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EXCLUSIVE Interview with Lucy Lawless of SPARTACUS

Mike Vicic - January 27, 2012




During the TCA 2012 Winter Press Tour, Lucy Lawless chatted with TV Tango about SPARTACUS. Lawless relived the bloody finale of BLOOD AND SAND, dished about what's in store for her character, Lucretia, in the new season, VENGEANCE, spoke fondly of the late Andy Whitfield, and even talked about her guilty pleasure -- criminal trials.



Tonight, Starz kicks off a new season of SPARTACUS with the first episode of SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE, airing Friday, January 27, 2012 at 10pm ET/PT. 


TV Tango: What was it like filming that last, bloody scene in BLOOD AND SAND?

Lucy Lawless: Sticky, all wet.


A hard floor. The tiles on that floor -- I don't know what the hell they were made out of, but they were sharp. They did put down a rubber version of them for a tiny bit.


It was fine, but it was sticky. gross! I hate it when they pour sticky blood all down your dress, and your legs are sticking together in the most unpleasant way -- sort of caramelizing.

TV Tango: They filmed two endings for BLOOD AND SAND. When did you know that your character, Lucretia, was going to live?

Lucy Lawless: After. After we shot it.


I think even though I didn't know -- and I would've been fine either way -- I think I had a sense that Lucretia would be back.  I didn't panic about it, and I think that's why I don't remember. I don't remember it upsetting me; I just had a calm awareness.

TV Tango: The finale of BLOOD AND SAND was not what Lucretia imagined or wanted. What would the ending have been if it was up to her? What was she going after?

Lucy Lawless: The whole kit and kaboodle -- the husband, the baby, and status for the first time in her life. I don't think she came from status; she's one of the aspirant, hard-working, lower-middle-class girls.


Her husband was her true love. Who knows what would have happened down the line, but that was her man -- beyond the need to have the male support in Roman society at that time and the status that came with that man. Aside from all of that, I think she loved him.


He was a megalomaniac. She did whatever he told her to do -- she didn't want to throw those sex parties.

TV Tango: Now that she's lost her husband, her baby and her home, what is Lucretia's goal in VENGEANCE? To reclaim that status or just survive? [MINOR SPOILERS]

Lucy Lawless: First and foremost, to survive. Requisite to survival is finding a friend. There's her old friend, Ilithyia, all of a sudden, who ought to be an easy mark, but you know that's going to be a rough ride.


In fact, Lucretia took me to the depths of human experience -- not in actuality, of course, but the role. Lucretia goes through so many tribulations through the season, that it's with great joy that I report, in the end, all Lucretia's dreams come true. People are going to be horrified when they see her journey, but she's a winner in the end.

TV Tango: What feelings does Lucretia have toward her late husband now?

Lucy Lawless: His rejection of her in the most savage way possible, and destroying her chances of making her family whole. That's gotta hurt.


I think she got a bit confused. You know, women confuse love and sex. They get it all tangled up, but it didn't start out that way. It just got a little confusing.


In the same way, I saw these women on TV the other night, falling in love with their gigolos. Apparently, it routinely happens. She fell in love with her gigolo -- a little bit -- but it doesn't mean she didn't love her husband.

TV Tango: Which hit Lucretia harder, losing her husband or losing her unborn baby?

Lucy Lawless: It was one and the same for her because she was having the baby for the husband -- for the heir. That was a woman's number one duty, as it is if you're the Princess of Wales.


But the loss of her baby was the loss of her promise. 

TV Tango: What is Lucretia's funniest line this coming season?

Lucy Lawless: I can't remember any, but I can't remember jokes either.

TV Tango: Does Lucretia have any sexy lines in VENGEANCE? [MINOR SPOILER]

Lucy Lawless: She does have a couple of love interests. Somebody falls in love with her.

TV Tango: The first day back on set without Andy Whitfield. What was that like?

Lucy Lawless: Full of love and support for Liam [McIntyre]. I think it was sort of rolling up our sleeves and exhaling, and putting the nose to the grindstone.


The first day on set was the first collective recognition. It was the first time we were all back to crew. Everybody was back together. You had this communal experience, and that was a little bit of acknowledgement of letting that go.


A lot of people had seen Andy in the last weeks of his life; so a lot of people had dealt with their feelings. But being back together and having the work environment was a completely different feeling. It was about being together.

But our job was to make the transition as easy, as welcoming and as supportive as possible to Liam coming in. We all had two years experience in our world, and he was coming in a complete newbie into the title role. That had to be daunting. He took it with such good humor and aplomb.


Liam's got great leadership qualities that help fulfill the demands of Spartacus this season. He has to rally the troops. He has to pull everyone together -- Visigoths and Celts and what not. Liam has good leadership skills.


We'll never forget Andy. Nothing ever takes away the fact that we carry on his legacy, and Liam does it with such respect.

TV Tango: Did you go through any gladiator training for your role?

Lucy Lawless: [Laughing] I stabbed my housekeeper, screwed her husband, and kicked the dog. No, no training was necessary. [Still laughing] They give me these scripts, and I say "O.M.G.," and get on with the task of trying to fulfill it.

TV Tango: What's on your DVR these days?

Lucy Lawless: On my iPad I have podcasts of criminal trials. When I found myself unemployed -- unexpectedly when Andy was sick -- I went and sat at the high court in Auckland and just sucked up all the trials. It's my guilty pleasure.



TV Tango: If you could be on one more reality competition series, which one would you choose?

Lucy Lawless: [Emphatically shaking head 'No.'] I did a singing thing once. I did CELEBRITY DUETS because there was a chance, maybe, to sing with Smokey Robinson. I thought, "When I'm 80, I would kill myself if I chickened out of that." I was nearly 40 at the time, and I thought this might be my last chance to try this singing thing. I'd done it in the past, but not really. To either go out there and succeed or fail spectacularly, it scared the hell out of me; therefore, I had to do it.


I got to sing with him [Smokey] three times. It was amazing. That's the only one I think I'd ever do.

The failing of that show was that all of the contestants, like me and Alfonso Ribeiro, were all too mature to backstab, and we didn't all need the jobs. We had real careers. We were all there for personal fulfillment. What they need are train wrecks, and none of us really were.