“Spartacus” is back for an all-new season on Starz this Friday night at 10pm with the premiere of “Spartacus: Vengeance.” Full of the blood-soaked, sexy action we came to love in Season 1 (“Blood and Sand”) this new season hits the ground running, with our fearless heroes on the run after their savage escape from the House of Batiatus’ Ludus. New to the cast is 29-year-old Australian Liam McIntyre who takes over the role for the late Andy Whitfield. A familiar face returning however, is fan-favorite Lucretia (played by Lucy Lawless). We caught up with the duo recently to see what’s on tap for this season, if our hero will ever really find true love, and what past favorites will making appearances this season.
Will Spartacus find love this season?
McIntyre: It’s an interesting little journey because Spartacus says in Season 1, or Sura says rather that he’ll never love again. As with all things when you try to move on, under extremely difficult circumstances, in Spartacus’ case it’s a rocky road. The coolest part is that in terms of the history books, this is kind of where the story of Spartacus really takes off. He’s like all right, we’re out (of the Ludus), now we’ve gotta do something. He’s thrust in this position in Season 1 – this amazing personal journey that Andy Whitfield captured so well. Being a free person and being trapped in this tiny little rat’s den that he’s forced to do things to other people and the torture of having his wife out there somewhere and he then he finds out about her terrible end and what that means on a personal level. And then Season 2 starts with, for the first time he’s totally free, but under totally different circumstances and this team he has all these people looking for support and help even though I guess in the original plan it might not have been to have all these people in tow. They’ve gotta learn what that means, that sometimes it means looking beyond yourself and looking for the greater cause.
How did Lucretia survive? What will her volatile relationship with Ilithyia (Viva Bianca) be like?
Lawless: I thought there was a sliver of hope for me to survive season two. I’m so not a controlling person, I was OK either way. But I think deep down I just felt like I would be back. My fans are the most supportive fans anybody has ever had because even though they just worshipped my character Xena and what it meant to them at that time of their lives, they recognize that I am not that show. I was just one component of the show. And they’ve followed and supported me through many different shows and many different characters. I’m really thankful for that. They didn’t get disgusted and run off when I started kissing boys. And as far as my character and Ilithyia – Lucretia needs a friend this season! It’s a wonderfully rich, toxic relationship, so that will continue. There’s new elements that are going to stick the knife a little further into both their guts.
McIntyre: I always enjoy watching those two work together – those are the best scenes.
And what about some of our other favorites – Oenomaus (Peter Mensah), Asher (Nick Tarabay) and Gannicus (Dustin Clare)?
Lawless: Oenomaus is the least likely to rebel, because remember – Batiatus’ father was like a father to him so he is morally really in a tough place. He would have preferred to life to go on as it was. That was his home since he was a young man. He’s now rootless.
McIntyre: He’s got the arena/and a whole other side story and backstory that unfolds – his backstory with Ganicus and what not. He’s got the double-edged sword of pain from one side and then the other. His journey is incredible.
Lawless: One of the most interesting and convoluted characters is Asher and he comes back and really steals every scene he’s in this season. He’s been just a joy to work with. Be looking out for some more Asher action. He is badder than ever! And Gannicus – hes a lone wolf and you don’t quite know what side he’s gonna fall on because he doesn’t know this Spartacus. He’s had no contact with him. If you remember from the prequel, he left before Spartacus ever arrived. You’re gonna see him torn between the two worlds.
McIntyre: I remember reading the first scene between Spartacus and Gannicus and it was so great just to see them in the same “world” together, just because they don’t know each other.
The scope of the series gets even broader in Season 2.
Lawless: There’s a lot more of the green screen and the special effects. It doesn’t really involve me too much though. We do unveil the new Arena – because in the prequel there was the old arena. Everything is bigger, brighter, far more, and the cast of thousands because of CG. Even a cast of CG people takes a lot more time and money. Everything just gets more epic.
Any hope for Batiatus (John Hannah) to appear in some (ghostly or otherwise) form this season?
Lawless: Sadly no! Unfortunately it was just the way the stories fell this season – we won’t be seeing John Hannah this season. It’s just the way the story broke from the writers. And he probably wasn’t available. I missed him so much. Just his wonderful presence, and he and I had such a great relationship, like a husband and wife quality. That love really was effortless with him. I’m really grateful.
Watch the Early Premiere of “Vengeance” Below:
Don’t forget to tune in to the premiere of ‘Spartacus: Vengeance’ this Friday at 10pm on Starz.