Spartacus Creator Steven S. DeKnight And Stars Talk War Of The Damned (Part 1)

By Kelly West 2013-01-22 17:02:10 discussion comments
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Steven I wanted to ask you about Agron and Nasir this season. And what can we expect from that relationship? And what have you heard from people on, just the gay element of the show? Which I love how you portray it very much a part of the world we see, but what have you heard from audience members? And what could we expect?

Steven S. DeKnight: Iíll answer this in reverse. You know, the support for Nagron and Nasir has just been overwhelmingly positive. Better than I could imagine.

Liam McIntyre: Agron.

Steven S. DeKnight: Agron, who did I say?

Man: Nagron.

Steven S. DeKnight: Nagron. Iím so used to reading the shipper name online. I always say Nagron. It was so overwhelmingly positive. And with Agron and Nasir, weíve had gay characters on the show before. But this was the first time we could develop the relationship from the very beginning. Very slowly. And actually see them fall in love. Which was something both Rob Tapert and I both really, really wanted to do. And I think that last season with Vengeance, Dan and Pana both did such a fantastic job that, that awkward realizing you like somebody and those (urgent) glances, and it was just so beautifully done.

So the reaction to that has been, you know, just fantastically positive. The reaction overall to our same sex relationships, itís been both positive and negative. Just like any cross section of society. Thereís a lot of people who do not have a problem with it, that think the characters are wonderful and the storyline is beautiful. And there are segments out there that just freak out whenever you even mention such a thing. Honestly thereís the same segment like with the male nudity. Thereís a lot of guys that their head just sets on fire if there is a naked guy on screen. I personally donít understand how either one of those is threatening if youíre a secure heterosexual male. But, you know, with some people we havenít reached that point yet where everything is acceptable. And, you know, it just doesnít bother you.

With Agron and Nasir this season, we continue exploring their relationship. You canít always have a relationship that goes smoothly, thereís not a lot of drama in that. So we throw a couple of curve balls at them. But theirs is one of the relationships that I think is really kind of a cornerstone of this season. There are a lot of relationships going on, and thereís I think is particularly powerful, and gut wrenching, and beautiful.

Todd Lasance: Yeah I feel like it really (chops) the course of the rebellion. Because as things get hotter and hotter and more high stakes for the rebellion, itís really there relationship that gives you that insight into how all the couples in the rebel camp are dealing with the scale of what theyíre doing.

Steven S. DeKnight: They are a really good barometer as to whatís going on inside the rebel camp.

Good to hear you all again. I have a question for Todd. In light of what Steven talked about earlier in the call about not much being known about young Caesar in history. I was wondering how it feels to be making history.

Todd Lasance: To be perfectly honest with you I still remember so vividly the moment I found out I got the role. I was sitting with my parents at lunch and I got the phone call from my agent saying I was going to be playing Caesar and I nearly burst into tears because I was so excited. There were hugs all around and five minutes later I jumped in my car and I swear to God I was two minutes from calling up and pulling out of the role because the fear hit me of what I was just about to undertake.

It was extremely daunting, I will admit. I think personally I place a lot of pressure on my performances as it is, Iím very critical of myself. And I think with taking on someone like Caesar or anyone of historical value thereís Ė people have these preconceived sort of notions, or ideas, or images in their mind of what they would expect of Caesar. And for me as an actor, my fear came from a place of not necessarily when I have dialogue or when there is particular moments in a scene. It was more so when Iím not doing anything that I needed to, I felt this weight of needing to carry Caesar.

That you would look at, I had this idea in my head, that when you look at Caesar you need to see someone that would potential become one of the greatest rulers in history. So I think that played on my mind a lot and I wanted to do him justice, do you know what I mean? Whatever that justice would be. Especially with not having a lot of information to sort of work on I guess. I had to go on a lot of instinct and a lot of work I did at home that I brought to the character. But my first day I was absolutely terrified, and it was obviously all shot in chronological order as far as episodes go. And the first thing that you do see on air was my actual first scene shooting.

So I think it was more just I wanted to do him justice and I was very aware of the fact that people had, quite famous actors had played the part and done incredible portrayals. And I wanted to live up to what people would expect to Caesar. I think it was probably also the expectations as well when they see Caesar, theyíre going to expect to see some sort of X factor. So Iím just hoping that, you know, that comes across.

Steven S. DeKnight: And weíre all very glad you didnít make that phone call.

Todd Lasance: I swear to God I sat in the car and I was terrified. The first moment was pure excitement and couldnít believe it. But then, yeah, it just Ė I think it hit me what I was just about to undertake. Liam McIntyre: Thatís cool though, you get to define young Caesar. Thatís pretty amazing.

Todd Lasance: But even you saying that is why I was so scared.

Liam McIntyre: Itís yours now itís awesome.

The thing that I like about Spartacus (unintelligible) is that there is always this sort of (unintelligible) machinations and the political side of it, which is really intriguing and dangerous. But then thereís also the brute force fighting too. Considering that, who do you feel is Caesarís most dangerous foe? Tiberius or Spartacus?

Todd Lasance: Without a doubt Spartacus, 100%. I mean, I guess, thatís a really good question actually. Look, Spartacus is his ultimate nemesis because he has the tactical mind, the strategic mind, the political mind. But also the skill on the battlefield, and Caesar is aware of that. So Tiberius obviously has a lot of strength and qualities that could be potentially dangerous to Caesar. Particularly the relationship between him and Crassus, but I think itís made fairly clear early on that Caesar feels like he has power over Tiberius and isnít necessarily a threat. But interestingly enough heís kind of a threat unbeknownst to Caesar as well. So thereís a lot of little dark elements that go on through the season that the audience may not be aware of until they show themselves.

But as far as the ultimate, I guess you could say the ultimate nemesis would definitely be Spartacus. Caesar feels like heís is a formidable opponent, but at the end of the day heís aware that Spartacus has put together this legion of men. I donít think thereís an element of fear per se, but heís certainly aware that once he does meet Spartacus itís not going to be Ė itís certainly going to be a show down.
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