Spartacus: Vengeance, The Boys are Back!
I recently sat down for an interview with a the men of Spartacus: Vegeance; Manu Bennett (Crixus), Nick Tarrabay (Ashur), Craig Parker (Glaber), and Dan Feuerriegel (Agron). It was a wonderful interview and it really showed how much all of the actors truly enjoy working together. All the men involved in this interview took the questions to heart and really care about their characters. They gave a lot of credit to the writers and their fellow cast-mates for their success. They also shared the fact that they get along well and that they keep things light on the set, with Craig and Nick being the biggest pranksters. They address what is on everyone’s minds moving into this season, transition to a new Spartacus as well. Read on to find out more about the series and what to expect this season.
The first questions for Nick Tarabay started the interview off at a good pace:
Interviewer: I wanted to know if you could give us a tease on will your paths be crossing Crixus? How entrenched are you going to become in Lucy Lawless’ world?
I think it won’t be a story if Ashur and Crixus somehow don’t get together that way, especially having Crixus my ultimate enemy on the show. So yes, you do see a little bit of that and it’s going to be very, very intense actually, the way you see it. I mean everything I think in Vengeance this season is going to be pretty intense and very heightened. And add to it the history that I have with Crixus, I think is going to make it even more interesting.
As far as Lucy, yes there’s a lot of story, a lot of scenes, a lot of work with me and Lucy, that I was very, very happy to have because I didn’t get a chance really to work with her in Season 1 and the prequel. But in this season we have a lot of work — maybe a little too much; just kidding.
The twists and the turns that he comes up with is something that surprised me as the actor every episode. I give a lot of credit for the writers, and obviously I give a lot of credit to the actors; made it a lot easier for me to…work harder and make it better.
Interviewer to Craig Parker: Do you think that Glaber’s true enemy is Ilithyia more so than Spartacus?
You know, absolutely. I think she is the one that destroys him the most, that hurts him the most. And this series though, I think you’ll see him start to stand up for himself, become a bit of the man that he wants to be. And part of that is freeing himself from her control. It’s quite good; truly she’s not going to have an easy ride, I promise you.
The next questions speaks to what a lot of fans have been wondering and it was answered very well, with a little friendly banter to boot. It seemed to be a good example of the camaraderie they spoke to between all of them.
Interviewer to All: With Liam coming into the role, how has that changed the chemistry on set, if at all?
Of course it’s going to change chemistry because he’s a completely different person. But you know, as actors you just adapt to Liam’s personality, and… that makes you change certain things here and there. Liam…did amazing the first two episodes and he just keeps getting better and better. I’m ..sure that everybody enjoyed working with him. I mean I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’m sure they’ll say the same thing. Guys?
No, no, no, I didn’t like working with Liam, not one bit. (Laughing)
Well that’s okay, no one liked working with you at all Nick, I mean come on, now that we’re going to be honest here and start throwing stones. (Laughing)
Liam came on to our set with a very open heart. He’s never stopped…discussing with all of us his journey. I think there’s something very Spartacus about that. You know, there’s a very truthful pure quality to the man himself and that’s what they needed to find. Andy gave such an extraordinarily honest performance, the people were just so moved by that that, you know, it was almost an impossibility to find somebody to replace Andy. What they’ve found in Liam is somebody with an absolute truth. It’s a different truth, but it’s still the truth, as a person. And it’s wonderful to work with him because every day he brings an open book that we all get to participate with.
I had the opportunity to ask questions myself and turned to resident Spartacus expert, Casey Carroll for some collaboration. Below are the detailed results of those questions.
Cat Edison: Will we see Crixus continue his push to be a leader or will he concede to be more of a follower this season?
I think with some characters you know, they say…what is it? What kind of cat never changes its spots? (Laughter) You know…
Man: Siamese cat.
Manu Bennett: You know, I mean…
Man: Only kidding.
You know, I think every character on our show is pretty much carved out of granite. There’s change in the way they’ll feel with their hearts, but you know, it’s really just – its’ a very iconic series, we’ve got very mainstay characters that continue to sort of, revel in their individual characters. If you took away Crixus’ desire to be a leader, you know, I don’t know what you’d be left with. I think he – he’s trying to find example and to live his life in a way where he thinks he’s doing the best thing to move forward. If somebody else’s idealism is going to come in to question his direction, then he’s either going to battle with it or adopt it, that perspective, which is the situation with Spartacus. The leadership thing is what really, I think, drives our great drama that’s between Spartacus and Crixus on many things, but between anybody in the show. I mean Craig Parker has a just wonderful storyline to do with – trying to find (unintelligible) Ashur wants to lead, you know, he wants to be listened to, you know? I mean, it’s sort of the bottom line of Spartacus is the individual — the voice of the individual, you know? And it’s just wonderful that the world’s really such a screwed up place and we have to keep on making a drama of it.
Well there is a wonderful thing through – with all the characters, leading or driving or things but everyone is trying to do the right thing, you know, whether they’re the goodies or the baddies, everyone has a clear idea of what is the right course, the way the world should be. And I think with every single character in this world, they’re all in the pursuit of happiness and they just end up doing terrible things on the way.
Cat Edison: I have a quick question for Dan as well. Will we get to learn more of Agron’s back story this season?
A little bit here and there, not too much about back story. But you’ll definitely get a lot more of his, like his desires and his personality. And also just like what the guys were talking about is just his desire to be heard, not so much lead. But he definitely has a lot of opinions and he kind of develops into Spartie’s right hand man. And he’s definitely got Spartie’s ear. But just whether or not he gets heard or not is the big thing. But you definitely do learn a lot more about Agron in this upcoming season.
And we learn a bit about his culture, where he comes from, got a bit of language there.
Yes, oh yes you do get a bit of German in there towards the back end. But I won’t say too much. But you do, you start to get an idea of who he is, a lot more.
To wrap up the interview, there was a great question about Ashur that reveals much more about what to expect in upcoming episodes,and rounding things out, one about the racier scenes that the Spartacus series does so well.
Interviewer: I’ve seen up to Episode 4 and it’s pretty awesome. I was wondering for Nick, Ashur has kind of a big journey this season and you get to sort of scheme with Lucretia and with Glaber and you have some intense scenes with Oenomaus. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about his journey. And do you think that he’s always plotting or is he always reacting to things in order to survive?
Well I think Ashur, which I really love about this character; he’s very, very smart and he’s always thinking ten steps ahead. And maybe in the beginning, again in the prequel or a little bit in Season 1, he was a bit reacting, which in my mind he was more assessing. Especially in Season 1 he was – after he found out that he couldn’t fight any more and he was a cripple, he was just watching everybody and kind of analyzing each character and then finding out his ultimate weapon, which is his brain and his wits and his talent for survival.
In this season he is definitely plotting. He is really…investing in certain people. Especially [since] you saw the first four episodes, I’m not going to give it away, you know why I’m using the word investing, especially with certain character, because he feels that it might payoff somehow or it might be his backup plan, which end up being the case in a lot of ways. He has a really, really big journey. And episode 4, I mean it gets even bigger and bigger towards the end, and his dreams and what he wants achieved is beyond what he though is possible. And that all comes true in a way with him aligning with Glaber and the roman – the bigger boys.
Yes, with – especially with Oenomaus, again what I said before you know, “Ashur’s got a bone to pick with a lot of people.” And we all saw what happened in the end of Season 1. So definitely he has something to pick with Oenomaus, Crixus and Spartacus and even he’s going to have some sort of – maybe I shouldn’t say that, never mind. But yes, he’s definitely planning. His plan keeps getting bigger and bigger. And what’s great is because he’s a bit closer to the Romans, but not necessarily on their good side yet, the possibilities as I said, “Are limitless,” or maybe way bigger than he was next to Batiatus. He’s playing with a way bigger boy; he’s playing with Glaber now, a big roman so it’s.
But you’ll see Ashur planning stuff like that you won’t know what he was planning up until episode 10, which is the last episode and you’re like, “Oh, this is where he was going for,” which is a big surprise going to be for the audience because it was a big surprise for me. So I’m sure they’re going to be shocked, yes.
Interviewer: When you guys are doing these scenes and there’s all this crazy sex and violence and all this other stuff going around in the background, when you either are filming or when you actually see it after it’s shot, are you ever shocked by what you see? Or do you just come to just go, “Eh, another day at Spartacus?”
Man: Another day.
Man: Another day, it’s…
Man: Another day.
Aw man, it’s not pornography dude, you know, it’s just – it’s …great scripts, it’s great moments, you know. I get asked this question sometimes, I’m never bothered by what we do, it’s wonderful. It’s – we’re all adults, you know, it’s kind of – it’s bizarre how…people talk about nudity and sex scenes as the taboo. I mean God, how did we all get here, you know?
It’s just so, I think everyone’s been working together so long that – and we’ve got so used to the world that you just – it’s totally safe, you never feel vulnerable or odd. And people are incredibly respectful. When there are scenes – and it’s not necessarily just being nude, but there’s often quite confronting scenes where characters are doing things that are on the edge of heavily emotional difficult scenes for the actors. But there is such a level of respect from the crew that those scenes are always made – you’re made to feel incredibly safe, and so within that safety you can explore the scary and the frightening but in a really safe way. So we all just get used to it really.
By the sound of things, these gentlemen won’t be letting anyone down with their performances this season. There will be as much intensity and intrigue as we have come to expect from Spartacus. Thank you so much to STARZ and all the cast members for giving me the opportunity to interview these amazing actors! Tune in to Spartacus: Vengeance on STARZ Fridays at 10PM ET/PT.