This year’s San Diego Comic Con definitely proved that if you’re willing to fight for it, you’ll get to see something good. Stepping up and fighting for a spot in the press room for the upcoming season ofSpartacus was certainly worth the experience. I’d like to present a press round table in five parts. Part four is a short chat with Executive Producer and writer Steven DeKnight and new kid in town Liam McIntyre, who will taking over the lead role of Spartacus.
Question: The nice thing is we can feel safe asking you odd questions, because you probably know what you can and can’t tell us?
Question: So are we picking up directly after the revolution? Or….?
DeKnight:No, uh, it’s very, very close. It’s within a month or two after the end of season one, so there’ll be a little bit of a time jump.
Question: I heard that there is going to be a kickass female character introduced? Can you talk a little about her?
DeKnight:I’ve seen that on the interweb today, yes. My plan for this next season once they broke out was always, eventually that the women would be fighting. Since historically everybody fought, including the little kids. Which I plan on doing eventually. So I knew that would be the natural evolution of the show. The news that was announced today played by Elen Polman is a character called Saxa. I can’t really say much about her but she’ll be appearing towards the middle of the season. We’ll introduce that character. But yeah, I always wanted the show to embrace both men and women.
Question: And will she be a Gladiatrix or will she just be…?
DeKnight:No, she is not a Gladiatrix. That was a false rumor goin’ around, there were gladiatrix’s but they came later in the imperial time.
Question: And they were all for show anyway.
DeKnight:They tended to fight midgets, which didn’t quite translate for our show, but I really wanted to keep that spirit of everybody fighting.
Question: What about Lucretia? What’s going to happen to her? Are you gonna introduce her later?
DeKnight:Oh no, no, she’ll be introduced in episode one.
DeKnight:Yes, you’ll get an inkling of what’s going on with her.
Question: She survived the stabbing…
DeKnight:Uh she did. How she survived you won’t know right off, but it will be explained.
Question: Does the child live, or no?
DeKnight:Uh, I can’t tell ya. I can’t tell ya that but it’s one of my favorite storylines this coming season.
Question: Um, hi, Liam, hi. Spartacus. So what’s it like jumping into this roll that’s already starting to develop?
Liam McIntyre:I guess it’s a really unique challenge for me. It’s strange, in a way it’s not that hard because there’s this new kinda epic journey. But all the same you have a lot of fans and a lot of goodwill to really respect and obviously the amazing Andy in season one, you know? You wanna do justice to that awesome exciting show that I’m a fan of, so it’s been a big challenge and a big learning curve and in lots of ways the best experience. In lots of ways there’s not been a day that I sort of haven’t smiled at myself like “are you serious?” You know?
DeKnight:I’m going to remind you of that in a couple of months.
McIntyre:Oh, oh it all hurts, why does it all hurt Steven?
DeKnight:And then I make you do this and this.
McIntyre:Well yeah, I was just saying… it’s like agony obviously. That’s kind of the prerequisite, but because I come from a place where the last one I had to lose a bunch of weight for and then I had to put on more by the time the official bootcamp came up I’d kinda done like four months of bootcamp. So I was kinda like “I’m feelin up for this.” you know? It was exciting too, to be able to keep up with such a grueling routine. It was very grueling though. I don’t recommend it for just casual enjoyment.
Question: So the more you worked out the more your character started to come alive?
McIntyre:I don’t think I ever really thought of it that way. But I mean obviously yeah. There’s the… cos Spartacus is a badass, right? And um, it’s kind of a prerequisite… yeah. In hindsight there’s been a lot of modeling. Especially in fights you know where the adrenaline of all the working out and just building your body and kind of just being up against a difficult time frame to really just build yourself up on you really gotta be focused. And a lot of things that the character does is tough as it is while also being angry and impassioned to get it all done. You know? So in a strange little way, yeah. It has helped me build a part of that character.
Question: How has being Spartacus changed your life?
McIntyre:I wouldn’t even be able to start. I got out of the car here… the funny thing is you film in New Zealand and that’s a lovely quiet place that’s sort of remote from all the buzz and excitement of Hollywood, which I’ve never been a part of. And so you get kinda sheltered from it in a way, so like stepping out of the car here you have this kinda false idea. I mean I know it’s a big deal and there’s heaps of fans but there you know I’ll just wander off to my hotel. I got swamped and I can’t even begin to process it and it’s a huge deal and it’s so exciting to see how much the fans love the show. It’s, it’s… like everyone that’s on the cast and crew back home… I just wanna be able to convey how much passion there is for the show back to them because it’s so exciting to see firsthand after doing all this work on a big sound stage.
Question: Where do you hope the character will go?
DeKnight:Yeah, where do you hope?
McIntyre:Well Steven… *chuckle* see the beauty of this is that it’s kind of a vaguely prewritten history with enough dot dot dots to make it exciting anyway you want it to be so I’ve got no complaints the way facts and history go. I think leading a massive army is a pretty awesome job. So I’m pretty happy.