AUSXIP Interviews Viva Bianca
"Ilithyia, The Bandit Princess Returns"
Interviewed by MaryD
10 January 2012
I had the pleasure of interviewing Viva
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.
we last saw Ilithyia she was getting away from the rampaging gladiators
and shut the door and escaped. You are back in Season 2 (Vengeance),
does karma come knocking for Ilithyia?
Yes it does and poor old Ilithyia is up for
a real tumultuous journey. When shooting season 2, every now and then
I'd stop and remember the giggly, giddy Ilithyia from the early days who
had everything at her fingertips and I'd think to myself, what a
roller-coaster this chick has been on.
Do you think Ilithyia's attitudes will change from her
experiences in Season 1 and if they do, how?
I think what's been clever from the
writers perspective in the evolution of Ilithyia is that she continues
to become more and more three dimensional as she journey's through the
dangerous liasons-esque world in which she lives. In season 1 she often
had quite childish and bitchy reactions to things which was appropriate
because she was young, spoilt and ignorant. But in Vengeance, with the
history of season 1 behind her, and as her life becomes harder, her
relationships more complex and as she fight teeth and bone for her very
survival, people will see Ilithyia in a more human light I believe.
There is a treat in store for Ilithyia fans, something too good to
reveal, but something that ultimately becomes Ilithyia's major driving
force and ultimate catalyst for change.
I really enjoyed exploring all of
these dimensions this season.
Without giving away too much, which episode or episodes are
turning points for Ilithyia?
Episode 4 (Empty Hands) and Episode 5
(Libertus) are both goodies. And then Episode 8 (Balance) and
Episode 9 (Monsters) become even more EPIC.
Seriously it's crazy the story-lines
and twists they come up with.
been working closely with Lucy Lawless (Lucretia) - What will Lucretia
and Ilithyia's relationship be like in Season 2?
I know, I got lucky didn't I? What a
pleasure it was to work so closely and for such a long duration of time
with Lucy. An immensely talented and dedicated actress but mostly a lot
of fun. We had a field day piecing together the playful and at times
seriously twisted dance of the Ilithyia/Lucretia relationship. These two
characters livelihoods become more and more interwoven and codependent
and every now and then I, the actor, would become fooled into believing
that they actually loved one another.
Maybe they do, I still don't know!
The plot thickens again and again and it just gets better!
recently described the worst thing Ilithyia did in Season 1 was seducing
the 15 year old boy Numerious. That led to Varro's death. What can fans
expect from Ilithyia this season?
Oh really did I say that? Well yes that was
bad, but surely worse than that was sealing the fucking doors ensuring
the death of (nearly) all of my fellow Romans. But, anyhoo, with a
tightly packed suitcase of treachery (we can't of course forget
murdering Licinia!), Ilithyia is constantly scrambling to keep at bay
those lurking demons throughout season 2.
There is a killer (excuse the pun) Ilithyia moment in early in the
series which I wish I could reveal but can't, that is Ilithyia at her
finest. So yes there will be more warfare, but in Season 2 as Ilithyia
is confronted by her worst nightmares, I think fans can also expect more
has your experience on Spartacus taught you about yourself that you
didn't know before?
I realized I could be such a serious
beaver. And working day in and day out with both Lucy and Craig Parker I
learned to have a lot more fun. Sometimes I'd be caught in a rut having
internalized some emotion that Ilithyia was going through, and then all
of a sudden Lucy would cut right through my brooding state by making
some out of left field hilarious comment causing me to nearly wet
myself. I learned to loosen up a lot more and enjoy the process.
What experiences will you take with you from this series that you
never thought you would have?
Some life long friendships and work
associates. I will always cherish these relationships. Also when I was
first offered the role I didn't imagine that I would be written such a
dramatic character arch. What this has given me is a chance to really
expand and explore my craft.
recently starred in the
movie "X" which
premiered in Sydney recently. It is set in King's Cross, the notorious
red-light district of Sydney. What was it like working for Jon Hewitt
and how has the movie shaped how you see King's Cross and those that
This film was made in true guerrilla style and we worked for a month
straight every night til maybe 5am. So we really lived and breathed
Kings Cross. It was often confronting and exhausting but I was able to
go back to my safe, normal life afterwards. I can only begin to imagine
the stress, constant fear and exhaustion of those who consume that world
24/7. But the film wasn't made with an intention to judge that life or
those people. In fact the film makers, Jon and Belinda often refer to X
as a love-letter to the Cross.
Actors use the expression about coming out of a different
rabbit hole for their next role, to keep them & their audience on their
toes. What rabbit hole have you not yet done but would still love to do?
Something with a lighter touch, maybe even a
comedic character. Probably something modern. But then again, it's more
the integrity of the story that interests me.
And I do tend to revel in drama.
On 11 September 2011 we lost Andy Whitfield who succumbed to non
Hodgkin's Lymphoma. What thoughts did you give to your own legacy, to
your family and friends?
To live my life, every day and every moment
to the fullest and in gratitude.
I'm going to "borrow" from The Actor's Studio and ask you the top
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
great films, great theatre and remote
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
unhealthy egos. cruelty. magpies.
What sound or noise do you love?
sound of waves
What sound or noise do you hate?
alarm clock on my phone
What is your favorite curse word?
Shit I don't know...
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
or human rights law
What profession would you not like to do?
I don't think I could sit in front of a computer all day - I would
consistently have a sore neck.
I also don't think I could be a tour guide. I'd get major class-room
anxiety (strange I know coming from an actor...)
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive
at the Pearly Gates?
I love you. now chill the fuck out.
Many thanks to Viva Bianca for the interview. Tune in on 20 January
2012 on starz.com to watch the first
episode of Spartacus: Vengeance and then on 27 January 2012 for the
season premiere on the Starz Network.
▪ Photos of Viva for this interview are courtesy of
▪ Photos of Holly from the movie X are courtesy of
▪ Photos of Ilithyia from Spartacus
Vengeance are courtesy of Starz Entertainment.
▪ Official Viva Bianca Site
▪ Official Spartacus Blood
and Sand Site
▪ AUSXIP Spartacus
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