On January 21, 2011 we will see the premiere of
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, the prequel to the hugely successful
Spartacus Blood and Sand. Before Spartacus struck down his first
opponent in the arena, there were many gladiators who passed though the
gates onto the sand. "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena," the highly
anticipated prequel to Starz' hit series "Spartacus: Blood and Sand,"
tells the story of the original Champion of the House of Batiatus:
Gannicus (Dustin Clare) in a more ruthless time before Spartacus'
arrival where honor was just finding it's way into the arena. In this
world we will also meet Diona, a slave. I interviewed Jessica Grace
Smith who plays the role of Diona and we find out more about this young
Jessica, where did you grow up, tell us a little
about your background?
I grew up in a small town named Dannevirke here in NZ, and spent a great
deal of that time on a farm out in the country. I lived in Argentina for
a year and a bit when I was 17, so I speak Spanish fluently (and I'm
heading back there on Friday after we wrap yay!)
Did you always want to be an actress?
I didn't realise being an actor was a real career until I had left high
school so compared to a lot of my peers I came into it quite late. Last
year I graduated from Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School which is a
great acting school here in NZ.
What can you tell us about your character, Diona?
Diona grew up in the house of Titus Batiatus and is best friends with
Naevia. She attends Lucretia and while in the beginning is very naive
and innocent, she learns very quickly how corrupt this world can be, and
how little power she has.
What was it like working on Spartacus: Gods of
I've had a fantastic time on the set of Spartacus, especially with
Lesley-Ann who I did a lot of my scenes with, as well as Marisa, Jaime,
Lucy & John. The cast were so lovely, really inviting and warm to me and
I learnt a LOT from watching and working with them.
Watch Spartacus Gods of the Arena Promo - The Slaves
Photos of Jessica
courtesy of Jessica Grace Smith