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Lucy Lawless on Spartacus

Published January 22, 2010 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of Starz
Spartacus Spartacus

Lucy Lawless has kicked butt in ancient times before. Spartacus: Blood and Sand takes her to a level far beyond Xena: Warrior Princess. She’s not even involved in the gladiator fighting this time around, but playing drama in ancient Rome is full of plenty of precarious situations.

Lucy Lawless Talks Spartacus


“Well, obviously having to do anything naked is new and challenging, but what attracted me to the role, I just knew that this was going to be a new kind of television,” Lawless said. “I’d never read a script before I accepted the job but I knew from the way Rob [Tapert] talked about it and the team that he was putting together that this was not a project that I could afford to walk away from.”

Xena fans the world over may be thankful to Spartacus for Lawless’ nude scene. She’s a good sport about it, knowing there’s a lot more to the role than skin. “Well, I don’t get my kit off all the time,” Lawless clarified. “But I will say the first time I completely freaked out for about three days in advance. We wrapped at 7 pm. I got straight in my car, went home and walked straight into my bedroom to say good night and crashed out for 12 hours. It was quite something to wrap your head around that. Modern people, we’ve built up all these taboos.”



As Lucretia, Lawless gets to play a political manipulator, the way anyone had to survive in those times. “Even if you take away all the fancy stuff, you take away all the boobs and you take away everything that’s sensational, the most sensational, the best thing about it is the way that the characters enmesh, the writing and the way the story’s constructed,” Lawless said. “High stakes for everybody. Everybody’s scared all the time because in ancient Rome, there’s no safety net for you. No one’s going to take care of you. You’re dead.”

At least her struggles are all psychological. “I’m so happy to be out of the downstairs world where everybody’s fighting all the time. Upstairs watching you guys do it, I’m like oh my God.”

Spartacus has already been renewed for a second season, so Lawless is getting ready for Lucretia’s next journey. “It seems a long way away. We don’t start again until April. I don't know, now that we have such a relationship of trust between the actors and you’ve got directors that are really just stonkin’ directors, really fantastic. I think it’s going to take a lot of the guess work [out] and I hope that Andy, even though your workload is so much more than everybody else, I hope that you are going to find the second season not so bad because of that, a bit more fluidity, more efficiency, more trust.”

Spartacus: Blood and Sand premieres Friday on Starz.
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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Starz
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