Don’t want to hit the theater this weekend for a movie, but want something on a par? Check out the return of Spartacus: Vengeance. The hit show airs Fridays at 10:00pm on Starz. For those who have not caught an episode or followed the show, don’t be shy about climbing on board this super sexy and action packed ride. Think Ridley Scott’s honor bound Maximus in Gladiator, meets the corruption of Rome; mix in action reminiscent of the film 300 and some hot sex scenes and you’ve got yourself some prime entertainment without even leaving the house.
To bring you up to date, or for the uninitiated, here’s where we are in the story:
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 thatÂ SpartacusÂ leads before it can inflict further damage. SpartacusÂ is presented with the choice of satisfying his personal need for vengeance against the man who 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 ofÂ SpartacusÂ resumes in epic fashion.
Playing the role of Spartacus is new guy Liam McIntyre, who’s dedicated himself wholeheartedly despite having to replace belovedÂ Andy Whitfield (who passed from cancer last September). To fill the shoes of such a memorable character, and one that has a strong fan base, is a tall order. Fans are going to be drawing comparisons to him regardless of how well or terribly he captures the role. After speaking with Liam I got the impression that he wasn’t overly worried (the season has already wrapped) and the show has already been picked up for a 3rd season before fans even get a look at season 2!
Allie Hanley: Hi Liam. So this show is packed with really crazy and awesome action scenes that are on a par with a lot of movies playing in theatres. The first episode was on a par with the feature film Immortals. Tell me a little bit about how you’re getting in shape for that; And I know you’ve already shot the season, talk to us about what you went through to handle a sword and all those intensely physical fight scenes.
Liam McIntyre: Well it’s a rare and lucky person who gets to be a 10-year-old for a whole year. It’s fantastic. But I mean getting into shape… early on when I started the process of testing for this role, I’d done another film where I was 45 pounds lighter, or thereabouts. So I was going for that whole machinist look. And unfortunately I was succeeding. And so getting from that – well first of all, I thought there was no way I’d ever even be considered, but they did consider me.
And I got taught exactly how horrible training can be. In much the way that people say, “Do you get used to sex scenes?” And the answer’s generally “No.” “Do you get used to lifting ridiculous amounts of weights?” Not really. I think the point is that you do it and it really hurts. But it’s one of the few things in life where you get to see tangible results. So I guess it’s worthwhile.
AH: So you’re saying you gained 45 pounds of muscle for this role?
LMc: Something like that. I haven’t done the math, but a lot. Because, you know, I certainly look a lot more healthier than I did back then. I’ve still got a photo of that disgusting small…
AH: You must have really tested well to replace Andy!
This question is directed at the ladies, and I’m just going to come right out with it. Look, this show is bordering on soft-core porn.That’s one of the reasons it’s so hot, those sex scenes and everything they’ve got going on are just fun to watch. Can you tell me a little bit about how you approach getting ready to do some of that stuff? And some of the challenges you’ve had with season two? Lucy, I saw some pretty revealing stuff the first season and in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena .
LL: I’ve done things again this season that I’ve never, ever done before and never seen on television before; And it was very heavy duty. There were days when I would just go home and have a…Â just have a quiet, little melt-down and, you know, just go to sleep. Because it was so demanding emotionally. So…
AH: I was just going to say, perhaps you were going to go home and hug your husband and from there move on to something else. The scenes are so steamy!
LL: Oh let me tell you, this does great things for the viewer’s sex life. Not so much for the participants. It’s like aversion therapy.
LMc: It’s difficult to have that conversation. “What did you do today honey?” “Well, long story….”
LL: Sometimes I do need a hug because it’s harrowing. It’s really harrowing.
Viva Bianca: Well I think as well what Lucy might be talking about is, you know, some of the sex scenes or storylines in Spartacus that involve sex are actually not in any way of a turn-on. They can be quite brutal. I mean the show is talking about exploitation of slaves and of women and a lot of the violence is actually talking about some very serious stuff. So it’s kind of far from a turn-on. And can be quite horrific, and as an actor to carry that, you know, it can be quite heavy on us.
LL: Oh gosh I don’t know. I think I’ve been there pretty much 15 years in a row, so I’m sure – do they really need me? I’m like that brass pig in the corner that you touch for luck, you know.
LMc: I need to get me one of those.
LL: I do love it though. I love the fans, I’m really grateful to them for everything they’ve given me. So I don’t know, we’ll see.
First Episode is called ‘Fugitivus’.
For a sneak peek check out the 6 minute clip below, introduced by Liam.