. Viva has also been very busy in starring in a new Australian movie by Jon Hewitt called X.

Click here to read interview



9 January 2012

Upcoming Spartacus Vengeance PR with Lucy and Liam In New York


Lucy and Liam will be in New York on 23 - 24 January to promote Spartacus: Vengeance according to the Celebrity Service International site.

So far in the Spartacus PR schedule (that has been announced)


18 January - Spartacus Premiere in Los Angeles

23/24 January - Interviews in New York with Lucy & Liam


News submitted by Barbara Davies



8 January 2012

Spartacus Boot Camp Videos with Katrina and Liam

Check out the two Spartacus boot camp videos just released by Men's Health and Women's Health Magazines.

The Spartacus: Vengeance Workout - Men's Health Magazine

Posted on: 8th January 2012

The Spartacus: Vengeance Workout - Men's Health Magazine

The Spartacus: Vengeance Workout Liam McIntrye, Katrina Law and other members of the Spartacus: Vengeance cast share the keys to their intensive training.

Katrina Law How She Gets Fiercely Fit - Women's Health Magazine
Posted on: 8th January 2012

Katrina Law How She Gets Fiercely Fit - Women's Health Magazine

How She Gets Fiercely Fit - Spartacus star, Katrina Law, shows us the boot camp moves that keep her in fighting form for her role on the gladiator-filled Starz drama



8 January 2012

Liam McIntyre has big sandals to fill on 'Spartacus: Vengeance' - LA Times 8 Jan 2012

ImageLiam McIntyre has big sandals to fill on 'Spartacus: Vengeance'

The 29-year-old Aussie steps into the Starz series for Andy Whitfield, who died of cancer last year.

It's 10 a.m. in Sydney, Australia, and Liam McIntyre has just posed one of the most serious questions facing actors like him who often have to bare their beefcake physique clad in nothing but a shred of a loin cloth.

"What happened to six-minute abs?" the Aussie inquired by phone. "No, really, I want to know."

This from a man who finds himself in three-hour gym sessions four times a week to convincingly portray the brawny, lead role in the Starz series "Spartacus: Vengeance." His devotion to muscling up is not just vanity: It suggests his desire to prove himself worthy. After all, he has big sandals to fill.

Read More



8 January 2012

Ancient Roman Coin Sheds LIght On The Roman Empire of Sex - Daily Express 06 Jan 2012


With all the talk about Spartacus having way too much sex and violence, some have questioned whether Roman society was really like that. The answer? Yes it was. Here's an interesting article on what archeologists have discovered.

The Roman Empire of Sex
Daily Express (UK)
6 January 2012

The discovery of an ancient coins sheds fascinating light on how the Romans used brothels, orgies with slaves and unquenchable lust to amuse society and rule nations.

Click on the image for the article



7 January 2012

High Resolution Scans Spartacus Vengeance Promo EW Magazine January 2012

Here are the high resolution scans from the Spartacus Vegenance promo featuring Viva Bianca, Liam McIntyre, Katrina Law and Lucy Lawless. The scans are from EW Magazine January 2012 Issue. They were scanned by Lori.







6 January 2012

Lucy Lawless and John Hannah Spartacus Blood and Sand Promos

Here are two promo images I haven't seen before from the Spartacus Blood and Sand promo image range:

Image Lucy Lawless as Lucretia

ImageJohn Hannah as Batiatus

Both of these images (amongst other Spartacus promo images) can be found here



6 January 2012

Spartacus Vengeance on 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2012


Complex.com has the The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows Of 2012 and Spartacus Vengeance comes in at #6...

6. Spartacus: Vengeance

Forging ahead, the network cast Aussie actor Liam McIntyre in the role of Spartacus, and, by the looks of things, he's shaping up to be a worthy replacement. The title character's gladiator rebellion will take center-stage this year, putting quite the heavy burden on the untested McIntyre to anchor one of TV's bloodiest and most nudity-filled shows. Fortunately, he'll be aided by several returning cast members, namely the one-two punch of hotness that is Lucy Lawless and Katrina Law. We're going to miss Whitfield, but here's to McIntyre and some old friends keeping Spartacus every bit as enthralling as before in the man?s honor.

Read full article



6 January 2012

TV Prime Spartacus and Lucy Article May 2011

TVPrime Magazine (Portuguese) has an older article about Spartacus Blood and Sand and Lucy (well on a guess going by the images). I'm also guessing it's May 2011 issue.




6 January 2012

AUSXIP Interviews Bonnie Sveen - Chadara, Rebel Amongst Rebels


AUSXIP Interviews Bonnie Sveen, Chadara: Rebel Amongst Rebels - 07 January 2012

Interviewed by MaryD

I'm delighted to bring you an interview with Australian actress, Bonnie Sveen. Her bubbly personality and humour was quite infectious when I got the chance to meet Bonnie and I'm looking forward to seeing her on Spartacus: Vengeance. Spartacus: Vengeance will premiere on 27 January on the Starz Network in the US and it will seen on Australian screens later this year on the GO! Network. Bonnie's character, Chadara, is a rebel amongst rebels and someone to watch out for. Bonnie will make her first appearance on our screens starting from Episode 2 "A Place In The World". Learn more about this young actress and her character!

Read Interview



6 January 2012

HOLY SMOKES BATMAN! Spartacus Promo in EW Magazine

Oh yee gods this is just smoking hot! Bigger scans of this shortly...current issue of EW Magazine.





6 January 2012

Attend Spartacus Vengeance Premiere on 18 January With The Stars

Event Details

Spartacus fans in L.A., prepare for vengeance.

The Gods have seen fit to give some of you the chance of a lifetime to attend the star-studded Spartacus: Vengeance Red Carpet Premiere in Hollywood.

Not only will you get to see the first episode of Spartacus: Vengeance before anyone else, you?ll also be at the screening with the stars of the series.


Share with us your intent to attend by clicking "Register" above. Your RSVP does not guarantee you a seat, so arrive EARLY. The very special event is first-come, first-seated.

This screening is rated TV-MA and contains mature content. Must be 18 or older to attend.

Click here to get tickets



5 January 2012

Spartacus Panel at TCA Winter Tour 13 January 2012


Spartacus PR is going to go high gear in January and here is the first scheduled official event. It's the Winter TCA (Television Critics Association Winter Tour). The event is held in Los Angeles every year. Dozens of networks and 100+ shows move their way into a ballroom for a conference with the media. Starz will be at the event to showcase Spartacus: Vengeance and Magic City. There is no official word on which Sparty cast members will be there but going on past TCA tours, Lucy, Viva, Liam and other cast members may be present.


Friday, Jan. 13: The first of several days for various cable networks that aren't connected to the broadcasters. Other channels presenting include Starz (which is paneling "Spartacus: Vengeance" in addition to the new "Magic City"),

Previous TCA Events on AUSXIP Spartacus

- 2009 TCA Summer Tour July 2009
- 2010 TCA Winter Tour Jan 2010
- 2011 TCA Winter tour Jan 2011

- 2011 TCA Summer Tour July 2011

- Image: Lucy with Starz CEO Chris Albrecht at TCA Summer Tour Presentation
- AfterElton Reviews The Spartacus TCA Panel
- IMDB Blog Chats with Lucy Lawless at the TCA Summer Tour 29 July 2011 Minor Spoilers
- TCA Summer Tour Spartacus Panel Photos!
- Spartacus Cast at TCA Panel - Edited Panel Discussion
- Spartacus Cast at TCA Summer Tour 29 July 2011



5 January 2012

Lucy Lawless Roars Back To Life Examiner Interview 03 Jan 2012

ImageGenre icon Lucy Lawless has amassed plenty of experience wielding swords and other symbols of empowerment. Yet, as the deliciously wicked and sexually voracious Lucretia, Lawless is relishing the chance to unleash a persona that is an unrepentant force of nature.

Find out what the warrior princess truly loves about being the queen of the arena in this first part of a three-part series with the stars and creative team behind the provocative sword and sandals hit, Spartacus.

Proving you can never keep a bad girl down, only a character as maleficent as the nefarious Lucretia in Spartacus could survive being pierced in her womb.

One of many operatic high notes in a series that has ripped open the envelope of mainstream entertainment, the epic rebellion that is Spartacus has spread to become a pop culture sensation.

Sure, the show's unparalleled depiction of graphic violence and sexuality is enough to pique the interest of the casual viewer. Yet, audiences are staying in great numbers to relish this decadent vision of life in ancient Rome in part to see what the imperious Lucy Lawless will do next.

As the infamous Lucretia, often the instigator for some of the show's most jaw-dropping moments, only a woman like Lawless could rival the muscle-bound hunks enslaved by the gladiators' arena. So, how does such a delicious villain escape the sharp point of fate?

Read Interview



3 January 2012

Lucy Interview with Film Review Online From TCA Summer Tour


The following interview was conduced during the Summer TCA Event in July 2011 when Lucy and the rest of the Spartacus cast were promoting Spartacus. They had just come from the 2011 Comic Con in San Diego.

Spartacus: Vengeance ? Lucy Lawless gets a bit crazy - Film Review Online

Posted on: 2 January 2011

Following the panel at the TV Critics Association for Spartacus: Vengeance, I caught up with Lucy Lawless, who continues to play Lucretia on the show, surviving the bloody gladiator revolt that took the life of her husband, gladiator owner Batiatus (John Hannah).

As I approached Lucy in the hallway outside of the main room, it appeared that a journalist was obsessed with an accident that occurred as long ago as October 8, 1996, when Lucy did a skit as her iconic character Xena on The Jay Leno Show.

Read The Interview



3 January 2012

Lucy in Spoof Video from 2009 Qantas Film & TV Awards

On 5 September 2009 Lucy attended the Qantas Film and Television Awards 2009. Oliver Driver (well known to Lucy fans since he directed / produced The Vagina Monologues with Lucy in New Zealand between 14 February and 16 March 2002) was the host of the awards.

There is now video of Oliver trying to find a co-host for the awards and he stumbles through various news and tv show sets. He also manages to stumble onto the Spartacus Gods of the Arena set with Lucy, Lesley-Ann and Michael Hurst (who was directing the episode Paterfamilias at the time). Just a bit of trivia here - the dress Lucy is wearing was auctioned off on Starship Spring Clean and sold for $1110.




Lucy and Lesley-Ann can be seen in the video approx 3:41 min into it.




Link submitted by Barbara Davies



2 January 2012

Lucy Lawless Interview Italian Vanity Fair Magazine 14 December 2011 Translated

Lucy is interviewed in the Italian Vanity Fare Magazine 14 December 2011 Issue. Scans were contributed by Federica Neddi and sent in by Barbara Bruno. Barbara translated the article from the original Italian to English

ImageVanity Fair Magazine
(Italian) - 14 December 2011

Translated by Barbara Bruno

Lucy Lawless

I thought I was a man

Warrior Princess in the 90s (Do you remember Xena?) gladiator lover today, she always keeps herself in a good shape. Credit to a “lovely” education: at home, at school and in the mine

by Andrea Carugati

Sometimes they come back, especially on TV Shows.

Lucy Lawless, in mid 90s, she was the main character on Xena, Warrior Princess, series based on mythology that was a hit on the channel Italia 1. Today, because there is nothing new really, she is back in the limelight with the role of Lucretia on Spartacus: Blood and Sand TV Series with strong colors which became very famous thanks to the record audience on Sky 1(where in spring we are waiting for the second Season: Spartacus Vengeance. )

Lucy, who had the fortune to marry Robert Tapert, producer of Spartacus with Sam Raimi, in the show she is the wife of Lentulus Batiatus(owner of a gladiator school in Capua) as well as the secret lover of the gladiator Crixus. Lucretia schemes, kills, arranges orgies to gain the favors of the powerful people, always at the service of her husband and the thirst for power that unites them. Whatever the obstacle is- between a bath and a naked breast, having sex with the champion of the gladiators, poisoning someone- she removes it.

Excuse me if I ask Lucy, are you like this as well in your everyday life?

No, on the contrary. I go wherever they tell me to go, I am good to surrender and, if there is something I can't change, I don't fight it: this is an attitude I found very usefull in my life.

I find you in a very good shape. I can't help to notice that: I sit at 10 centimeters from her, on the same couch.

Thank you. My secret is that I am happy, without getting myself to be stressed by anything. I get busy with what I live today: I think is the anticipation of the problems that hurts us. A problem in itself is never so serious, and even when it is, it's better to worry about it when it comes.

What made you go around the world since you were younger?

It took a while for me to understand that it was the best thing to do. I grew up in a very catholic family, in a catholic school, in a small village in New Zealand. I was a little girl and I was going back home alone repeating to myself the prayer “Ave oh Mary”,

“Aveh oh Mary, pray for us sinners, in the hour of our death. Amen...” In the hour of our death? Are we kiddin'? I have to die? I still remember when I realized this thing. I told to myself, “Oh My God, I have to pull myself together and do something now!! And since that day my life changed.

I was already grown-up, I was probably 11 years old. When I was 18, I went away to Paris, I had fun, I spent all my money. And the person that became my fiancè (Garth Lawless), came to save me. We got married, we loved each other, we had a baby girl (Daisy), not necessarily in this order. I still like him, but now I am married to another man (Tapert), from whom I have two sons (Julius and Judah), and I am in love and happy.

A very romantic life, but I know you also worked in a mine.

I had to transport and dissect the stones from where others would have extracted the gold.
An incredible job, in the australian desert. Every morning I got there and found an immense row of stones: I thought I was in a Grimm fable..

I don't know so many girls who would choose that as a summer job.

In fact I wasn't raised as a girl. I had four older brothers and my mother told me that, at least until I was 10, I thought I was a boy. At home we had to be very fast with the mouth, fast with the feet and fast to eat, or someone was coming to steal your food. A lovely family too, but not very easy to live in.

But then the Xena role arrived

A very unexpected thing and something I did not search for (the actress chosen for the role Vanessa Angel got sick). Physically I was in a good shape, but I wasn't very athletic, I did not practice any sport, I wasn't fit for the role. At school my nickname was “Unco” (for Uncoordinated)

Your schoolmates were very nice...

Catholic school, as I said before...
For two years I was full of bruises, but at the end I got better.

Your teachers of that time would be horrified to see you naked now on TV.

But I am not so naked! There are only few scenes and I wouldn't have accepted the role if those scenes were not functional with it. I don't like to show so much of myself, but it was necessary: that was the time period (the roman times n.d. t) where violence, sex and power were intertwined in the arenas and in politics.

Perhaps certain habits did not go out of fashion...

“Ciampa ciampa? That Berlusconi thing? How do you call it? (Referring to Italian politics n.d.t)

Do you mean Bunga Bunga?

Very similar to what happens in Spartacus, isn't it? Nothing changed and I believe this always happened. Do you Italians see our series as a political satire? It can be an interpretation...Anyway. When I think to your country I think to the movie “Il divo di Sorrentino”. The strain of that movie enthused me, it doesn't show the usual things that are associated to you(as a country n.d.t).

Are you surprised that sex gets used as a weapon?

No. It's been used as a weapon in times of peace and war, individually and in groups, like the mass rapes in Bosnia and Rwanda. I believe that our society evolved quicker than our minds and bodies. We can't keep up with the social rules and we tend to behave like beasts.

Did you ever use it as a weapon?

Not as a weapon, yes as a tool. For example, the way I am sitting now, is it casual according to you?
My body, my posture, they send out messages. Every woman does that, it's a social manipulation.
It's an expectation that men have. But never as a weapon: I would never be attracted to a man that loses out to that kind of charm.

What kind of man does attract you?

A true man, someone that thinks with his mind, spiritual, and with a great sense of humor. Someone good on his job. This is a very important aspect for almost every woman, maybe due to an atavic heritage. If someone is good on doing his job, it means he will be a very responsible father, able to ensure survival to his family. These are thing that send us back when men lived in caves.

So no metrosexual for you?

Sometimes I force my husband to wear a pink shirt, that obviously doesn't fit him very well. I was a fan of the Spandau Ballet and I like to observe them, the metrosexuals, I would never marry one of them. On the contrary, now that I think about it I have never been with a pretty boy. Maybe they are not attracted by me.

I guess that you, if you wanted, could easily conquer all of them.

I don't think it's true and I believe is always about a choice that two people do. I remember that when I was younger I did not think exactly this way though .I was with my psychologist, and I told him I could have all the men I wanted. I noticed his reaction, I saw his face and I understood that I said something wrong.

Are you still seeing a psychologist?

It' s many years now that I don't go anymore: I have two kids, I have no more time to concentrate only on myself. And maybe it's a good thing.




You can find out more about Lucy's role on Spartacus by going to AUSXIP Lucy Lawless Spartacus subsite



1 January 2012

Happy Bloody New Year From Starz and Spartacus


Starz sent out a Happy New Year greeting with style - Spartacus and his swords plus a behind the scenes video. The video contains interviews with Rob Tapert, Michael Hurst, Craig Parker and Luke Pegler (Marcus)

Check out the Starz video here



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